Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Carson High School will hold its first baccalaureate service Sunday at 4 p.m. at First Reformed Church, 210 N. Central Avenue, Landis. Speakers for the service include members of the class of 2014 and the Rev. David P. Franks.
Music will be provided by the seniors of Carson High School and the First Reformed Church praise team, under the direction of Pastor Jeff Chewning.
Seniors are asked to gather in the Fellowship Hall at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow the service. Parents and members of the community are also invited to attend.
Hanford-Dole Elementary School’s first graders enjoyed the May Book Club presentation.
Brandy Cook, Rowan County district attorney and Communities in Schools board member, was the guest reader for the book, “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
The story was about Gerald, the jungle giraffe, who had difficulty dancing because of his size, but with the right music turned out to be best dancer of all.
Cook entertained the students while she asked comprehension questions from the book and shared her love of reading as a child with names of books that the students were familiar with.
The Hanford-Dole Book Club is sponsored by grants from Target stores, Schneider Electric and Communities In Schools of Rowan County. Fran Simpson, Communities In Schools site coordinator, did a parent presentation on reading and writing to parents as a follow-up on the book that was read.
Cannon School students participated in the N.C. State Envirothon Competition at the end of April in Burlington.
Fifth-grader Chloe Winchester of Davidson, daughter of Jackie and Russell Winchester, won first place in the Envirothon poster contest at the county, regional and state levels. Also earning honors at the state level were freshman Mimi Wahid of Salisbury, daughter of Joan St. John and Roc Wahid, who earned a competition high score on the Forestry Test and fifth-grader Joey Carol of Cornelius, son of Andrea and Mark Carol, who won the T-shirt design competition.
In addition to the individual honors received, Cannon was successful in the team competitions. The upper school team of Soumya Avva, Callie Hnilica, Lindsey Turbyfill, Camille Harley and Mimi Wahid, who qualified for the state competition by earning third at regionals, placed seventh out of 43 teams. And the middle school team of Joey Carol, Megan Hnilica, Hannah Shiffert, Chloe Winchester and Grace Winchester, who qualified for the state competition by placing seventh at regionals, placed 21st out of 49 teams.
A.L. Brown High School senior Sydney Pless of Kannapolis received the fourth annual Frances Black Holland Scholarship from Cooperative Christian Ministry. This $2,000 scholarship was created to mirror the core values of Cooperative Christian Ministries and assist a student in attending a college or university while honoring the ministry and education supporter Frances Black Holland of Kannapolis.
Students who apply are asked to show they are applying their skills in a manner to exceed expectations; maintain a presence in the community through community service or volunteerism; show that they value themselves as well as others and exhibit characteristics of kindness, caring, honesty and sharing; and place value on inspiring others, as well as promote confidence and courage in others. Students must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher to be considered for the scholarship.
Communities in Schools of North Carolina received grant funding from Verizon and American Tower to promote Communities in Schools site coordinators as informal STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — educators in their local communities.
To further support this movement, Communities in Schools North Carolina equipped site coordinators with STEM kits and materials to give students hands-on learning experiences.
Communities In Schools of Rowan County presented the opportunity to its sites and received the first response within a few days from Hanford Dole Elementary School’s fifth-grade teacher Sally Shultz.
“We are so happy to have received this opportunity from our state Communities In Schools office. The STEM project adds to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual resources we bring to Rowan Salisbury School children,” said Vicky Slusser, Communities in Schools Rowan executive director.
During the STEM project, fifth-graders will learn to build weather instruments, measure effects of weather and learn how to collaborate to teach younger students about weather science.
Southeast Middle School received a $300 mini-grant from Cornell University Lab of Ornithology through its Celebrate Urban Birds Project along with Pennington Seed Company.
Enrichment students, students with special study interest, Catawba College students in Catawba Outreach Biology, along with members of the Rowan Master Gardeners and Rowan County Cooperative Extension, have all participated in bird watching and birding activities.
