Friday, June 20, 2014

Meet Tricia Spencer

JUNE 20, 2014 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.

Tricia Spencer
Tricia Spencer, who graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1987, just finished her sixth year as the principal at South Fork Elementary School.

Spencer’s family is chockablock with East Forsyth graduates. Her husband, Robert, and older brothers, Robbie and Joe, graduated from there. So did her husband’s sisters. More recently, Tricia and Robert Spencer’s two children graduated from East Forsyth – Ryan in 2012 and Megan just this year.

As it happened, Spencer was in East’s 25th anniversary graduating class and Ryan was in the school’s 50th anniversary graduating class.

Spencer started school at Kernersville Elementary. When Cash Elementary opened, she went there for third grade. She remembers that the neighborhood where they lived had a bus stop where everyone gathered and played tag and other games until the bus arrived, and, on school days, she woke up looking forward to seeing everyone at the bus stop. “It was fun,” she said.

The mothers all knew each other, and, if a mother saw a kid misbehave, everyone understood that she could correct the child even if the child wasn’t her own.

Carolyn Flynt
In the sixth grade at Cash, Spencer had a teacher who meant a lot to her – Carolyn Greenwood Flynt. (These days, Flynt teaches at Sedge Garden Elementary School.) By then, Spencer’s parents were going through difficulties that eventually led to divorce, and Flynt did what she could to encourage and support Spencer.

“She cared about me and helped me have a connection at school,” Spencer said. “She was the kind of person you just wanted to be around…She was a lifesaver for me.”
    
Spencer started junior high at Walkertown Junior High. A family move put her in the Glenn Junior High district. She went to Atkins High School for a year, and, when the school system went to four-year high schools, she was off to East Forsyth.

In junior high, Spencer played softball and basketball and participated in track. In high school, her sports became swimming and soccer.

Spencer knew her husband-to-be in high school. He was two classes ahead of her - in the same class as one of her brothers. They all ran around in the same group. It turned into something more her senior year. She was throwing a New Year’s Eve party. He was off at college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), and she hadn’t thought to invite him. That didn’t keep him from showing up. “We had that midnight kiss,” Spencer said. 
They began dating, and today is the 22nd anniversary of their marriage.

Growing up, Spencer didn’t envision herself as an educator. She pictured herself playing with dolphins as a marine biologist. She headed to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with that in mind. Once she was there, she realized that she was surrounded by people who imagined playing with dolphins for a living and that only a few of them were going to be able to do that.

Another path might be in order, she thought. Along the way, she had taught swimming and been a camp counselor at Laurel Ridge, the Moravian church camp. On breaks in college, she would come back to visit Flynt and end up helping her out in such ways as overseeing the students tie-dying T-shirts on Field Day.

“I had a love of kids,” Spencer said.


She decided to switch her major to elementary education and ended up transferring to UNCC. After she graduated from there in 1991, she found a job teaching fourth grade in Salisbury.

Other teachers along the way – including French teacher Montine Bryant Scales and history teacher Janice Freeman (both now retired) – had also meant a lot to Spencer, and, when Spencer became a teacher, she worked to be like the teachers she admired.

“I wanted to make a difference to kids as they made a difference to me,” Spencer said.

Those good teachers had worked to build strong relationships with their students based on trust, and Spencer wanted to do the same. “To me, relationship is key to everything I do,” she said. 

After teaching in Salisbury for four years, her husband’s work as an electrical engineer took them to Huntsville, Ala., for a time. When they came back this way, she found a job in Guilford County as a lead teacher. She enjoyed the leadership role and decided to pursue a master’s degree in school administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned that degree in 1999. In August, she will complete a National Institute for School Leadership program that will serve as groundwork work for a doctorate.  


Being an elementary school principal is work that Spencer enjoys. She likes knowing that every day is going to be different. “You never know what you are going to get when you walk through the door,” she said.

She likes watching the light bulb go on with the younger students as they learn such basics as reading. With the fifth-graders, she likes watching them become ready to make the leap to middle school.

