Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

Partners In Learning to host ABLE seminar

Parents, caregivers, educators and financial professionals are invited to learn more about a new law that affects individuals with disabilities.

Partners In Leaning Child Development and Family Resource Center will host Ryan Platt, founder of A Special Needs Plan, Inc., for an informational session on the newly passed ABLE Act.

Signed into law at the close of 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act will allow people with disabilities to open special accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government programs.

They can also keep their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is accrued in an ABLE account. Modeled after 529 college savings plans, interest earned on savings will be tax-free. Funds accrued in the accounts can be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses.

Platt, who has spoken at Partners In Learning before on the topic of special needs financial planning, is the owner and founder of Personal Strategy Group & A Special Needs Plan, Inc. He is a Registered Representative of and offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning through MML Investors Services, LLC. He has also been on the board of directors for the Arc of Mecklenburg for eight years.

“The ABLE Act will affect families with loved ones with special needs, and we want everyone to be well informed,” said Executive Director Norma Honeycutt. “The center hosts year-round events for families with children with special needs to support, educate and empower them.”


Catawba athletic trainer to be inducted into Athletic Trainer Hall of Fame

Robert Casmus, head athletic trainer at Catawba College, will be honored by the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association when he is inducted into that organization’s Athletic Trainer Hall of Fame in May.

Casmus was notified of his pending induction in a December letter.

The induction, to be held during the organization’s annual business meeting and symposium in Virginia Beach, Virginia, will recognize Casmus for his “exceptional and unique contributions to the athletic training profession,” according to the letter.

Casmus has been head athletic trainer at Catawba College since July 1990.  He is a nationally certified athletic trainer through the Board of Certification in Omaha, Nebraska, a licensed athletic trainer in North Carolina and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association.

He currently serves on the board for the National Athletic Trainers Association National Hall of Fame Committee and has been a member of the Board of Certification Examination Development Committee since 1996.

Casmus earned his undergraduate degree in health education from Temple University in Philadelphia and his graduate degree in exercise and sport sciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

After moving to North Carolina, Casmus was head athletic trainer for five years at Chowan College in Murfreesboro before moving to Catawba College to become head athletic trainer.

He and his wife, the former Teresa Moore, live in Salisbury and they have a son named Will.


Local educators attend NCCAT

Several area educators attended programs held at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching, a recognized national leader in professional development programming for the state’s teachers.

Participating educators from the Rowan-Salisbury School System include Michele M. Vaeth of Jesse C. Carson High School, Anna L. Irvin of Hurley Elementary School, Tiffany P. Carter of Southeast Middle School, Wanda C. Taylor of South Rowan High School and Jane S. Current of West Rowan Middle School.

Kannapolis City Schools teacher Leigh G. Yelton of Forest Park Elementary School also participated.


Pfeiffer University recognized for community engagement

Pfeiffer University has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. This designation is among the highest honors a college or university can achieve in recognition for the impact of its community service and engagement efforts.

Pfeiffer is one of six private universities in North Carolina – among a total of 18 universities statewide — to hold this distinction.

Pfeiffer, classified initially in 2008, is among 157 colleges and universities nationwide to be reclassified for this honor and is joined by 83 new institutions receiving the classification for the first time this year. In 2010, 121 others were classified.

“This reclassification is a testament to Pfeiffer University’s longstanding commitment to service and community engagement, which are woven across the institution on every level,” said Dr. Tracy Espy, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It reflects our strategic focus on engaged and experiential learning for all students and demonstrates our ability to successfully integrate a spirit of service into Pfeiffer’s overall culture.”

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s purpose is to combine educational knowledge and public and private sector resources to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility and address critical societal issues and contribute to the public good.

To be considered for the Community Engagement Classification, colleges and universities must demonstrate the ways community engagement efforts influence all of an institution’s endeavors, including academic, administrative and financial, in a sustainable way. In Pfeiffer’s case, several programs have been established for as long as 15 years; others illustrate partnerships that integrate academics, athletics and service.


Gray Stone athletic director honored

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association announced that Jeff Morris, associate director and director of athletics at Gray Stone Day School, has been recognized by the association as a certified master athletic administrator.

To earn this distinction, Morris has demonstrated exemplary knowledge, contributions and ongoing professional development in the field of interscholastic athletic administration.

The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of his educational background, experience, leadership courses and professional contributions. It is culminated with a practical written project.

Morris is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.


Registration deadline for Jan. 20 School’s Out Day Camp is today

The N.C. Transportation Museum’s School’s Out Day Camp will provide parents with a safe and affordable place for their kids during three upcoming teacher workdays.

School children in Rowan and surrounding counties will have Jan. 20 off.  But when school is out, School’s Out Day Camp is in for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

Jan. 20, Feb. 16 and Mar. 20, children at the N.C. Transportation Museum will enjoy games, teaching stations and more.  Parents will know their kids are safe and having a great time at this state historic site, the former Spencer Shops steam locomotive repair facility.

N.C. Transportation Museum staff have come up with a schedule of hands-on activities, including a railroad-oriented scavenger hunt through the Bob Julian Roundhouse, a photo session in the 1929 Ford Model AA fire truck with authentic fireman’s turnout gear, a paper airplane session with lessons on the fundamentals of flight, balloon car construction and a race, and boat making.

Activities will stretch across the N.C. Transportation Museum’s 57-acre property, making it an active day of fun and learning.

The price is affordable and comparable to other camps of this type, just $30 for the day’s activities. Museum members receive a $5 discount.

Those who would like to schedule their children to attend School’s Out Day Camp should call June Hall at 704-636-2889 ext. 268, or email The registration deadline for the Jan. 20 camp is today, Jan. 15.


Registration open for Read to Succeed

Registration for Read to Succeed, a reading and literacy tutoring program sponsored by Project Cover, Inc., is now open.

Read to Succeed will meet Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., starting Jan. 20 for four weeks. The program, which is for kindergarten through fourth-grade students, will take place at two sites – Project Cover, 123 E. B Ave. in Salisbury, and ATC Ministries, 1915-1917 W. Innes St. Suite 103 in Salisbury.

Transportation may be arranged.

Read to Succeed also needs volunteers and donations. Background checks are required for volunteers. For more information, or to register your child, contact Mamie Williams at 704-433-9832 or Erika Cornelius at 704-980-234-4191.


FUMC Preschool registration
Open enrollment for First United Methodist Church Preschool 2015-2016 school year has begun.
Fill out a registration form and pay a non-refundable deposit of $75 to the preschool. These forms are available at the church’s volunteer office at 217 S. Church St.
Call 704-636-3121 with questions.