Dear Editor,

I would like to take a moment to say what an honor it is to serve the citizens of Holmes County as their Superintendent of Schools.

Over the past several months, I have come to realize more than ever what wonderful people – students, parents, faculty and staff – we have in each of our small communities. With our continued teamwork and an unwavering commitment to student success, I have no doubt we can help the young people of our county receive a top-notch education that will serve them throughout their lives.

During the 2016-2017 school year, some noteworthy strides were made to promote increased student achievement in Holmes County. So far in 2017, our district leadership team has accomplished the following:

• Received a Certificate of Accreditation by the NCA Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the SACS Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

• Began a new-teacher mentoring plan.

• Streamlined the virtual school platform.

• Through an agreement with the Holmes County Sherriff’s Department, added an additional School Resource Officer so that each community school has a dedicated officer on campus.

• Implemented cost saving measures to ensure that Holmes District Schools remain financially sound in the future.

• Instituted a district-wide Driver’s Education program to take place during the school year to better serve the community with decreased insurance rates for households with teen drivers. Students will now be eligible to earn ½ credit for this course.

• Contracted with Blue Bird to purchase 10 new school buses.

• Collaborated with students, parents and school staff to develop a plan to help at-risk seniors meet graduation requirements. Forty-four out of 52 identified seniors received diplomas at graduation.

As we say goodbye to the 2016-17 school year, we prepare for a new school year that will come with its own set of changes and challenges. With help and support from our communities, we will continue working to make sure every child in every school in Holmes County receives the best education possible. I am grateful for your faithfulness and dedication to the success of our students, and I look forward to working with you in the future!

Terry L. Mears

Holmes County Superintendent of Schools