Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hanes Magnet Recognized at International Conference

Natalie Norman and Brian Mendenhall
Hanes Magnet School has received the Program Excellence Award from the International Technology & Engineering Educator Association (ITEEA).

The Technology Education Program at Hanes is one of only 30 programs in the world to receive the award. The teachers for this program at Hanes are Brian Mendenhall & Natalie Norman. They teach the Project Lead the Way Program and coach the Hanes Dragon Technology Student Association.

Sponsored by the ITEEA and Paxton/Patterson, the Program Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to technology education classroom teachers on the elementary, middle or high school levels.  It is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession and students. Schools from all over the United States and around the world compete for this honor.

Each year the Program Excellence winners are recognized at the association's conference, which is the largest conference for technology educators in the world. This year's conference was held in Orlando, Fla. 

Student Art in May 2014 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

By Karla De La Cruz

By Kimberly Rodriquez

By John Morgan

By Joseph Elam
On Page 93 of the May 2014 issue of Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art by four Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students.

Karla De La Cruz is a first-grader at Sedge Garden Elementary School. Her art teacher is Tara Muzzy.

Kimberly Rodriguez is in third grade at Hall-Woodward Elementary School. Her art teacher is Joanna Smith.

John Morgan is a sophomore at East Forsyth High School. His art teacher is Terri Hester.

Joseph Elam is an eighth-grader at Meadowlark Middle School. His art teacher is Elizabeth Miller.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Final Day of Special Olympics Games at Wake Forest University

The Special Olympics Forsyth County Spring Games at Wake Forest University started on Wednesday and continued through today.

Nancy Sutton, the school system’s program specialist for health & physical education, passed along some photos that she took while there.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Special Olympics Spring Games Going on at Wake Forest University

The Thursday, April 24 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal has photos by Journal photographer David Rolfe of the Special Olympics Forsyth County Spring Games at Wake Forest University.

In one photo, Colton Berry of Rural Hall Elementary School crawls through a rainbow tunnel during the opening day on Wednesday. In another, Brodie Douglass of Ward Elementary School kicks a giant soccer ball.

More than 800 elementary school students from 25 schools and 500 volunteers are participating in the annual Spring Games, being held through Friday. Events continue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 today and Friday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Clemmons Elementary Teacher to Study at Mickelson Teachers Academy This Summer

Jennifer Beach
Jennifer Beach, who teaches third grade at Clemmons Elementary School, has been chosen to attend the 2014 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

The goal of the Academy is to help teachers engage students in math and science at an early age in hopes of encouraging their interest in these subjects through college and into their careers.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and what all will unfold from this,” Beach said. “Being selected ​is such an honor and I am grateful to be able to learn new, innovative strategies for teaching math and science from phenomenal teachers around the country.  

"My hope in this experience is to collaborate with other teachers, and as a result, discover effective methods for reaching students of all abilities that I can then share with my colleagues.  It's all about making a difference in the lives of our students!”

This year, more than 1,100 teachers from across the country applied to attend the academy. The selection panel based its decisions on teachers’ qualifications, their dedication to inspiring students and their overall commitment to enhancing the teaching profession.

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy was founded in 2005 to provide third-through fifth-grade teachers with tools to enhance curricula, an opportunity to network with other educators and to help discover innovative ways to teach math and science. Since then, more than 4,000 teachers have attended the academy—impacting the lives of nearly 300,000 students nationwide. 

This year's academy will be held July 20-25 in Jersey City, N.J.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Piedmont Federal's Artizens Competition Puts Student Art on Display in Bank Branches

Each year, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank invites students in area high schools to enter a work of art in the bank's Artizens competition. The art pieces selected for consideration in the 2014 competition are on display in area branches through April 22.

“Each Forsyth County Piedmont Federal office displays five pieces from two schools in their area,” said Wanda Merschel, a Piedmont Federal senior vice president. “We invite the community to stop by and vote for the People’s Choice award. Each office will then present their respective winner during the gala.”

On April 24, the community-wide Artizens winners will be announced at the Artizens Gala, held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Milton Rhodes Center in downtown Winston-Salem. The first-place winner will receive $500 and another $500 will go to the art department at the winner's school.

