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Board recognizes students and employees

Board of Education recognizes students and employees

The Gaston County Board of Education recognized the outstanding efforts of schools, students, employees, and community partners during its regular monthly meeting on May 20, 2019 and June 13, 2019.  Here is a summary of the “Good News” recognition.

“Good News” for June 2019

■ The Board of Education recognized three schools for having a 100 percent score on the PowerSchool student information system audit: East Gaston High School, Hawks Nest STEAM Academy, and Highland School of Technology. The Board also recognized eight schools for having a 99 percent score:  South Point High School, Cramerton Middle, Catawba Heights Elementary, H.H. Beam Elementary, Gaston Early College High, Stuart W. Cramer High, Page Primary, and North Belmont Elementary. 

■ The Board of Education recognized Morgan Jenkins, a 2018 graduate of Bessemer City High School and student at UNC-Charlotte where she is majoring in elementary education, for creating a sensory path at Tryon Elementary that spans the entire kindergarten building.  The space gives students an opportunity to hop and count, push on the wall, participate in frog jump, tip toe, and balance activities, and the Alphabet HopScotch.  She is pictured with Board member Terry Usery and Tryon principal Meghan LeFevers.

■ The Board of Education recognized Chris Elmore, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at UNC-Charlotte and Queens University and the CEO of AvidExchange.  He donated a copy of his children’s book, “The Princess and the Paper,” to all elementary schools. The book teaches about accounts payable automation, but tells the story from the view of a princess, who is overwhelmed by paper in the form of a dragon.  Mr. Elmore is pictured with Board member Dot Guthrie, Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker, and Steve D’Avria and Dara Hartman from the Gaston Regional Chamber.

“Good News” for May 2019

■ The Board of Education recognized Urael Mussie of Highland School of Technology for being selected as a Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) Scholar.  Urael is one of only 100 students from across the country that were chosen for the LEDA summer program at Princeton University. He also was accepted to participate in the Project Uplift program and Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) nationals.  He is pictured with Board member Lee Dedmon and principal Denise McLean.

■ The Board of Education recognized Genevieve Starr and Reed Martin from the Gaston Early College High School for achieving a perfect score on the reading portion of the ACT.  Genevieve is pictured with Board member Steve Hall, her mother, and school counselor Rita Wilkinson.

■ The Board of Education recognized a group of first grade students from Pleasant Ridge Elementary, who took part in the regional math fair competition and earned an honorable mention award.  Miles Bone and Hudson Bader developed a project titled “Life-Saving Math Lessons,” and Lawrence Martin and Roxanne Hogan presented a project about origami. Additionally, fifth grader Akela Taylor developed the “Math Movers” project, which earned third place in the regional competition and received an honorable mention award at the state math fair.  The students are pictured with their family, Board member Dot Guthrie and principal Glenn Cook.

■ The Board of Education recognized Stuart W. Cramer High School students Alex Manley and Emily Harris for winning a Blumey Award.  Alex won Best Supporting Actor for his role as “Schroeder” in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Emily won the Technical Achievement Award for her costume design work, and she earned the prestigious Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship, which is worth $10,000 per year.  Additionally, the school won the Blumey Award for “Best Costume Creation.” Alex and Emily are each pictured with their mother, Board vice chairman Kevin Collier, Board member Jeff Ramsey, theater teacher Chuck Stowe, principal Audrey Devine, and assistant principal Lisa Rothwell.

■ The Board of Education recognized three athletes who won individual state track and field championships.  Zane Andrews of South Point High School won the 2-A championship in the pole vault competition. Lauren Tolbert of Highland School of Technology won the 1-A 400-meter dash and placed second in the 800-meter dash.  Ja’Ciya Guthrie of Bessemer City High School was named the 1A track and field most outstanding performer after winning three events and setting a state record.  She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 100-meter hurdles. Ja’Ciya also set a new state record for the 100-meter dash at 12.08 seconds. The students are pictured with their family, Board member Justin Davis, South Point High School principal Gary Ford, South Point High School athletic director Kent Hyde, South Point High School track coach Bill Hannon and Highland School of Technology principal Denise McLean.

■ The Board of Education recognized schools and central level departments for their outstanding efforts to support the United Way fundraising campaign.  For the 2018-2019 school year, employees contributed more than $108,000 to the United Way of Gaston County.

The following schools and central-level departments had 100 percent participation in giving:  Brookside Elementary, Cherryville High, Costner Elementary, Forestview High, W.C. Friday Middle, Hawks Nest STEAM Academy, North Gaston High, Rankin Elementary, Stuart W. Cramer High; and the Superintendent’s Office.

The following schools increased giving by more than 50 percent: Carr Elementary, Forestview High, Grier Middle, Mount Holly Middle, New Hope Elementary, Springfield Elementary, Stanley Middle, W.A. Bess Elementary, Woodhill Elementary, and York Chester Middle.

Additionally, Forestview High, Southwest Middle, Gardner Park Elementary, and Academic Services were recognized for having the highest fundraising total for each school level and central level department.