Friday, May 31, 2013

Veteran Coach and Teacher at North Forsyth High to Retire

Gene Bowles

Tacked to a bulletin board in the North Forsyth athletics director’s office is a black and white photograph of a stocky, smiling student in a football uniform, posed with one knee on the ground.

That was as close to resting as it came for Gene Bowles, a veteran coach and teacher — and former athlete — at North; Bowles will retire at the end of this school year.

“I guess you might say I am the last of the dinosaurs as far as just coming in and being a coach,” said Bowles, who at times has been the head coach in baseball, football and wrestling, and has also been an athletics director in 39 years of education at North Forsyth and North Stokes.

“No one told me I needed to specialize. I wouldn’t change anything. I have had ups and downs but I wouldn’t change anything.”

Bowles turned in his head-coaching duties in 2009 after his final seasons of coaching wrestling and baseball, but has remained an assistant AD, always present at football and basketball games with an approachable manner and even-keel demeanor.

“He is one of the best all-around guys that you will ever be around,” said Mike Muse, the basketball and softball coach at East Forsyth who coached alongside Bowles for 15 years at North Forsyth.

“He’s a good role model, a good mentor; he loves his players, loves other coaches. He tried to help everybody. He’s a guy that coached with passion, was very positive and one of the fairest guys you have ever been around in your life. He was a good guy to be around as a younger coach and we got along great.

“There is not a better person around. He will do whatever he can, he will give you the shirt off his back — and if he doesn’t have one he will help you go find one.”

For the rest of Linker’s story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

The Life of a High School Athletic Director

Alexis McCoy (photo by Bruce Chapman)

In the Friday, May 31 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, special correspondent Steve Hanf writes about the busy lives of athletic directors at area high schools including Alexis McCoy at Reagan and Brad Fisher at Reynolds 
“Even during family time, you’re answering phone calls and email. There really is no time off,” McCoy told Hanf. “For me, it’s the student athletes. To see them be successful either on or off the field or the court, to get the little ‘thank you’ you get from a kid every once in a while, that’s what makes it worth it.”

 “It’s very difficult to have three preps and then work in the afternoon at one event and drive six miles to go to another event,” Fisher told Hanf. “Someone like Alexis, I don’t know how she does it, teaching high-level math.”

Brad Fisher
McCoy and Fisher oversee 38 teams each – the maximum number sanctioned by the NCHSAA — plus field-hockey and ninth-grade basketball teams. Reynolds even includes its dance team in the athletics department. Of the approximately 1,700 students at the school, Fisher said, about 850 have physicals on file to play sports.

“The paperwork is really the longest part of the day. You’ve got to have good time management to get it all in,” said Fisher, who replaced long-time AD Jim Spivey this year. “The hours and the nights, none of that came as a surprise. If you didn’t love it, you wouldn’t be doing it. That’s why people either stick around and do it for years, or they don’t.”

 “You’d be miserable if you didn’t love it,” Fisher said.

For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Teacher at West Forsyth High Is One of Two from North Carolina in Running for Grammy Music Educator Award

Jim Kirkpatrick with students
Jim Kirkpatrick, a music teacher at West Forsyth High School, has been selected as a quarter-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award. Kirkpatrick is one of only 217 quarter-finalists selected from 30,000 nominees – and one of only two from North Carolina.

This will be the first Grammy Music Educator Award. It was established to recognize educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to music education. It was established by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation (yes, the same people who bring you Justin Timberlake performances and the Grammys every spring).

The winner will be selected from 10 finalists and flown to Los Angeles to accept the award. The winner will attend the Grammy award ceremony and receive $10,000.

Read more about the award at GRAMMY in the Schools

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

JROTC Instructor at Glenn High School Receives National Award

First Sgt. Ralph Miller

In the Thursday May 23 issue of the Kernersville News, features and news editor Wendy Freeman Davis writes about First Sgt. (retired) Ralph Miller being named the 2013 United States Army Cadet Command Army Instructor of the Year.

