Archive for August, 2010


NC DOT Ceremony Highlights Southeast Raleigh High Engineering Program

Southeast Raleigh High was the scene of a ceremony where NC Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and the presidents of the Charlotte Metro and Triangle chapters of the Women’s Transportation Seminar signed an agreement to support the advancement of women in transportation careers.

The agreement supports educating women on transportation-related opportunities, attracting and retaining a highly qualified, diverse and technically advanced workforce for the 21st century, with specific attention to subject areas within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The event was held at Southeast Raleigh High because of the school’s Engineering Academy that provides students the opportunity to tackle college-level Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics coursework.

Engineering Academy coordinator Jerry Ludington and student Dominique Koonce discuss the engineering program and the visit to the school by the NC Transportation Secretary and NC leaders of Women in Transportation.

Click to listen to NC DOT Ceremony Highlights Southeast Raleigh High Engineering Program

This is a 10 minute mp3 file.

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Holly Grove Middle Teacher Earns WCPSS Math Honor

Holly Grove Middle teacher Stacey Johnson has been named the Wake County Public School System Outstanding Secondary School Mathematics Teacher for 2010. Johnson is a seventh-grade math teacher, the school’s math department chair and a member of the school leadership team.

“I feel very honored to receive this award,” said Johnson. “My goal is to have all students enjoy math and feel successful in math. By the time students are in middle school many students do not enjoy math because they are not good at it. I break down problems to where they can understand it. Also, I like to incorporate games and hands-on activities to make class fun.”

Holly Grove Middle School Principal Kenneth Proulx praised Johnson as a teacher and a school leader.

“Ms. Johnson is an outstanding educator and a very deserving recipient of this high honor. Ms. Johnson’s talents in the classroom are amazing, and her leadership in the school serves all students,” said Proulx. “Ms. Johnson’s leadership in the opening of our new school has laid a foundation for the success of all students.”

Lufkin Road Middle Principal Perry Graham Johnson nominated Johnson. Prior to assuming her leadership role at Holly Grove Middle, Johnson was a Math Teacher at Lufkin Road Middle for four years. She was selected by the more than 500 WCPSS Math teachers to receive the award.

You can listen to an audio podcast with Johnson about the opening of Hollly Grove Middle here.

Thanks to Principal Ken Proulx for sharing this story with GotNews.

Vandora Springs Elementary Beginning its Annual Empty Bowl Project

Vandora Springs Elementary will soon begin its annual Empty Bowl project, an art-based community outreach to fight hunger.

Fourth grade Art Club students will create unique bowls formed from recycled record albums. The completed bowls will then be bartered off by using an exchange of 20 non-perishable food items per bowl.

All food collected from this project will be delivered to The Garner Area Ministries’ Food Bank in Garner.

For more information concerning this Empty Bowl project, please contact Art Specialist Jim Hunt at, or Vandora Springs Elementary at 662-2486.

Thanks to teacher Jim Hunt for sharing his story with GotNews.

Online Comment Period Extended for Sample Assignment Zone Maps

In order to gather more feedback from our community, the comment period for the sample assignment zone maps presented to the school board’s Student Assignment Committee has been extended. Online comments will be accepted through midnight, September 6.

First Day of School at Wiley Magnet Elementary

The first day of school ended smoothly at Wiley Magnet Elementary with parents there picking up their children at the front door, in the car pool lane along one side of the school and catching the school bus home along another side of the school.

Principal Erin Kershner and second grade teacher Stacy Bargren talk about the excitement of the first day of classes.

Click to listen to First Day of School at Wiley Magnet Elementary

This is a 5.5 minute mp3 file.

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First Day of School at Wake Forest Elementary

The first day of school began smoothly at Wake Forest Elementary with families walking to school together and students arriving in car pool and by bus.

Principal Denise Tillery, kindergarten teacher Deborah Dial and a grand parent of students at the school talk about the excitement of the first day of classes.

Click to listen to First Day of School at Wake Forest Elementary

This is a 4 minute mp3 file.

