Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wilkins Loop Race Scheduled for October 19

The start of the first Wilkins Loop Race

The second annual Wilkins Loop Race will take place on Oct. 19 at Flat Rock Middle School.

Two students – Allie Bagley and Lance Smith – organized the first race as a way to honor Aaron Wilkins, a beloved Flat Rock teacher and athletic director who died in an accident, and to raise money for his family.

In August, 2012, Wilkins died after an accident. He was 35. He and his wife, Debbie, have four young sons - Paul, Brad and twins Joshua and Andrew. More than 200 people participated in the first race held on Nov.10, and it raised more than $3,000 for the family.

Bagley and Smith decided that they wanted to make the race an annual event.

"Right after the first run I knew that it wasn't going to be a one time deal," Bagley said. "I think it's very important to keep the memory of such a great role model alive. Mr. Wilkins would have been leading the run just like he used to at track practice. I just think it's such a special event for everyone who loved him to celebrate his life in such a unique way. His spirit and attitude were so influential. I always try to push myself to be better just like he would with his students whether it's sports, academics, faith, or making wise decisions and just being a better person. That's why I wanted to have a second annual Wilkins Loop - to honor Mr. Wilkins and his family in a unique and special way so that on the day of the run he'll be smiling down on us proudly."

"We decided," Smith said, "that Wilkins Loop should be an annual event because Mr. Wilkins is a man no one should ever forget," Smith said. "I just thought that, if we kept this run going, it'll allow his legacy to live on."

Although it’s called a race, participants are welcome to walk the course, a 2.5 mile trail around the Flat Rock campus that, even before Wilkins died, everyone called the Wilkins Loop. By popular demand, a .6 mile leg has been added for runners to turn the race into a 5K.

This year, the run/walk is being held on Wilkins’ birthday. Bagley and Smith, who are now sophomores at West Forsyth High School, are again organizing the race. Busta Brown from television station WXII will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

Flat Rock is at 4648 Ebert Road. The suggested donation for students wanting to participate in the run/walk is $5. For adults, it’s $10. Additional contributions and contributions from people who don’t want to run or walk are welcome. On the day of the race, for $10, people can buy a T-shirt commemorating the event designed by Smith’s cousin, Dameatra√© Hodge, who is a graphic designer.

You can register the day of the race. Registration will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and the race/walk is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. You can also register beforehand at The site does charge a processing fee for online registrations. If you have questions, you may email Adrienne Smith at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Early College of Forsyth and Carver High School Recognized by State Superintendent June Atkinson

June Atkinson, Fran Cook, Carol Montague-Davis

June Atknoson, Ronald Travis, Carol Montague-Davis

On Monday, Early College of Forsyth and Jacket Academy at Carver High School were recognized for having 100 percent of the seniors  graduate in four years in 2013.

Fran Cook, the principal at Early College; Ronald Travis, the principal at Carver, and Carol Montague-Davis, the school system’s assistant superintendent for secondary schools, headed to Durham where state superintendent June Atkinson and other officials honored all the schools in the state that had a 100 percent graduation rate.

Cook said that every member of the school’s staff – teachers, secretaries and others – played a crucial role in providing students with the support they needed to graduate.

“I feel it reflects the relationships we have with students,” Cool said.

In 2012, all but one senior at Early College graduated and that person has since graduated, Cook said. Her goal for 2014 is to once again have every student graduate. “Absolutely,” she said.

More than 82 percent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools high school seniors graduated in four years in 2013, the sixth consecutive year the rate has increased and the highest rate ever for the district. Atkins, Mount Tabor, Reagan and West Forsyth high schools and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy each graduated more than 90 percent of their seniors.

Pinwheels for Peace

Tenth-grader Austin Hicks with pinwheels

This year, the students at Carter High School participated in the Pinwheels for Peace project.
The project was started in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida who encouraged students to create pinwheels to express their wishes for "whirled peace." In the years since, teachers all over the world have participated in the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 by having students make pinwheels.