With the teachers, teacher assistants and other members of the staff, she works hard to make them feel appreciated. “We are very lucky to have you here and look at the difference you make in kids’ lives,” she tells them.

“I wouldn’t trade my staff,” Spencer said. “We are a family.”

And, in turn, everyone at South Fork works to make the 525 students who come through the doors and their families feel as if they, too, are part of a larger family.

        

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet Tasha Hayes

Tasha Hayes
Tasha Hayes, who graduated from Mount Tabor High School in 1990, is the Exceptional Children's Case Manager at Carter High School.

”I graduated from Winston-Salem State University in May 1995 and started my first job at what was then South Park High School in August 1995,” Hayes said. “This fall will be my 20th year at the same school. (Even though there have been three other name changes  since South Park and a location change, I have worked with the same population for going on 20 years.)”

“Special education was not my first college major,” Hayes said. “It sort of came about after reading an article in one of those education publications. I'm glad I switched from elementary education to special education because the population of students I serve is AWESOME!!!!”

Hayes started school at Latham Elementary School. She then went to Rural Hall Elementary and finished at South Fork Elementary. While she was a student at Lowrance Intermediate School, the school system changed from the 4-2-2-2-2 organization plan to the current 6-3-3 organization plan.

“I should have followed my cousins to junior high but, with the format change, I went to middle school next,” Hayes said.

That was Paisley Middle School. Then it was on to Mount Tabor.

“I was shy entering into high school, so I tried sports,” Hayes said.

Tasha Hayes in the ninth grade
She played basketball for four years. She also played volleyball and was on the track team for some of those years.

“I met my life-long friends in high school and, though the miles separate some of us, we're only a phone call or short drive away,” Hayes said. “Also, it was during my high school years that the idea of becoming a teacher or social worker crossed my mind as a way to give back and honor some of the great teachers and guidance counselors I had along the way from elementary to high school who helped me make good decisions.

Hayes enjoys working for the school system. “I like being a part of a group of people, which I work with on a daily or weekly basis, who care about the education of all students regardless of their needs and abilities,” she said.







Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Meet Sylvia Conrad

JUNE 18, 2014 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.

Lafayette Cook
Sylvia Conrad, who was one of 10 finalists for 2014-15 Classified Employee of the Year, is the great niece of Lafayette Anderson Cook, the man for whom L.A. Cook Elementary School is named.

“When the city and county schools merged, the school was known as Carver Crest Elementary,” Conrad said.  “My uncle became the first principal of the school (1951) and remained the principal until his death in 1968.  Prior to becoming a principal, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Kimberley Park Elementary School from 1949-1951.

“He was associated with several professional and social organizations including the NAACP and at the time of his death, he was the President of the Elementary Principals’ Association.  Although he only saw the beginning of the integration of the schools, his niece Selena Nichols (librarian) was transferred from Fairview Elementary (now known as Ashley) to Northwest Middle School as the media coordinator from which she retired. Selena’s husband, Joseph Nichols, Sr. (sixth-grade teacher) was transferred from Diggs Elementary to Kimberley Park Elementary where he remained until his sudden death in 1979. Now 50 years later, his great niece, Sylvia Conrad (Family Engagement Coordinator Mineral Springs Elementary) and grandniece, Meisha Conrad (Family and Consumer Science at Parkland High School) are continuing his legacy of education.

Conrad, who graduated from Bishop McGuinness High School in 1971, started school at 14th Street Elementary, which has since been demolished. She went there from the first through the sixth grades, and to East Winston Junior High School (now John F. Kennedy High School). 

Sylvia Conrad and Meisha Conrad
“Prior to East Winston Junior High School being built, students remained at 14th Street Elementary until the eighth grade.  From 14th Street, you went to Atkins from the ninth through 12th grade. 

“During segregation, my vivid memory is receiving discarded books from the white schools.  Some were in good condition but most were torn, dirty, and had derogatory comments.  However, our teachers did their best with the materials available to them.  No matter the weather, we walked to school, and friends joined the walking groups along the way.

