Archive for June, 2011


Superintendent Meets Public in Virtual Town Hall Friday

Superintendent Tony Tata will answer parents’ and citizens’ questions in a live, interactive chat session on Friday, July 1, at 10:00 a.m.

The online Virtual Town Hall will be held at the Wake County Public School System’s website at A link to the chat will be available on the front page at 9:45 a.m. Participants can log in and submit questions in advance as well as during the hour-long event. Questions will be moderated for time, to protect confidential information and to avoid abusive or off-topic subjects.

The live replay of the July 1, 2011 Virtual Town Hall is now available.

International Business Leaders Visit Centennial Middle

Thirteen women business leaders from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula visited Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School last week through an exchange program designed to support empowering women and girls around the globe.

During the June 22 event, the business leaders learned about leadership and business opportunities available for students at Centennial. Career and Technical Education teacher Joyce Stephens explained the school’s Future Business Leaders of America organization. The guests were then able to visit with the 73 Centennial students participating in a summer leadership institute designed to help incoming sixth-graders make the transition to middle school.

CCMMS’s visitors were part of the U.S. Department of State’s The 100 Women Initiative through the International Visitor Leadership Program. They represented Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Superintendent Tony Tata greeted the women in Arabic and shared his experiences advocating for women’s rights and women’s issues in Afghanistan and Iraq. He answered questions ranging from his transition from a military career to education leadership and his opinion about recent youth freedom uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

Thanks to CCMMS principal Edye Morris-Bryant for sharing this information with the Morning Announcements.

Green Hope is Top WCPSS High School in Newsweek Rankings

Newsweek recognized Green Hope High for being 206th in the nation in the magazine’s America’s Best Schools national rankings.

The magazine reported that Green Hope had a graduation rate of 93 percent, an average SAT score of 1715 and 97 percent of graduates were college bound. 

Other WCPSS high schools recognized in the national rankings include Panther Creek High at 410, Enloe Magnet High at 421 and Apex High at 447. 

This year the magazine revamped the methodology for its rankings. Newsweek enlisted a panel of experts to measure a school’s success in turning out college-ready  students and now score high schools on six components: graduation rate (25%), college matriculation rate (25%), AP tests taken per graduate (25%), average SAT/ACT scores (10%), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10%), and AP courses offered (5%).

Newsweek sought data from more than 10,000 public high schools across the country to compile its 2011 list of top high schools in America. In order to be considered for the list, each school had to complete a survey requesting specific data from the 2009-10 academic year. In total, the magazine staff assessed more than 1,100 schools to produce its final list of top 500 high schools.

You can read more about the magazine rankings here.

Wendell Middle Band Earns Busch Gardens Award

The Wendell Middle Concert Band just received word the students earned the Grand Sweepstakes Award for the band’s performance in the Busch Gardens Showcase of Music.

The award means the band attained the highest score of any middle school band that competed in the Busch Gardens Showcase this year.

Music Showcase Festivals Executive Director Ron Simmons congratulated Wendell Middle Band Director Renee Todd on her students earning the award.

“On behalf of Music Showcase Festivals it is our sincere pleasure to make this announcement and is truly an honor to present this award to you and your fine organization,” said Simmons.  “The hard work and dedication that you, the director, and every member of the ensemble displayed was exemplary. Your community, parents, and administration should all be proud of your accomplishment.”

Simmons will ship the Grand Sweepstakes Trophy to the school after the new school year begins.  

Thanks to Principal Mary Castleberry for sharing this news.

Knightdale High Student Wins Statewide Science Fair

Knightdale High rising senior Ashley Rogers won the science fair at the State FFA Convention with her research project on vitamin C levels. By winning, she earned the right to represent NC at the National FFA Convention in October.

The Knightdale High science department teachers helped Ashley on her project and are proud of her success.

Thanks to Media Specialist Janice Hodges and teacher Scott Robison for sharing this story with GotNews.

Cary High Student Earns Honors in Medical Terminology Competition

Cary High graduate Erin Beasley placed in the top 10 in the nation in the Medical Terminology competition at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) National Leadership Conference.

Beasley is a Class of 2011 graduate. She completed all levels of medical science offered at Cary High and was part of the school’s HOSA chapter. She will attend NC State University in the fall to seek a Veterinary degree.

Thanks to Medical Science Teacher Lynn Smith for sharing this story.

ParentVision: Understanding AYP

What does “Adequate Yearly Progress” mean for our schools, especially those receiving Title I funding? This video podcast explains AYP.

Auditor Reports on Closing Achievement Gaps

The Board of Education received the results of an outside audit on closing achievement gaps between student groups that Superintendent Tata said will provide a baseline for the school system in addressing students’ academic needs.

Dr. Lindsay Page of the Harvard University School of Education said the audit indicated WCPSS students score higher than the state average and are continuing to grow academically as the state increases instructional standards.  She said the gap in average achievement between the district and the state has narrowed somewhat.

Page noted there are different academic measures to consider. Composite results show the percent of students achieving proficiency. Scale scores are a measure of an individual student’s results on testing. Page said the different measures provide different information. 

Page showed analysis that indicated composite scores and scale scores are improving over time, but there is little change in the achievement gaps between student groups. Substantial gaps remain between students who do not receive free and reduced price lunch and those that do, as well as Asian and white students compared with minority students. 

Page said the audit found that schools that demonstrate high levels of growth in reading generally demonstrate high levels of growth in math. She said schools with a high proportion of free and reduced price lunch students exhibit less growth than schools with a low proportion of free and reduced price lunch students, though there are exceptions.

You can review the powerpoint presentation on the audit made to the board here.

Board Names New Principal

The Board of Education named Michael Armstrong as principal of Bugg Magnet Elementary and appointed retired principal Charles Langley as interim principal at Middle Creek Elementary at its meeting Tuesday.

Armstrong has served as assistant principal at Combs Magnet Elementary since 2008. Prior to that, he was the magnet coordinator at Combs and a teacher at Bugg Magnet Elementary. Earlier, he worked as an elementary teacher in Asheville, NC. 

Langley has served as an interim principal at East Garner Elementary, West Lake Middle, Middle Creek Elementary and West Lake Elementary. He retired in 2008 after serving as principal of Willow Springs Elementary for 14 years. Earlier, he worked as assistant principal at East Millbrook Middle, West Millbrook Middle and Whitley Middle. 

The board named as assistant principals Travis Shillings at Olive Chapel Elementary, Kenneth Kirk at Sycamore Creek Elementary, Lynne Peters at Wilburn Elementary, Jessica Burroughs at East Garner Middle, Lacey Peckham at Martin Magnet Middle, Marla Mondora at Moore Square Magnet Middle, Mark Maultsby at Garner Magnet High, Beverly Smith at Garner Magnet High, Emily Mountford at Holly Springs High, Glenn Dansky at Millbrook Magnet High, Susan Taylor at Panther Creek High and George Harden at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High.

Margiotta Re-elected Chair, Tedesco Elected Vice Chair

The Wake County Board of Education re-elected Ron Margiotta as board chair and elected John Tedesco vice chair at its annual meeting on Tuesday.  The board retained Tharrington Smith as its legal counsel.