Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wiley Middle Applies for Federal Magnet Grant

In the Tuesday Feb. 26  Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about Wiley Middle School applying for $1 million federal grant that would enable it to become a magnet school that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

Wiley is applying for funds through the U.S. Education Department’s Magnet School Assistance Program. Wiley would become the school system’s 18th magnet school. The STEAM curriculum adds art the STEM programs at other schools. Wiley has been piloting the STEAM curriculum with its sixth grade for the past year, and administrators said it’s been positive for students.

“We’ve done some really exciting and innovative things with that pilot,” Principal Sean Gaillard told Herron. “We have a renewed focus and a major level of parent involvement that I’ve not seen.”

For a story about the pilot program at Wiley posted in October on the school system’s website go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

For the full Journal story about the magnet application go to Winston-Salem Journal

Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 February Spotlight on Phil Lanier

Phil Lanier
Phil Lanier, a locksmith in the school system’s Maintenance Department, is the Classified Advisory Council’s 2013 February Spotlight.

Lanier, a native of Winston-Salem, graduated from Reynolds High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree at East Carolina University (ECU) in 1975 and master’s degree in Industrial Arts Education from ECU in 1977. For four years, he taught High School Industrial Arts in Davidson County and spent six years teaching Drafting/Technology at Carver and Glenn high schools.

He became interested in Electronic Alarms, Locks and Security in the late 1980s. He was apprenticed as a Locksmith after leaving the teaching profession. He has also worked as a private/commercial Locksmith Subcontractor for approximately 14 years. He began working with the school system Maintenance Department in 2003 as Schools Locksmith.

He is a member of the Forsyth County Association of Educators (FCAE), ESP (Educational Support Personnel) Chapter Treasurer, Institutional Locksmiths’ Association, Senatorial appointment to a seat on the N. C. Locksmith Licensing Board (term beginning 2013).

He has been married to Colleen Lanier for 35 years. Colleen is retired teacher who now works as an NCAE Uniserve. They have two cats named Figaro and Gideon that they adopted from AARF. Phillip enjoys reading historical fiction and nonfiction books and playing guitar, bass and mandolin.

His Philosophy: “It is a privilege to work alongside people with such expert and diversified skills. We are proud of our roles in the WS/FCS educational family and strive to serve the needs, both routine and emergency, of our schools, teachers and administrators as promptly and efficiently as possible.  We are aware that our missions sometimes present inconveniences and disruptions in the classroom and we respect and appreciate the patience and skills of our classroom teachers as they toil to keep students on task during our service visits.

“I think it is commendable that all of the facets of our school system mesh so harmoniously.  All of my life, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has taken care of me. I am honored now to have a role in looking after her.”    

Hanes Magnet Receives National Award

Magnet Schools of America has named Hanes Magnet School a 2013 National Magnet School of Excellence.   

“It is an honor to receive such a high award and be recognized at the national level for the hard work of our administration, teachers, and students,” said Scarlett Mooney, the school’s curriculum coordinator.

Magnet Schools of America is a national nonprofit organization that promotes and supports magnet schools. In May, Principal Melita Wise and Mooney will go to the organization’s national conference in Tulsa, Okla., to receive this award. At the conference, Mooney will present a program on the STEM Education program at Hanes. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.

For more information, about the organization and the awards go to Magnet Schools of America

Thursday, February 21, 2013

School System Offers New Program to Help Those Who Have Dropped Out Return and Graduate

Felipe Lainez who has returned to Parkland High School

In the Thursday, Feb. 21 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about the Forsyth Academy of Continuing Education (FACE), a new program designed to help students who have dropped out of school return and graduate.

So far, 17 students have come back to school since the program started last month. All were slated to graduate in either 2012 or 2013 but dropped out before earning their diplomas. Through FACE, the students are allowed to re-enroll in their home school and work with counselors to formulate an individualized academic plan designed to help them recover credits and graduate on time.

That plan looks a little different for each student, Kay Landry, the program specialist for dropout prevention, intervention and recovery, told Herron. Some students are able to make up their credits simply by returning to school full time or by taking just evening classes at the Career Center. Landry said most students, though, need to do both.

“It’s like having both a full-time job and a part-time job,” Landry said. “But they’re very motivated (to do both) because they know that’s what they need to do to catch up and get things moving in the right direction.”

Right now, FACE students are in evening classes at the Career Center with credit-recovery students who may have failed a course but have not dropped out. Starting next week, though, FACE will have its own separate classes and teachers. Landry said that will be important, because students who chose to drop out often have their own unique circumstances and obstacles.