“Children walking to school was the norm. My mother, a 1947 graduate of Atkins High, often talks about walking to school and remembering her teacher, Miss Essie O. Donoho saying, ‘Take all of your books when you leave so people will see you have been to school.’  My daughter, a 2007 graduate of Carver High School, never walked to school.  She rode the bus to Sedge Garden Elementary and was a car rider in middle and high school.

“I started working for the school system in 2012 after my retirement from Forsyth County Department of Social Services as a Child Protective Services supervisor. My journey into education was inevitable since the majority of my family members have been educators. A lot of people who have participated in workshops that I presented or observed me teaching Vacation Bible School at my church say, ‘You missed your calling. You should have been a teacher.’

“Being a Family Engagement Coordinator reminds me of my great uncle’s connection to his students and families.  He had the ability to deal sensitively and tactfully with families of all socio-economic groups. If a student was having a problem, the principal or teacher would visit your home in a ‘heart beat.’  My husband (Mike Conrad) attended Carver Crest when my great uncle was the principal. He remembers my great uncle running a ‘tip-top school’ and the staff, students and parents respected and trusted him. 

"For me, having a great uncle as a principal and parents as educators was an incentive for me to do and be the best that I could be.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Second-Graders at Kimmel Farm Elementary Participate in Camp Read a Lot


On Tuesday, June 10, second-graders at Kimmel Farm Elementary School participated in Camp Read a Lot.

"Camp Read a Lot was designed to give students a camping environment to read for enjoyment,” said the members of the second grade team at Kimmel Farm. “It was an amazing morning of read alouds, shared reading, riddle solving and just having fun reading. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made this a successful event.”  






Three Lewisville Elementary Students Win Bicycles for Reading Books

Dylan Newman
Three students at Lewisville Elementary won bicycles for reading books.  

Lewisville Elementary School teamed up with the Lewisville Masonic Lodge to give away the three bicycles through a program called “Bikes for Books.”

“Every student had an opportunity to win one of the bikes by just reading books,” said Gail DuBose, the school’s data manager. “The event began April 13. To participate, students needed to read the following: two fiction books, two nonfiction books, and one poetry book.

Rebecca Connor

“Those who completed the challenge had their names placed in a drawing.  Students had to read grade/age appropriate books. Our media coordinator, Mrs. Rich and teachers assisted students in selecting appropriate books.”

On Wednesday, June 11, the “prize patrol” delivered the bikes by knocking on the classroom doors and calling out the students’ names.

“The look on their faces says it all,” DuBose said.

Lexie Foster

The winners were:

Dylan Newman – Jill Huppert’s fifth grade class
Rebecca Connor – Mary Burchette’s third grade class
Lexie Foster – Brianna Smith’s second grade class


Students at Piney Grove Elementary Imagine Library of the Future


On Thursday, June 12, 13 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Piney Grove Elementary School attended a special summer reading kickoff based on the book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Students worked together and individually to follow clues, solve riddles and play the giant game.

“Our game board has been in its planning stage for 2 years,” said media coordinator Natalie Strange. “In collaboration with O'Tressa Rinkavage and Randal Anderson, our game board went up this year. Spurred on by the discovery of the book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, which describes a library adventure filled with riddles and a real live action game, we created both our summer reading program – “The Game of Books” - and developed our Lemoncello night.

“Students who wanted to attend had to submit essays describing the library of the future. The top 13 essayists were invited to attend the event with their families. According to the essays, libraries of the future will have holograms, robots, lots of games, petting zoos with unicorns, and imagination rooms that allow you to step into a book of your choice as an interactive character.


“WOW!”


Meet Melissa Edwards

JUNE 17, 2014 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.


Melissa Edwards
Melissa Edwards, who graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1997, is a District Instructional Technologist.

Edwards went to Griffith Elementary School through second grade and completed elementary school at Hall-Woodward. She went to Philo Middle School. When she was a junior at East, she was seriously injured when another car struck her car as she was leaving school. “I had just made the varsity volleyball team,” Edward said.