You can see the art on display in the branches and find out more about the competition by going to Artizens

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Students Invited to Create Bookmark Design; Winner Will Appear on 5,000 Bookmarks

Students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are invited to participate in the third annual bookmark contest sponsored by Bookmarks and Art for Art’s Sake (AFAS). The student who creates the winning design will have his or her artwork printed on 5,000 bookmarks that will be distributed throughout Forsyth and surrounding counties.

The contest is open to students in middle and high school who live in Forsyth County during the 2013-2014 school year. The bookmark will measure 3-by-9 inches, and all entries must use the template provided for submission, which can be found at Template

Only original visual artwork in color is accepted, including: print, drawing, collage, photo, or computer-generated artwork that relates to the theme of books, reading and/or writing. Art must be flat and may not include three-dimension. The artist’s name must not appear on the artwork and only one entry per artist may be submitted. For all the rules, go to Rules

The deadline is June 1. The winner will be notified by June 20. The winning artist will be honored in August at a reception at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts.

On Sunday, April 27, a free Art Education Event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Unleashed Art Center located at 204 W. Sixth St. Interested students and their parents will have a chance to learn more about the bookmark contest as well as meet professional artists who will brainstorm with the students and lead them in exercises to help create their artwork for the bookmark contest.

Art for Art’s Sake builds, educates and celebrates Community through Art. Arts on Sunday, held during the months of May and October, features arts, crafts, and music and is held on Trade Street in the Downtown Arts District. For more information, go to Art for Art's Sake

Bookmarks is a literary-arts organization based in Winston-Salem that engages, inspires, and connects readers with authors. This is achieved through the largest annual free book festival in North Carolina; Triad-based author talks, and the Authors in Schools program, which reached 5,000 students in 2013. Bookmarks’ 10th festival of books and authors will be held on Sept. 6 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and in the surrounding area on Spruce Street. 

More information about Bookmarks can be found at Bookmarks

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PTA Reflections 2013-14 State and County Winners

Two students – one from Reynolds High and one from Hanes Magnet – placed first at the state level in the annual PTA Reflections contest.

Haley Jacob at Reynolds placed first in photography, and Andrew Gillett at Hanes placed first in literature. These first-place entries have gone on to compete at the national level.

Locally, Reflections is sponsored by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs. Renee Canada and Marshalla Sitton served as the co-chairs for Reflections. Angie Vaughn is the president of the WS/FC Council of PTAs. 

A number of other students placed at the state level. They are:

Rajan “Drew” Gandhi, Wiley Middle, Award of Merit, special artist
Penelope Sa, Clemmons Elementary, second place, dance 
Alexandra Stone, Jefferson Middle, third place, dance
Grace Cronin, East Forsyth High, third place, dance
Eli Jones, Kernersville Middle, second place, film
Pearly Marley, Reagan High, second place, film
Jasmine Marshall, Hanes Magnet, second place, music
Ashley Lenhart, East Forsyth High, third place, photography
Thor Gignac, East Forsyth High, second place, visual arts

Here is a complete list of winners at the county level:


Elementary 3-5
1st Mayah Ding Brunson
2nd Sarah Urbanic Sherwood Forest
3rd Joah Macosko Brunson
HM Karina Macosko Brunson
HM Metabelle Schaben Kernersville

Middle School
1st Jasmine Marshall Hanes
2nd Lydia Wu Meadowlark
3rd Ethan Butler Walkertown
3rd Stephen Lemonte Johnson Kernersville
HM Matthew Gemmell Jefferson
HM Ava Napier Kernersville


Elementary K-2
1st Penélope Sá Clemmons
2nd Megan Walsh Clemmons
3rd Felicity Resendes Vienna
HM Kalie Miller Kernersville
HM Chloe Webster Walkertown

Elementary 3-5
1st Claire Pomper Brunson
2nd Izzy Pan Brunson
3rd Sara Borschke Vienna

Middle School
1st Alexandra Stone* Jefferson
2nd Raiyona Rice East Forsyth
3rd Nijayuana Gadson East Forsyth

