Wednesday, November 28, 2012

500 Projects Expected at Hanes Magnet's Second Annual STEM Night

On Dec. 6, Hanes Magnet School will hold its second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Night.

School officials expect to have more than 500 student projects from the fields of biology, chemistry, earth/environmental science, physics, and technology/engineering on display. Representatives from such local schools and colleges as Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest University, Forsyth Technical Community College and Atkins Academic & Technology High School will be on hand as well as representatives from Hanes’ community partners, which include several local businesses with an emphasis on STEM.

STEM Night is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with winning projects announced at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. Visitors may view the projects both before and after the awards ceremony. Students can participate in a scavenger hunt where they will engage in STEM design challenges and meet special guests. 

Hanes has been a STEM magnet school for seven years. In 2011, Hanes Magnet was designated as National School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America.  For the past two years Hanes has had a national finalist in the Broadcom MASTERS, the premier science fair competition for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. 

Women's Leadership Council Recognizes Mineral Springs Middle Teacher and East Forsyth Middle Student

Stacie Pelsinger

A student at East Forsyth Middle School and a teacher at Mineral Springs Middle School have been honored by the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Forsyth County.

Stacie Pelsinger, a teacher at Mineral Springs Middle, received the Outstanding Educator Award and Rayquan Curry, a student at East Forsyth Middle, received the Outstanding Youth Award.

The Women’s Leadership Council was established in 2007 to educate, engage, and empower women in our community. The WLC is aligned with United Way and the community’s goal to increase the high school graduation rate to 90% by 2018. Piloted at local middle schools, the programs funded by the Women’s Leadership Council improve student performance. In addition, because of the aligned work of United Way, the Women’s Leadership Council and the community, the high school graduation rate in Forsyth County has increased from 70.8% to 80.9%.

As a result, the WLC has grown to more than 1,000 members and raised more than $2.8 million to meet pressing needs in Forsyth County. At the WLC celebration, awards for outstanding student, teacher, volunteer, and company, along with the second annual Susan Ivey award were presented. The other award winners were:
Outstanding Volunteer Award – Priscilla Green, U.S. Airways
Outstanding Corporate Award  – Leonard Ryden Burr Real Estate
Susan Ivey Award – Susie Campbell, Shelco, Inc.

For more information, visit Women's Leadership Council

Rayquan Curry

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

STAR3 Project Director meets John Glenn and Gabby Giffords

Wayne Foster with Gabby Giffords and Vicki McCready

Earlier this month, Wayne A. Foster, the school system’s STAR3 Project Director, was able to meet and spend time with John Glenn, the former Senator and astronaut, and Gabrielle Dee “Gabby” Giffords, the former Congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in 2011 during a rampage that left six people dead and 13 injured.

Foster was attending the annual convention of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) in Atlanta. Each year, the association gives out an award called "The Annie." It was named after Glenn’s wife, Annie, who was able to overcome a severe stutter through speech therapy.

This year, the award this year went to Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Both couples were present. “I am currently on the Board of Directors for ASHA,” Foster said, “and was able to spend time talking with all four of these wonderful people during a reception prior to the formal awards ceremony that was attended by nearly 5,000 individuals.”
 “On a personal note, one thing that I took away from this event was that the media was not able to convey just how much this tragedy has impacted ‘real’ people. Seeing Ms. Giffords and her husband was more poignant than any newscast could ever be. This shooting took away a great deal from those people and from America, too. John Glenn led off the award by talking about his wife. Annie Glenn followed and gave a wonderful talk about the Giffords. Gabby came onto the stage with the help of her husband where she gave her first formal speech since the shooting - all of six sentences that she delivered with grace and dignity. She said that she was ‘getting better all the time.’ Mark Kelly said a few words and then all four were given a long and loud standing ovation that lasted several minutes. Clearly, the crowd was touched by the event."

Giffords’ speech/language therapy team hails from the western part of North Carolina. This group of therapists was also at the formal ceremony and got special attention from Mark Kelly. The photograph above is Foster, Giffords and Vicki McCready, a retired member of the faculty of the Communication Disorders Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also received an award during the ceremony.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Forsyth County Chapter of Association of Educational Office Professionals Collecting Toys and Clothing

As a way to help out families during the holidays, the Forsyth County Chapter of the Association of Educational Office Professionals (AEOP) is collecting toys, clothing and other items for the Love Out Loud Gift Mart at Old Town Elementary School. It is also providing volunteers for the Gift Mart.

The members of the chapter are inviting everyone in the wider Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools community to contribute items. “We would love for everyone to partner with us in this endeavor,” said Vicki Lee, the president of the Forsyth County Chapter of the AEOP.

