Thursday, September 25, 2014

Konnoak Elementary Teachers Receive $50 Gift Cards from Sam's Club

Burnette and Keith with teachers who received gift cards
On Tuesday, the staff at Konnoak Elementary School started their day with a meeting before students arrived. After Principal Shelia Burnette covered such topics as the open house that is coming up, teachers received a welcome surprise.

Burnette announced that Ron Keith from Sam’s Club was there to give out $1,000 in gift cards as a way to say thank you for all that teachers do and to enable them to buy classroom supplies that they might otherwise have to pay for out of their own pockets.

“A lot of schools don’t get everything they need,” Keith said. “This is a way for us to help teachers cut down on what is coming out of own funds.”

Burnette said that she appreciated that he was there to say to educators, “You matter.”

Michael Dudley draws names
The $1,000 came in the form of 20 $50 gift cards that can be used at any Sam’s Club or Walmart. The cards were intended specifically for teachers to be spent on students to enhance instruction. Of the 66 staff members at Konnoak who are certified, the 20 card recipients included classroom, specials and Exceptional Children teachers.

So that everyone could leave with something, Keith, who is the membership team leader at the Sam’s Club on Hanes Mall Boulevard, had also brought 300 fruit roll ups and 300 bags of chips that people could have for their classrooms and such.

He also brought a sheet cake for everyone to enjoy on the spot.

Ron Keith
Burnette asked the newest teacher on the staff – Michael Dudley – to draw the names. The first name he drew was Kate Duffy. Dudley drew 19 more names and each of the teachers came to the front to pick up their gift cards.

When all the cards had been given out, Burnette thanked Keith again. “Thank you for ending our meeting on such a positive note,” she said.

Then it was time for those who wanted to have a piece of cake to have one before heading off to begin their day with students.

The Sam’s Club where Keith works has a history of supporting Konnoak. They have had fund-raiser basketball games in which a team made up of Konnoak staff members has played a team made up of people who work at Sam’s. Sam’s Club has provided food for teacher appreciation events and helped out in other ways as well.

“We have partnered with Konnoak for many years,” Keith said.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hanes Magnet Students Remember 9/11

On Monday, students at Hanes Magnet School participated in a 9/11 Rescue Remembrance event.

“Volunteers were on campus for grade-level assemblies highlighting the sacrifice of emergency rescue workers on 9/11,” wrote Andy Obermann, the school’s curriculum coordinator. “The event culminated with students having the opportunity to see a true artifact.  Rescue 4 (one of the first responder vehicles on 9/11) was on campus. This is one of two surviving vehicles from the attack.

“The powerful presentation was arranged by the group Rescue Remembrance. This was connected in our social studies classrooms through the driving idea of ‘how should we remember 9/11?’  Some classrooms asked students to interview parents. Others did research and shared in classroom discussion. Overall, the event engaged students in the values of respect and appreciation for the sacrifice of others.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Media Coordinator at Paisley a Finalist for State Media Coordinator of the Year

Ruth Wilcox, the media coordinator at Paisley IB Magnet School, is one of four finalists for N.C. School Library Media Association Media Coordinator of the Year.

The association chose one finalist from each of four regions in the state. Cox is representing the Piedmont West Region.

Wilcox said that she is more than surprised at becoming a finalist. “How about ‘flabbergasted!’?, she said. “I just keep trying every year to do something new to help more students, encourage them, motivate them, teach them and support teachers in any way I can. I never feel like I do enough."

Wilcox said that, without her assistant, Grace Sheran, the media program at Paisley would not be nearly as successful as it is.

“She is creative and very tech savvy,” Wilcox said. “She makes me look good. Our principal, Gary Cone, has been a huge champion of me and the media program along with our high school English teacher, Marshall Marvelli. Both wrote glowing recommendations when Dr. Cone nominated me for the award. And finally, the faculty and staff at Paisley are amazing in their dedication to kids; that keeps me coming in every day with a smile.”

This is Wilcox’s 25th year in education. After teaching high school English for 13 years ­– seven of those at Glenn High School – she became a media coordinator. She served at Whitaker Elementary for nine years and this is her third year at Paisley.

“Lisa Turner, who was a media coordinator at Glenn High School and is now at Southeast Middle, and Charlene Motsinger-Surratt at Glenn (now retired) both encouraged me to go into media and have mentored me along the way,” Wilcox said. “It seemed a natural progression from teaching English to media.”

