Sunday , 20 August 2017
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Spring Evening Warms Hearts at March Board of Education Meeting

DSC_0386It was a beautiful evening for the first spring Board of Education Meeting of the Newton-Conover City School district.  Opening the March Board Meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance were Discovery High School students Brett Roy, Nathan Blackburn, Fletcher Hamlin, Sunny Chang, and Jalen Johnson.  We are thankful for the time of these honorable students!

Commander Nash presented to the Board of Education regarding the programs that the students participating in Newton-Conover’s NJROTCDSC_0390 have had the opportunity to be a part of.  Students went on their Spring trip to Texas to gain experience with other ROTC programs, as well as exposure to higher education programs and the ways that ROTC functions at the college level, including specifically at Texas A&M University.  We are grateful for the leadership of our ROTC program and look forward to seeing what happens in the future!

Coaches Eddy Clark and Justin Shuffler both came before the Board to have their team of students recognized for their outstanding DSC_0396achievement as the State Champions in their Wrestling division.  This team was not seeded in the polls, and emerged first-ranked with a final record of 44 victories and two losses for the entirety of the season.  Coach Clark remarked about the growth he has seen in his students: “We can take investments made in wrestling and transfer this into our lives, our families and our careers.  I could not be prouder of this group of kids.”  Neither could we!

The Board welcomed Newton-Conover High School Juniors Henry Cox, Grace Little, and Shelby Graff to recognize them for their outstanding DSC_0397achievement in being appointed to Governor’s School.  Dr. Stegall, Superintendent, shared with the Board that the Governor’s School allows students to spend time on college campuses during the summer semester to work in academic areas they have strong interest in.  These three students will be spending their summer studying their chosen disciplines to earn college credit at Governor’s School East and West.  Additionally, Newton-Conover City Schools can recommend three potential candidates for study each year — and this year, all three applicants were accepted!  We will be keeping our eyes on these students for the impact that they will have everywhere they go in the future!

DSC_0400Ms. Aoife Sinclair, a senior at Discovery High School, has received the prestigious Park Scholarship.  This scholarship provides a full-ride — including tuition, fees, a living stipend and technology for learning — to North Carolina State University.  Students who receive it gain international experiences as well, with a combined total of over $100,000 in award funds.  Aoife was the only recipient for the entirety of Catawba County this year.  Congratulations, Aoife — N-CCS could not be prouder of your passion and your achievements!  To learn more about Aoife’s remarkable achievement, please visit park.ncsu.edu.

The Catawba County Library was recognized in absentia by Principal Patrick Nelson for their extensive volunteeringDSC_0402 efforts at Shuford Elementary School.  The Library has worked with the school and helped to build and weed the library’s collection through various donations, came to implement a robotics program.  Shuford also had musicians from the Hickory Music Factory come to the library, including African drummers which presented to groups, including 5th grade.  We are thankful for this collaboration!

Mr. Shane Whitener, Principal of North Newton, recognized some of his outstanding staff members this evening.  First, Mr. Whitener shared remarks on Ashley Arndt.  About Ms. Arndt, he shared that “if there’s a committee we have, she’s on it — including the School Improvement Team, Responsiveness to Instruction, and the Tech Team to name a few.”  He also shared that Ms. Arndt truly acts as the backbone at North Newton Elementary. She does a phenomenal job in the classroom, being deeply involved in her students’ lives and makes sure students are taken care of consistently.

DSC_0405Next, Mr. Whitener recognized Allison Patton, also a teacher at North Newton.  He remarked that her class is balanced well, as it is very organized and very strict with expectations, but in the most loving and supportive way possible — he shared that there is not a teacher more caring about her students. Allison does what Ashley does as well — in their classes, every need a child has is met while also holding students to high expectations.

Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Whitener recognized Rai Robinson (not pictured), who is the PE Teacher at North Newton Elementary.  When it comes to instruction in a PE class, Mr. Whitener shared that he has not seen anyone go above and beyond more than this teacher does. When students do move up into higher-level sports, it is no question that they will have the skills they need to be successful and live a healthy life.  It is because of Mr. Robinson that PE has such a unique feel, and we are very proud of Mr. Robinson and his stellar program!

DSC_0403Additionally, Mr. Whitener recognized the Bas Bleu Club for their contributions to the well-being of students at North Newton Elementary.  This group provides free books to every first grader in our school district.  The ladies behind Bas Bleu have done distributions at all three of our elementary schools, provide scholarships to our High School students, and help to garner donations to the Salvation Army Christmas Project that helps to fund needs such as clothing for our students.  Thank you so much for all you do, Bas Bleu!

Mr. Patrick Nelson, Principal of Shuford Elementary returned to DSC_0408recognize two phenomenal parent volunteers — Bethany Rissell and Jennifer Cannon.  Mr. Nelson shared that these are the two ladies you want in your corner when it comes to parent volunteers.  Not only are these ladies both good parents and ambassadors in their school, they also always have helpful, constructive criticism to help the school grow.  They have taken charge with boxtops, etc. on top of working their jobs!  Shuford’s Boxtop program had some of the best turnout this year with — earning  up to $3,000! — mainly because of these two ladies.  In addition to all else that they do, they also help in the Media Center and classrooms any time that it is needed.  Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty, Ms. Rissell and Ms. Cannon!

DSC_0409Dr. Rosanna Whisnant, Principal of Newton-Conover Middle School, shared her grateful message from the heart for the servitude of Mr. Mark Pennell, Board Member and Parent Volunteer.  Dr. Whisnant spoke about Mr. Pennell’s extended presence within the school, sharing specifically that when you come to N-CMS, you’ll see that Mr. Pennell is always there at 7:30am every morning.  You may be greeted with a wave, as Mr. Pennell does for every parent who comes through, making sure that they all feel comfortable. Mr. Pennell also sometimes even gives Dr. Whisnant a pep talk and hangs out long enough to make sure that kids are where they need to be before departing.  He will often show back up to help with lunch duty, and then again to help prepare for sports with concessions, and much more.  Dr. Whisnant stated that she has never had a volunteer who gives this much of their own time — N-CMS loves and adores him!  Thank you for your extended dedication to our students at Newton-Conover Middle School, as well as our district as a whole!  We are grateful for you!

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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