Archive for November, 2010


Middle Schools Honored for Sportsmanship

Eleven WCPSS middle schools were honored for Sportsmanship for the 2010-11 school year as voted on by each conference.

Honored were Fuquay-Varina and Holly Grove in Southern (Division 1); Reedy Creek and West Cary in Southern (Division 2); Martin, Carroll and Daniels in Central; Wake Forest-Rolesville and East Wake in Northern (Division 1); and Leesville and Wakefield in Northern (Division 2).

The schools that earned recognition received comments from coaches of other teams in their conferences that included:

  • Coach was very gracious after game
  • Coaches were very helpful with injuries and extended a warm welcome to all the teams
  • Student-athletes displayed good sportsmanship
  • Coach followed up with an e-mail to congratulate our team
  • Opposing players played hard while not losing the focus of good sportsmanship
  • Great in assisting to make sure we had everything needed
  • Greeted the bus and showed us where to park
  • Explained the location of the bathroom and other facilities
  • Good control of the home crowd
  • Sport Safety Technician went above and beyond with an injured player on our team
  • Played very cleanly, well coached
  • Friendly and accommodating
  • Sent cards to players injured
  • Exhibited great character

The eleven schools will have the “Conference Sportsmanship Banner” to hang up in their school for the Winter Sports Season.

Thanks to Bobby Guthrie for sharing his news.

Federal Official Comes to Garner to Discuss American Indian Education

Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary with the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education, is meeting this evening with representatives of the WCPSS Title VII Indian Education Program, school administrators, teachers and parents.

The meeting will be held at the Garner Training Center at 201 Avery St., at 7 p.m. Jennings and participants will discuss the experiences and challenges facing American Indian students in urban schools.

The meeting is part of a two-day visit hosted by the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs aimed at improving academic outcomes for American Indian students attending North Carolina schools.

Apex Middle Holds Spelling Bee

The Apex Middle School Spelling Bee will be at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, December 3rd in the Apex Middle School Auditorium. Over the last month, students participated in class spelling bees through their Language Arts classes. The class winners then participated in team spelling bees. Nine students were named team winners and will compete in the school spelling bee on Dec. 3. The winner of the school bee will compete against other Wake County students in February at the county bee. Ken Smith from WRAL-TV will be the pronouncer. Apex Middle teachers Donna McAlonen, Beverly Davis and Christian Rothwell will serve as judges. For more information, contact principal Camile Hedrick at 387-2181.

Thanks to teacher Mary Jane Snedeker for sharing this story with GotNews.

Wake Forest Area Schools Donate $17,000 to Hospitals

The Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School Social-Organization and Service Club (SOS) traveled to Chapel Hill on Nov. 18 for the UNC Children’s Hospital’s RadioThon. While at UNC Children’s Hospital, the students got to meet patients their age and spend some time with them. They also got a nice surprise when Anoop Desai from American Idol performed and signed autographs.

The students visited the hospital to present a check of $17,000 from their annual dance marathon, a seven-hour dance planned by SOS to give students an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of real people. Since 2005, the SOS Dance Marathon has donated $75,000 to Duke and UNC Children’s Hospitals.

Universities such as UNC, Elon, and Penn State all have dance marathons to raise money for kids who are sick. The WF-RMS Dance Marathon started off as a school event in 2005. However, the annual charity bash became so popular amongst students that The Rotary Club of Wake Forest took over the project last year so that other schools could get involved. The SOS Club has successfully transformed a school event into a community event, which now includes students from Heritage Middle and Franklin Academy.

The SOS Club and The Rotary Club spend no public funds in putting on the event. Students learn business skills in working with sponsors to fund the event’s security, the cost of the facility, food, and decorations.

The Rotary Club of Wake Forest and the SOS Club would like to give more Wake County students the opportunity to help children who are sick. Please contact Mike Meyer at if you would like your school to be able to participate. Meyer stresses that no money needs to be collected at the school. Everything can be done on-line with donations going straight to the hospitals.

For more information, visit the dance marathon website at ; the SOS website at or contact Michael Meyer at .

Thanks to Counselor Michael Meyer for sharing his story with GotNews.

Mt. Vernon’s Turkey in the Hole

The delicious aroma of turkey saturated the campus of Mt. Vernon School during the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Mt. Vernon School hosted its annual holiday cooking tradition, Turkey in the Hole, an event that brings students, teachers, families and the community together. As you have probably guessed, turkey in the hole is a unique method for cooking turkeys that relies on Mother Nature rather than an oven to cook. To begin, students and staff must dig a large hole that is roughly three feet deep. Twelve turkeys are placed underground to slow-cook overnight. The next day, they are served with other fixings during a lunchtime feast. This is the 24th year of the long-standing event that started when seventh-grade Socials Studies teacher Rob Harris-Cannon wanted to teach his students about Native American history and culture.