She was unable to go to school for a number of weeks. When she was able to return for the second semester, the people in the school system arranged it so that she could spend her mornings at Parkland High School, which had a block schedule that enabled her to take classes she had missed, and her afternoons at East so that she could catch up with her classes.


“I have a lot to be thankful for in how they worked with us,” Edwards said.

She also worked hard to be ready to try out for the volleyball team for her senior year. She made it. “That was one of my goals,” Edward said.

Because of everything she had gone through and how well she had succeeded, she was one of the students from throughout the state invited to represent their school districts when Gov. Jim Hunt was inaugurated.
Edwards joined the school system in 2007 as a teacher at Diggs Elementary School. She also taught at Forest Park Elementary School before going to work out of Central Office. She likes working for the school system. 

“It’s a neat way to pay back everything that was done for me,” Edwards said.


   

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meet Johnetta Huntley

JUNE 16, 2014 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.

Johnetta Huntley graduated from Atkins High School in 1969. At Atkins, her last name was Moore, and, a "Letter Girl," she wore the letter “T” in the letter sweaters spelled out “ATKINS.”



Huntley started working in education elsewhere and joined the school system in 1977 at Forest Park Elementary School. Over the years, she worked as a school counselor at several schools. At John F. Kennedy High School, she was a counselor and the first Career Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator.

She retired from Kennedy in May 2013. This year, she has been working with the school system on temporary assignment to such schools as Carver High School and Kernersville Middle School.

Here is what Huntley sent in:

“Call it junior high or middle school, it is still one of the most wonderful, impossible and inspiring places in the world!

Johnetta Huntley
“Much of my inspiration toward entering the field of education began as a 7-9 grader at East Winston Junior High School, now John F. Kennedy High School.  I remember with excitement my first day – Sept 3, 1963.  As I walked up the long sidewalk toward the front doors, I met my first jr. high friend.  In perfect timing, she walking from one direction and I another, locked in step.  We have ‘walked together’ since then and are dear friends today.

“This school, although quite large, didn't seem overwhelming.  It was state of the art, a new design.  Changing classes was fun.  Core subjects had their own halls as did electives.  Teachers brought a level of excitement to their classes.  I learned later several were first-year teachers like my PE teacher, Mrs. Peggy Witherspoon, and Mrs. Sherard. I further developed my sewing craft from Mrs. Knight, and writing from ALL of my English teachers.  I continued in the dance program and chorus having been a part of the ‘operettas’ at Skyland (now Headstart) and Diggs elementary schools.

“The administration at East Winston was Mr. Samuel Cary, Principal from Diggs, Mr. Henry Jones and Mr. James Hollingsworth, Assistants.  There were many assemblies (preparation for a cultured audience), talent shows, dance group recitals, art shows, quarterly band and choir performances and our favorite weekly Friday night school dances in the gym, costing 25 cents per person!

“So young then, our parents didn't speak of matters that would frustrate and overwhelm a child, we didn't know we were in a segregated school system.  No busing, two separate school operations.  We had neighborhood schools. 

“We enjoyed a full schedule of football, basketball and baseball, complete with cheerleaders and concessions.  PTA meetings were heavily attended.  Sadly, I had to go with my parents. 

“One remembrance I will forever hold near was on that bleak, cloudy day - so it seemed - when our President, John F. Kennedy, was killed.  I was in Mrs. Josie Simon's 7th grade Social Studies class.  We were released at 1 p.m., walking quietly and tearfully down that long sidewalk home.  After Christmas break, we returned to a newly named school.  A fitting place to honor him. 

“As I often think about it, much of the energy expressed by the faculty at this wonderful place prepared us for the ‘Senior’ experience of high school – graduating from Atkins Senior High.

“I began my 40-year career in education in 1973, thus coming full circle, completing 30 great years May 1, 2013 at John F. Kennedy High School.

“I believe I will continue in some way to touch the heart of a child.” 