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Millbrook Prepares for IB Learners

A week before the start of school, the faculty at Millbrook Magnet High and East Millbrook Middle received a preview of the IB experience from the students’ perspective in a highly interactive professional development training session at Millbrook High School. More than two-hundred teachers participated in the training on August 18 as they prepared for the Aug. 25 first day of school.

“Today is all about putting the polish on 18 months of diligent and committed hard work of the Millbrook High School faculty to deliver IB instruction to our students,” said Assistant Principal Kelly Aman.

Millbrook is welcoming the Class of 2014 as members of its first class of magnet students. The school is in the process of seeking authorization from the International Baccalaureate Organization to provide the IB Middle Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme.

“This training has allowed me to think in a broader perspective which is ultimately what we want our students to do,” said Ninth-Grade Counselor Shaunte Adams.

“IB training gives me the tools to provide relevant instruction to students with a holistic approach and a sense of community,” said Visual Arts Teacher Elizabeth Stevenson.

While rotating into five different International Baccalaureate classrooms, teachers received demonstration lessons incorporating international-mindedness, inquiry-based instruction in the areas of science, Language A (English), Language B (foreign language), the Humanities and Visual Arts. Teachers leading each of the classes taught the lessons to mhs 132.jpgmhs 119.jpgtheir colleagues just as they would present the material to their students.

“It’s only when we teachers become students that we have to think critically about what we do in the classroom everyday and after this training, it will be easier for all of us to enable rather than limit what our students can do,” said Austin James, Math

Ribbon Cutting Officially Opens Mills Park Middle School

Principal Bob Smith presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Mills Park Middle School Friday morning, Aug. 20. Following the ceremony, students led community members on tours of the school which opens for the first day of the traditional calendar on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

WCPSS Interim Superintendent Donna Hargens, Board of Education Chair Ron Margiotta, Wake County Commissioners Lindy Brown and Paul Coble, and Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht all spoke during the event before cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of the opening of Mills Park Middle School. What we see today is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of many talented people,” Hargens said. “As we celebrate the hard work that got us to this occasion and look to the future possibilities, I am confident that Principal Bob Smith will provide the leadership and vision necessary to make Mills Park a wonderful place of learning for all students. He has put together an energetic, caring and knowledgeable team of faculty and staff to help guide students into becoming successful 21st century leaders.”

Margiotta thanked the Town of Cary for their role in helping the new school become reality.

“Through an interlocal agreement with the Town of Cary, the school system was able to purchase the property for this school at a reduced rate,” he said. “A joint use agreement allowed us to work with the Cary Parks and Recreation Department to upgrade the standard features on our athletic fields, creating a beautiful, park-like setting around the school that will benefit the entire community for years to come.”

Designed by Skinner Lamm & Highsmith and constructed by D.H. Griffin Construction Company, the new middle school is built from a new 1,310-capacity prototype. The three-story building is expected to open with 1,025 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. Each grade level will occupy a different floor of the school.

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Principal Savage Prepares Heritage High for First Day

Principal Mark Savage has moved into his office at the new Heritage High and the school will have its first Heritage High students on August 25.

For the past year, the school has served as swing space for Wake Forest Rolesville High while its campus underwent renovation. Now they’ve returned to their campus and Heritage opens with ninth and tenth grade students, the standard WCPSS practice.

Savage says the facility has six separate pods filled with technology and the entire facility has wireless internet available. The building lends itself well to what’s planned instructionally, he says.

Click to listen to Principal Savage Prepares Heritage High for First Day

This is a 14 minute mp3 file.

You can take a look at the school’s new band program here.

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WCPSS Student Achievement Notebook for 2009-10

At its August 10, 2010 meeting, the Wake County Board of Education received a report of student achievement for the 2009-10 school year including a set of charts detailing outcomes for reading, mathematics, and science for grades 3-8 as well as End-of-Course test outcomes. The school board also received an explanation of district goals for the 2010-11 school year. All of this material has been brought together in a single Portable Document Format (PDF) and posted to the Department of Evaluation and Research’s Web page.

This is a large document — 678 pages — but the PDF sections have been bookmarked to make it more usable. The data displays show average proficiency rates (disaggregated) for all EOG and EOC tests, as well as providing information related to student growth. Information is provided at both the district and individual school level.