Cumberland County Notebook: Cumberland students give back

Published 4:37 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

CUMBERLAND – Students from Cumberland County schools worked hard this month to give back. That was the focus of the Tuesday, Dec. 13 Cumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting, as Cumberland Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones detailed what’s happening in local classrooms. 

Jones said that Marie Hopper at Cumberland High School partnered with Cumberland Christmas Mother and the staff adopted over 50 Angel Trees in the community. The schools also celebrated the Betty Scales Day of Service and took part in numerous activities that gave back to the community. Cumberland High School also hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross. 

More updates from Cumberland schools

Also, Dr. Jones explained that the school district partnered with Farmville’s Century 21 at Home Realty to host a job fair. They took a different approach to the fair by going into a local business to help recruit people. 

The district’s music program was well represented this year as the high school marching band was part of the tree lightings in Cumberland and Farmville. Also, music teachers Gary Archer and Scott Gordon were co-grand marshals at the Cumberland County Christmas parade. Jones joked that this was part of their retirement celebration as both plan to retire this year. 

“If any of you want to be a band or music teacher, see me and we can get that expedited very quickly,” said Jones. 

Seniors at Cumberland High School are preparing for their futures. Students are visiting businesses for potential careers. Seniors are beginning to receive college acceptance letters. Virginia State University was on campus at the beginning of December and offered three onsite admissions with two of the students receiving over $26,000 in scholarships. 

In recognition of student accomplishments, over 40 academic jackets were awarded the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break. 

“That’s probably one of my most favorite ceremonies at Cumberland County Public Schools,” said Jones. “It’s just a celebration of what all our children, along with their families, have accomplished.”

Let’s talk about the Cumberland County library

Also during the meeting, Lisa Davis announced that COVID-19 tests are still available at the library for those who need them. 

The new soundproof booths are available and getting great use. People have come on for job interviews, meetings and similar things. According to Davis, the booths can be a bit tricky to get out of so she is looking into something that can aid folks in getting the door open. 

The transition to LED lighting is completed in the library. According to Davis, the new lighting has made a big difference inside the library. Work will soon take place for a new water heater which will complete the last of two grants for updates. 

“I am looking at some other grants to continue with new programming and some new building updates,” said Davis. “We do invite the community to come to check those out. Come in and look at what we have going on and the new materials.” 

With January marking the one-year anniversary of partnering with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Davis is happy to announce that there are 153 children registered with 26 already graduated. Currently, only 40 to 50% of eligible children in Cumberland are registered and Davis hopes to get even more as the program breaks into its second year. 

The 2023 Reading Challenge is ready for the new year. Readers need to read a book from at least 20 different categories during this next year to go into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

“If you are already reading might as well get on and check the categories because free money is free money,” said Davis. 

Cumberland County Fire and EMS

And finally, Cumberland County Fire Chief Andy Aigner gave his first report as the new fire chief. 

In his first 13 days, he met with the Carrsville and Cumberland Stations to talk about needs and plans to meet with all three to draft a budget and give something concrete for the next supervisor meeting. He has also talked with the County Administrator to develop a budget in light of the Capital Improvement plan. 

The renovations at the Randolph station are coming along on schedule and looking at a spring 2023 completion date. 

“One of the things I’m big on is community involvement,” said Aigner. “I think it helps grow the volunteer organizations that we have and our folks have participated in two events since I’ve been here.”

They were at the tree lighting, taking the opportunity to be present and connect with community members as well as participate in the Cumberland County Christmas Parade.