Monday, November 23, 2015

Bolton Art Teacher Named Elementary Art Educator of the Year by N.C. Art Education Association

Heidi Wicker
Heidi Wicker has been named the Elementary Art Educator of the Year 2015-16 by the N.C. Art Education Association.

Wicker, who teaches art at Bolton Elementary School, was recognized at the association’s state conference in Asheville on Nov. 8.

Wicker was Bolton’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year.

Links Organization Sponsors STEM Career Forum at East Forsyth Middle School

On Nov. 18, the Services to Youth Facet of the Links, Inc. sponsored a Career Forum at East Forsyth Middle School.

The forum focused on possible careers related to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. Panelists were: Beverly Graham, a registered pharmacist and the owner of Medicap  Pharmacy on Liberty Street.; James Davis, an engineer who is a senior area manager at Reynolds Tobacco Co.; and Melvin Fenner, an information technologist professional at Winston-Salem State University.

“Each panelist stressed to the 40 to 50 eighth-graders the significance of taking STEM courses in high school and performing to their ultimate level,” said Constance Johnson, a member of the Links. “They were informed that academic achievement is a means of acquiring scholarships. Doing community services while in high school also was stressed. Possible careers in pharmacy, engineering, and technology as well as the financial benefits were discussed.”

To pique the students' interest and attention, they were informed that monetary rewards of $20 would be given to the six students who wrote the best papers regarding what they learned from the forum.  Students' language arts teachers will evaluate the papers. 

The rewards were provided by Dossie Poteat, the principal of East Forsyth Middle, and Vic Johnson, a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education.

Patricia Hickman is the chair of Services to Youth Facet.

Links members and Connecting Links (husbands of members) present included LaVerne Gaither and Clark Gaither, Constance Johnson and Vic Johnson, Davida Martin, and Mable Stevenson.     

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Students in N.C. Elementary Honors Chorus Perform at Stevens Center

On Nov. 8, 11 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County elementary school students who had been selected to participate in the N.C. Elementary Honors Chorus presented a once-in-a-lifetime concert at the N.C. School of the Arts’ Stevens Center.

“They were under the direction of Dr. Rollo Dilworth, guest clinician and composer from Temple University,” said Tonya Allison, the music teacher at Ward Elementary School. “The N.C. Elementary Honors Chorus is a group of approximately 150 students who are chosen from across North Carolina to perform at the N.C. Music Educators Association conference each year. The purpose of this Honors Chorus is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their musical abilities to the greatest possible extent.” 

Here is a list of participants from WS/FC schools:

Cash Elementary - Adam Mitchell, director
Madeline Caddell
Emily Mitchell

Clemmons Elementary - Stephanie Pierce, director
Sam Brake
Natilee Collins
Marissa France
Alison Lounsbury

Ward Elementary - Tonya Allison, director
Adrian Colon

Whitaker Elementary - Kellee Church, director
Marcelo Dunn
Vivien Hines
Draven Pilson
Piper Ferree

Tonya Allison is the president-elect for the association’s District IV. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Local Teachers Receive Bright Ideas Grants

Seven Winston-Salem/Forsyth County teachers are among those receiving a Bright Ideas award from EnergyUnited.

The local winners are:

Amanda Goordon, Diggs-Latham Elementary
Amanda Mabe, East Forsyth Middle
Amy Goldwine, Southwest Elementary l
Brittney Bray, Walkertown Elementary
Holly DuBois, Caleb’s Creek Elementary
Shemika McClendon, North Hills Elementary

Here is what Holly DuBois had to say about her project:

“Our project is for expanding our Bag of Books project we currently have for K-2 into grades 3-5. The Bag of Books is literally a bag of seven books – five picture books and two nonfiction – that parents can come in and check out to have reading materials to read with their child throughout the week.

“We have about 60 families participating K-2. We started it last year, so some of the second-graders from last year that went on to third grade were interested in continuing the project. So we plan to make bags with this grant for 3-5 with a novel and a few picture books and nonfiction.

