Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thanks to Modern Automotive, Three Students Win Scholarships to Sawtooth School for Visual Art

Thanks to Modern Automotive, three students won scholarships to the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in conjunction with the school system’s annual Spring Arts Extravaganza.

For more than 35 years, the school system has showcased student art in the annual show. This year, Modern Automotive became a sponsor. Modern held an “Artists of the Future” contest, and three students – one elementary, one middle and one high - who had art on display received a scholarship to attend a class at Sawtooth, plus a one-year family membership. Their art teachers received a $150 gift card to buy art supplies.

The winners are:

Madeline Wyatt, Meadowlark Elementary. Melanie Messick, teacher.

Kayla Basham, Southeast Middle. Sara Young, teacher.

Cory Spencer, Reynolds High. Amy Cruz, teacher.

Several students received an honorable mention.  They are:

Yarixel Reyes, Diggs-Latham Elementary. Amanda Gordon, teacher.

Hannah Moore, Hanes Magnet. Barbara Butryn, teacher.

Moe Laws, West Forsyth High. Nathan Newsome and Mary “Mollie” Muse, teachers.

Chris Perez, Atkins Academic & Technology High. Janet Blakely, teacher.

To see other photos from the reception, go to Photos

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flat Rock Middle Art Teachers Wins Tony Swider Scholarship to Penland School of Crafts

Brad Oliver congratulates Dudley Smith (right)
Dudley Smith, who teaches art at Flat Rock Middle School, is the recipient of this year's Tony Swider Scholarship to Penland School of Crafts.

“I was very honored to receive this award,” Smith said. “This opportunity to work at Penland will give me a chance to experience new things, not only for me but also to bring and use some of these experiences in class.”

Smith earned a bachelor of fine arts in pottery and ceramic sculpture at Western Carolina University.

“During this time I also got to work in glass, photography, jewelry/metals, sculpture and painting,” Smith said. "I continued my education in art by receiving my master’s in painting.”

His art work has shown many places. His paintings have been shown at Smithsonian in Washington.

“My low-fired sculptures and pottery have shown in the South and my photography has shown on the East Coast and also Europe,” he said. “I decided to share my knowledge of art with kids. So I went to Greensboro College and got my teaching certificate. It has been very rewarding to be able to work with young people and help develop their talents in art.”

The scholarship is given each year in honor of Tony Swider, who “encouraged and energized hundreds of art teachers during his 40-year tenure as an art educator and administrator. He was an educational visionary and an inspired teacher.  A small group of arts supporters and educators established this fund to promote artistic growth and rejuvenate classroom teaching.”

For more information about the scholarship, go to Tony Swider Scholarship

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Walkertown Middle Students Participate in Students@Work

Officially, Students@Work week was March 3 through 7. Because inclement weather closed schools twice that week, many of those visits were rescheduled for this week.

On Tuesday, three teachers in the CTE (Career Technical Education) program at Walkertown Middle School took 60 sixth grade students to various businesses.

“Our group was impressive, received many compliments on their behavior and dress and represented our school and school district in a most favorable manner,” said teacher Charlotte Waddell. “This field trip provided many students with opportunities to see careers first hand and many students tell us on the way back to school each year that it is the best field trip they have ever been on with school.”

The pictures are from the students TAA Flight Training. For a story about The Downtown School’s visit to BB&T Ballpark, go to Downtown School 

Meadowlark Elementary Fifth-Grade Yard Sale Raises More Than $4,000 for Sally's Angels

Each year, the fifth-graders at Meadowlark Elementary School vote on an organization to receive the proceeds from their yard sale.

This year, students voted to present the proceeds to Sally's Angels, a nonprofit organization that helps families with children who are critically or chronically ill. The charity is named in honor of Sally Rice, a student at Meadowlark Elementary.

The Fifth Grade Yard Sale at Meadowlark Elementary raised $4,264, and, on Feb. 28, Anna Rice, a co-founder of the organization, came to the school to receive the check.  

So that fifth-graders can make informed decision about a local organization to support, the fifth-grade teachers ask each student to pick a group that he or she feels connected to and, after doing research, to write a paper about it. This year, six students wrote about Sally's Angels.

