What makes Columbus County schools unique goes beyond the hallways. Out of the 115 school districts in our state, only 15 of them are run by cities. Whiteville is one of them. That means two school systems, a county and a city, oversee education in Columbus County. Current legislation in Raleigh is aimed toward a merger. “Ultimately, if we force consolidation among cities that don't want it, ultimately the children are going to suffer,” said Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Randy Shaver. The bill has failed to pass in the legislature a few times already and Shaver said there's no need for change indicating the school systems have a great working relationship. Columbus County Superintendent, Dan Strickland agreed. “We do have a great partnership with Whiteville city schools and one of those partnerships indefinitely is this weekend.” That's when both school systems will come together and ‘Celebrate the Arts’. It's a program where students from both school systems showcase their talents. “The arts program is the one program where they learn to be creative completely,” said George Nickerson, the West Columbus director of bands. The Columbus County school system is of only seven school systems in the state to require arts to graduate. “To me as a student, the arts is very important to me because its fun you can sing and dance and act, so its like, awesome,” said East Columbus High senior Anita Greene. Celebrate the Arts has been a part of the educational system for about 20 years now. It begins Friday night with choir and band performances and runs through Sunday.
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