The winner will be announced during the association’s annual conference, which opens Oct. 10 in Winston-Salem. The other finalists are Ellen Bryson, Kitty Hawk Elementary School; Pamela Sands, New Century International Middle School (Cumberland County); Tonya Fletcher, Franklin Elementary School (Surry County).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fire Truck that Responded on 9/11 Visits Northwest Middle School

On Sept. 11, which was the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the Remembrance Rescue Project brought the Rescue 4 fire truck to Northwest Middle School.  The truck was one of the rescue vehicles that responded to the World Trade Centers on 9/11.

“To begin, the presenters showed a PowerPoint presentation describing the attacks on 9/11, detailing the lives lost,” said Ronetta Snyder, the media coordinator. “Afterwards, every seventh-grader got to visit the Rescue 4 fire truck and read the informational displays about 9/11.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wake Forest kicks off literacy program at Clemmons Elementary

Clemmons Elementary School's fourth-graders got a treat this week when two Wake Forest University student-athletes read to them to kick off the annual WFU Literacy Program. 

Joining the students in the audience? The Demon Deacon.

Wake Forest started the literacy program in memory of former coach Skip Prosser, who died in 2007. Prosser loved to read, and the program is designed to nurture a love of reading in students. 

Fourth-graders log how many books they read over the course of the program, and they can win prizes depending on how many books they read. Those who read at least 25 books get a ticket to a WFU men's basketball game and are recognized at halftime of the game. 

Kendal Knous and Sam Jones read Chris Paul's Long Shot to the students. Knous runs track for the Demon Decacons, and Jones runs track and cross country. 

Kendal Knous (left) and Sam Jones
Wake Forest is visiting 20 schools over the next two weeks to kick off the program. Students have until Nov. 19 to read 25 books. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Wish Come True

Nicole Wooten with Davyn
In an April story about Nicole Wooten, who teaches at Caleb’s Creek Elementary School, parent Samantha Reid talked about how much Wooten meant to her and her son Davyn.

“She is amazing,” Reid said.

Her son learns in different ways than other students may, Reid said, and Wooten does a wonderful job giving her son what he needs, both academically and personally. “She has that personal connection with each and every child.” 

As it happened, Wooten had moved from third grade to fourth grade last year, making it possible for Wooten to teach with Davyn for a second year. At the time, Reid said that she would love for Wooten to move on to fifth grade so that she could continue teaching Davyn.

Recently, she wrote in to say: “I just wanted to let you know that my wish came true. Mrs. Wooten did move to fifth grade and Davyn is in her class once more for a third year.”

Davyn is not the only student Wooten has taught for more than one year. Here are pictures of some of the others:

Ward Elementary School Counselor's Invention Promotes Learning through Movement

Scott Ertl
In the Aug. 15 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Fran Daniel writes about an invention by Scott Ertl, the school counselor at Ward Elementary School.

Here is an excerpt:

School counselor Scott Ertl has invented a product called Bouncy Bands for students that is bouncing upwards in sales.

Since January, he has sold more than 3,000 products on, through his own website and at educator conferences.

“Bouncy Bands attach to student desks so kids can stretch their legs and bounce their feet while they work quietly at their desk,” Ertl said.

His goal is to promote learning through kinesthetic movement. Students at Ward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, where he is a counselor, have been using Bouncy Bands since late 2012.

This is not Ertl’s first idea to engage students in active learning. In 2009, he started the country’s first Read and Ride program at Ward Elementary for children to ride on exercise bikes while they read magazines and books.

For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bookmarks Writer Visits Northwest Middle School

G. Neri with students at Northwest Middle School
On Friday, young adult writer, Greg Neri, visited Northwest Middle School. 

G. Neri spoke with the sixth- and seventh-grade Falcons about his books Ghetto Cowboy, Yummy, and his new release Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. He explained the background for each book and then answered questions from the audience.

His visit was sponsored by Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County and Wells Fargo. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Student Art in September 2014 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

By Harper Winicov

By Allison Wolfe

By Shakira Moore

By Hannah Gaskins
On Page 105 of the September 2014 issue of Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art and a photo by students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Harper Winicov is a junior at Mount Tabor High School. Harper's art teacher is Alice Morley.

Allison Wolfe is a sophomore at East Forsyth High School. Her art teacher is Terri Hester.

Shakira Moore is a junior at Reynolds High School. Shakira's photography teacher is Phil Benenati.

Hannah Gaskins is a junior at Reagan High School. Her art teacher is Jennifer Willard.