Miller, a JROTC instructor at Glenn High School, was nominated for the national award by Principal Brad Craddock.

“He is a very talented instructor who always pushes the kids to achieve more,” Craddock told Davis. “He is tough but caring. Most of the students who have been in the JROTC program flock to him. He is like a father figure and the consummate drill sergeant who pushes students to the limit but still can somehow make it all work. He is a class act.” 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Winston-Salem Dash Mascot Visits Kimberley Park Elementary

This morning, Bolt, the mascot for the Winston-Salem Dash baseball team, dropped by Kimberley Park Elementary School, to hobnob with students having breakfast there before the school day started.

Bolt’s visit was sponsored by Chartwells School Dining Services, the school system’s food-service provider, to celebrate Kimberley Park winning the April promotion encouraging more students to eat breakfast at schools.

Jayden Coleman 
Bolt’s visit coincided with the school’s Dress for Success Day, so there were some sharp-looking boys and girls visiting with Bolt.

Prince Fuller, 10, was wearing the dress clothes that his family bought for his graduation from fifth grade. His sister, Jazmine, who is in fourth grade, was wearing a new dress. She was equally excited about seeing Bolt and about showing off her new dress.

Bolt with Principal Amber Baker
Jazmine was eating next to fellow fourth-grader I’Janea Jordan who was wearing a new dress that her mother bought for her for Dress for Success Day.

Jazmine Fuller and I'Janea Jordan
Janice Moore, who works for Chartwells, and others were handing out photos of Bolt, and, once students realized that he would sign the pictures, a long line formed.

Da'Jah Sides
Jourdian Wilson, 7, Jayden Coleman, 8, and Tre’Shaun Withers, 9, were among the well-dressed students. Even though he is only in the third grade, Tre’Shaun already has his career path laid out in detail. First, he is going to join the Army. After that, he is going to be a police officer. Next, he is going to be a boxer. When he’s done being a boxer, he’s going to be a mechanic.

“And that’s it,” Tre’Shaun said.

Jada Singleton with Teacher Assistant Mechelle Ivory
Assistant Principal Tabitha Saunders with Jourdian Wilson


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Glenn Seniors Fix Meal for Families Staying at Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem

On May 15, the 2013 Senior Class Officers and Deans of Glenn High School prepared a meal for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.

“The Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem provides a ‘home away from home' for families of children receiving medical care in hospitals in the community,” says its website. “The House and Family Room programs offer physical comforts, emotional support, education, and referral services designed to promote the well-being of the whole family.”

“The Ronald McDonald House was a great way to impact our community and show compassion,” said Senior Class President Cody Mitchell. “I found a special joy in helping families that were in a time of crisis and need because it is our mission and purpose as senior officers and deans to help those in need.”

Senior Class Secretary Hannah Forbes and Dean Julie Kemp have spent many hours volunteering at the house, and they thought it was a worthy cause that needed a spotlight and the students’ support. One of the students' goals for the project was to raise awareness about Ronald McDonald House and the role that it plays in our community. The students raised the money necessary to pay for the food they bought for the meal.

"At its core, each and every senior activity, fundraiser, or good time should have a component that strives to relieve the suffering of their fellow man to some degree and in some capacity,” said Latarsha Pledger, who serves as the senior advisor. “Even if it is only temporary, there must be a higher purpose and calling for our actions that cannot be shunned or neglected as senior officers and deans."

This was one of many projects that the students have undertaken, Pledger said. “They raised hundreds of dollars to support multiple families for Christmas. They fundraised to create an outdoor classroom for Glenn High School that will seat up to 30 students. But their major project as senior officers and deans was to raise funds to pay the salary of a K-5 teacher for one year in Honduras.  They take pride in the education they have received at Glenn, and they desire to share that gift beyond the school's walls.”

