The story below is from our July/August 2015 issue. For the full story download our FREE iOS app or view our digital edition for FREE today!
The nationally-recognized education system in Vinton continues to set high standards for its students and the community.
Within the town of Vinton is another tight-knit and hard-working community: the schools. Four Roanoke County Public Schools are located in Vinton: Herman L. Horn Elementary, W.E. Cundiff Elementary, and William Byrd Middle and High schools.
“Our community and the ties between our community and school make William Byrd special,” says Dr. Richard Turner, principal of William Byrd High School. “Fall Festival, the Christmas parade and the Dogwood Festival are just a few of the events that our school shares with the town.”
“After the students graduate and go away for a while, many of them come back to raise their own children in Vinton,” says Dr. Lorraine Lange, former Roanoke County Public Schools superintendent. “There are so many families that have generations of relatives who go through the Vinton schools.”
There is another distinction that sets apart schools in Vinton from those in the rest of the state. “All of the schools in Vinton are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education,” says Lange. “With higher standards each year, that is a feat. Only 68 percent of the schools in the state are fully accredited, and all of the Vinton schools fall into that category.”
Turner attributes some of the district’s success to the use of technology. “Technology helps us engage the students and prepare them for expectations with further education and employment,” he says. “The testing program makes us focus on certain areas to ensure student success.”
So much success, in fact, that the Center for Digital Education and National Boards Association recently named Roanoke County Public Schools the top digital school system of 2015, an honor it also received two years earlier. The district was recognized for its use of innovative technologies in the classroom, such as one-to-one laptop initiatives.
“The teachers and staff in the Vinton schools just need to continue doing what they do each day,” says Lange. “They work hard to meet the individual needs of every student. I am proud of their accomplishments.”