Thursday , 18 January 2018
Breaking News

For the Civic Good


DHS & Newton app developmentDiscovery High School students are now working on a real-world project that addresses the challenges the City of Newton is currently facing. The “For the Civic Good” initiative seeks to engage citizens and build community across public-private and civic sectors while advancing practical learning for students. The overall goal is to foster the transformation of Newton from a small city into a smart small city by connecting schools, government, citizens, and businesses with technology-based solutions.

Twyla McDermott from Second Nature Technology, a technology consulting company based in Newton, and Michael Waltuch, product engineer for the mapping software company ESRI, have volunteered to work with DHS students in the months-long project. The group has already met to discuss the students’ community interests and combine those interests with the city government’s needs in order to define the scope of the project. Newton City Planning Director Randy Williams and Newton Main Street Coordinator Shannon Johnson are helping students develop and implement a plan that will have a positive and substantial impact on the city.

Students have also developed their own app that they will use in the field as they collect data throughout the city. Subsequently, they will analyze their data and continue to refine their purpose and plan. Ultimately, the students will develop a presentation that incorporates story maps and high-tech graphics to present to the City of Newton. Topics currently being discussed by the group include the revitalization of downtown, attracting new businesses, retaining our young population, filling empty buildings, and general beautification.

Discovery is a project-based school where students take the initiative to tackle real-world problems that impact our community in a variety of ways. Students Zach Perry, Jacob Dillingham, Jalen Johnson, Max Bailey, Tanner Abernathy, Jackson Lamb, Marisa Carlton, Liz Hornick, and Matthew Byrd are the student-leaders in “For the Civic Good.” These students are working hard to make our community a better place to live.

Keith Wilson

About James Frye

James Frye (@mrjamesfrye) serves as Instructional Technology Facilitator and Public Information Officer for Newton-Conover City Schools. Formerly, he was an English and Journalism Teacher at Newton-Conover High School and a Blended/Virtual English Teacher. He is a NC Teaching Fellow and studied education abroad at the Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal in Germany. James holds a Post-Masters Certificate in Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction with a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology from Michigan State University, and a B.A. in English/Education from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law with The University of Kentucky. In addition to modeling technological and leadership innovation and leading various professional learning, Jamie also serves statewide on the NC Digital Learning Initiative Advisory Board/Home Base Design Team, the NC Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Board of Directors, the #NCed Leadership Team, and is co-founder of Edcamp WNC. He is a member of the NC Digital Leadership Coaches’ Network, and was named an international Emerging Leader by ASCD in 2015. He resides in Hickory with his wife and their baby girl.

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