The students participating in the project were:

Cody Mitchell - Senior Class President
Hannah Forbes - Secretary
Aakash Shah - Treasurer
Alyvia Williams - Senior Dean
Julie Kemp - Senior Dean
Charnae Furches - Senior Dean
Morgan Tarrer - Senior Dean
Mishana Sturdivant - Senior Dean
Megan Finnerty - Senior Dean
Justin Scism - Senior Dean
Elizabeth Graves - Senior Dean

More information about the house is available at Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Five Principals Complete Distinguished Leadership Program

Tricia Spencer
Five Winston-Salem/Forsyth County principals recently completed the Distinguished Leadership Program (DLP), a year-long leadership development program for practicing school principals.

The principals are Wendy Brewington of Ward Elementary, Sara Cook of Middle Fork Elementary, Patricia Gainey of East Forsyth High, Tricia Spencer of South Fork Elementary and Ramona Warren of Sedge Garden Elementary.

Designed and provided by the N. C. Principals and Assistant Principal’s Association in partnership with the N. C. Department of Public Instruction and UNC-LearnNC, the program uses a non-traditional professional development model that is aligned to the performance evaluation standards adopted by the State Board of Education for North Carolina’s school leaders.

The program is designed to limit principals’ time away from their schools by allowing them to attend face-to-face sessions once every other month while accessing on-line assignments, materials and coaching in between face-to-face sessions. Principals engage in a series of authentic activities throughout the year-long experience that are designed to build the capacity of their schools and their own capacity as “Distinguished” school leaders.

”The leadership of the school principal is by far one of the most important factors in school quality,” said Dr. Shirley Prince, NCPAPA Executive Director. “By completing this very rigorous program, our DLP graduates have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement by working to improve their leadership skills as they simultaneously improve their schools. We are proud to include them in the ranks of successful DLP completers.”

This program is offered in three locations - Wilmington, Raleigh and Charlotte - in order to serve principals in all eight regions of the state.

The N. C. Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA), which was established in 1976, has 4,500 members across the state and serves as the state’s principal affiliate of the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

More information can be found at N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals Association

Friday, May 10, 2013

Atkins High Principal and Student Honored at State Conference

Joe Childers, the principal of Atkins Academic & Technology High School, has been elected president of the N.C. Association for Scholastic Activities.
Joe Childers
Association members elected Childers at the association’s annual meeting, which was held on Thursday, May 9 at Atkins. During the meeting, outstanding students, educators, and schools were recognized for their contributions and success in scholastic competitions.

Meredith Hemphill
Atkins student Meredith Hemphill was named High School Student of the Year. Hemphill is a two-time state champion in The Quill, has won the Hanes Young Writer Award, and earned second place in the Story Hatchery Poetry Contest. She is also a two-time state champion in Science Olympiad and won the Forsyth County Science Fair. Meredith has participated in the People to People International Leadership Forum in Washington and holds the Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards in Girl Scouts. This is just a small portion of her long list of accomplishments. She is currently No. 1 in her junior class at Atkins.

Superintendent Don Martin presented the award. Jane Goins, who is chair of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, was also on hand.

News Site about STEM Education Runs Story about Hanes Magnet Student

Sofia Pauca

On the website, reporter Lincoln Pennington writes about Sofia Pauca’s research project into potential treatments for autism.

Sofia, an eighth-grader at Hanes Magnet School, started the project for a science fair.

“Her research would eventually lead her to become a regular at a lab at Wake Forest University, to spend hours spent monitoring fruit flies as they groomed themselves, and to test a potential treatment for autism. Ultimately, her project would propel her to the semi-finals of a national science fair,” Pennington writes. “Sofia, now 13, has been familiar since childhood with genetic disorders. Sofia’s little brother, Victor, was diagnosed at an early age with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects motor skills and overall development.”

Each year, Scarlett Mooney, the curriculum coordinator at Hanes, organizes a STEM Night. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math.)

“I kind of joke that it is a science fair on steroids,” Mooney told Pennington.