Friday, June 13, 2014

Meet Karen Hancock Blackwelder

JUNE 13, 2014 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.

Karen Hancock Blackwelder, who graduated from Reynolds High School in 1968, is a physical therapist at Lowrance Middle School.

Here's what she had to say:

Karen Blackwelder
“I started elementary school at Lowrance Elementary School (1956-1960). Memories include my walking to school each day. My home was located beside Hanes High School.  (You can imagine my surprise when I was assigned to Lowrance School as a home base school when I first started working at the school system.  I literally returned to the same school and was assigned an office on the same hallway as my FIRST GRADE class in 1956. (DEJA VU!)

“I remember that my mother used to sit outside a classroom window in a lawn chair in order for me to stay in school during the first grade! She and a few other mothers were allowed to sit outside the window so that their children could see them. Slowly, one by one, the mothers all disappeared from their spots outside the windows. In those days (1956) none of us had attended day care or preschool.

“For me, starting FIRST GRADE was my very first time being separated from my mother and it was quite an adjustment. Mrs. Hayes, my first grade teacher, had a classroom full of crying children for a few weeks!

“My family moved and I finished Elementary School at Brunson Elementary School (1961-1962). Memories include being assigned to a family who lived close by to the school as my place to go in case of a nuclear war. Yikes!  We actually had a drill one day that involved walking with others to the home address of where we would go if we had to evacuate the school because of pending nuclear attack from Russia.  I remember thinking that, if there were a war, I had no idea how I would ever see my family again. My home was located off of Coliseum Drive and that seemed so far away!

“I attended Wiley Junior High School (1963-1965). It was during my days at Wiley when I first became involved with lots of extracurricular activities.  The feeder schools for Wiley were Brunson and Whitaker.  My world quickly expanded as I met many more students. My strongest memory is the day that Kennedy was shot. We were in a second-floor classroom with Mr. Webb, a history teacher.  Suddenly, the loud speaker came on to a radio broadcast as we all learned that Kennedy had been shot.  I remember Mr. Webb staring out the window for a long time, turning around with tears streaming out of his eyes, and reassuring us that we would all be OK. I also remember that many parents started coming to school early to pick us up.

“I graduated from RJR Reynolds High School (1966-1968). By this time, my life was pretty much a blur.  I had become involved in student government, cheerleading, service clubs and getting to know even more students.  The feeder schools for Reynolds were Dalton Jr. High School, Children's Home, and Wiley. There were many inspirational teachers at Reynolds during that time – many women and a few men who had devoted their entire lives to teaching! English and History were especially intense classes–- there were "rules" for each class – standing when asked a question to answer (putting all of us on the spot on a daily basis ­– not doing homework was really not a good option!)

“In perspective, my teachers all tried their very best from the first grade to high school to prepare me for what lay ahead. For me – I went to college, others went to Vietnam, and others became ‘hippies.’
Just last year, we had a 45th year reunion in September at Brookberry Farms.  Of our graduating class of about 500, about 80 of us showed up.  About 50 have passed away and the memorial to them was very impressive.

“I am very proud to say that I grew up in the Winston-Salem Schools, as did my family. My father (Marvin Hancock) graduated from Reynolds in 1944, my mother (Nancy Mecum Hancock) in l945, my sister (Shari Hancock) in l976 and my daughter (Wendy Kulp Gilbert) in l993.  Needless to say, we have a shelf for all of those yearbooks.

“When I first started working in the school system in 1986, I was pleasantly reminded that the schools are just a wonderful place to learn about all aspects of life. There is something almost magical about the anticipated ‘opening of school’ each year as well as the ‘ending of the school year. The energy surrounding the students, teachers, and parents always fills me with hope and excitement!

I did not stay working in the schools for all of those years, but returned to work at Forsyth Hospital in the 90's. Ten years ago I returned to working in the school system. I especially like getting to know the students, their families, and seeing their growth and maturation through their years. In my role as a school physical therapist, I often can follow and keep up with students whom I have known for their entire school years.  It is a blessing to me to have this opportunity and very inspirational!”