“We follow the traditions that Native Americans used to do when cooking their foods. They wouldn’t have alumni foil, but we use that and we basically seal the turkeys in several layers of aluminum foil and before we seal them we put some ice cubes and some butter, salt and pepper on them so that they have a great flavor and are very moist,” says Harris-Cannon.

Mr. Harris-Cannon coordinates the event each year and works with the students to help dig the hole days in advance. More than 30 volunteers organize the food, materials and cooking; and they help prepare and serve meals to nearly 250 families, friends and community members. Included on the menu are: turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, gravy, and sweet tea. Guests that come share desserts as well.

Continue Reading . . .

New Demographic Information for the 2010-11 School Year

The WCPSS Growth and Planning Department has released details about the demographic makeup of our student body as of the 20th day of the 2010-11 school year.

This is the first year that WCPSS is reporting demographic data following the Census Bureau-driven changes in how we collect it, which we covered in a January 2010 ParentVision video podcast. There’s also a comprehensive resource on those federal changes at our Demographics website.

UPDATE: Director of demographics Maja Vouk adds some detail to the changes in reporting data and this year’s enrollment:

WCPSS is now in compliance with October 2007 guidance published by the US Department of Education (USED) requiring that all states must implement new standards for race/ethnicity data collection and reporting by school year 2010-11.

Meeting these new standards required local education agencies and charter schools to use a new set of codes. To ensure that WCPSS complies within the time frame and be consistent in their implementation, the federally mandated Race-Ethnicity Re-Identification Survey was successfully conducted in February and completed in June 2010 for all current 2009-10 students, grades Pre-K to 11.

For example, Multi-Racial students can now identify the different parts of their heritage, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity is now treated separately from racial background, and the former “Asian or Pacific Islander” category has been split into two categories to distinguish students of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander race.

A slight shift in WCPSS demographics, as a result of the student re-identification survey, is consistent with the overall WCPSS race-ethnicity trends, as well as state and national trends.

WCPSS School Counselors Earn State Honors

Two WCPSS school counselors have been honored as 2010 North Carolina School Counselor Association (NCSCA) School Counselors of the Year.

Jessica Thompson of Millbrook Magnet Elementary School and Wanda Moore of Martin Magnet Middle School were chosen by North Carolina School Counselor Association as outstanding professionals who have made a positive impact in their school with students, teachers and parents.

“Congratulations to them for this outstanding honor!” said Eric Sparks, Wake County Public School System Director of School Counseling.

Catching up with Kim Hughes, 1998 WCPSS Teacher of the Year

In 1998, Kim Hughes was named the Wake County Public School System Teacher of the Year.

Hughes, who was a Fox Road Elementary kindergarten teacher, went on to be named the 1999 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Hughes went on to become an advocate for teacher leaders.

She continues to teach in the Wake County Public School System and now works at Project Enlightenment.

Click to listen to Catching up with Kim Hughes, 1998 WCPSS Teacher of the Year

This is a 22 minute mp3 file.

Continue Reading . . .

Durant Road Elementary Serves Visually Impaired Students

Durant Road Elementary is one of several schools across Wake County specially equipped to serve visually impaired students. There is a team of specialists at the school who teach students skills that help them succeed in regular education classrooms.

Jill McMillan is the school’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired. She is part of a team that includes Braille typists, classroom teachers and parents that work together using the latest technology for training visually impaired students to read and write in Braille.

Listen to Jill McMillan, Teacher of the Visually Impaired at Durant Road Elementary.

8.5 minute mp3 file

Listen to Megan Dustin, Classroom Teacher at Durant Road Elementary.

5 minute mp3 file

Listen to Jennifer Strickland, parent of a Durant Road Elementary student and NC NAPVI chapter president.

12.5 minute mp3 file

You can read more about Durant Road Elementary and instruction for visually impaired students here.

Board Names New Principal

At its November 9 meeting, the Board of Education named Robert Matheson principal of the new Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School opening for 2011-12.

Matheson has been assistant principal at Apex High School since 2005. Prior to that, he was an intervention coordinator at Apex High. He served as director and dean at a charter school in Durham, NC and earlier worked as a teacher at Apex High.

The board named as assistant principals Justin Banner and Chancey Wolfe at Wakefield High, Sheri Golden at Leesville Road High, Mark Maultsby at Garner Magnet High, Christopher Cox at Martin Magnet Middle, Molly Moore at West Millbrook Middle, Leslie Taylor at Leesville Road Middle, Leanne Walters at Lufkin Road Middle and Rhonda Curtis at Laurel Park Elementary.