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North Rowan Middle School students market Rowan County

Participating Students

The following students contributed in Monday’s presentation:

  • Alexia Athey
  • Marbeli Bustillo Castro
  • Alena Chang
  • Arizona Day
  • Josh Feaster
  • Justice Feaster
  • Hannah Freeman
  • Logan Halstead
  • Aaron Hill
  • Alex Hill
  • Nala Hughes
  • Ali Khatib
  • Kaden Krider
  • Jasmin Lara Martinez
  • Alaina Lopez
  • Jennifer Lore
  • Avrie Mauldin
    Ashley Nguyen
  • Christarian Patterson
  • Sebastian Reed
  • D’Asia Ruffin
  • Kaylin Sturdivant-Hill
  • Diana Vega Carrillo
  • Jordan Young

SALISBURY — As the Rowan County Board of Commissioners met Monday, students from North Rowan Middle School delivered a message: “Be a Rowan County original, like us.”

The students were eighth-graders in a class taught by Angelia Fleming. Their message was developed through a yearlong challenge given to them by Superintendent Lynn Moody.

Moody challenged the students to learn about and market the six distinct sections of Rowan County: South, West, Southeast, East and North Rowan and the city of Salisbury.

Students explored each through web conferences, visitors and emails.

But student Alaina Lopez said that wasn’t enough.

Through partnerships with sponsors, specifically Rowan County Partners for Education, the class took multiple field trips throughout the county.

They presented their findings and a marketing video at Monday’s meeting.

The students began their journey in South Rowan, a place that student Jordan Young said made him feel “warm and at home.”

Kaden Krider agreed, saying people in the downtown China Grove community were compassionate and “seem like one big family.”

The group spoke of South Rowan High School’s news team, the Price of Freedom Museum and historic Thyatira Presbyterian Church.

Avrie Mauldin said the Price of Freedom Museum is full of history and a great place to visit for anybody who loves to learn.

The military museum in China Grove has more than 5,000 artifacts representing all the armed services.

“The museum really shows the riches and generosity and history of Rowan County’s community,” said Diana Vega Carrillo.

From South Rowan, students journeyed westward to explore West Rowan High School and Patterson Farm.

“All of the people in the West Rowan community help make each other better,” said Ali Khatib. “They use everything they have at their disposal to do so.”

An example is the high school’s Farm-to-Table program, which provides for the community using resources at hand, said Arizona Day.

Hannah Freeman and Kaylin Sturdivant-Hill each spoke of the benefits and beauty of Patterson Farm, from winter poinsettias to spring strawberries.

And then the group explored Rowan’s southeastern and eastern communities, from middle and high schools to tourist attractions like Tiger World, Gold Hill and Dan Nicholas Park.

“Tiger World is an amazing place where people get to see animals,” said Christarian “Lee” Patterson. “But it’s more than a zoo: it’s a refuge, in a way.”

Students explained that the attraction is actually an endangered wildlife preserve dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and preservation of many kinds of exotic animals — not just felines, said Carrillo.

Nala Hughes and D’asia Ruffin called Gold Hill one of North Carolina’s favorite historic small towns to visit, praising its “gorgeous scenery” and “remarkable 1840s gold mine.”

Alexia Athey highlighted Dan Nicholas Park: “Any age group in our community can come there and find something to enjoy,” she said.

The class’ countywide trips drew to a close with tours of downtown and historic Salisbury and their own neighborhood, North Rowan.

“North Rowan is home to us,” said Justice Feaster. “Our schools collaborate with our community to create a positive environment.

Khatib agreed, adding: “(North Rowan Middle School) staff and administration invoke a sense of compassion with all of their students,” he said. “The environment in this incredible school excels in preparing us for our next steps in life.”

Commissioners Vice Chairman Jim Greene praised the students for their presentation.

“This is what we have been looking for, for word to go out from us that we are more alike than different,” Greene said. “… This is the message that we want to get out.”

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