The program is being paid for by the district’s $9 million Race to the Top grant, awarded by the federal government to encourage innovation and experimentation in education. The grant will fund FACE over two years at a cost of $300,000. Landry said the future of the program will depend on how this semester and next work out.

Journal photographer David Rolfe took the photo. For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wiley Middle Shows Its Appreciation for School Bus Drivers

School Bus Appreciation Week was Feb. 11 to 15. At Wiley Middle School, students made thank-you cards for all the drivers, and students and staff gave every driver a Wiley shirt and pen.

“We really appreciate our drivers and everything they do for our students,” said Assistant Principal Ian Olsen. “Our PTA donated the shirts, so every driver could have a little token of appreciation from Wiley.” 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Students at Flat Rock Middle School Collect 750 Pairs of Jeans for Young People Who Are Homeless

Flat Rock Middle School students participated in a community service project called Teens for Jeans.  The Flat Rock National Junior Honor Society sponsored the event.  Each student and staff member was asked to clean out their closets and donate their gently used jeans to support the homeless.

This effort was in conjunction with Aeropostale Jeans to help provide clothing for young people in Forsyth County who are homeless.  Flat Rock Middle students and staff donated about 750 pairs of Jeans throughout the month of January.

“The giving was phenomenal,” said Stephanie Boyd-Grady, the lead school counselor. “The students really dug deep and went on the hunt by asking family members, neighbors and friends to contribute to this cause.”

Every student and staff member who donated their jeans will receive a 25% off coupon toward and new pair of Aeropostle jeans for every pair of jeans donated.  Some students donated as many as 27 pairs of jeans and will receive 27 coupons from Aeropostale. 

“Some students stated that they will share the coupons with the family members and friends who helped them towards this cause,” Boyd-Grady said. “This was a great campaign as the students of Flat Rock demonstrated their ability of the Apollo Mission by displaying a moral and ethical view.  Our hats go off to these students because they exploring social issues effecting our community and world by giving to the homeless.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Former Career Center Student Headed to International Competition in Germany

Stephanie Messer and Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker, who attended the Career Center and graduated from Reagan High School in 2010, will represent the United States in Leipzig, Germany in the Graphic Design competition during the biennial WorldSkills Competition.

Parker credits Stephanie Messer - her commercial art teacher at the Career Center with helping to expand on what was previously a hobby. “After completing Commercial Art I & II,” said Parker, “I knew that this was the career I wanted to pursue.”

Parker, who is now a student at Appalachian State University, will compete as a member of the United States “WorldTeam.” The 42nd international event will be held July 2-7, 2013.

Parker won the right to compete by winning the high school gold medal in Advertising Design during the SkillsUSA Championships in June 2010, and she also successfully completed other qualifying prerequisites prior to being chosen for the team.

Sarah Parker
When asked about how she became involved in the field, Parker said, “I was always a huge fan of graphic design, but it wasn’t until I took my first Commercial Art class in high school that I really found my love for designing and creating advertisements.”

When asked how she thinks Parker will do when she competes internationally, Messer said, “Every now and then, a teacher is lucky enough to have a student who teaches back. Sarah is such a student. Within her first weeks in my Commercial Art class, I could tell she ‘had it.’ You know – those things that you just can’t teach - creativity, attention to detail, clear vision, independent thinking, and pure and natural talent. 

"Sarah’s rush for the arts and graphic design was evident and contagious - not only to the other students, but to me as well! She emerged as a strong leader in class, a source for inspiration and ideas, and embodied a solid work ethic and can-do attitude. Her love for and skills in graphic design were evident every single day – she was pure joy to have as a student. Sarah has always shown true grace under pressure using fantastic time management skills. I know she will rise to any challenge she finds, and I will proudly watch her soar, wherever she goes.”

For more information, go to SkillsUSA


School System Meets Goals Set by N.C. Department of Public Instruction for Limited English Proficient Students

Brayhan Diaz Martinez
In the Sunday Feb. 17 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about the school district meeting meeting all three goals set by N.C. Department of Public Instruction for its Limited English Proficient (LEP) students.

It was the only large district to do so last year.

"In there districts with large number of LEP students, it's just really difficult to make those  goals," David Sisk, the Title III/LEP program manager, told Herron.

Herron spent time in Gabriela Camacho's first-grade class at Old Town Elementary School. "It empowers the students to have someone who can understand and communicate with you," Camacho told Herron.

