Auditorium may be named for late teacher

At its Oct. 12 meeting, the School Board will vote on whether to name the L.C. Bird High School Auditorium after a teacher who died suddenly in March.

Longtime music teacher and choral director Margaret F. Gregory died suddenly on March 1, Chesterfield County Public Schools Community Relations Director Tim Bullis said at last week’s board meeting. Gregory began her teaching career in Chesterfield County in 1987, he said.

In a memo on the matter, Bird Principal Beth Teigen says: “Over the 22 years, Margaret touched more lives than one could ever imagine. The obvious lives she touched were the students in the choral program, but she impacted the lives of students in all areas of the performing arts.

“There were many students at L. C. Bird who never worked directly with Margaret, but they felt connected to her. She walked the halls smiling and looking for the best in everyone and every situation. She was an inspiration to all.”

Several groups have asked the School Board to help recognize Gregory’s contributions to the school, Bullis said. The board has also received a petition signed by more than 1,250 students, parents and faulty members asking that the auditorium be named for Gregory, he said.

He said it was recommended that the board seek public comment on naming the Bird auditorium the “Margaret Furgerson Gregory Auditorium.” The board could then vote on the matter at its Oct. 12 meeting.

“What a blessing to have her in the life of L.C. Bird High School for so long,” School Board Chairman David Wyman said. He said he remembered seeing Gregory on the mornings of tryouts for district chorus as she pumped up students before their auditions. “She’s obviously very dearly missed.”

Also at the School Board’s Sept. 14 meeting, the panel recognized 18 principals for completing the process to be endorsed as Principals of Distinction (Level II). Among the 18 principals were: Mary Jean Hunt of Beulah Elementary; Kasey Shane of Gates Elementary; Joan Temple of Elizabeth Scott Elementary; Ginny Patterson of Wells Elementary; Don Ashburn of Carver Middle; and Steve Cunningham of Matoaca High.

To achieve this honor through the Virginia Department of Education, a principal must successfully serve as a building-level administrator for at least five years, have already met the requirements for Level I endorsement, be recommended by the superintendent and show evidence of improved student achievement and related successes, according to information from CCPS.

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