Chatham school board commits to school in Chatham Park, accepts $35k from Wolfspeed


PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Schools Board met January 16 for its first board meeting of 2024.

The district is looking to restart apprenticeships and internships with Chatham hospital, Superintendent Anthony Jackson told the board, sharing details of a meeting he had with administrators at the hospital.

EL/ML teacher and MTSS Coach Catherine Oldham from Moncure School was honored as this month’s Power of One award recipient, a monthly award given to a district staff member who has a powerful impact on shaping the direction of someone’s life.

“Ms. Oldham is such a positive impact on everyone at Moncure School even though her titles only include EL/ML teacher and MTSS Coach she goes far beyond those jobs,” said one nomination for the award. “She is a person that can stop, pivot, and change roles for the situation on a dime.”

Another stated: “Ms. Oldham helps run the school store, runs intervention groups, runs EL/ML groups, works at the PTA Thrift Store, helps lead the MTSS PLC meetings, and much more and still has time to help out in any situation when needed. She is dependable, flexible, and enthusiastic.”

Chatham Schools will begin a reaccreditation with Cognia, an accreditation body that the district has been using for more than 20 years, in Spring 2025. the accreditation body for Chatham County Schools. The process helps to identify strengths for improvement and to ensure that the whole district is working together to meet the needs of students. Next year’s site visit will be done virtually and is now on a 6-year cycle.

The board formally committed to acquiring a no-cost site in Chatham Park Northern Village for a new school to serve the growing residential development. The district will have five years to begin construction, with a delivering a development plan to Chatham Park Investors being the next step.

Wolfspeed is donating $20,000 to the Chatham County Robotics team for the team’s entry in the FIRST robotics competition, plus an additional $15,000 to Jordan-Matthews towards college trips and stipends for teachers tutoring students in the after school program. Any donation over $5,000 is required to be formally accepted by the school board. Both donations were approved.

Public comments focused on the low wages for teachers in the county contrasted to high cost of living, with some teachers said to be working multiple jobs, and a generalized difficulty in recruiting educators and staff being a concern.

Retired local librarians provided a large collection of books for Pittsboro Elementary students exploring performance arts and improvisation. Students from the school were one of three groups chosen to perform at the state Education Building in Raleigh.

The next Board of Education Meeting is Monday, Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m.