“We hope to have the bags ready to go sometime in January-early February. Our K-2 Bag of Books really took off even more than we expected it to, and I have gotten two other small grants this year to revamp it as well.” 

For the past 21 years, EnergyUnited, which was formed in 1998 by the consolidation of two electric cooperatives, has provided grants of up to $2,000 for teachers to pay for innovative projects.

The winners were recognized on Nov. 9 at a luncheon at Sapona Ridge Golf and Country Club in Lexington.

Kernersville Elementary Supports the Fight Against Cancer

Each year, people at Kernersville Elementary School participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Data manager Kathi Amrich and teacher Leanna Self serve as team captains. This year, Amrich received the Outstanding Volunteer Award. The school also received a first-place award for raising $6,757.84. 

“We are the No. 1 fund-raising team for the Kernersville Relay,” Amrich said. “We were also recognized with a trophy for Packing the Track.”

That goes to the team that had the most members stay the longest the night of the relay.

The school is also sponsoring a student fundraiser. The theme is “More Happily Ever After’s.”

“It teaches the children that even one small act can have an impact on many people,” Amrich said. “It’s amazing how the students have come together and can relate with having family members who have had or currently have cancer. Not only do they raise money but it invites discussion as to why we do this and who it impacts.

“During the Relay we celebrate, we remember and support those that are in the battle. Together we have one goal, to create a world with no more cancer.”

With the student fundraiser, they’re selling smiley faces for 25 cents each. The class that has the most smiley faces at the end of the fundraiser will win a treat party and some Relay for Life prizes.

Over the years, Kernersville Elementary School has raised more than $100,000.00 in the fight against cancer.

“We are very proud of that accomplishment,” Amrich said.

Sedge Garden Students: A Camping We Will Go

Each fall, kindergarten students at Sedge Garden Elementary School "camp-out" to practice curriculum goals.

“We roast marshmallows over a fire pit and talk about how the heat changes the state of matter,” said kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Noell.  “We observe what happens to the wood when heat is applied. (Matter can change states.)

“We write/draw about how to roast a marshmallow or what happens to states of matter when heat or cold is applied.

We go on a nature hike and observe seasonal changes; we observe what happens to our garden plants when fall comes; we observe using our five senses and draw what we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell along the way. We use our science skills to observe changes.

“We count and compare objects along our walk – acorns, leaves – and sort colors, shapes, and sizes of the objects.

“We sit in a tent and listen to camp-out stories such as ‘Franklin Goes Camping’ and learn about the title, the author, the illustrator, the main idea of the story, and talk about details in the story using our question words such as Who, When, How, Why, What...

“We re-tell the story parts: beginning, middle, and end. We make connections to our lives that relate to the story.

“With the experience of the ‘camp-out’ day, we use this knowledge in our reading, writing, science and math lessons going forward.”

Students at Brunson Elementary Design and Build a Town

At Brunson Elementary School, teams of Big Buddies and Little Buddies designed and built a town.

For the story, go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are some more pictures:

Monday, November 9, 2015

More Male Teachers at Kimberley Park Elementary School

In the Nov. 5 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about male teachers at Kimberley Park Elementary Schools.
Here is an excerpt:
Keith Snow’s fourth-grade class is not typical.
For starters, all 19 of his students are boys. Kimberley Park Elementary School, where Snow teaches, has single-gender classrooms for its third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms.
There’s also a replica WWE Championship belt sitting on one of the desks — a prize Snow awards each week to his top two students to keep the boys motivated. On a drizzly Monday morning, it seems to be working.
The students are engaged in the lesson. Some of the boys jump out of their chairs with arms stretched high to be called on to answer questions.
And, unlike the vast majority of elementary-school classrooms, there’s a man teaching it.
Teaching has been — and continues to be — a female-dominated profession, and nowhere is that more true that at the elementary-school level.
While male teachers make up about 20 percent of the teaching force in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the distribution skews toward the higher grades. Male teachers lead about 24 percent of middle-school classrooms and over 37 percent at the high-school level.
In elementary schools, men make up just 7 percent of all teachers.
Some schools — five this year — have none.
Three-quarters of them have fewer than 10 percent.
These local trends reflect the teaching landscape across the country, about one-quarter of all college students enrolled in teacher preparation programs are male. That figure mirrors the national average for working teachers, too.
Kimberley Park suffered from the same dearth of men in its classrooms that many other elementary schools are still struggling with. But over the summer, Principal Amber Baker hired six male teachers — almost half of the 14 positions she had to fill. Of her 32 teachers, seven are men.
Baker said she was intentional in her hiring, looking for more men and more diversity to bring into her building.
“It was deliberate,” Baker said. “As a staff, we wanted to make a concerted effort to get more males in the building.”
For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal
The photos are by Andrew Dye.