Through her father, who is an associate professor in the computer science department at Wake Forest, Sofia found a biology professor at Wake Forest - Bill Conner – willing to serve as a mentor for the project. For the full story of how the project progressed from there, go to Pennington’s story at

STEMwire is digital news service is powered by the Reese News Lab at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mount Tabor, West Forsyth, Reagan Ranked Among America's Best High Schools

In The Daily Beast/Newsweek ranking of “America’s Best High Schools” for 2013, Mount Tabor High School received the highest ranking of any school in Forsyth County. It was ranked 686th among the best 2,000 public high schools in country. 

West Forsyth and Reagan were also included in the list. West Forsyth ranked 757th and Reagan ranked 1,161st.

The rankings were based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent) and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).

You will find the complete listing and additional information at The Daily Beast

West Forsyth and Reagan were also included in the Washington Post list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”

West Forsyth ranked 537th in the country and 12th in North Carolina. Reagan was ranked 653rd in the country and 18th in North Carolina.

For more information, go to Washington Post 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BB&T Announces Expansion of Financial Literacy Program That Has Helped Students at East Forsyth High School

Rebecca Garland, chief academic officer at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction;  Trish Gainey, principal of East Forsyth High School; Ray Martinez, co-founder and executive vice president of EverFi; Cantey Alexander, Triad regional vice president for BB&T with East Forsyth students holding their certificates

BB&T announced the statewide expansion of its financial literacy program yesterday in front of 205 East Forsyth High School students who have completed the program.

Cantey Alexander, BB&T’s regional vice president for the Triad, said that the bank would partner with EverFi, Inc., to bring the BB&T Financial Foundations Scholar Program to more than 450 schools in North Carolina. It currently serves 54 schools, including East Forsyth.

“Financial literacy – from the time you leave these doors – is a critical issue,” Superintendent Don Martin told the students.

Jonathan Smith, a senior at East Forsyth, relayed advice he had heard about the importance of financial literacy.

“If you want to be a millionaire, start out with a billion dollars and start an airline,” Smith said. “How do you avoid this? I’ll tell you in two words: financial literacy.”

The web-based program uses video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars and social networking to explain financial concepts to students. They will be certified in more than 600 topics in financial education. 

Students Win Essay Contest Celebrating Winston-Salem Centennial

With the centennial of Winston and Salem merging to become Winston-Salem coming up, the school system and the City of Winston-Salem sponsored an essay contest. The winners of the essay contest will be recognized at the Centennial Celebration kick off  this Friday at City Hall.

The celebration that will take place this weekend will also include musical performances and art by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students.  The winners of the three grade levels for the essay contest are:

The high school winner is Jessica Hill, who goes to Forsyth Middle College.

Jessica Hill
The middle school winner is Laura Collins, who goes to Hanes Magnet School. "I enjoyed writing the essay because it opened up my eyes to all that Winston-Salem has to offer," Laura said.

Laura Collins
The elementary winner is Catherine Wondra, who is a fifth-grader at Jefferson Elementary School. “I learned so much about Winston Salem writing this essay,” Catherine said. “It is an honor to have won."

Catherine’s teacher is Bonita Vaughan. “Catherine is a phenomenal student, as well as a great person,” Vaughan said.  “She strives to excel in all her endeavors and I am proud to say I am her teacher!”

Catherine Wondra
As it happens, Jae-Jae Lyles, who also goes to Forsyth Middle College, was selected as the winner of the 12th grade portion of the essay contest.

Jae-Jae Lyles
Hill’s essay focuses on The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem. The essay explores the home’s history and talks about what it can mean to the young people who need its services.

Laura’s essay focuses on Wake Forest University’s impact on the city, the city’s thriving arts community and the contributions that some people in Winston-Salem made to the Civil Rights movement.

Catherine’s essay focuses on the roles that such businesses as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Hanes played in the city’s development.

The program at City Hall is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information about the Winston-Salem Centennial Celebration, go to 100 Years

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Students Win Centennial Art Contest

By Lucy Romanik

By Maryum French

By Maddie Selby

With the Winston-Salem Centennial Celebration Weekend coming up, students in the school system were invited to submit art with a Winston-Salem theme for a competition.