The annual project began more than ten years ago with Martha Bethel's fifth-grade class.  As a community service project, her class had a yard sale to raise funds for a local charity.  Since that time, the yard sale has evolved into a writing/public speaking project for fifth grade students. 

To give persuasive writing meaning and real world application, fifth graders are asked to research a local charity.   They proceed to write a persuasive writing paper on their chosen charity explaining why the proceeds from the yard sale should be donated to their charity.  With teacher instruction and guidance, students utilize the writing process to write their persuasive paper using research gathered from the local charity.  Students are encouraged to visit the local charity for an eye witness account, but it is not a requirement for the project. 

After papers are complete, one persuasive paper from each homeroom is selected to represent the class.  Papers are chosen based on the persuasive writing rubric.  The authors of the papers present their paper to the entire fifth grade student body.  Following the presentations, fifth graders cast their votes selecting the charity they would like to receive the yard sale profits. This year presentations were given for Meadowlark Meals (a food BackPack program), Hospice Palliative Care, Cancer Services, The Ronald McDonald House of Winston Salem, the Salvation Army and Sally's Angels.

For more information about Sally’s Angels, go to  Sally's Angels

Reynolds High Newspaper Named "Best in State"

Pine Whispers, the newspaper at Reynolds High School, has been named “Best in State.”

Ten Pine Whispers staff members and newspaper adviser Steve Hanf attended the annual Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) conference in Columbia, S.C., from Feb. 28 to March 2. The event included 465 students from Tampa, Fla., to Washington, D.C., and featured a variety of speakers discussing journalism-related topics.

Pine Whispers was named All-Southern for a third straight year – SIPA's top award for its 16-state region – and was awarded "Best High School Newspaper in North Carolina" by the panel of judges. Senior graphic artist Lyndsay Wilcox also received a "Best in Show" award for one of her newspaper illustrations.

Pine Whispers has been the student-produced newspaper at Reynolds since 1924. This year, 38 students in two classes work to inform and entertain the RJR community with eight print editions and a strong online presence at, @RJRPineWhispers on Twitter, and

Those in the picture are members of the Pine Whispers staff who attended the SIPA convention. They are: (front, from left) Maddi Swindle, Carrie McKim, Becca Royer and Sarita Muneton; (back) Steve Hanf, Ally O'Reilly, Anna Bringle, Joe Wilson, James Tatter, Alex Lawrence and Anna Fitzgerald.

Students and Staff at Kernersville Elementary Work Together in Hopes of One Day Eliminating Cancer

Kernersville Elementary School has been participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“It is a volunteer driven event full of folks who hope and pray that one day we can eliminate cancer,” said Kathi Amrich, the data manager at Kernersville Elementary. “Our school has been hit directly with staff, students and family who have personally battled this disease. Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, either through their own personal battle or through someone they love.

“Our school has been awarded many accolades due to their efforts and time spent in raising thousands of dollars for this worthy cause. The ACS Relay for Life event is a great opportunity for our school to show how we care about the people in our community who are affected by this disease. We have raised over $100,000.

“As one third-grade student, Ayden O’Connor, who personally raised over $120, said, ‘I take cancer seriously.’ Being a part of this event teaches the children to help others. It is amazing how one small act can have an impact on so many people. They are an inspiring group of students who at some time in their lives already knows someone who has or had cancer.

“Each year we do a different fund raiser with the classrooms. This year’s KES theme is ‘Let’s Lick Cancer.’ We made paper lollipops to sell for 25 cents. The class that sold the most lollipops was named the Sweetest Class and earned a Treat Party. The tops fund raisers in each grade level got lollipops for their efforts. Mrs. Whicker’s third-grade class raised the most money - $195 - with Mrs. Faircloth’s coming in second - $135.

