Lt. Gov. Forest visits county schools

Mar. 12, 2014 @ 04:30 AM

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest stopped by Rutherford County to do some educational tours this week. Forest and his staff visited Isothermal Community College (ICC) on Monday and Thomas Jefferson Grammar School on Tuesday.

Forest is a member of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges. The two schools in Rutherford County were stops along his tour which is taking him to a variety of different schools to learn how they are serving North Carolina students.

During his visit to ICC on Monday, President Walter Dalton and his staff visited with Forest before taking him on a tour of the campus.

"Walter shared several community college budget priorities with Lt. Gov. Forest," Mike Gavin, the college's director of marketing and community relations, said. "Those priorities include the preservation of certain funds for community colleges in the coming state budget year along with pay increases for faculty and staff."

During the campus tour, Forest saw many of the areas where Isothermal students learn skills for new jobs.

"It's great to be able to show off our workforce capabilities whether it's our machining and welding areas or our Facebook server in the Data Center Institute area, just to name a few," Dalton said. "Certainly, jobs remain a priority for our community. This kind of visit helps us let the world know that we can tailor our programs to the needs of business and industry."

They also discussed Isothermal's role in job creation and meeting other community needs.

"I'm in the process of touring all of the state's community colleges. The schools really prepare our young students and adults for careers," Forest said. "They are a great resource who teach and train people for the jobs in their community."

During his visit to the grammar school on Tuesday, Forest got a tour of the building, witnessed students learning and using technology and said hello to his nephew Reed Blanton, who is in the fifth grade at the school.

"We are excited about him being here. Any time you can get someone on the State Board of Education to come out to your school, it's awesome," Jason Cole, principal of the grammar school, said. "It's good for him to see a variety of schools."

Forest also stopped by a kindergarten classroom and read "Yertle the Turtle," by Dr. Seuss to the students. Forest told the class it was his favorite book as a child.

"Learning to love to read is very important," Forest told the students after reading the book. "If you ever find yourself falling out of love with reading, find another book to try. Reading is very important."

Forest then signed the copy of the book and donated it to the classroom.

"All forms of education are important," Forest said. "I'm visiting schools that are doing a fantastic job preparing students for the global world."

For more information on Forest visit