For more information, go to Pinwheels for Peace


Monday, September 16, 2013

Educator Warehouse Thanks Supporters and Introduces New People to Its Mission

 On Thursday morning, the Educator Warehouse had a breakfast to thank people who are already supporting it and to introduce the warehouse to others.

Among those dropping by were Superintendent Beverly Emory and members of the Forsyth Education Partnership and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs, which sponsor the warehouse along with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

The warehouse on the grounds of Diggs-Latham Elementary School was established to help ensure that students and teachers have supplies that they need and to help teachers save money. It relies on volunteers and on donations from individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

This is the third school year that the warehouse has been available to teachers. Karel Chandler is the director. The warehouse, in a pod that the school system no longer needed after Diggs-Latham was renovated and expanded, is open from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Tuesdays and Thursdays that school is in session and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month.

Friday, September 13, 2013

You Say Tomato

Dillon Howell and Kenneth Hall

In the Friday, September 13, issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about students from Wake Forest University working with middle and high school students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School to learn more about plant genetics.
Here is an excerpt:
Over the course of two weeks, college students will enter about 12 local public school classrooms to teach basic science concepts through hands-on experimentation.

The younger students are taught the terms and principles of basic genetics by looking at tomatoes grown by Wake Forest students. A variety of heirloom tomatoes — all shapes, sizes and colors — demonstrate genetic variety, explained Gloria Muday, a Wake Forest biology professor.

“We want to give them a memorable experience,” Muday said. Working with tomatoes — something the students have likely encountered before — helps the genetics lesson become more relatable and thus more easily understood and retained.

For the experiment, students looked at just one of the many genetic traits that can be different between tomatoes: color.

Muday asked students Thursday at Mount Tabor High School to use what they would learn about genetics to solve a genetic mystery: how two red tomato “parents” can produce a green tomato offspring.

Wake Forest students walked their groups through such genetic basics as dominant and recessive traits, heterogeneous and homogeneous alleles, and the ways those different kinds of genes will express themselves.

“Normally we just watch and listen,” said Da’je Goodman, a sophomore at Mount Tabor. “This is hands-on. We got to taste things. I won’t forget it.”

Photos are by David Rolfe.
For the full story, go to: Winston-Salem Journal

Erica Barnes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chapter by Media Coordinator at Southeast Middle Appears in New Book

Lisa Turner

Lisa (Elizabeth) Turner, the media coordinator at Southeast Middle School, wrote a chapter in a newly published book called Collaborative Models for Librarian and Teacher Partnerships.

Turner’s chapter - Chapter 17 - is called “Invaluable Collaborations.” It looks at some of the ways in which teachers and media coordinators can work together to help students learn.

“I feel very strongly that the media program at a school can be an invaluable asset to teachers, today more than ever!” Turner said. “Each day I work to help teachers develop engaging lessons and students connect with books they want to read and information they want to learn. It has never been a better time to serve a school as a media coordinator. This book gave me an opportunity to say all of this and more, speaking to the audience of degree seekers such as future principals, curriculum coordinators and media coordinators. It was a pleasure to speak up for the impact of media centers on learning at the school.”

In an email to media coordinators and others, Jackie Pierson, the school system’s Program Manager for Library Media Services wrote: “Lisa, we are so proud of you! You represent the best in our profession!”

The book is published by IGI Global. On its website, the book is described thusly:

“Once considered designated storytellers, modern library professionals are emerging as experts in technology integration, information literacy, and curriculum alignment. Though, their collaboration with technology specialists and administrators continues to be a struggle.

“Collaborative Models for Librarian and Teacher Partnerships brings together best practices and innovative technological approaches in establishing the media specialist-teacher partnership. Highlighting theoretical concepts of case based learning, knowledge repositories, and professional learning communities; this book is an essential practical guide for professional development specialists, administrators, library media specialists, as well as teacher educators interested in maintaining and developing collaborative instructional partnerships using emerging digital technologies.”

If you want to know more, go to: IGI Global