State of the Schools event set

Published 10:54 pm Friday, March 11, 2011

The Suffolk Education Foundation and Suffolk Public Schools are encouraging the community to attend the annual State of the Schools event.

All community members, parents, business owners and employees are invited to attend the event.

“It’s a good opportunity to show support of the schools,” said Bethanne Bradshaw, spokeswoman for Suffolk Public Schools.

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This year’s event is dubbed the “Red Carpet Spectacular,” and it will welcome the new superintendent, Deran Whitney, who officially began as superintendent in January after serving as interim superintendent since July.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to formally meet him or hear from him for the first time,” Bradshaw said.

The event will also feature an address by Whitney and a video report detailing the school system’s new programs, accomplishments and challenges.

Students from the Lakeland High School string ensemble, the Nansemond Parkway Elementary School fifth-grade choir and Nansemond River High School’s jazz ensemble will provide entertainment during the reception.

The event will be held in the Birdsong Theater at the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts on Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. A catered reception in the ballroom will follow at 5:45 p.m. The foundation is requesting a $15 donation. RSVPs still are being accepted and last-minute deciders are welcome to join the event.

Donations will be put toward instructional grants and scholarships.