The Kernersville Relay is June 6 this year at the Kernersville YMCA. KES will be there in support for those fighting the battle, honoring those who lost it and recognizing the care givers. Juan Jimenez, a first grade student in Mrs. Amy Hick’s class is in remission from leukemia. He has been an inspiration to his classmates and all of us here at KES.” 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Harris Teeter Giveaway Provides Paisley IB Magnet with $2,950 to Spend on Science Books

Paisley students Lilly Reed, Jasmine Robinson and Andrew Markwalter with Wes Holcomb of Harris Teeter and Harry the Happy Dragon
Thanks to one of the families at Paisley IB Magnet School and Harris Teeter’s Together in Education program, the school now has $2,950 to spend on science books and materials.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wes Holcomb, the store director for the Harris Teeter on Cloverdale Avenue, dropped by Paisley with Harris Teeter mascot Harry the Happy Dragon. On this particular afternoon, customer service representative DaShon McCants was the man inside the Harry suit. They were there to present the school with a check that the family of seventh-grader Lilly Reed had won for the school in a promotion called the Together with Education $100,000 Giveaway.

Principal Gary Gone and student Lilly Reed receive check

After Lilly’s parents, Jay and Shannon Reed, linked their Harris Teeter card to Paisley, their card was picked in a weekly drawing for the giveaway. Both the school and the family received $500 each. Plus a “Prize Patrol” team from Harris Teeter headed to the Reed home, where they counted the number of Harris Teeter brand products in the household. The family and school each received another $50 for each Harris Teeter brand product, plus another $500 if the family had the bonus item of the week. They did. When all the counting of bonus and regular products was done, Paisley received $2,950.

The money is being assigned to media coordinator Ruth Wilcox, who plans to use the money to boost the school’s science holdings. Wilcox and Lilly were there in the school’s media center, along with teachers, administrators and two other students - Jasmine Robinson, the president of the student body, and Andrew Markwalter, the vice president of the student body. The teachers there included Roshanda McCrimmon, Parrish Tubbs, Tanya Ford and Jessica Smith. Administrators included Principal Gary Cone and the two assistant principals, Christie Brown and Lisa Bodenheimer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baldwin named one of top 40 under 40

Leslie Baldwin, the foreign language program specialist for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, has been named one of the 2014 Leaders Under 40 by The Business Journal.

Baldwin has overseen foreign language instruction for the school district since 2004. She works with 120 teachers of six languages and has been instrumental in creating dual-language immersion programs at Ashley IB Magnet, Konnoak, Smith Farm and Speas elementary schools.

Baldwin also taught Spanish at Ward Elementary as a N.C. Teaching Fellow after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also earned a master’s degree in Education from Wake Forest University.

The awards honor 40 individuals, all under the age of 40, who have distinguished themselves in their careers and community and also hold promise of great things to come.

The Business Journal recognized the 2014 class at an awards ceremony late last month at UNCG's Elliott University Center.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chinese Honor Society Established at Career Center

Chi-Yun Valoris, who teaches Chinese at the Career Center, wanted to recognize her students' achievement, so she established the National Chinese Honor Society at the school.

On Feb. 26, the first group of students was inducted. Nine students received the honor. Those attending the ceremony included Leslie Balwin, the school system’s program specialist for foreign language; Dennis Moser, the principal of the Career Center; and Sharon Creasy, the assistant principal at the Career Center.

Ms. Valoris said that she hopes to continue this tradition both to recognize the students and to inspire them to excel.

Student Art in March 2014 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

In the March 2014 issue of Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art by four Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high school students. 

By Sydney Tickle

By Christina LaMaire

By Maria Ybanez

By Raphael Marbella

Sydney Tickle, tenth grade, Reagan High School. Art teacher is Karen Evans.

Christina LaMaire, senior, Reagan High School. Art teacher is Jennifer Willard.

Maria Ybanez, ninth grade, West Forsyth High School. Art teacher is Elizabeth Betson.

Raphael Marbella, tenth grade, West Forsyth High School. Art teacher is Elizabeth Betson.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Diggs-Latham Elementary Celebrates Black History Month

Amanda Stevenson with students
At Diggs-Latham Elementary School, they celebrated Black History Month with art, dance, music and visits from people in the community.

Teachers who specialize in the arts gave presentations about how their subjects - art, music, dance/physical education - have been influenced by famous African-Americans and by African-American traditions that include symbols of the Underground Railroad and tap dancing.

Amanda Gordon
The presentations began with Amanda Gordon, the art teacher who served as chair of the Black History Committee, explaining the influence of African-American Culture in art from traditional Kente cloth patterns, symbolism, artists of the Harlem Renaissance and modern day painters and photographers.  

