Archive for February, 2012


LISTEN: Apex High Students Excel in Academy of Information Technology

Apex High seniors are hard at work in the classroom and in paid internships required for the school’s Academy of Information Technology. The students say the program has strengthened their computer skills, provided them great jobs and paved the way for future success.

Listen to Apex High Students Excel in Academy of Information Technology

This is a 15-minute mp3 file.

Julie Oster is the director of the Academy of Information Technology at Apex High.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

Holly Springs High Parent/Community Information Session

Holly Springs High will hold is first  Community/Information Session at 5:30 p.m. on March 7 in the First Baptist Church at 208 Grigsby Avenue in Holly Springs.

During the 2011-12 school year, Holly Springs High has focused on building a collaborative culture with the Holly Springs area churches, in order to support parents and students in their effort to be partners in education.  Holly Springs High Assistant Principal Nikia Davis has served as the school’s representative during meetings with area pastors.  This group has focused on improving school communication, addressing the graduation rate, increasing student achievement, safety and addressing parent concerns. 

To ensure that the community informational session is meaningful for parents, local churches were asked to provide the school administration with feedback.  Local churches are collecting information with a short questionnaire for parents and this data will be shared with school leaders. 

For more information, please contact Nikia Davis at or (919)577-1444.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

Holly Springs High Wind Ensemble Performs with Triangle Wind Ensemble March 9

The Triangle Wind Ensemble and The Holly Springs High Wind Ensemble will perform in concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 9 in the school auditorium.

The Triangle Wind Ensemble is a group of 42 talented local adult musicians that perform throughout our community each year.  This concert is part of their “Music for a Lifetime Series”, which promotes instrumental music performance beyond the K-12 years.  Members of the Holly Springs High Wind Ensemble will join them onstage for three of the four selections performed.  Conductor Michael Biasi, of the Holly Springs High Wind Ensemble will conduct the ensemble on their performance of Zing.

The Holly Springs High School Wind Ensemble will perform their three selections in the Grade VI category in preparation for their appearance at the NC Music Performance Adjudication at Heritage High School on March 19.  The ensemble consists of 50 of the most motivated and skilled instrumental musicians at Holly Springs High School, and is the premier instrumental concert ensemble at the school.

This concert is free and open to the public. There are more details in this flyer.

Thanks to band director and Fine Arts chair Michael Biasi for sharing this story.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

Five WCPSS Schools Earn RAMP Award

Five Wake County Public School System schools earned the American School Counselors Association RAMP Award this year. Schools earning RAMP recognition in 2012 include

  • Davis Drive Elementary
  • Heritage High
  • Martin Middle
  • Panther Creek High
  • Wake Forest Elementary

Davis Drive Elementary and Wake Forest Elementary earned RAMP recognition in 2009. Martin Middle earned RAMP in 2007.

Schools earn the award for delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and creating an exemplary educational environment as outlined in the ASCA National Model. School counseling teams go through a detailed self-examination process in seeking RAMP recognition.

The WCPSS schools will receive the RAMP designation during a special ceremony on June 25 at the American School Counselor Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

LISTEN: Students Excited about Selection to Leadership Academies

The Wake County Public School System will open new middle school through early college Leadership Academies for 2012-13.

Students selected to attend the academies and their parents are excited about this opportunity.

Listen to Students Excited about Selection to Leadership Academies

This is an 11-minute mp3 file.

Alexis and her family

Bronte and her mother

Miya and her family

Jamie and his mother

You can watch more of the family discussions about the Leadership Academies on the WCPSS YouTube Channel.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.


East Cary Student’s Artwork Selected for New York Showcase

An owl swooping down out of the sky painted by an East Cary Middle student will be displayed on a giant television screen in downtown Manhattan as part of a national school art project.

The student’s artwork was selected to be part of the Artsonia student art slideshow to be presented March 2 and 3 on the HD-format LED screen that measures 30 x 15 feet and overlooks the Big Screen Plaza at 851 Avenue of Americas in New York City.

Art teacher Richard Rawls submitted the work by student Lindsey Wright. From the thousands of art teachers nationwide, Rawls was one of 500 teachers selected to showcase one piece of artwork. Wright’s artwork will be on screen for approximately 20 seconds around 6:43 both evenings.

Artsonia has teamed up with the National Art Education Association to present student artwork from across the country in New York City where more than 6000 art teachers will be attending the NAEA National Convention.  Artsonia is the largest online kids art museum.

