Stand Up 4 NC Public Schools

Monday, July 27, 2015

Triad School Resource Officer Honored For Saving A Life

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Monday, July 27, 2015 at 2:55:00 pm


A school resource officer (SRO) at Southeast High School was honored for saving the life of a school bus driver.

Corporal James O. Strickland was recently awarded the Hank Snyder Beyond the Call of Duty Award from the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers (NCASRO) for his heroic act. In January, Cpl. Strickland was on-duty at Southeast when a bus driver suffered a cardiac arrest in the parking lot.

Guilford County Schools (GCS) officials said Strickland jumped into action, climbed on the bus, and applied AED pads to the driver. He then administered CPR until EMS arrived. The driver regained a pulse before leaving for the hospital.

A paramedic on scene told school officials that without Strickland's help, the driver would not have survived.

"Cpl. Strickland has made a significant impact on our school," says Assistant Principal Rebecca Draper. "He established a rapport with students and staff quickly and easily and has done a great job of keeping Southeast High safe."

Originally posted on WFMY News 2


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Couple donate $1M to Guilford County's Say Yes initiative

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 4:00:00 pm

An anonymous couple pledged $1 million to support the $28 million Say Yes to Education initiative in Guilford County, according to a Tuesday announcement from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

Say Yes to Education is a national nonprofit organization that partners with communities with the goal of graduating all students from high school and then providing funding for college tuition. Guilford County is a top contender among finalists for the partnership. Total pledges have now reached $25.25 million.

"We are delighted to be part of this gigantic effort and wish to remain anonymous, as this is not about us,” the donors said in a statement through the foundation. “It is about giving students the opportunity to pursue a college degree. This program is also about building stable families and encouraging personal responsibility, because without this individual commitment Say Yes to Education runs the risk of becoming just another educational initiative.”

Maurice “Mo” Green, superintendent of Guilford County Schools, said he is grateful to the individuals for their generosity and for their commitment to helping young people succeed.

"Knowing we have this level of support in the community gives added strength to all of us in Guilford County Schools," he said.

Originally posted on Triad Business Journal


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NC High School Student Wins Presidential Environmental Award

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 3:25:00 pm

North Carolina high school junior Sharon Chen earned a President’s Environmental Youth Award for developing a new, green method to recover copper from wood, which was presented at a ceremony at the White House today.

“To solve our future environmental challenges, young people need to understand the science behind the natural world – and create a personal connection to the outdoors,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “These teachers and students are demonstrating the important role of environmental education, and showing how individual actions can help address climate change, protect the air we breathe, and safeguard the water we drink.” 

Chen’s project, entitled “A Green and Novel Technology for Recovering Copper and Wood from Treated Wood Waste—Part 1,” stands to serve a dual purpose in environmental stewardship, diverting wood and copper from landfills and reducing the need for sourcing new raw materials from natural resources. Chen, a Durham, North Carolina, resident, completed the project at North Mecklenburg High School, though she now attends North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. 

Forty-three other students were honored at today’s ceremony, constituting an additional seven projects. 

Originally posted on EP Newswire


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thousands of Computers Coming to Cabarrus Classrooms

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 4:50:00 pm


Thousands of new computers will be in the hands of students in Cabarrus County this fall thanks to funding from Cabarrus County commissioners.


Both the Cabarrus Board of Education and Kannapolis City School Board approved lease/purchase agreement that will finance the new computers with the county funding. Both boards expressed thanks for the county funding.

“It gets us a million dollars worth of technology right now,” Crabtree said.

Officials with both school systems said the computers are needed for increasing on-line testing and textbooks and on-line education content.

Kannapolis will be replacing about 1,000 net books, which are seven years old. Those computers will be used by an afternoon program but won’t be repaired or serviced by the school system.

Cabarrus Assistant Superintendent Kelly Propst said the student- to-computer ratio will now be 1.3 to 1 at the high school level, 1.4 to 1 at the middle schools and 1.5 to 1 at elementary schools.

“There will be enough computers for every student in another year if the commissioners fund it. We will get there,” Propst said.

Officials with both school systems said this is the biggest technology financial commitment by Cabarrus County Commissioners in more than a decade.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Knollwood Educators Make a Dynamic Duo at Technology Conference

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 9:30:00 am

Ann Crilley and Renee Cunningham are Knollwood Elementary’s technology facilitator and media coordinator, but when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom, they like to consider themselves “combined superheroes.”

Cunningham been teaching in the Rowan-Salisbury School System for the past eight years. After her first year of teaching in Cabarrus County, Cunningham was a 21st century classroom teacher at Erwin Middle School for four years. After completing her library science master’s degree at Appalachian State University, Cunningham served as Knox Middle’s media coordinator for three years before transferring to Knollwood.

Crilley has been the technology facilitator at Knollwood for the last four years.

