Facing seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, David Stirland, President of the Washington County School Board, along with members of the board undertook the overwhelming responsibility of establishing emergency programs and guidelines and providing tools for Washington County educators, faced with teaching students Kindergarten – 12th grade, outside of the traditional classroom. COVID-19 restrictions included closing schools until the danger of contracting or spreading the virus passes. It was up to David and his board to come up with a solution in an impossibly short period of time. They accomplished the task and within a couple of weeks children were being taught by video in their homes. Students who did not have access to computers were loaned tablets to complete their assignments. School lunches were delivered at bus stops to students who might otherwise go hungry. Teachers were authorized to use their creativity to keep students engaged in their education.
High School graduation ceremonies posed another problem. Under David’s leadership, graduating students were individually scheduled and videoed walking across their high school auditorium stage to receive their diploma. Valedictorians spoke and gifted students shared their musical talents. The videos were viewed online on graduation day. Every effort was made to make the event as memorable as possible. The District ordered and paid for signs announcing, “A 2020 Graduate Lives Here”. The signs were posted at every Washington County graduating student’s home.
For years, David lead a team of volunteers who organized fund raising events to support a Hurricane High School graduation party. Traditionally, the school auditorium was elaborately decorated, and the night was filled with games, entertainment, and lots of food – keeping graduates safe in a supervised environment. Sadly, the celebration had to be cancelled this year.
David has volunteered his voice, wit, and talent as the Hurricane High School sports announcer for a number of years. His commentary has entertained thousands of Hurricane High football fans. He has served as the Hurricane Peach Days Director for over 19 years as well as volunteered for his church and on a number of city committees and at numerous events.
David Stirland never forgets a name or a face. He is a pharmacist, a husband, father, and friend to all. No one disputes the fact that he is also a Hurricane Valley Hero.