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Davie County educators receive COVID-19 vaccinations

On Jan. 27 at Davie County High School, the Davie County Health Department, in partnership with the school district, vaccinated more than 300 staff members. At 8 a.m., staff were lining up in their vehicles, and appointments began at 9 a.m.

Davie County Schools staff members were inoculated by school nurses and health department employees in a drive-thru model. Staff members stayed in their vehicles, and once they received the vaccination, they waited 15 minutes before driving home. Michelle Shue, a 22-year veteran educator who received her shot at noon, explained how the system worked.

When asked how he thought the operation was going, Superintendent Jeff Wallace said the energy was like preparing for a big game or concert. “It’s been amazing,” he said.

This is the first school in the Triad region to receive vaccinations. Wallace said he began working to receive the COVID-19 vaccines for his staff around a month ago.

Superintendent Jeff Wallace at Davie County High School’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Caroline Parker/EducationNC

“What I want people to know is how much we value education … our teachers have shown courage from day one. Our parents have shown trust and courage to send their kids to school.”

Superintendent Jeff Wallace, Davie County Schools

Wallace feels humbled by this opportunity and grateful for his staff and the community. He praises the local health department, its leadership in Suzanne Wright, and North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services for honoring their commitment to provide vaccines, even when the vaccine groups shifted.

The Fayetteville Observer reports as of last Friday, Jan. 22, that educators in Jackson, Rutherford, Swain, and Union counties have received vaccinations as well.

Friday, Feb. 19 will be the second round of shots for those who received the COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 27 at Davie County High School. The district had a waitlist of educators wanting the shot, and Wallace said they will make sure no vaccine goes unused. 

“It’s like one step closer to everything being back to where it needs to be for our kids,” said Jenni Pleasant, communications officer at Davie County Schools.

Shue, who is an English teacher and the high school’s yearbook advisor, was there to get a vaccination and to document the day for the yearbook. She believes this is a day to be recorded.

“It’s a historical moment for us, to be able to have this vaccine so early and to be able to participate … and I think it sends a good message to the public. As teachers, we want to help educate people. And we want people to understand this is an important thing for us to do as a community to help protect our kids, [and] protect our kids’ families at home.”

Michelle Shue, Davie County English teacher
Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker is the director of rural storytelling and strategy for EducationNC. She covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, STEM education and nutrition.