Archive for October, 2011


Apex High Teacher Wins Leadership Award

Apex High teacher Julie Oster won the Janet Linton Leadership award from the National Academy Foundation. Oster is the Career Academy Coordinator for the Apex High Academy of Information Technology.

The award honors teachers who have a passion for leading and developing an academy community and a capacity to understand and implement ways in which effective academy leadership can drive academy improvement.

Listen to Apex High Teacher Wins Leadership Award

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Julie Oster is the nationally honored leader of the Apex High Academy of Information Technology.

You can read more about the Apex High Academy of Information Technology here and more about the National Academy Foundation here.

Briarcliff students love Character Critter Time

At Briarcliff Elementary, Character Critter Time is a school-wide PBIS character education initiative designed to foster growth of WCPSS character traits in children. The school counselor hosts a monthly Character Critter Time show starring adult guest readers and a Character Critter. The taped 8-12 minute show is televised over closed circuit TV throughout the entire school. Four to six students from rotating grade levels serve as the studio audience and share ways to demonstrate character traits at home and school. A fifth grader performs the role of the Character Critter. An evaluation based on student responses to a Zoomerang survey at the end of the previous school year yielded very positive results; 88 percent of students responded that the Character Critter Time Program helped them understand what the character traits mean, and 80 percent of students said they wanted to be a better person after watching the Character Critter Time Program.

Thanks to school counselor Virginia Enzor for sharing this story with GotNews.

Apex High Educators Travel to China

Apex High media specialist Leila Moog and special programs teacher Stefanie Billobran-Brown will be part of the College Board’s 2011 Chinese Bridge Delegation, a one-week educational program in China, Nov. 3-11. Moog says the eight-day trip will allow them to visit Beijing and Apex High’s sister school, Jiangsu Yancheng Middle School in Jiangsu. The visit will continue Apex High’s connection following an earlier visit made by Principal Matt Wight and Julie Oster, director of the school’s Academy of Information Technology.

The College Board program is geared to start or strengthen educator’s Chinese programs and partnerships. The activities are focused on partnership-building, school visits and educational workshops.

The delegation provides an opportunity to:

  • Visit Chinese K-12 schools, meet with Chinese educators and observe classes.
  • Establish meaningful partnerships with Chinese schools and network with U.S. colleagues.
  • Attend presentations on best practices and learn about resources to build and support Chinese language and culture programs.
  • Experience China firsthand and marvel at the rich traditional culture set against stunning modern development.

You can find more about the College Board’s 2011 Chinese Bridge Delegation here.

2011 FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

The third annual FAAN Walk for Food Allergy will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park. Food allergy is a potentially life-threatening medical condition affecting as many as 15 million Americans. NC FACES will be raising awareness about life threatening food allergies and hoping to find a cure. Panther Creek High student Nisha Bhandaru is the Local Honorary Youth Chair. Join the team for the walk.

For more information, visit the local support group of NC FACES, Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely.

Thanks to Theresa Nguyen of Cary Elementary for sharing this story with GotNews.

NFL Star Visits East Cary Middle

East Cary Middle students had the opportunity to hear former NFL Special Team Player of the Year Lee Rouson of the NY Giants. Rouson shared an inspirational message in which he discussed the ups and downs of his career and life and the importance of morals, values, and education.  He also talked with students about proper decision-making, how drug and alcohol abuse can negatively influence your life, and how he has personally found help in overcoming pressures and problems in daily living.  Students signed pledge cards to be drug-free and alcohol-free.

Assistant principals Mike Hokenberg and Wynette Martin pose with NFL star Lee Rouson, Guidance Counselor Renita Griffin-Jordan, and Principal Mary Swann.

Thanks to East Cary Media and Technology Coordinator Deanna Harris for sharing this story.

West Cary Middle Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink Out! at West Cary Middle will happen on Friday, Oct. 28.  Staff and students will be wearing pink to school to observe Breast Cancer Awareness.  At approximately 9 a.m., the school body will assemble on the practice field on campus in the formation of a “human” pink ribbon.  Additionally, Friday is day we are honoring West Cary Breast Cancer survivors

During the month of October, West Cary has participated in collecting monies and other items to benefit Breast Cancer research and prevention. Morning announcements have included several key facts and data regarding current research and the “race” for a cure. West Cary will participate in the Breast Cancer Walk-A-Thon in Southeast Raleigh on Saturday, Oct. 29

Thanks to West Cary Middle School 6th Grade Social Studies teacher Kevin Lauenstein for sharing this story.

