Pictured: Northampton County Schools Superintendent. Dr. Eddie Lawrence speaks at the 2018 State of the Schools.

By Ted Shockley

An invitation-only conference called the “State of the Schools” will be held in Northampton County on Oct. 8, but the county’s teachers, staffers or students are not on the invitation list. 

Neither are rank-and-file county taxpayers, who contributed more than $9 million to school operations and debt service during the last fiscal year.

Instead, the State of the Schools conference is designed to draw county businesses, dignitaries and others to hear the successes of the county’s four schools, an official said. 

The Northampton County Education Foundation, a nonprofit composed of volunteer members with a goal “to engage the community and mobilize resources to promote student performance and excellence,” is the sponsor of the event.

“This is really reaching out to the community,” said Linda Schulz, chairman of the group, which includes 16 members with backgrounds in business, education, administration and more. 

“It would be very hard to do that with a group including parents and students” because of the volume of people and other logistics, she said. 

“It’s about the positive” she said of the meeting. 

Schulz said students will be represented — they will prepare breakfast and sing the National Anthem. 

She said organization and sponsorship of the event is not affiliated with the school system or school board. 

School officials will then speak — 10 minutes are allotted for Superintendent Eddie Lawrence and 15 minutes each for the county’s four building principals, according to an agenda.  Afterward all five will spend 35 minutes with attendees during breakout sessions. 

The event’s biggest item will be announcement of Community School Partnership Awards — five businesses, individuals or organizations will be honored for benefitting the schools over the past year.

Schulz emphasized the event was inclusive, rather than exclusive. 

“We do a lot to support the teachers,” she said. 

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Alexa WESR