Education roundup: Gray Stone Day School earns College Board diversity award

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

MISENHEIMER — Gray Stone Day School earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation.

More than 1,100 institutions achieved either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2021-22 school year. In 2022, Gray Stone Day School was one of 832 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles (CSP).

“We’re thrilled to congratulate our female AP computer science students and their teacher on striving to engage in computer science education,” Chief Administrative Officer Helen Nance said in a news release. “We’re honored that our school earned this distinction and look forward to seeing these young women and others pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers.”

College Board Head of the AP Program Trevor Packer added, “Computer science is the source code of our economy and so much of our daily lives. In the five years since we began the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it’s been heartening to see schools like Gray Stone Day School welcome so many more young women into this vital field.”

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to driving innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $97,430 in May 2021.

However, women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations.

According to the data, female students who take AP CSP in high school are more than five times as likely to major in computer science in college, compared to female students of similar background and academic preparation who did not take it.

These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms.

Overall, female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 33% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 25% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 51% of the nation’s high schools teach foundational computer science.

FUNd Run at Bostian Elementary

CHINA GROVE — Bostian Elementary fourth graders recently completed a service project benefitting The Ocean Cleanup Foundation as part of the school’s continued renewal focus on service and leadership.

Students in Brooke Padgett, Donna Rymer and Bethany Butts’ fourth grade classes read several books and researched various global and local problems. Then, they discussed ways to help solve these problems and took a vote on which project to serve.

Students decided to donate to The Ocean Cleanup Foundation ( to help in the non-profit’s innovative efforts to rid the oceans of 90% of plastic pollution and halt 80% of riverine plastic from ever entering ocean waters.

Inspired by the opportunity to help reduce ocean pollution, students participated in a FUNd Run on Feb. 3. Families were welcomed to Bostian’s gym and assisted with cheering on students while they ran to raise funds for this cause.

“Running laps was fun, and I’m glad we are helping sea animals,” fourth grader Hailey Seaford said.

Read Across America

SALISBURY — In celebration of Read Across America Week, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Early Childhood Education department will join Cabarrus Partnership for Children and Smart Start Rowan to visit local childcare centers to share the joy of reading with young students.

During the week of Feb. 27 – March 3, children will be able to experience fun-filled, engaging read-aloud sessions with story props, role play, and readers dressed up as book characters.

Man Up Monday at Koontz Elementary

SALISBURY — Students at Koontz Elementary participated in Man Up Monday, a support and male empowerment program coordinated by local reverends.

Rev. Timothy Bates, along with the other mentors, George Bates, Rev. Dr. Roy L. Dennis, Jr. and Rev. Jerry Miller.

Man Up Monday is a mentoring program for boys of all ages, kindergarten through 12th grade in Rowan County. The program offers them an opportunity to promote positivity for males of diverse backgrounds and enhance social, emotional, and academic growth in young male students.

It strives to teach them to listen, learn, and pay attention to their surroundings in our school and in the community. This program allows male mentors to make positive impressions on male students that will last a lifetime. Man Up provides our male youth with a protected environment to develop respect, integrity, and good work ethics. This program is committed to demonstrating to all males that they are respected and valued.

“Our goal is to tap in their gifts and set before them positive role models while at the same time, providing them with life skills,” Bates said.

Courtney Hunter, the Koontz Elementary Social, Emotional, and Learning (SEL) Coach, is committed to having the program available. Hunter says, “As an SEL Coach, I truly believe in the three pillars of SEL which are culture, adult skills, and curriculum. Man Up has created a culture that allows our young males to thrive while learning social skills and core values that will last a lifetime.”

Southern City AME Zion Church awards scholarships

SALISBURY — The Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion Church recently awarded its annual Legacy of Leader Scholarships to students who are currently enroll in a school of higher education.

The two students who received the award of $500 each are:


Mya Langford, daughter of Shannon and Tasha Langford. Mya is currently a student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, associate degree in the arts, her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in nursing and ultimately become a pediatric nurse practitioner.


Jalon Nicholas Walker, son of Curtis and LaSheka Walker. Jalon is currently a student at the University of Georgia, his plan of study is human biology, with a minor in business administration. His lifelong dream is to play in the NFL. But as he stated “life has it’s bumps and bruises” so his contingency plan is to become an orthodontist.