Student Art in November Issue of "Forsyth Family" Magazine

In the November 2015 issue of Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art by students in Winston-Salem Forsyth County School.

By Kaylee Cook

Kaylee Cook is in second grade at Piney Grove Elementary. Her art teacher is Carol Langhor.

By students at Lowrance Middle School

At Lowrance Middle School, a group of students created a class quilt. Their art teacher is Catherine Cowperthwait.

By Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a junior at Atkins Academic & Technology High School. Her are teacher is Janet Blakely.

By Laren James
Laren James is a senior at Walkertown High School. Laren’s art teacher is Nina Oldham.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Konnoak Fifth-Graders Visit High Point University

For the story about the trip, go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures from that trip and a trip to Winston-Salem State University:

Visit to Winston-Salem State University
Lunch at WSSU
Anthony Smith
Christopher Rodriguez
Adrian Pinacho

Carmichael Henry

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Students and Principals of Schools on Kennedy Campus Welcome State Visitors

In October, people from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, architects, representatives of neighboring school systems and others took a tour of the school system’s Kennedy Campus, which is home to Carter High School, John F. Kennedy High School and the Career Center.

The principal at Carter is Donna Horton-Berry. The principal at Kennedy is Sean Gaillard, and the Career Center principal is Chris Nichols. Bruce Sherman is the co-director of the CTE (career technical education program).

Afterward, Bill Powell, the school system’s construction specialist, shared some thoughts:

What a great day for our school district. It showed tremendous leadership, engaged students and teachers in an active environment. 

Donna, your care for students was obvious. The surprise welcome entertainment by WS/FCS arts department was fun and I enjoyed watching your kids, your talk of school services and description of the restroom lifting gear was very informative. Carter school's community and culinary use of vegetable gardens was wonderful. Thank you for opening your doors.

Sean, sharing your experiences and the school was great. Your cafeteria was wonderful to see, the ProStart students were focused on their baking. The ProStart, pharmacy tech and masonry teachers were in touch with the students and program. I heard three districts specifically came looking for how to build ProStart labs and programs and came away with ideas. Thank you.

Chris, you are getting to be a pro in giving other school systems tours of your wonderful facility. Your talks and information were spot on. Visiting auto, aviation, alternative energy and carpentry and describing the Habitat program and funding for all four was creative and eye-opening for some districts. Cosmetology, culinary and early childhood spaces were a beehive of activity.  The cooperation and student teacher interaction with Carter and Kennedy were heartwarming. Thank you.  

A special thanks to the Career Center culinary students for making and serving the over the top - "potato, salad and sandwich bar" which was tremendous. The two freshly baked desert cakes from Kennedy ProStart were unexpected and delicious. Sean, please send me that selfie with the kids and cake!

Thank you to the meal sponsor Architects, Wesley and Clark of Walter Robbs who also did the beautiful program brochure. Thanks also to you, Bruce, and your knowledge of the programs representing CTE.

Every attendee left commenting how lucky we were to have the facility, and how important it is to have teachers and students engaged and wanting to be there.  It showed and it was a proud day.  

A very special thank you for your time, as Forsyth County Schools demonstrated how every day we serve our students.