Education briefs: State Teacher of the Year visits RSS

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2021

SALISBURY— Eugenia Floyd, North Carolina Teacher of the Year, spent the morning in Rowan-Salisbury Schools on Friday.

Floyd’s visit began at Wallace Educational Forum before setting off on a tour at North Rowan High School. She learned about RSS’s renewal status that affords it charter-like freedoms with Principal Meredith Williams.

Williams explained that their teaching practice is challenge-based learning where students learn how to solve real-world problems and to think creatively. 

“Technology and the needs of society have changed so renewal enabled us to design our institution to give us the outcomes we want,” Williams said. “We are developing entrepreneurs. It is not just about making money. An entrepreneur sees an opportunity and can make the most of it.” 

Ninth-grade students shared their learning progressions in photography and tools like iMovie, skills they will use in the future. A tenth-grade classroom of students was providing feedback to their classmates on projects created using a rubric. Students explained they are comfortable providing feedback because it is an ongoing part of their design thinking.

“Just because we have always done something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s best,” Floyd said. “Doing something a different way empowers not just educators but students. Just because we have always done it doesn’t mean it works for all children. We are here to educate them all. Having the opportunity to be creative empowers the educator to bring what they are learning in their professional development into the classroom.” 

Floyd also toured Hurley Elementary. Of particular interest was Hurley’s House System: five houses, one family. Hurley’s principal, Jennifer Brown explained the House System enables students and staff to build positive culture at the school.  

Brown also shared how renewal flexibilities have enabled her and her team to flip the culture of the build to core instruction.

“When we think about the students and the things that are working, we need to focus on what helps grow our children. The bottom line is for students to think and achieve the standards taught,” Floyd said.

The tour concluded at Wallace Educational Forum with a visit from Dr. Todd Parker, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.

Catawba named to Princeton Review best colleges list

SALISBURY – The Princeton Review recently released its best 387 colleges for 2022, and Catawba College once again appears on the list.

In addition to being selected as one of the best 387 colleges in the nation, Catawba was recognized again as a best college in the Southeastern region and was ranked 33 on the green colleges list as a school that made the most exceptional commitment to sustainability. 

As part of Princeton’s Review’s 30th milestone edition, the company curated “Great Lists” which identified the colleges in the book with the most impressive history of appearances on the company’s annual “best of” ranking lists over the years. The colleges named on the “Great Lists” are those with stellar records of student satisfaction, according to the Princeton Review.  

Catawba was included on the Great College Theater list based on student ratings of their campus theater productions.  

“I am proud of the place Catawba College has earned in national rankings like the Princeton Review’s Best College Guide,” said Catawba President David P. Nelson. “It is a reminder of the extraordinary work of our faculty, the heartfelt support of our staff, and the dedication of our students.

About 14% of America’s 2,700 four-year colleges are profiled in the Best Colleges book, which is one of Princeton Review’s most popular publications. The company chooses the colleges for the book based on data it collects each year from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings.

Princeton Review also considers data it gathers from its surveys of students at the colleges, who rate and report on various aspects of their campus and community experiences.