Although this past school year was Cunningham’s first year at Knollwood, the two aren’t strangers. The pair attended Elon University together as college students.

“We’ve reconnected after eight years,” Crilley said.

That reconnection has turned into a sweet partnership that has directly benefited the students at Knollwood Elementary School.

So it’s no surprise that between the two of them, they were asked to present seven different sessions at the International Society of Technology in Education’s (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia this week. Quite a feat, considering only 38 percent of submitted sessions are accepted.

The pair presented four of those sessions together, Crilley presented twice with other Rowan-Salisbury educators, and Cunningham presented with one other group.

Crilley said they submitted a lot of different proposals because they were told how competitive it is to get a presentation approved.

“We never thought they would all get accepted,” she said.

“We picked things we were doing new at school,” Cunningham said, explaining how they chose their different topics.

“We looked at things that were successful in our building,” Crilley added.

Most of those sessions were “poster sessions,” an informal time in which educators set up booths to talk about specific educational or technological concepts from teaching methods to professional development. Other educators then mill around a room to talk with the presenters at the booths that interest them.

“We love sharing and we love talking to people,” Crilley said, adding that she learned a lot from those who came to their booth to learn from them.

She said that all the responses to their presentations were positive, but they varied greatly. Some people had never heard of the different programs they were talking about, while others just wanted to learn how to implement them in unique ways.

“It fosters such different conversations,” she said.

The women added that being teachers allows them to be the ones to take new ideas back to their schools, creating a change from the bottom up.

Read full article on the Salisbury Post


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Area Teachers Chosen for Trip to Singapore, Malaysia

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 8:20:00 am

Seven Triangle area educators have been selected to participate in the Center for International Understanding (CIU)’s 2015 Global Teachers program.

Thirty-six teachers in all will travel to Singapore and Malaysia on July 10.

Global Teachers gain firsthand international experience that helps them bring global awareness and understanding to the classroom.

This year’s program will provide teachers the opportunity to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and urban education through a global lens.

“I would like to learn more about social programming in Singapore including how Singapore teaches its students to be responsible citizens and how Singaporean students deal with academic stress and anxiety,” said Durham School of the Arts’ Graham Smith.

Meanwhile, Mary Johnson of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools said she looks forward to seeing the math curriculum in action.

“A curriculum known as Singapore Math has been popular in the U.S. for the past decade, and I’m interested to see the country that inspired this method,” said the Culbreth Middle teacher.

Each year, CIU’s Global Teachers program brings together teachers from across the state representing grade levels and subject areas across K-12 education to have an international immersion experience that they can bring to their own classrooms.

“Teachers who have had an international, cross-cultural experience are in strong position to help build global competency in their students,” said Meredith Henderson, CIU’s Senior Director of Programs. “We know global knowledge and skills are crucial for success in the global economy.”

Read full article on The Herald Sun


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Watauga Arts Council Awards Vocal Music Scholarships to Two Local Music Teachers

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 2:55:00 pm

2015 Vocal Scholarship Award Winners Chris Watson and Lisa Combs

The Watauga County Arts Council presented Vocal Music Scholarship Awards to two Watauga County Schools music teachers at its annual meeting on June 13.

While Chris Watson and Lisa Combs are both public school teachers, their applications and awards were totally different. Chris applied as a teacher representing Valle Crucis Elementary School, where he teaches music and chorus. His scholarship award will fund the licensing, music, and scripts needed for Valle Crucis School’s first full length musical play, “101 Dalmatians Kids”.   Chris wrote in his application, “Putting on such a production will bring to life the magic of stage for all students at Valle Crucis School. Participation in this play will be open to students of all ages and is sure to be an amazing experience for it will include singing, dancing, acting, comedy, and fun for all! Such an amazing event, without question, will be a transformative arts experience for the students of Valle Crucis School.”

Lisa Combs has been teaching in Watauga County Schools for 27 years and currently teaches chorus at Watauga High School. The professional association for public school music teachers is called National Association of Music Educators (NAME). While Lisa has been able to attend state conferences for NAME, she has never been able to attend the national conferences. However this fall the national conference is taking place in Nashville, TN and with the scholarship award, Lisa will be able to attend. Lisa’s application read, “The conference will include opportunities for me to listen to amazing choirs, go to reading sessions to pick out new music for my students, learn from nationally known choral conductors, and attend seminars for music educators. I plan to return to my classroom with lots of new curriculum and a renewed spirit.”

The Watauga County Arts Council is very pleased to be able to honor these two educators in this way. Funding for the Vocal Music Scholarship Program comes from an annual event called “Celebrate Singing” each fall. This event, the brainchild of Dr. Roland Moy (a member of the WCAC Advisory Council who himself is a seasoned barbershop singer featured in The Mountainaires Quartet as well as Triad Harmony and several other singing groups) showcases different types of singers and different styles of singing. Music teachers are encouraged to bring their students to perform and to listen to other groups at this event and it is also greatly enjoyed by the public. The event is free, but donations are accepted.   The next Celebrate Singing is tentatively planned for Saturday, November 21. Additional funding for the Vocal Music Scholarship Program comes from private donations.

