Terre Haute, IN. - There was a buzz around the school board meeting Monday, as members and the community welcomed new superintendent Dr. Robert Haworth to his first official meeting.
"As you are introduced to a community and again you are given the most precious gifts that we have are our children," Dr. Haworth said. "Trying to understand the climate, the culture and trying to move a district forward, I think if you skip the relationship part you're not going to do a very good job."
It's those relationships Dr. Haworth has worked to grow since accepting the job. Those newly formed bonds carried over into a calm and light hearted meeting.
"It was a great first meeting," Dr. Haworth said. "One, we've got a great board, great staff. The agenda was really kind of put together even before I got here so I think they allowed me a couple of softballs today and hopefully we got a couple hits off of those."
Those 'softballs' included a report about the success of their summer program at Woodrow Wilson.
The board also heard from members of Sarah Scott Middle School looking to rename their gym after Tony McGee.
McGee was a standout athlete at Terre Haute South and former NFL player.
In addition, they want to rename the gym floor of Sarah Scott in honor of former superintendent Dr. Danny Tanoos.
But the real hit of the night, was the grant the corporation received.
"So it really is an exciting time," Rick Stevens said. "It's an exciting time for the Vigo County School Corporation. It's an exciting time for students and staff. We are just taking a step in the right direction."
The Vigo County School System was one of 39 districts in the state of Indiana awarded a Lilly Endowment Comprehensive Counseling Initiative Grant for almost $1.4 million.
The grant will help add two new counselors to the school system and develop new approaches to counseling.
The goal is to help students be prepared for life after high school.
"I think as we've found over the past few years, careers are very valuable for us and maybe college is not for everyone, but it's definitely for a lot of students," Stevens said. "So what we want to do is get the kids more involved in planning their future. so this grant will allow us to do that."
The school corporation is also in the running for another grant: The Project Aware Grant. However, the corporation won't know if it has received the funding until September.
The next school board meeting will be held just two days before the start of the school year.