The Gift Mart is sponsored annually by Bridges Church, the partner organization for the BackPack program at Old Town, which supplies weekend meals for students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

On Saturday Dec. 8, parents in the program will be able to buy items that people have donated for $2, which will enable them to provide things for their children at far less than it would have cost if bought in a store. The brochure for the program says, “Our mission is to restore communities one family at a time. Our desire is to do this with dignity and respect.”

All proceeds from the Gift Mart will go toward supporting the BackPack program at Old Town.

At Old Town, said Jan Morgan, the school’s home school coordinator, they do whatever they can to help families, and they appreciate the support of such groups as Bridges Church.

“To be able to connect families with such initiatives as the Love Out Loud Gift Mart is very gratifying,” Morgan said. “We thank Bridges Church, our BackPack program sponsor, for helping to meet our families' wants and needs in the holiday season.”

All toys and clothing should be for elementary-age children. Needed are new toys, sports equipment, craft sets, dress-up clothes, bath and body sets, coats, gloves, hats. Monetary donations are welcome. Donations should be received by Dec. 5.

Lee has set up two bins, including one for food items in the lobby of the school system’s Administrative Building at 475 Corporate Square Drive. She can also make arrangements to have items picked up. Lee may be reached at 748-4079 or at

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Students Head to Wake Forest for a Day with the Deacs

On Thursday Nov. 8 about 30 elementary and middle school students from 14 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools headed to the campus of Wake Forest University for the annual Eat with the Deacs visit. 

The students who went were all part of the After School Tutorial and Conditioning Program sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem and the W. R. Anderson Center with assistance from the Next Level Youth Enrichment Program.

While on the Wake Forest campus the students watched the Deacons football team practice. Head coach Jim Grobe stopped to say hello and visit with the students. After that, the students headed to the Manchester Athletic Center where they met student volunteers and staff members who gave them a tour of the athletes’ training facility and various locker rooms. 

“The youngsters were impressed with the amount of time that college athletes must train and study in order to maintain their status as student athletes,” said Learmond “Buddy” Hayes, a senior coach with Next Level. “The Wake Forest group answered the questions that the elementary and middle school students had and gave them insight on a typical day in the life of a college student. The children were impressed and motivated by the first-hand accounts of personal stories the Wake Forest students shared with them.”

When all the touring and sightseeing was over, the university staff treated the group to an “all you can eat" pizza dinner. Once again, the children had an opportunity to speak with Wake Forest students about college. Before they left, each child got signed autographs from the Wake Forest students. 

"It was a good experience for my boys,” said Stephanie Alston, the mother of three boys in the Next Level program.

The schools represented included Walkertown Middle, Jefferson Middle School, Sedge Garden Elementary and Clemmons Elementary.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

200 Run/Walk to Honor Aaron Wilkins

Carol Montague-Davis, Allie Bagley, Lance Smith, Adrienne Smith
On Saturday Nov. 10, more than 200 people came out to Flat Rock Middle School to honor Aaron Wilkins. Wilkins was a teacher and the athletic director at Flat Rock when he died in August after falling from a tree. Two of his former students, Lance Smith and Allie Bagley, who are now freshmen at West Forsyth High School, decided to honor his memory by organizing a race/walk that would also raise money for his family. Wilkins and his wife, Debbie, have four sons.

“We had 186 registered runners/walkers and at least 25 volunteers, so we had over 200 participants in this awesome event!” said Lance’s mother, Adrienne Smith. “It was so heart-warming to see so many people come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Aaron Wilkins. It was an amazing event, filled with amazing people, celebrating one extraordinary human-being!”

Among those who came to show their support were John Davenport, a member of the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Board of Education; Don Martin, the school system’s superintendent, Carol Montague-Davis, the assistant superintendent for secondary schools; Nancy Sutton, the program specialist for physical education and health; and Becky Hodges, the Flat Rock principal.

Cedric Liles
Cedric Liles, a former student who is now a sophomore at West Forsyth, was among the students there. Cedric, who played basketball for Coach Wilkins, remembers how supportive and encouraging he was. “He was like a father figure to some,” Cedric said. “He was a strong man.”

One of Wilkins’ long-time friends, Dave Lamoureux, was there with his wife, Michelle, and their three children. Noting everyone who had come out he said: “It shows how much they truly loved and cherished Aaron. Aaron poured a lot into everything he did and school was part of that.”

