Carson students video chat with governor

  • Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 12:39 a.m.
Gov. Pat McCrory takes part in the video conference Thursday with Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, from left, Rep. Linda Johnson (standing behind) and Principal Kelly Withers,  along with others.
Gov. Pat McCrory takes part in the video conference Thursday with Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, from left, Rep. Linda Johnson (standing behind) and Principal Kelly Withers, along with others.

It’s 3 p.m. on Thursday at Carson High School. The 24-0 volleyball team has a game at Northwest Cabarrus this afternoon.

Several of the players, however, have more to think about than their impending win this evening. They, among 50 other hand-selected students that make up the Carson Leadership Team, have spent the last hour video chatting with Gov. Pat McCrory from the Innovation Center in Raleigh.

This past May, Carson’s Contemporary Studies Class hosted a Legislative Day and invited politicians from the local and state level to speak with students. Among the attendees was Chris Estes, the governor’s chief information officer.

Estes has been a key advocate for the Innovation Center, which allows companies and communities to test new technology before they invest, a sort of “try before you buy” policy.

“The Innovation Center,” said Estes, “is about connecting people and technology in a way that allows our state agencies to deliver more projects on time and on budget.”

Carson High School, like the iCenter, was similarly successful in connecting people and technology, using Cisco technologies to video chat with McCrory and members of his cabinet. Carson is the only high school in the state to be honored with this near-personal appearance, demonstrating the benefit of technology to statewide communication.

Behind the scenes, Carson students were hard at work, blogging about the event using

McCrory answered questions regarding technology, from the role he believes it will play in future classrooms to his favorite personal product.

“When I was in high school, classes were brick and mortar,” said McCrory.

Now, students are able to do projects on iPads, sharing resources and ideas with people everywhere.

Joining the governor and Estes on the Raleigh side of the screen were Sen. Andrew Brock and Rep. Linda Johnson. Others joining in were Eric Guckian, senior adviser on education; Susan Kluttz, secretary for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources and former Salisbury mayor; Fred Steen, legislative liaison for the governor and former mayor of Landis; and Kelly Withers, principal of Carson High School. Dr. Julie Morrrow, assistant superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools; Eisa Cox, director of secondary education; and Phil Hardin, director of technology, joined students of the Leadership Team.

When asked by senior Kate Cole why he chose Carson to speak with, the governor replied, “Because it’s the best high school,” then proceeded to say, “Rowan County has a special place in my heart.”

Before signing off, the governor wished luck to the volleyball team.

To access the student blog from the event, go to

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