Thursday, June 12, 2014

Parent Writes Thank-You Note to Everyone at Cash Elementary School

On her blog, Tara Staley wrote a thank-you note to the people at Cash Elementary School. With her permission, we are posting it here:
The Staley family
“William’s 5th grade graduation from Cash Elementary is this coming Friday morning, and it will be especially sentimental to us because he entered Cash when he was only 3 years old. As a student in the Pre-K program for children with developmental delays, our son – along with his teachers and parents – had a lot of work to do. He was diagnosed just months earlier with mild-moderate autism, having an IQ that was well below average. At 3½ years old, he still could not say or nod the word ‘Yes.’ He plugged his ears against noises that were sometimes as soft as others’ voices. He would not socialize or interact with his peers. He had repetitive behaviors like placing his hands under running water and batting at the little yellow key that dangled at the back of our house on the electrical box. By the time he reached 4 years old, William started talking, yet developed additional challenges like ADHD and OCD, plus a myriad of behavior problems that included irritability due to his inability to communicate well.
“During his years in the Pre-K curriculum, William also had itinerant teachers who came to our house to work privately with him on his educational goals. In the meantime, I pursued ABA therapy, medical intervention, and worked with William on his goals when he was not in school.
“By the time he reached first grade, the teachers in the EC classroom realized he was a very bright little boy and had the confidence to refer him into the general curriculum. We can’t say that the road has always been smooth and easy since William was mainstreamed at seven years old, but those years saw the greatest gain in his intellectual and social development. Thanks to a Behavior Improvement Plan, speech therapy and private occupational therapy sessions, William began interacting with his peers and making good grades. He made his first friends in third grade, in Mrs. Lee’s class.
“Then…the little boy who couldn’t say ‘Yes’ at three years old made a 99 on his first math EOG.


“Further psychological evaluations in 2010 showed that William’s IQ had risen by two full standard deviations, finally placing him in the ‘normal’ cognitive range. Cognitive tests in early 2014 showed that his IQ has risen an additional 10 points, with him scoring as high as 123 in non-verbal reasoning, and 118 in writing and 116 in spelling.
“By his fourth grade year in Mrs. Smith’s class, William made Honor Roll 3 out of 4 quarters. This year, in fifth grade, he won the school’s Science Fair and competed at the district level in January.
“We cannot say enough to thank the teachers at Cash who have helped William overcome the most challenging parts of his disability, who have brought out the best in him. We also want to say a special thank you to Ms. Kasey Northrop, principal, whose inclusion-minded policies for students like William have given him the opportunity to ‘graduate not only from Cash this year, but from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system in years to come with a regular diploma that will help him pursue his dreams in science.
“To all his teachers and therapists, THANK YOU very much for putting so much of your time, energy and resources into our son. We as his parents — and his future teachers — still have much work to do, but he has come so far because you believed in him. Thanks for giving us hope and him a future.
You will find Staley’s blog at Tara Staley 


Meet Michelle Lewis, Cynthia Lain and Johnny Duckett

JUNE 12, 2014 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the city and county school systems. As part of that, we’re recognizing people who are a product of the school system who now work for the school system.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis, who is a Pre-K teacher at Cash Elementary School, graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1992. She was also a student at Cash and did her student teaching there.

Lewis started school Cash in 1979 and went on to Ashley Middle School.

“I am proud to say that I am a product of WS/FCS!” 

As part of her student teaching when Lewis was at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she worked with a student who was deaf. After she graduated from UNCG, she was hired by the school system to teach deaf students.

“I traveled all over the county as an itinerant hearing-impaired teacher for four years. Then a resource class opened up at Cash Elementary and I taught deaf students there for four years. I earned my National Board Certification and was Cash's Teacher of the Year in 2004, and one of the 10 finalists for Teacher of the Year in the county. 

“When I was expecting my son, I was able to stay home with him for five years, worked on my master’s degree in Elementary Education. I began long term subbing...you guessed it, at Cash.”