The grant, “Southeast Middle School: Feathered Friends,” encouraged participation in “LAB,” which stands for literacy, art and birds. Students completed literacy activities in Birdwatching 101. In addition, a school bird art display which included creative art, poems and short stories, was presented throughout the study.
The school has conducted 10-minute bird watching events at various times throughout the months of April and May. Students were able to enter their data online into the Cornell lab database which will track the population areas of selected focal birds.
The grant provided funds for a bird feeder which was placed in the lunchroom courtyard. Candy Frye is the enrichment teacher at Southeast Middle School and Jennifer Lentz is principal.
Salisbury Academy’s annual N.C. Heritage Fair brought history to life during the recent school-wide event.
“This is one of my favorite Salisbury Academy traditions because lessons come to life and our students get a deeper appreciation for the rich history of our state,” said Head of School Diane Fisher.
Salisbury Academy hosts the annual event, where students learn about North Carolina icons through interactive centers and talented crafters’ exhibits and conversations. This year’s event focused on Rowan County art and history.
Throughout the course of the day, students in all grades rotated among stations including American Legion Baseball with Salisbury Post reporter Mike London, Rowan County tourism, Rowan Museum, Piedmont Players, Waterworks Visual Arts Center, children’s author Dicy McCullough, N.C. Transportation Museum, Salisbury Symphony “Petting Zoo” and Sparks Circus.
At the Rowan Museum station, students participated in tasks they might have had to do several hundred years ago in Rowan as a colonial youngster, such as hauling firewood and keeping a fire going and cooking and stirring.
Students wore T-shirts representing a North Carolina tourist attraction, business, symbol, slogan or event and enjoyed food from the state including Haps hot dogs, Apple Uglies and Patterson Farm strawberries.
The Millbridge Ruritan Club recently awarded seven scholarships at its May monthly meeting. Five scholarships, each valued at $750, were awarded this year to three high school seniors from South Rowan High School and two seniors from West Rowan High School. This year’s winners from West Rowan are John Corriher and Rebecca Parker. The winners from South Rowan are Eric Goldston, Sarah Crawley and Haley Shore. Shore received the John Bussard Memorial gift.
The sixth and seventh scholarships valued at $500 are awarded under the Ruritan National Foundation’s Build Your Dollar Grant Program. This year’s winners are Gavin Iddings and Holden White, both of whom attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The “Build Your Dollar Grant Program” is an innovative program that allows the local club to receive matching funds from the national office to award a worthy individual a grant. More than 400 awards are made annually across the country.
Seventy-six seniors of the Class of 2014 celebrated Cannon School’s 13th upper school commencement on May 23 at the school’s Poplar Tent Road campus in Concord.
Jeff Burton, NASCAR driver, NBC sports analyst and Cannon parent, delivered the commencement address. Jake Flynn of Davidson, son of Kristin and Brian Flynn, delivered Cannon’s valedictorian address. Vanessa Dane of Mooresville, daughter of Paula and Michael Dane, delivered the salutatorian address.
Corriher-Lipe Middle School choral students honored veterans at their May 20 concert.
Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders performed, including special patriotic selections by John Jacobson and Ruth Elaine Schram performed by the eighth-graders.
One day while rehearsing with the eighth grade, one student raised his hand and asked if the students “could invite a friend of Mrs. Wooten’s to bring some of his war buddies to the concert to honor them for their acts of service to our country.”
Other hands started going up and asking if the class could have them stand up so “we could sing to them and honor them.”
Wooten said she would check with Phil Foster, who attends her church, and see if he could get some fellow veterans together and attend.
Foster agreed and offered to have the men arrive at the school on their Harley Davidson motorcycles and wear their fatigues.
The students decided to present each veteran with a red, white and blue ribbon at the door, and seated the veterans in a reserved area.
The concert included a special time to recognize the veterans, and a special program insert honored the veterans and those who have died in celebration of Memorial Day, which fell on the following Monday.