Journal photographer Andrew Dye took the photographs. For the full story go to Winston-Salem Journal 

Gabriela Camacho with her first-graders at Old Town Elementary

Busta Brown Participates in Black History Month Celebration at Wiley Middle

Busta Brown speaks to Wiley students
On Tuesday Feb. 12th, Wiley Middle School celebrated Black History Month with guest speaker Manard “Busta” Brown who joined WXII -TV in January as the station’s morning traffic reporter.

“His inspirational words had the students on the edge of their seats throughout,” said Colin Tribby, the PTLA (Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy) principal intern at Wiley. “His main message was for students to remember the two A's- Academics and Attitude.”

Brown said that staying focused on those will keep you grounded and on the path to success. The program also included performances by the Wiley Chorus, directed by Ashley Hayes, and the West African Drumming Squad, directed by Tribby. 

In the past, Brown has been the host of The Busta Brown Show on The CW television network and on WFMY-TV. The show featured a unique blend of fun and education, with a diverse mix of area experts in finance, relationship, life counseling and health. He is the executive director and co-founder of The Next Level of the Triad, a nonprofit organization based in Greensboro, and he been a radio host on radio stations WQMG-FM and WJMH-FM.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Students at Brunson Elementary Make Igloo Out of Milk Jugs

A whole class fits inside

An igloo built for reading

Nancy Smoot teaches kindergarten at Brunson Elementary School. Here’s what she had to say about students making an igloo out of milk jugs:

“Since Brunson is a magnet school for the engineering-design process, I wanted to tackle a design challenge with my kindergarten class and our fourth grade HAG (highly academically gifted) buddy class (Mrs. Demarie Anderson's class).

“I found the igloo online searching websites for project ideas. The web site Squidoo suggested collecting more than 400 milk jugs. Our goal was 450. We collected most of those from students in our school. Jugs were brought to my classroom. We started in November and completed the project in late January.

“Kindergarten kids grouped and tied jugs in bundles of 10. The fourth graders made a compass to create the circle on the large box. In addition, they glued groups of four jugs together for us. We used hot glue guns to bond the jugs together! We were given a ‘polar bear’ rug for the inside.

“My kindergarten kids enjoy reading in the igloo in my classroom.”

The igloo two rows into the process

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Diggs-Latham Elementary Honors the "Sit-Ins" with a "Read-In"

On Friday Feb. 8, students at Diggs-Latham Elementary School gathered in the gym for a "Read-In" event to commemorate the "Sit-In Movement" from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Guests from the Anderson High School Alumni Association, Friends of Diggs-Latham, area churches, the school’s Central Office and teachers from the school greeted students at reading stations. 

Each reader shared some history of the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Sit-Ins and displayed such artifacts as Kente Clothes, art, and photographs before reading to students from books related to Black History Month and to famous African-Americans. 

Many teachers and students were dressed in Afro-centric attire or wore something orange, which represents unity. The celebration ended with a small reception for guests.  Each guest received a special gift from the school, including a handmade clay magnet.  

The Read-In to honor the Sit-In Movement was organized by the Arts Team and Black History Committee under the direction of Amanda Gordon, the art teacher who serves as the Specialist and Committee Chairperson. Home Moravian Church, which is one of the school’s community partners, sponsored the reception.

On Friday Feb. 22, the school will complete its celebration of Black History Month with an assembly that will include a keynote speaker and performances by students and members of the community. To see more photos from the event, go to Read-In Gallery

Southwest Elementary Students Make More Than 1,000 Valentine Cards for Seniors in the Community

At Southwest Elementary School, students made more than 1,000 cards for seniors in the community.

Representatives of the Fourth-Grade Student Council – with the guidance of Amy Tilley, a fourth-grade teacher who serves as coach for Student Council - led a school-wide project making Valentine cards from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7.

Students made Valentine cards at school and at home. The goal was 1,000 cards. The final count was 1,013 cards. On Saturday, Tilley delivered the 1,013 cards to Lowes Foods in Clemmons. From there, the cards will be distributed to senior citizens throughout the community by Senior Services and radio station WBFJ-FM.

“Our students enjoyed being creative and sharing their kind and positive thoughts with others,” said Assistant Principal Debbie McIntyre. “We are very proud of our students at Southwest!”

Monday, February 11, 2013

Eighth-graders at Meadowlark Middle Use Art to Honor People Who Are Important to Them

At Meadowlark Middle School, eighth-graders in Elizabeth Miller’s first-period advanced art class, spent much of the second quarter working on Retablos, art pieces made in honor or memory of someone special. 