Music and orchestra teachers Ann Farthing and John Powelson taught students about Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, tap dancing, and African drumming.  Students formed drumming circles and played several rhythms as small and then large groups.  

For the final specialist presentation, physical education/dance teachers Ross McNeil and Amanda Stevenson kept students moving with some basketball tricks related to the style of the Harlem Globetrotters right after students danced an original choreographed dance to African drumming music.  The movement of the dance reflected coming together, working together and soaring like birds.  

Annie Hamlin Johnson
On Friday, Feb. 21, Annie Hamlin Johnson, the mother of National Black Theatre founder Larry Leon Hamlin, visited the school and gave two presentations to the student body.  “She did storytelling from the perspective of a slave woman and talked about how difficult life would have been during the time of slavery,” Gordon said. “She encouraged the students to realize their freedom and potential today and remember they ‘are somebody.’ 

“She showcased many artifacts from the past including an ice pick, washtubs and her mother's high school diploma from 1913.  During her presentation for kindergarten through fifth grade students, she assisted several students in trying the old tools and even sitting in the washtub.  To end her presentation to third, fourth and fifth grade students, she asked for volunteers to see which students could keep up her pace with some traditional and then modern dance moves.” 

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, Renee Andrews, who works for Forsyth County Public Library, shared songs, stories, and books with third- and fourth-graders.  "Funga Alafia," she said, as she started singing a welcome song to the students.  "Funga Alafia, Ashe, Ashe." 

“She welcomed the students from the heart in the traditional Yoruban language,” Gordon said.  “She continued to share stories that celebrated African-American traditions and encouraged all children, all races and boys and girls to be strong persons in the world.  Throughout the whole month, students were reminded that even though the story of black history began on a sad note with slavery and inequality, today we celebrate that everyone is equal and free.”

The month of celebrating culminated with assembly on Friday, Feb. 28 with a keynote speaker, dancers, singers and other special performances by students, teachers and members of the community.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Speas students go up (to the 22nd floor) and out (to Romania)

Ten Speas Elementary students hung out at Small Footprint on Friday, a visit that took them up and out from their normal day.

Small Footprint builds web, mobile and distributed software applications for companies around the world. Their U.S. offices are on the 22nd floor of the Winston Tower, so Speas students found themselves face-to-face with the top of the Reynolds Building.

Then the students sat in with Small Footprints staff as they met with their counterparts in Romania via videoconference.

Steve Vest, a former teacher and assistant principal in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who is now the user experience engineer at Small Footprints, led the students through introductions, as the staff described their roles and some of the apps they’ve developed – including one that allows chicken catchers who pick up chickens by their feet four at a time to count how many chickens they’ve caught.

Students also got to experiment with a mobile app that Small Footprints is working on that allows people to do teacher observations.

Students Compete in Regional Science Fair; Two Going on to State Science Fair

On Saturday, Feb. 22, a number of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students participated in the N.C. Region V Science Fair Competition.

Here is a list of those who placed:

Lily Scott, Paisley IB Magnet - third place, Middle School Biology B
Alexa Langley*, East Forsyth Middle - second place, Middle School Chemistry
Noah Couch, Hanes Magnet - third place, Middle School Earth/Environmental Science
Eric Baril, Paisley IB Magnet - third place, High School Biology A
Stephanie Jeselson*, Atkins High - first place, High School Biology B
Sade Harrison, Paisley IB - third place, High School Chemistry
Shivani Amin, Early College - third place, High School Earth/Environmental Science

*Will advance to the N.C. Science and Engineering Fair.

Additionally, the following students received Special Awards:

Stockholm Junior Water Award:  Shivani Amin (Early College)
Targacept Awards:  Stephanie Jeselson (Atkins High) and Brock Joyner (Smith Farm Elementary)
Carolina Liquid Chemistries Award: Alexa Langley (East Forsyth Middle)

“Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of all our young scientists and extend well-wishes to those competing in the N.C. Science and Engineering Fair,” said Benika Thompson, the school system’s program manager for science.

That will be held at Meredith College in Raleigh on March 28-29.