High School
1st Grace Cronin* East Forsyth
2nd Khris Beeson R.J. Reynolds
3rd Juliana Bohland Reagan
3rd Taylor Carter R.J. Reynolds
HM Sarah Myers R.J. Reynolds


Elementary K-2
HM Anna Lyons Piney Grove

Elementary 3-5
1st Lilly Sellers Morgan
2nd Everett Lyons Piney Grove
3rd Janay Cammock Morgan

Middle School
1st Eli Jones Kernersville
2nd Kendall Wright Kernersville
3rd Rich Lyons Walkertown
HM Carl Marshall Walkertown


Elementary K-2
1st James Link Sherwood Forest
2nd Jack Oghalai Morgan
3rd Evan Owen Sherwood Forest

Elementary 3-5
1st Owen Bovender Kernersville
2nd Sara Kilgus Sherwood Forest
3rd Alex Howell Brunson
3rd Talia Penn Vienna
HM Alex Angel Southwest
HM Emma Charles Sherwood Forest
HM Sarah Kaiman Clemmons

Middle School
1st Madison Wondra Jefferson
2nd Meet Doshi Jefferson
2nd Trinity Shayne Maggard Kernersville
3rd Cami Bender Wiley
3rd Sydnie Cockerham Wiley
3rd Alexander Marshall Hanes
HM Dorri Luce Kernersville
HM Christopher Shell Kernersville
HM Courtney Taylor Kernersville

High School
1st Haley Jacob R.J. Reynolds
2nd Ashley Lenhart East Forsyth
2nd Charlotte Ririe R.J. Reynolds
3rd Alexandria Mock East Forsyth
3rd Susan Oliver Mount Tabor
HM Alexa Nix West Forsyth
HM Susan Oliver Mount Tabor
HM Alyssa Ramirez East Forsyth
HM Karson Sharpe East Forsyth
HM Katherine Shore R.J. Reynolds


Elementary K-2
1st Athaliah Arnolda Vienna
2nd Ipsitha Vasipalli Vienna
3rd Sarah May Sherwood Forest
HM Jessalyn Martin Moore
HM Anais Mariel Szeremeta Clemmons

Elementary 3-5
1st Bridget Marshall Vienna
2nd Gillian Pruteanu Clemmons
3rd Ilana Birch Moore
3rd Bradley Jiang Brunson
3rd Sneha Thilak Ward
HM Meghan Jumes Sedge Garden

Middle School
1st Faith Olivia Fleming Meadowlark
2nd Victoria Shore Jefferson
3rd Tatum Sobota Kernersville
HM Kinsey Lloyd Kernersville

High School
1st Thor Gignac* East Forsyth
2nd Jessica Cunningham East Forsyth
3rd Jesse Miller Mount Tabor
3rd Ruth Moffatt R.J. Reynolds
3rd Sydney Tickle Reagan
HM Katherine Bell Mount Tabor
HM Jerah Huff Mount Tabor


Elementary K-2
1st Madison Tilton Vienna
2nd Gabrielle Crumpton Clemmons
3rd William Brown Vienna
HM Dylan Wang Sherwood Forest

Elementary 3-5
1st Katey Howell Morgan
2nd Colin Lee Morgan
3rd Gaby Ambros Morgan
3rd Shelby Caine Morgan
3rd Azka Khan Morgan
HM Humza Qureshi Morgan
HM Eddie Rosas Morgan

Middle School
1st Andrew Gillett Hanes
2nd Millie Schwartz Hanes
2nd Mackenzie Smoak Kernersville
3rd Alexander Beddick Hanes
3rd Lila Davidson Hanes
3rd Tristan Tucker Kernersville
HM Elena Alvarado East Forsyth
HM Juan Londono Hanes

High School
1st Elizabeth Comtois Reagan
2nd Pearl Marley* Reagan
3rd Miranda Holman Reagan
3rd Rachel Torres Glenn
HM Mia Naples Reagan
HM Adam Suddarth Reagan

Special Artist Award of Merit
Rajan “Drew” Gandhi Wiley

Twenty-four Students Accepted to Governor's School of North Carolina

Twenty-four students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools have been accepted to Governor's School of North Carolina, a summer enrichment program in academics and the arts.