Athens Drive High Performs Musical Tribute to Teacher

Thursday night, October 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Athens Drive Auditorium, the Athens Music Department presents its Fall Concert featuring the Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. The concert is FREE to the public and light refreshments will be served afterwards.

At 8:45 p.m., the Wind Ensemble will perform a musical selection entitled “Rest” in a tribute to former Athens Drive Programming and Broadcasting Instructor Daniel Laffey who passed away in June. Faculty and staff of Athens Drive are proud sponsors of this special piece of music that will be performed for years to come in memory of Mr. Laffey. The Photography Club has also prepared a slide presentation to accompany the performance.

Please join the school in celebrating the life of Daniel Laffey, a member of our Athens Drive Family who is greatly missed.

Thanks to Athens Drive PTSA President Debbie Kline for sharing this story.

Forest Pines Teacher and Students Earn Art Awards at State Fair

Forest Pines Elementary earned a first place blue ribbon for elementary schools in the State Fair art and photography competition for schools this year.  Art teacher Jennifer Sherman selected the work of six third-graders Tally Schultz-Mo, Gwyn Feury, Mia Nordstrom, Katelyn Buggs, Jocelyn Garcia-Ortiz, and Adina Sinigur. Their work was inspired by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, and was an interpretation of non-objective, abstract art, done in colored chalk, and white tempera paint. The girls created 3-D amphibians, each of which had an incorporated 3-D habitat.

In addition to the students earning honors, Jennifer Sherman won first place in the professional drawing category.

Here are the student’s award-winning 3-D amphibians on display at the State Fair.

Teacher Jennifer Sherman earned her own blue ribbon in the professional drawing category.

Penny Road Elementary receives 2011 AJ Fletcher Award

NC Beautiful selected Penny Road Elementary School to receive the prestigious A.J. Fletcher award in recognition of the school’s beautification project around its bus circle garden.

The WRAL Azalea Gardens horticulture staff selected the school project for its beauty and creativity, and how well it has been maintained over three years.

“We are very excited to win this award,” said Mary Bohr, Penny Road’s principal.

John, Ann and Cooper Sykes along with Kristi and Audrey Bettner received a check for $125, as well as an additional 25 azaleas and assorted gardening tools.

The school will plant the azaleas by its Edible Garden. The goal of the project is to help students learn about the environment and vegetable/herb gardens and azaleas.

The award is part of NC Beautiful’s 26th annual Azalea Celebration, which rewards NC Community groups for improving their communities through creative landscape projects.

The annual Azalea Celebration, developed and administered by NC Beautiful and sponsored by WRAL-TV and Mix 101.5 Radio, has awarded more than 225,000 plants to approximately 3,400 non-profits in its 22-year history. The one-gallon azaleas distributed by NC Beautiful are grown from cuttings taken from the WRAL Gardens.

Parents Get Advanced Look at School Choices

WCPSS has updated its student assignment website to allow parents to preview their school choices for the 2012-2013 school year. The lists are based on center of the node driving distance to each school. In January, WCPSS will publish the choice application website that will show complete functionality, to include actual proximity from each family’s address, available seats at each proximity choice, real time numbers of requests for seats by grade level, and other key information.

The address look-up function is available at through the “Preview School Choices” tab. Parents can enter their address to find which choice options — at least five elementary, two middle, and two high schools — are available based on the student assignment plan approved by the Wake County Board of Education on Oct. 18, 2011. Parents can also identify which magnet programs are available to them based on their address.

This preview is not part of the school choice selection process, which will happen later in the school year. Corrections may be made in the coming weeks as WCPSS technicians finalize the programming and data sets that produce the choice lists.

For the 2012-13 school year, the choice process is optional for all parents satisfied with their current school. Families may “grandfather” and remain at their current school, with their current level of transportation, or follow the feeder pattern aligned with their current school, regardless of the choice options presented. Families with rising kindergartners, Wake County residents currently not in WCPSS schools, new Wake County residents, and families seeking a change in student assignment must participate in the choice selection process.