On the first day of the New Exceptional Children Program Director's Leadership Institute meeting at Hilton Garden Inn (November 17 and 18), Dare County Schools Curriculum Specialist Steve Basnight presented his perspective on communication and public relations essentials in an afternoon session. This was the final meeting in a six part series in a two year support program for new EC Directors facilitated by Tracy Riddle, NC Department of Public Instruction Northeast Regional Coordinator.
Riddle introduced George Graham, Dare Schools Director of Exceptional Children, who in turn introduced Basnight. Basnight spent 20 years in the classroom before obtaining his masters in administration from East Carolina University. Prior to his assignment to the Central Office, Basnight served as Assistant Principal at First Flight Middle School; he has since served as Interim Principal at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies Middle School in the fall of 2009. George Graham works closely with Basnight in several district programs including the new progress monitoring program, AIMSweb; Response to Intervention (RTI); as Reading for the Blind and Dislexic resources Modified Textbook Coordinator; and as one of two (with EC teacher Dawn Edwards) district Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (Cpi) instructors. Basing his remarks on his own experiences, with resources from the National School Public Relations Association, Basnight stressed the importance of honesty in all exchanges and the impact of first impressions. "One of the foundational principles of the Rigor-Relevance Framework in the relationship component," asserted Basnight. "Investing in relationships - between students, teachers, parents, administrators and the community - pays valuable dividends toward our ultimate goal: to provide the best possible education for every child."
George Graham was one of eight EC Directors who presented at the morning session on the second day. In his presentation, "Involving Parents in a Meaningful Way," Graham provided insights on developing professional partnerships with parents, organizations and other agencies in order to build awareness, develop support and share resources.