Originally posted on HC Press


Monday, June 22, 2015

4 Local Students Receive Golden LEAF Scholarship

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Monday, June 22, 2015 at 3:20:00 pm

Four recent graduates of Robeson County high schools have each received a $12,000 Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarship from the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority.

The recipients are Hillary Faircloth of South Robeson High School; Elizabeth Keenum of Robeson Early College; Kennedy Locklear of Purnell Swett High School; and Franchesca Windley of Lumberton High School.

They are among 215 students who will receive the $3,000 scholarship each year for up to four years at a participating North Carolina public university or private nonprofit college or university.

They are chosen based on such criteria as school and community service, goals and intention of contributing to rural communities after graduating. Typically, the recipient comes from a rural and economically troubled county.

“The Golden LEAF board of directors has been pleased to assist more than 13,700 students from families in rural communities attend college since 2000,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. “The Golden LEAF Scholarship is one of the many tools we have to help fulfill our purpose of growing North Carolina’s rural economy. Our hope is that through this scholarship opportunity, scholars will be able to gain valuable knowledge and skills and come back to their hometowns or another rural area to help our communities prosper.”

The Golden LEAF Foundation, established in 1999, is a nonprofit that attempts to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The Foundation received half of North Carolina’s funds from cigarette manufacturers until 2013.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

52 Students Inducted Into Technical Honor Society

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 3:45:00 pm

Transylvania County Schools recently inducted 42 seniors and 10 juniors into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). This was the first year juniors were also included during the annual induction.

NTHS requires that students be nominated by Career and Technical Education (CTE) faculty and evaluated using demanding criteria. Selection for membership is indicative of outstanding performance and skill, as well as critical workplace values of honesty, responsibility, initiative, teamwork, productivity, leadership and citizenship.

Criteria include overall grade point average (GPA), as well as GPA in CTE courses, completing a career and technical pathway in the high school curriculum, and membership in one of many CTE clubs available at both high schools.

Nancy Stricker, CEO of Transylvania Vocational Services, reminded attendees that "fixers" will always be required in the workforce: those who possess a combination of technical skills required by today's employers, especially mathematics and data analysis, communication and problem-solving.

Stenographers using shorthand may not exist anymore, but secret languages still occupy computer programmers, said Stricker. Popular roles of today, from cashiers to social media managers, may one day become obsolete. However, nothing will replace the importance of negotiating face-to-face interactions in the workplace.

"Communication has been, and always will be, the number one thing that employers are looking for," said Stricker. "At some point, you'll stop getting As, because when you go to a corporation, you won't get grades. If they want you, they'll keep you."

Read full article on the Transylvania Times


Monday, June 15, 2015

Rosman High School Student Earns National Recognition

Posted by: Haley Hepburn
Monday, June 15, 2015 at 3:45:00 pm

When Amy Schoenacher's art students excel at Rosman High School, she pushes their work forward to help them get the recognition they deserve. There is stiff competition at every level, starting with regional and state awards.

This year, though, sophomore Camron Hoxit broke through to the top.

"In 16 years at RHS, I have had only a few students make it to the national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition," said Schoenacher. "Camron is our first national winner from RHS during this time. I'm so proud of him for receiving this award."

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, are in their 91st year. Every year students from across the country submit their artwork to regional affiliates, and Hoxit was part of an awards presentation at the Diana Wortham Theater back in February.

The program provides high school students the chance to showcase their work and be recognized nationally for their talent. Some noteworthy artists got their first recognition from the non-profit organization, including Andy Warhol and actor Alan Arkin.

This year at the regional competition in Asheville, Hoxit received a Gold Key for his graphite drawing titled "Grumbling." Schoenacher noted how this work showed a new stage in his development as an artist and student.

"Camron has always shown talent," she said, "and he's a patient and thorough artist, with a drive for perfection. With this portrait, he truly showed his understanding of mark-making and realistic drawing techniques."

Winning at regionals afforded Hoxit the opportunity to compete for the national awards program in New York. He won recognition at the national level, receiving a Silver Key and an invitation to Carnegie Hall to accept his award.

The ceremony works on a lottery basis, with only a percentage of medalists getting a seat. Although Hoxit did not win the lottery for a ticket to the event, his accomplishment is being celebrated and will be published in a book of award-winning works.

Because he is only a sophomore, Hoxit will be able to compete again next January at the regional affiliate in the Asheville Art Museum. Schoenacher has high hopes for his future work.

"With his talent, Camron will likely get to the Nationals again," she said. "We're proud to congratulate to him for his outstanding accomplishment for himself, the school and Transylvania County."

Read full article on the Transylvania Times