When a special-needs pre-kindergarten class position opened up at Cash, she took it. She recently completed renewing her National Board Certification and received her Birth to Kindergarten add-on certification.

“I have a love for teaching all students, particularly those with special needs, and I understand the importance of life-long learning. I want to ignite that curiosity for learning in all of my students!

“My son is a student at Cash, as well, continuing the tradition of receiving a quality education in Forsyth County Schools!”

Cynthia Lain

Cynthia Lain graduated from Gray High School in 1965, the last year it was open. After that, the building was turned over to what is now the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

One day in 1970, she bumped into Nelson Jessup, who had been her Algebra II teacher in high school. Jessup had become a purchasing agent for the school system and wondered whether she might be interested in coming to work for the school system. Lain began taking care of purchase orders in the school system’s Central Office on Granville Drive. 

She held several other jobs over the years. When she retired in 2003, she was working in student records. She stayed retired for six months, returned to student records part-time in 2004 and has been here ever since.

Lain started school at Central Elementary School. “I was raised Moravian. Central Elementary was in Old Salem and that was so special to me,” Lain said.

She went on to what was then Konnoak Junior High School. Later, it became Philo Junior High. “I just loved school,” Lain said. 

Johnny Duckett


Johnny Duckett graduated from North Forsyth in 1977. Although Duckett is not an official employee of the school system, he will be familiar to those who watch the school system’s television station ­ Cable 2 – as the host of Cool Readers, the Cable 2 show that gives students a chance to talk about books they love.

Duckett went to Lowrance when it was an elementary school. He went on to Northwest, Hanes and North Forsyth. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Student Art in June 2014 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

On Page 85 of the June issue of Forsyth Family Magazine, you will find art by students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

By Caleb Cockerham

Caleb Cockerham is in the fifth grade at Clemmons Elementary School. His art teachers is Frann Paige.

By Anthony Olea Munoz

Anthony Olea Munoz is in kindergarten at Old Town Elementary School. His art teacher is Denise Aldret.

By Mallory Bascom

Mallory Bascom is a junior at West Forsyth High School. Bascom’s art teacher is Nathan Newsome.


By members of Mount Tabor Art Club

The students in the Mount Tabor Art Club created “Spangler Garden Flowers” for the new outdoor classroom at Mount Tabor High School. The art teacher is Alice Morley.


Occupational Course of Study Program at North Forsyth High School Starts School/Community Organic Garden


By Doris Jones
OCS Teacher at North Forsyth High School

Are you ready for fresh organic vegetables!  The answer was a resounding yes, by the North Forsyth Occupational Course of Study (OCS) Department.  They have partnered with the North Forsyth Agriculture Science Department to design a school-community organic raised garden.  The students, along with volunteers, have planted organic tomatoes, broccoli, okra and snow peas.  The project originated with an idea to provide additional opportunities for the OCS students to earn school base hours.  It would also serve as a way to connect school with community and give teachers an alternate method of integrating classroom activities to hands on learning.


On Wednesday, June 4, the OCS Department along with volunteers from Beck’s Baptist Church, teachers, parents and friends participated in a Garden Dedication Ceremony. Dr. Karl Ray Minor, Senior Pastor of Beck’s Baptist Church, officiated and one of the OCS students, Richard Fenner, shared a song.  Words of affirmation and thanks were given by Dr. Minor as he concluded the ceremony with the ribbon cutting.  Immediately after the ceremony, a reception was held to greet family and friends of the garden project.

Going forward, the raised garden project will yield not only fresh vegetables, but knowledge about food and nutrition, student/community interaction, an enjoyable project; provide opportunities for school base hours and service points and a beautiful garden. 

Finally, when the garden is complete, the students will have grown organic vegetables to sell and distribute to the community. For more information about the garden and volunteer opportunities, please contact the Mr. Brian Reynolds, Agriculture Instructor, North Forsyth High School at bkreynolds@wsfcs.k12.nc.us