Originally, in Mexico, Retablos were devotional paintings created to offer thanks to a particular saint, Miller wrote on her art blog - Art Over Time. 

“These art pieces were then placed on a home or church. Retablo means behind the altar. Cabinet doors were donated and transformed into these meaningful pieces of art.  They were adorned with pictures, stories, memorial poems, hand prints, and special memories.”

On Friday, Feb. 8, the students held a reception for the people honored by their art pieces. 

“Tears were shed,” Miller wrote. “It was sweet.  Two years ago, marked the funeral of one grandfather that was honored. With tear-filled eyes, his wife and daughters smiled over how his granddaughter so perfectly captured his life.” 

To read more about the reception and to see more of the art, go to Art Over Time

Local Students Do Well in Regional Science Fair

In the Sunday Feb. 10 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Fran Daniel wrote about the Region V Science Fair on Saturday, in which a number of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students participated. 

Daniel’s story features, Gehao “Leo” Pang, a Hanes Magnet School student whose project that looked at ways to recover cooking oil. It earned a second-place award in the Middle School Chemistry category. Leo, who is 13, thinks that it would be a good idea to recycle cooking oil, just as people now recycle paper and plastic. Pang used three agents — baking soda, salt and sugar — in his science project.

“I was trying to find the easiest way using household materials to recover oil mixed with water,” Leo told Daniel.

Pang is one of about 150 students who competed in the Region V Science Fair. The other local students who will also move on to the state competition are:

Elementary School: Noah Davis, Lewisville Elementary, first place.

Middle School: Julia Fowler, Kernersville Middle, biological B, first place; Noah Couch, Hanes Magnet, earth/environmental, second place; April Chavez-Espinoza, Southeast Middle, physical, second place; Myers Harbinson, Hanes Magnet, technology/engineering, first place.

High School: Eric Baril, Paisley IB Magnet, biological group A, second place; Kendall Dawkins, Atkins Academic & Technology High, technology/engineering, first place.

The competition was held at Forsyth Technical Community College’s West Campus. Elementary, middle and high school students participated in the science fair, including those attending home, charter and private schools. Region V covers 13 counties, including Forsyth, Alamance, Chatham, Forsyth, Davidson, Guilford and Rockingham.

The N.C. Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 15 and 16 in Raleigh. State winners will advance to the international fair in Arizona. For the complete story go to: Winston-Salem Journal

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

West Forsyth student wins Poetry Out Loud competition

Ashley Campbell, who goes to West Forsyth High School, placed first in the annual Poetry Out Loud district competition.

Campbell, who performed “These Poems She Said” by Robert Bringhurst, will represent Forsyth County at the North Carolina Poetry Out Loud state competition in Greensboro in March.

Sage Schweickert, who goes to Early College of Forsyth, placed second performing “Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish, and Marianne Cruzat, who also goes to Early College of Forsyth, placed third performing “Beautiful Wreckage” by W.D. Erhart

Altogether, nine students from four schools competed in the event, held Friday night at the Career Center. The other contestants were:
  • James Adams - Carter G. Woodson – “I, Too” by Langston Hughes
  • Kadijah Agganie - Carter G. Woodson – “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert
  • TJ Curtis - Career Center – “The End of Science Fiction” by Lisel Mueller
  • Delores McKey - Carter G. Woodson – “Do Not!” by Stevie Smith
  • Jerrious Scott - Career Center – “Catch a Little Rhyme” by Eve Merriam
  • Hao-Ann Tong - Early College of Forsyth – “Broken Promises by David Kirby
The Career Center was the host for district competition, along with the N. C. Arts Council Friday.

“It was a good night.  Good for the kids.  Good for us.  Good for everybody,” said Jeffrey Griffin, who teaches radio broadcasting at the Career Center.

Griffin served as the District Coordinator and Mark Underwood, who teaches digital media at the Career Center, served as the Assistant District Coordinator. Five judges from the community participated:  Catherine Davis, Gretchen Devlin-Hall, Nathan Ross Freeman, Margaret Griffin and Robert Moyer.

Joe Hinson and George K. Walker florist provided roses for the top three contestants.  Laura Mullins and A Daisy A Day florist provided bouquets for the judges. Village Tavern restaurant provided $25 gift cards for the top-three contestants and Reynolda House Museum of American Art provided family passes for each participating student.

The Career Center's radio broadcasting program provided refreshments for the students, their families and friends and the judges while the score sheets were tabulated.