Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gray Stone ranks nationally for college readiness

According to the September 2015 issue of Newsweek, Gray Stone Day School once again is listed as one of America’s Top High Schools for 2015.

Nationally, the school ranked 237 out of 500 schools that made the list. It was reported that the school had a college readiness score of 80.5 percent and a college-bound and graduation rate of 100 percent. According to the Federal Department of Education, the U.S. is home to more than 30,000 high schools.

Gray Stone joins 14 other high schools in North Carolina which made the list. All of those but one are in urban areas.

“This shows that we are fulfilling our mission to provide rural students with a college preparatory education that competes with high schools in urban areas,” said Helen Nance, chief administrative officer at the school.

The ranking is based on graduation rate, Advanced Placement scores, SAT scores, retention of students to stay at the school, and counselor-to-student ratio.

“Gray Stone has outstanding teachers to thank who work tirelessly to provide a unique, quality education,” Nance said. “Our students are passionate about learning and work very hard to be prepared for college. We are very proud to be recognized on this list, but our mission statement and goals remain the same, and we’ll passionately continue to learn and improve, just as our students do every day.”

Catawba sociology professor co-authors book

Dr. Buster Smith, an assistant professor of sociology at Catawba College, has co-authored a book that will soon be released by NYU Press. “American Secularism: Cultural Contours of Nonreligious Belief Systems (Religion and Social Transformation)” will be available in paperback on Sept. 25.

Smith co-authored the book with Joseph O. Baker, an assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at East Tennessee State University and a senior research associate for the Association of Religion Data Archives.

This is the second book that Smith has co-authored. His first published book was Grounding Our Faith in a Pluralistic World.”

Smith, who joined the Catawba faculty at the start of the 2011-12 academic year, is interested in the study of the sociology of religion. He came to Catawba from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and religion from Middlebury College and then moved to Baylor University, where he received his master’s degree and doctorate in sociology.

Cannon School seniors welcome junior kindergarten buddies

On Aug. 21, Cannon School welcomed 31 junior kindergarten students for the 2015-16 school year.

Each child was greeted by his or her senior buddy, a person who will play an important role this first year. Senior buddies often visit classrooms to read, eat lunch, play on the playground or provide a listening ear for the junior kindergarten students.

Auditions for Rowan Youth Orchestra

Rowan Youth Orchestra will hold auditions for its 2015-16 season on Sept. 13 from 3-5 p.m. in the Williams Music Building at Catawba College.

To audition, a musician must be between the ages of 10 and 18 and must have had at least two years instruction on the violin, viola, cello or bass.

Music Director Marguerite Keller announced weekly rehearsals will be held on Wednesday afternoons, beginning on Sept. 16, from 4-5:30 p.m. at Southeast Middle School on Peeler Road. Their first performance will be the morning of Oct. 3 at Autumn Jubilee in Dan Nicholas Park.

The registration fee is $125 for the season. For more information, contact Education Director Nancy Barrow at 704-637-4730, or

Crosby Scholars enrollment deadline is Oct. 1

Rowan County Crosby Scholars is a free college access program dedicated to helping public middle and high school students begin to prepare academically, financially and personally for education beyond high school.

Every public school student in Rowan County in grades 6-10 is eligible to enroll, and students who enroll by the Oct. 1 deadline will be accepted into the program. All Crosby Scholars who completed the program requirements last year will remain active and do not need to re-enroll.

With the mentoring, support, structure and scholarships offered by Crosby Scholars, many students from Rowan County will experience the life-transforming possibilities a higher education can bring to them. Crosby Scholars students must fulfill requirements each year, including two hours of community service and attending one academy.

Program highlights for middle school include college campus tours, college and career exploration field trips and the Game of Life. For high school students we offer college campus tours, grade adviser meetings, one-on-one senior advisers and last dollar grants for graduating seniors.

The Crosby Scholars Program supports the whole student by providing essential college-preparatory skills that support academic and personal enrichment. Workshops such as note taking, test taking, SAT/ACT prep, building self-esteem, time and conflict management and goal setting are provided at Crosby Academy. There are also several optional parent classes.

Enroll at or in your school’s guidance office.

RCCC student government president

Tereysha Robles of Salisbury, an office administration and medical office administration major, is the new Student Government Association (SGA) president at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“We are proud to welcome Tereysha as an ex officio member of the college’s board of trustees,” said Carl M. Short, chairman of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees.

Robles was introduced as the 2015-16 SGA leader at a recent board of trustees meeting. Originally born in Manati, Puerto Rico, she moved with her family to Pawtucket, R.I., where she lived for 14 years before relocating to Salisbury.

During her first year at Rowan-Cabarrus, it was suggested by a high school friend that Robles attend an SGA meeting. “I never thought that joining a club would open up endless opportunities for me. Since then, the leadership programs offered at Rowan-Cabarrus have helped me gain life skills that reach far beyond the classroom,” said Robles.

Robles has been active in other student organizations, as well. She has a passion for the arts and painting in particular. She is bilingual and is continuing to grow her leadership skills in the area of communication. She is excited about the opportunity to share her thoughts clearly and is learning to speak up and speak out on behalf of her fellow students.

Robles was recently accepted to the North Carolina Community College Student Leadership Development Program.

“Serving as the SGA president will allow me to demonstrate and share with other students what a little motivation and a lot of growth can do for one’s success,” said Robles.

Western Governors University

Kenneth Mills of Salisbury received his bachelor’s degree in information technology from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City.