The winner at the high school level is Lucy Romanik, who is a junior at Reagan High School. Her art teacher is Jennifer Willard.

The winner at the middle school level is Maryum French, who is in seventh-grade at Wiley Middle School. Her art teacher is Laurie Wiesner-Phillips.

The winner at the elementary school level is Maddie Selby, who is in second grade at Meadowlark Elementary School. Her art teacher is Melanie Messick.

Students will be recognized at 5 p.m. Friday at the corner of Sixth and Cherry streets. That is just outside The Steele Group Architects at 217 W. Sixth St, where the winners’ art will be on display beginning this Friday evening. It will be on display through the following week.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reading Rocks at Piney Grove Elementary

Zaya McFarland
After 230 students at Piney Grove Elementary School met their grade-level reading goals, they celebrated by attending a concert by the Big Bang Boom Band! Throughout the school, students have read more than 10,000 books since January for this spring reading incentive.

Student Art in May 2013 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

By Forrest Mills, Atkins High School

By Daniel Rodriguez, Reynolds High School

By Caroline Reed, Career Center

By Olivia Hill, Reynolds High School
Each month, "Forsyth Family" magazine publishes art by four students in the school system. On page 94 of the May 2013 issue, you will find work by Forrest Mill, whose teacher is Janet Blakely; Daniel Rodriguez and Olivia Hill, whose teacher is Phil Benenati; and Caroline Reed, whose teacher is Toni Graves.

Classified Employees Honor Superintendent Martin

Superintendent Martin with members of Classified Advisory Council Executive Team 
At the Thursday meeting of meeting of the Classified Advisory Council, classified employees recognized Superintendent Don Martin, who is retiring at the end of June, for his service to the school system.

"I have enjoyed my 19 years, and I appreciate the work that all of you do," Martin said. "I will miss you."

Martin with Kendrick Leak, District Chairperson

Martin with Barbara Pollard of Clemmons Middle School

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Principal at Kernersville Elementary Named Kernersville YMCA Volunteer of Year

John Coulter & Becky Carter

Becky Carter, the principal at Kernersville Elementary School, is the Kernersville YMCA Volunteer of the Year.

Linda Payne, a reporter for the Kernersville News, writes about the honor in Tuesday, April 30, edition of the paper. In addition to her work at Kernersville Elementary, Payne writes, Carter “also works tirelessly behind the scenes as a member of the Kernersville YMCA Board of Di­rectors.”

YMCA Executive Director John Coulter said: “She has done so much to support us and our various events over the past few years, and that has been a real blessing.”

Carter joined the Kernersville YMCA Board of Directors three years ago. Carter has chaired the Annual Gala for the last two years, mentored in the Bright Begin­nings program, raised funds for the new playground and moved mulch on the day the commu­nity came together to build the playground. Carter also helped to raise awareness about adaptive sports by bringing the inaugural Winston-Salem Triad Trackers 3 on 3 wheelchair basketball tour­nament to Kernersville last fall.

Carter told Payne that receiving this hon­or is humbling, especially when she thinks about everyone else who is involved with the Kern­ersville YMCA.

“There are so many board members who are working daily to carry out the YMCA’s mission, so I was quite surprised when they told me I had been chosen,” said Carter. “This is all still new to me, so I was quite surprised to receive this honor.”

Carter told Payne that she said she thinks it’s im­portant to be an active member of the community so she can give back to those who support her students and staff.

John Coulter & Chase Logan
In the article, Payne also writes that the Kernersville YMCA gave its YMCA Youth Leadership Award to East Forsyth High School student Chase Logan, who first got involved in the YMCA as a member of the Middle School Afterschool Pro­gram. He then asked to help as a volunteer assistant coach for the YMCA and as a counselor-in-training during summer day camp.

The photos are courtesy of the Kernersville YMCA. You will find the full story in the April 30 edition of the Kernersville News. The newspaper’s website is Kernersville News