School board dumps plan to move students

Blair McClellan went door to door with a petition on Sunday, asking residents to oppose moving Central Cabarrus High School students to Mount Pleasant High.

On Monday night, she got her wish. The Cabarrus County school board voted 7-0 to deny a proposal to reassign 118 Central Cabarrus students to the smaller Mount Pleasant on the eastern side of the county.

“I was surprised and relieved and excited and happy,” said Blair after the vote, wearing her white, green and gold Vikings volleyball uniform. “I have Viking blood pretty much.”

School officials had proposed the realignment to balance enrollment, and to allow all county high schools to play in the same 3A athletic conference, rather than traveling to distant schools. They said that would save time and gas money for families and the school system.

Board member Wayne Williams said he was concerned the proposal “really doesn't get Mount Pleasant up to 3A, even though some 3A (enrollment) numbers vary all over the place.” He also said the plan would not increase diversity at Mount Pleasant, which has had the county's lowest minority percentage.

The board also voted unanimously to reconsider a plan to send 178 Robinson High students to the new Cox Mill High, which opens in August.

Board members said they wanted to consider a suggestion parents brought up at a public hearing last month. Instead of moving Robinson students from the north side of Weddington Road to Cox Mill, board member Cindy Fertenbaugh suggested letting students who live east of Interstate 85 to remain at Robinson. That would avoid splitting up Weddington neighborhoods.

“That was nice to see, when the democratic process worked,” said Robinson High swim coach Beverly Kopelic, who's also on the PTSO board.

However, Schools Superintendent Barry Shepherd said if the board leaves more students at Robinson, “we would have to see how that may affect Robinson in playing 4A instead of 3A.” Robinson currently plays in the 4A conference, for schools that are supposed to have higher enrollments than 3A schools.