It is the oldest statewide summer academic program in the country for gifted high school students. It began in 1963 at Salem College. In 1978, a second location was added. The West Program is at Salem and the East Program is at Meredith College in Raleigh. Most students going are juniors this year. A few students in performing arts are sophomores.

Those accepted, their high schools and area of study are:

Noah Feldman, Atkins, social science

Jenna Albert, Glenn, natural science

John Henry Jackson, Atkins, social science

Anjali Venkat, Reagan, Spanish

Kate Watkins, West Forsyth, natural science

Grant Vegas, East Forsyth, math

Matthew Kennedy, Mount Tabor, natural science

Brandis Price, Mount Tabor, natural science

Katy Kneisel, Mount Tabor, social science

Breck Radulovic, Reynolds, natural science

Caroline Li, Reynolds, art

Karah Smith, Reagan, dance

Susan Toalson, West Forsyth, dance

Monet Beatty, Paisley IB Magnet, dance

Kamryn King, Reynolds, dance

Emily Holdsclaw, West Forsyth, flute

Jacob Weinberg, Reynolds, theater

John Tester, East Forsyth, French horn

Grahame Evans, Reagan, percussion – tampini

Parker Cecil, West Forsyth, trumpet

Leah Hinshaw, West Forsyth, English

Alexis Baril, Parkland, French

Nicholas Kennedy, Mount Tabor, English

Sarah Jennings, Mount Tabor, Spanish

For more information about the program, go to Governor's School

Meadowlark Middle Band Director Receives Award of Excellence

Matt Liner conducting
Matt Liner, the band director at Meadowlark Middle School, has received the Award of Excellence from the Northwest District N.C. Bandmasters Association. 

“My initial response to being nominated was pure shock,” Liner said. “Once the vote had been completed and it was announced that I had been selected as the Award of Excellence recipient a wave washed over me that is unlike one that I’ve ever felt - feelings of appreciation and a humbleness and excitement. 

“My thoughts instantly went to those that had instructed and mentored me over my life - to my high school band director from North Forsyth, Joe Alred, who gave so much of himself for the kids that were in his program and who was taken from us way too soon, to my collegiate directors and instructors, and to the folks that still mentor and inspire me today. These colleagues continuously impress me and motivate me to be better at my craft tomorrow than I was today.”

The award was established in 1980 to salute the musical excellence of band directors in the association. To be eligible for nomination, the band director must meet criteria that includes leading a program that provides students with many and varied performance opportunities, including those offered at district and state levels as well as, displaying a consistent record of Superior Ratings at MPA.

The candidate must have also displayed outstanding success in many critical areas of education that may include teaching skills, musicianship, leadership and consistent high level of performance by ensembles.

Each year the Award of Excellence nominees alternate between a middle school and a high school director.  Middle school recipients are invited to conduct the Middle School Concert Band at the All-District Clinic. 

For more information about the association go to Bandmasters Association

Meadowlark Middle Chorus Teacher and Students Recognized

Eileen Kress
Eileen Kress, who teaches chorus at Meadowlark Middle school, was the N.C. Middle School Choral Teacher of the Year in 2012. This year, she is the Teacher of the Year at Meadowlark.

In March, Kress took her students to the Music Performance Adjudications, which serve as an end-of-grade (EOG) test of chorus. Students did well. The Eighth Grade Women’s Chorus received Superior ratings in both Performance and Sight Singing. Seventh Grade Chorus received an Excellent rating in Performance and a Superior rating in Sight Singing. Sixth Grade Chorus received Superior ratings in both Performance and Sight Singing.

“The students work very hard all year in preparation for MPA, as well as for their concert performances, Kress said. “I am so proud of all of my students. I love teaching middle school. It is truly a roller coaster ride of experiences and emotions. It is so rewarding helping students find their voice and guiding them through the development stages as they grow during these years."

On March 29, members of the eighth-grade music department participated in the Music In the Parks Festival in Williamsburg, Va., singing and playing for judges ratings and competition. Both band and chorus received Superior ratings and came in First Place.