Wake Education Partnership Announces 2012 Pieces of Gold Performance

Wake Education Partnership President Steve Parrott announced the 2012 Pieces of Gold annual student performance will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at Memorial Auditorium. The show will feature performances by more than 1,000 Wake County public school students from 30 different schools.

The performance highlights student talent from around the community and honors the dedication of students, faculty and staff through the artistic Pieces of Gold presentation. Of the 65 schools that auditioned, the following schools were chosen to participate:

  • Leesville, Briarcliff, Joyner, Sycamore Creek, North Forest Pines, Wilburn, Lacy, Barwell, Bugg, Powell, Zebulon, Underwood, Fuller, Millbrook, Washington, Pleasant Union, Fuquay-Varina, Conn and Oak Grove elementary schools.
  • East Cary, East Millbrook, Martin, Moore Square, Ligon and Centennial middle schools.
  • Enloe, Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest-Rolesville, Leesville, Southeast Raleigh and Garner high schools.

Proceeds from this year’s ticket sales benefit the Wake Education Partnership Teacher Leadership Grants program, which assists teachers in improving their level of instruction to students through four types of grants including a professional learning team grant and three innovative instruction grants. To learn more about the grant program or to apply, visit:

Pieces of Gold sponsors include Progress Energy, Capitol Broadcasting, Golden Corral, SAS, Davidson & Jones, Duke Raleigh Hospital, AECOM, Applebee’s and Progressive Business Solutions.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

Holly Grove has an Author

Holly Grove Elementary Special Education teacher Tracy Spaine has published a book, Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane.

Spaine wrote the book to help her son understand the responsibilities of pet ownership. This is her first book.

She started working on the book at the time her son got his first pet, a golden retriever. “There’s nothing like having a dog,” said Tracy.

She believes fellow teachers will find the book wonderful for read alouds. She knows how important teachers can be in a student’s life. It was her seventh grade teacher who first encouraged her to develop her talent for writing. Years later, she attended a writing seminar and then began work her book.

It took 1.5 years for Tracy to complete her book. She believes the book will be a good read for children, adults and animal lovers of all ages.

For each book sold, Tracy will donate $1 to the Golden Retriever Society. To support Carolina Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA) you can bring a food item for dogs and cats to her book signings. You can find more information here.

Thanks to principal Wiladean Thomas for sharing this story with GotNews.

LISTEN: Drew Cook Named North Central Regional Principal of the Year

Garner Magnet High principal Drew Cook has been named North Central Regional Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. Cook was in the running for the honor after being named Wake County Principal of the Year.

Cook becomes one of eight NC principals considered for 2012 State Principal of the Year. As a regional winner, Cook will receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for his school.

Listen to Drew Cook Named North Central Regional Principal of the Year 

This is a 12.5-minute mp3 file.








You can read more about Cook here.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.

Semifinalists Named for WCPSS Teacher of the Year

The Wake County Public School System has honored 24 teachers as semifinalists for the 2012 Teacher of the Year. 

Lisa Barnes, Baucom Elementary School
Kristel Behrend, Lake Myra Elementary School
Ellie Bentler, Reedy Creek Elementary School
Molly Bostic, Heritage High School
Lauren Brooks, Enloe High School
Kristina Brooks, Smith Elementary School
Laura Cochrane, Mills Park Middle School
Meher Daruwalla, Fuller Elementary School
Stacy Eleczko, Wiley Elementary School
Kamila Esterline, Holly Springs Elementary School
Katherine Eves, Wildwood Forest Elementary School
Tanya Grosnick, Forest Pines Drive Elementary School
Wanda Harte, Ballentine Elementary School
Betsy Lane, Hodge Road Elementary School
Damion Lewis, Knightdale High School
Donna Liefer, Millbrook Elementary School
Kristin McCormick, Cary High School
Brandon Mize, Salem Elementary School
Victoria Mohr, East Wake High School of Health Science
Helen Pettiford, Sanderson High School
Charlotte Roberts, Jeffreys Grove Elementary School
J. Stuart Vickery, Jr., Martin Middle School
Teressa Waszkowski, Dillard Drive Elementary School
Toiya Williams, East Garner Middle School

Teachers were recognized by their peers at the school level. A selection committee determined the semi-finalists.  A reception will be held on April 18 to honor the semi-finalists and name the finalists.  The Wake County Public School System Teacher of the Year will be named on May 17.

Click here to get more great news about our awesome students and schools.