About 15 women participating in a program sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports were also there. Lance and Allie spoke to the group earlier in the week, and group members Jane Lyerly and Cheryl Dull said that, although they didn’t know Wilkins, they were so impressed by the students that wanted to support the run/walk.

As of the weekend, the event had raised $2,700. Adrienne Smith expected more to come in. “We are still getting requests for t-shirts and questions about where to send donations,” she said.

Don Martin, Lance Smith

Volunteers Build Raised Garden Beds at Moore Magnet

On Saturday Nov. 10, about 30 volunteers gathered at Moore Magnet School to build two raised beds and make other improvements related to the school’s garden project.

The school’s PTA, staff members and students have been working to establish vegetable gardens in the back of the school. Earlier this year, they planted spinach and beets in planters that have a border built with bricks from the first Moore School, which was torn down so that the new school could be built.

“We are soliciting help from the Sustain Ardmore group as well as other businesses in the immediate area,” said Anne Collins, the school’s counselor. “Our goal is to have ‘salad’ in our back green area such that our students plant, weed, pick, and eat what they grow.”

Such people as Vonnie Hannah with Old Salem Gardens and Mary Jac Brennan of the Forsyth County Agricultural Extension Service have been lending their expertise.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Atkins High Tennis Courts Named for Atkins Graduate

In the Thursday Nov. 8 issue of The Chronicle, reporter Todd Luck writes about the tennis courts at Atkins Academic & Technology High School being named in honor of James Ewers, a graduate of the original Atkins High who was a noted tennis player.

“To see this now resulting in tennis courts being named in my honor is just unreal,” Ewers told Luck.

Ewers was a tennis champion at Atkins. Johnson C. Smith University gave him a four-year tennis scholarship, and, there, he holds the school record of 34 consecutive singles victories.

Over the course of three-decade tennis career, he won local, state and national titles and rubbed shoulders with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Muhammed Ali.

Luck also took the photos. For the full story go to Winston-Salem Chronicle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moore Magnet Recognized as Exemplar School

Moore Magnet School has been recognized by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction as an Exemplar School in North Carolina's Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) Initiative.  Exemplar, the highest status level of recognition, is given to schools that have met at least 90 percent of the criteria for three years or more.

Moore is the only school in the system to be recognized as Exemplar. Four schools were recognized as Model for meeting at least 90 percent of the criteria for two years or more, and 12 schools were recognized as Green for meeting at least 90 percent of the criteria for one year or more

The Model schools are:   
Bolton Elementary
Gibson Elementary
Middle Fork Elementary
Southwest Elementary

The Green schools are:
Cook Elementary
East Forsyth Middle School
Griffith Elementary
Konnoak Elementary
Lowrance Middle School
North Hills Elementary
Old Town Elementary
Paisley IB Magnet School
South Fork Elementary
Speas Elementary
Ward Elementary
Wiley Middle School 

Clemmons Middle Takes Top Prize at Robot Run

Clemmons Cardinals from Clemmons Middle School
At the second annual Forsyth County Invitational Robot Run Tournament on Saturday Nov. 3, the Clemmons Cardinals team from Clemmons Middle School took the top prize – The Champions Award

More than 300 students from all Winston-Salem/Forsyth County middle schools and three elementary schools competed. Each of the 30 teams was made up of about 10 students. 

The Robot Run was organized by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and its Technology Council. The Title sponsor was Cook Medical. Other sponsors included Caterpillar, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

For a list of the winners in all the categories and for lots more pictures, go to  Winston-Salem Robot Run

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Student Art in November Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

By Rainey Cercy, Clemmons Middle School

By Anna Hundley, Reagan High School

By Rashad Baker, North Forsyth High School

By Heidi Lopez, Hall-Woodward Elementary
In the November 2012 issue of Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art by four Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students. Rainey Cercy's art teacher is Stacey Stephens. Anna Hundley's art teacher is Karen Evans. Rashad Baker's art teacher is Barbara Steele, and Heidi Lopez's art teacher is Joanna Smith.

You will find The Artist's Corner on page 96.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Helping Hungry Students at Mineral Springs Elementary

On Friday Nov. 2, people with Mineral Springs Elementary School, Peace Haven Baptist Church and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina celebrated the school’s BackPack program. Since January, people have been packing enough nutritious, nonperishable foods for four meals and sending it home on Fridays with 50 Mineral Springs students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school during the week. The BackPack program is a national program in which organizations work with local food banks. For an entire school year, it costs about $10,000 to feed 50 children by providing a total of 8,000 meals during 40 weekends. 

