Good News, July-August 2022
Gaston County Schools received an Award of Merit from the National School Public Relations Association for the 2022 “Gaston County Schools Storybook.” The publication was one of only 34 national award winners in the magazine category.
More than 80 beginning teachers participated in the Gaston County Schools Teacher Induction Program for Success (TIPS). The teachers gathered at Sadler Elementary School to receive information from various departments about district policies and procedures. They also met by grade levels to learn about content standards, instructional expectations, and classroom management strategies and visited classrooms to get ideas to incorporate into their own.
Gaston County Schools recognized three outstanding bus drivers during the school district’s annual transportation banquet. Darryl Gash of Sherwood Elementary, Teresa Brooks of Cramerton Middle, Lamar Gardin of Highland School of Technology, and Teresa Fincher of Webb Street School were presented the Tracey Lea Calhoun Award. The honor goes to school bus drivers who have made a significant contribution to the school transportation profession and bus safety. In addition, Cameron Wilson was recognized as the Transportation Department Employee of the Year.
Fifteen Gaston County Schools teachers were selected to serve as Catalyst Leaders based on their outstanding content, technology, and teaching skills. They will serve as inspiring mentors and coaches for all teachers. The Catalyst Leaders are Mary Bowen, Pleasant Ridge Elementary; Kelli Brady, Carr Elementary; Amy Brechtel, Brookside Elementary; Brandi Bridgeman, Belmont Central Elementary; Karen Cardenas, North Gaston High School; Jennifer del Castillo, Belmont Middle; Lindsey Isaacs, Cramerton Middle; David Jones, Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences; Allie Kleinheinz, Hawks Nest STEAM Academy; Amanda Matz, North Belmont Elementary; Andrea Miers, Cramerton Middle; Alyssa Napolitano, McAdenville Elementary; Jaci Miller, Belmont Middle; and Britnee Reid, Gaston Virtual Academy.
More than 600 teachers and administrators attended the Gaston County Schools Teaching and Learning Conference on August 5 at Gaston College. The conference featured keynote speaker Tremayne Stephens and a variety of professional development workshops.
Students in Gaston County Schools had the opportunity to attend the “Camp Gaston” summer learning program, which provided a wide variety of academic, enrichment, leadership, and extracurricular activities.
The Gaston County Schools Secretaries Conference was held on August 4 at Highland School of Technology. The theme was “It’s A Whole New World.” The training sessions focused on the district’s new business, finance, and payroll system as well as a number of other topics, including Google and technology, policies and procedures, Synovia transportation system, sales tax requirements, self-defense, Title I spending, and communication.
The Gaston County Schools summer nutrition program provided approximately 116,000 meals for students. Breakfast and lunch meals were made available at various locations across the county.
The following Gaston County Schools employees completed the school nutrition manager-in-training program: Crystal Bolin, Holbrook Middle School; Michelle Bryant, New Hope Elementary; Connie Bubar, Costner Elementary; Reba Creason, Tryon Elementary; Valette Darby, Robinson Elementary; Stephanie Riddle, Beam Intermediate; Sandra Watson, Pinewood Elementary; and Teresa Wilson, Kiser Elementary.
Gaston County Schools held a Career Signing Day in June, and six seniors signed a “letter of intent” to accept a job offer with one of three local companies: GSM Services, Dixon Valve, and Joffie Contracting Services. The following students were recognized during the ceremony: Francisco Baez, Stuart W. Cramer High School; Sean Brabham, Stuart W. Cramer High School; Cameron Owens, North Gaston High School; Mohammad Antonio Gonzales Hernandez, Forestview High School; Antonio Esparza, Forestview High School, and Luis Esteban, Forestview High School.
Gaston County Schools had 56 students participate in the James S. Forrester Commissioners’ School of Excellence. Commissioners’ School is a two-week summer enrichment program that teaches rising tenth graders about Gaston County and prepares them for leadership roles at school and in the community.
Eight high school seniors in the Class of 2022 won the People Helping People Scholarship, which is presented by the State Employees Credit Union Foundation: Sara Cable, Highland; Addie Eaker, Cherryville; Patrick Hairston, Stuart W. Cramer; Briana Hoyle, Hunter Huss; Logan Mason, Ashbrook; Hannah Mullis, East Gaston; Emily Revels, South Point; and Lena Ware, Gaston Early College. The scholarship valued at $10,000 is awarded to students who achieve excellence in academics and community involvement and exhibit good character, leadership, and integrity.
Sullivan Absher of South Point High School and Justin Rocquemore of Stuart W. Cramer High School were named to The Gaston Gazette’s “Dandy Dozen” roster, which is a pre-season listing of the top high school football players in Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland counties.
Belmont Middle School art students painted old rain barrels to bring color and beauty to the Belmont Community Garden.
Elevation Gaston Outreach partnered with John Chavis Middle School to refurbish the school teacher’s lounge. The volunteers helped repurpose some furniture and stock the lounge with coffee, snacks, and other items to help alleviate the burden of the teachers and school having to purchase the items. In addition, the volunteers and school staff put together 1,000 back-to-school teacher bags that will be distributed to 10 different schools. The bags included boxes of tissues, bottles of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, pencils, bags of candy, and pens.
East Gaston High School seniors Gracelyn Gaddy, Ashlyn Lewis, and Taylor Wright completed their nursing assistant certification state test over the summer. In addition, Gracelyn has already earned employment at Courtland Terrace as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
Ali Merilan of the Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences was selected as a representative for the Gaston County Teen Action Committee. In addition, Savion Leacock participated in a summer internship with the Army Educational Outreach Program, and Chandan Chahil participated in Summer Ventures through the North Carolina School of Science and Math.
Hawks Nest STEAM Academy AIG teacher Teagan Taylor participated in the National Council for History Education workshop at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The workshop was titled “The Space Age on the Space Coast.” In addition, Suzanne Raxter participated in a statewide program through the North Carolina Science Leadership Association that focused on problem-based learning and helping students with problem-solving skills.
The Highland School of Technology Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter was recognized as a National Gold Seal Chapter of Merit for the tenth year in a row. Additionally, the chapter was recognized as a Champion Chapter at the national convention in Chicago. Rachel Martin is the club’s adviser.
Students from Highland School of Technology attended the Technology Student Association (TSA) national convention in Texas in June. Ten students advanced to the national convention after competing at the state level. Darryl Thompson is the club’s adviser.
Holbrook Middle School received a donation of office furniture from the Gastonia Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership to furnish the school’s conference room and assistant principal offices.
Lingerfeldt Elementary was selected for the First Tee program. Through the First Tee program, the school will receive equipment, training, and supplies to teach golf in the physical education classes.
McAdenville Elementary received various donations of school supplies. Karen Rash donated 48 backpacks and the Cramer Mountain Investment Club donated several boxes of supplies. In addition, the McAdenville Wesleyan Church held a cookout and provided dinner for the staff during the school’s Meet the Teacher Night program.
South Point High School senior Will Ross was recognized as a 2021-2022 Academic All-American by the National High School Coaches Association.
The Southwest Middle School football team and school resource officer Jamar Kendrick volunteered at the Mount Zion Restoration Church’s food drive and Legacy Event Center’s meat give-a-way.
Woodhill Elementary School received $1,600 worth of school supplies from Lutheran Chapel Church in Gastonia.