Speaking of being named Teacher of the Year, Kress said, “What a wonderful honor! I would like to thank my music department team mates, Matt Liner (band) and David Mullikin (orchestra) for their support and encouragement, and our administration and staff.”

The N.C. Middle School Choral Teacher of the Year is chosen by a vote of middle school chorus teachers across the state through the North Carolina Music Educators Association.

“It was an honor to be recognized, and I consider myself a representative of all the hardworking, dedicated middle school choral teachers that devote hours of teaching, preparing and providing out of class opportunities for their choral students,” Kress said.

Kress with daughter Sarah and son Josh 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ladies of Distinction at Kernersville Middle School Work to Empower Young Women

At Kernersville Middle School, the Ladies of Distinction step and flag team sponsored several events in conjunction with Women’s History Month in March.  

Teacher Marian Wilkins is the team’s coach. The theme for the month was Girls Rising above their circumstances both locally and globally.  The quote for the month was “An educated girl can empower herself, lift her family, help her community, change her country.”

On March 15, the Ladies of Distinction and the Kernersville branch of the Forsyth County Public Library sponsored a showing of Girl Rising, a movie that, in telling the stories of nine young women in poorer countries around the world, shows what an important role education plays.    

The Phi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority also helped sponsor the public screening. 

Admission was free. People were encouraged to make donations to the Girl Rising Fund, a global action campaign for girls’ education. “A huge ‘thank you’ to Stephanie Kellum for her help and expertise,” Wilkins said. Kellum is a youth services librarian for the Forsyth County Public Library. 

“A huge thanks to Deidre James from Rock 92 for facilitating our discussion after the movie,” Wilkins said.

Tatyanna Overton
On March 20, there was a Kernersville Middle School Women’s Luncheon for the staff. A number of area businesses donated food, including the Kernersville Chick-fil-A, the Walkertown McDonald’s, Giadas Trattoria, and Cakes and All Things Yummy.

On March 25, Melanee Mills, a counselor at Kernersville Middle, and Kenyetta Richmond with the Forsyth County Department of Social Services sponsored Girl Talk Q&A at the Kernersville library.  

Other events for the month sponsored by the Ladies of Distinction included a series of book talks about the book The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake.

Kyndel Smith
A number of people on the Kernersville Middle staff offered support during the month, including Principal Pam  Helms, assistant principal James Philippart, financial secretary Anita Linville, media coordinator Ann Webb, counselor Melanee Mills and teacher Cathy Musci.

Wilkins also wanted to thank former members of Ladies of Distinction who helped: Serena Crosby-Brown and Jocelyne Alfar-Ruiz, who are freshmen at East Forsyth High, Sierra Tomlison, a sophomore at East Forsyth, and Miah Bryant, a junior at East Forsyth.

Jessie Ramirez

Southwest Elementary Students Jump Rope for Heart

At Southwest Elementary School, students raised money for the American Heart Association with a Jump Rope for Heart event.

Ava Kennedy
Students in every grade headed to the gym during their Specials periods to jump rope, twirl hula hoops and participate in other jumping activities. Physical education teacher Ben Kerth organized the event, which raised more than $6,000.

“We really came together as a school,” Kerth said. “We put a personal touch on our fundraising this year. We were raising money for one of Southwest’s own, Ava Kennedy. The students got more connected and put their all into raising money this year. They almost doubled what they raised last year. I couldn’t be more proud!”

Principal Matt Dixson said, “I am extremely proud of Mr. Kerth and the entire Southwest family for their accomplishments. It goes to show that when kids put their minds to something, they can make a big difference. We try to teach our students that the world is much bigger than Southwest or Clemmons, and this shows they are getting that.”

Ava, who is 8, has heart defects associated with Down Syndrome.

The Kennedy family said, “The America Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart provides an excellent platform for educating school-aged kids about congenital heart defects (CHD), heart health, nutrition and exercise.  Many thanks to Southwest Elementary for honoring our daughter, Ava, in this year’s event.  She is an 8-year-old heart warrior and is blessed to attend Southwest!”