Peace Haven Baptist Church, which has a long-standing relationship with Mineral Springs Elementary, serves as the sponsoring organization for the program there. Gary and Ginger Hauser helped establish the program at Mineral Springs and donated money to make it possible. The food is stored at the church, and, each week, Wayne Loekle, a member of Peace Haven Baptist Church, brings the food to the school. At the school, Mike Nuckolls, the counselor; Kendrick Leak, the home/school coordinator; and Betty Paschall, the curriculum coordinator, are among those working on the program.

Speaking to all those who make the program possible, Principal Debra Gladstone said, “I cannot thank you enough….These children are our future.”

Mineral Springs is one of 18 schools in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools participating in the Feeding America BackPack program. Altogether, they provide food to almost about 1,000 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students who, otherwise, might have gone hungry on weekends.
Debra Gladstone

Hanes Eighth-Grader to Be on Television Tonight

Britton Sear
Britton Sear, an eighth-grader at Hanes Magnet School, is in the episode of the NBC show Revolution that is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Monday Nov. 5.

"We were pretty excited," his mother, Jill Sear, told Tim Clodfelter, a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal. "He filmed about two weeks in Wilmington. He had some lines and should be in quite a few of the scenes."

The episode, called "The Children's Crusade," revolves around the characters in the science-fiction drama discovering a town populated by children. Britton is one of those children, named Skip.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Athletic Director at Atkins to be Honored

Linwood Jerald

On Nov. 11, Linwood Jerald Jr., the Athletic Director and Behavior Improvement Coordinator at Atkins Academic and Technology High School, will be among those honored by the Effort Club of New Bethel Baptist Church, which is celebrating its 88th Anniversary and 16th annual Race Progress Promoters Program, which honors African-American individuals and groups who have made significant contributions in Winston-Salem to promote community visibility.

Jerald graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a major in psychology/ sports management. He is also certified in special education and basic law enforcement. He has taught and coached at several high schools and colleges in North Carolina. At N.C. A & T State University, he was a teacher and assistant football coach for linebackers. He also assisted with the recruiting of high school and junior college football players from April 1988 to December 1992.

At Winston-Salem State University, he performed the duties of assistant football coach and administrative assistant to the head coach. He coached for linebackers, recruited high school and junior college football players, and handled team travel and accommodations for road trips. He also was responsible for scholarship budget and procurement of athletic equipment.

Coach Jerald is a member of the board of directors for the National Football Foundation and Winston Lake Family YMCA. He is also a member of the N. C. High School Coaches Association, the N. C. Athletic Directors Association, and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. In the community, Coach Jerald is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Sethos Temple # 170 (Shriner); Prince Hall Free and Accepted masons, 33 D; Winston-Salem Sportman’s Club. Coach Jerald serves as a trustee of First Baptist Church. He is a Gold Star member with more than 50 years of dedicated membership and service.

The program is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at the church at 1016 N. Trade St.

Robots, Robots & More Robots

On Saturday Nov. 3, nearly 300 students from 17 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County middle schools and one elementary school – Brunson – are expected at the second annual Forsyth County Invitational Robot Run Tournament. Each of the 30 teams is made up of about 10 students. 

The public is invited to the competition, which will be held in the gym at the West Campus of Forsyth Technical Community at 1300 Bolton St. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the presentation of the awards is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Robot Run is being organized by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and its Technology Council. The Title sponsor is Cook Medical. Other sponsors include Caterpillar, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

For more information about the Robot Run, to go  Robot Run

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hayrides and Mountain Music at The Children's Center

On Wednesday, the Children’s Center held its annual fall festival for everyone at the school -  babies through fifth graders. Students, staff and volunteers donned their Halloween finery – There were princesses, a Dora the Explorer, football players, fighter pilots, tigers and more. Individual teachers and groups of teachers designed activity stations. At the "spooky touch" station, people could touch grape eyeballs, spaghetti guts and mini-carrot fingertips. Others offered face painting, story time, a cotton-candy machine and pumpkin decorating.

“We all came together for a mountain-music jamboree in the middle of the morning,” said Principal Carol Kirby. Two members of the bo-stevens band - Jeff Shu, who teaches at Kernersville Middle School, and Richard Boyd, who works at the Winston-Salem Journal – provided the music.

“Our hayride through the grounds of Graylyn had a wheelchair-accessible ramp, so every child could participate,” Kirby said.  For the hayride, Bradley Wilmoth, a teacher assistant who also runs a lawn company, provided the truck, trailer and hay bales as well as witty running commentary via his megaphone.

“Activities were fun, but also worked on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech goals without the children even realizing it - walking, grasping, communicating, making choices, etc.,” Kirby said.