Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Spirit Rock" Comes to Gibson Elementary

Vulcan Materials has donated a 5-ton granite "Spirit Rock" to Gibson Elementary.

You can read the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jump Start Academy at Philo-Hill

Rising sixth-graders at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy are getting a jump start on middle school.

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

Here are more pictures:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hopping on the Bus at Central Office

At the Core Beliefs Summit on June 14, the theme for the day was “Believe in Us – Get on the Bus.”

On hand in the gym at Walkertown High School was a play school bus that the people in the Operations Department had built and that students at Kimmel Farm Elementary had decorated under the leadership of art teacher Randy Raines.

The bus was set up in one corner of the gym, and, throughout the day, people would pose for pictures in the bus. In the months to come, the bus will be traveling to schools and making other stops in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

On Wednesday, June 21, it appeared in the lobby of the Administrative Building at 475 Corporate Square Drive.

Crystal Evans and Aydee Bush were among those who took the opportunity to have their picture taken with the bus.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Magnet Teacher of the Year Heads to California

By Amanda Gordon
Diggs-Latham Elementary School

I was named the 2nd Annual Magnet Teacher of the Year for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for 2017-2018. The Magnet Office held a competition for a local Magnet School Teacher and Principal of the Year. The applicants must apply using the national Magnet Schools of America criteria based on the pillars of Equity & Diversity, Innovative Programming, Academic Excellence, and Family & Community Partnerships. The applications are scored based on the national rubric.

In his letter supporting Gordon’s nomination, Principal Ted Burcaw wrote:

“We are proud of Mrs. Gordon’s outstanding contribution to the arts through excellent teaching and leadership both within and outside of the Diggs-Latham community. She is a fierce advocate for the arts and for the elevation of education through the arts. I believe her credentials, experience, and practice position her as worthy of considering for the Magnet Teacher of the Year Award.”

In his letter, Assistant Principal Ian Olsen wrote:

“She combines a passion for Art with a dedication to provide Art based experiences and memories to our students through teaching.  In the classroom, Mrs. Gordon uses her education, training, and national board certification to create lessons that bring Art alive.  Her classroom invites creativity and imagination as you step in.  Students are excited and full of energy to learn art techniques that will help them create beautiful projects and Art work.  Her classroom is an environment that promotes Art through a variety of media like technology, nature, and even clay that students can learn about to express their creativity.”

The winners earn the opportunity to travel and attend the Magnet Schools of America national conference, which was held the last week of April in Los Angeles, Cal. I attended the conference along with Magnet Director, Kim Marion, and district Magnet Principal of the Year, Leslie Alexander.  

I have been teaching for 13 years, all at Latham and then Diggs-Latham Elementary School.  I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a teaching license.  I am a National Board Certified Teacher, was the NC A+ Schools Teacher of the Year 2016 and the WS/FC Arts Council Teacher of the Year 2016-2017.

I am a mentor, teacher leader, school yearbook editor, Black History Month Chairperson, manager of the art and school twitter account, and arts council representative.  My students and I have won numerous ribbons for art work and displays at local fairs and exhibits; I have also received several grants for classroom supplies, books, and equipment.  I promote our Magnet pillars and theme by connecting with the community.  I am very active in the local arts council and in my church.  I invited community members, business leaders and others into the school, especially for my annual Black History Month Celebration that embraces unity and respect for all.  I promote integration between the Arts Team and classroom teachers.  All of my personal unit and lesson plans incorporate objectives across the curriculum and show multiple points of differentiation and integration.  

Attending the National Magnet Conference was a wonderful experience.  It was my first visit to the state of California.  I networked with educators from all over the U.S.  I met two of the real-life "Freedom Writers," who were part of the actual classroom that the movie was based on. In the movie, a new teacher connects with her students who are more than challenged by their home circumstances but who find a way to cope through writing about it.

I collected all kinds of supply samples, information, and handouts that will be useful in my school and classroom.  I attended sessions and workshops, including one with "Living Rhythm," a group that teaches African drumming integrated into the curriculum and who are actually from Winston-Salem.  On a couple evenings, we had free time to go out for dinner.  I explored the area around Los Angeles, including Santa Monica Pier, Long Beach, and Hollywood. Since the conference was just minutes away from Hollywood Boulevard, many Hollywood themes were incorporated into the conference handouts and set up.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Soaring at Ibraham Elementary

At Ibraham Elementary, they celebrated the last day of school for students by going up in a hot-air balloon.

You can read the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Solos at Diggs-Latham Elementary

On Tuesday night, orchestra and band students at Diggs-Latham Elementary performed solos for parents and other family members.

You will find the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Celebration at The Children's Center

On Wednesday, The Children's Center had a celebration for children who are graduating and for the teachers and teachers assistants who nurture them.

You will find the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Keep Calm and Drink Lemonade

On Tuesday, students in the Exceptional Children program at Southwest Elementary sold lemonade to raise money to fight childhood cancer.

You can read the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures: