Return to Headlines

Good News from Gaston County Schools, April

Good News, April 2022

The following students were chosen as the “Do the Right Thing” award winners for April: Jace Lineberger, Page Primary; Zayden Miller, Brookside Elementary; Alexandria Price, Southwest Middle; and Sydney Crain, North Gaston High School

Seventeen students from Gaston County Schools were selected to attend the 2022 session of the prestigious North Carolina Governor’s School.  Students attending Governor’s School East at Meredith College are Sherry Ramos Martinez, Ashbrook High School; Abby Michael, Stuart W. Cramer High School; Mattie Branham, East Gaston High School; Hayden Dillard, East Gaston High School; Kathryn Meranto, East Gaston High School; Olivia Metts, East Gaston High School; Samuel Cook, Highland School of Technology; Nicole Allen, South Point High School; Avery Boyd, South Point High School; Jordan Coffey, South Point High School; James Crawford, South Point High School; and Abigail Miss, South Point High SchoolStudents attending Governor’s School West at Winston-Salem State University are Marley Prato, Stuart W. Cramer High School; Kaitlyn Russell, East Gaston High School; A’ja Adams, Forestview High School; Sarah Younan, Forestview High School; and Abigail Osborne, Highland School of Technology.

Gaston County Schools in collaboration with the Gaston County Museum of Art and History is sponsoring the “Through An Artist’s Eyes” exhibit, which features student artwork in 12 different categories: painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, comic art, ceramics, digital art, color drawing, mixed media, fiber arts, crafts, and black and white drawing.  Hunter Huss High School senior Rhiannon Wollmuth earned “Best in Show” for her award-winning piece titled “ARIZONA.”  Southwest Middle School student Trinity Ledford received the James C. Biggers Award for her piece titled “Kaleidoscope.”  The Director’s Choice Award was presented to Ashbrook High School student Erin Poteat for her painting titled “Bowie.” 

The following Career and Technical Education teachers received a $500 grant from Dominion Energy in celebration of Women’s History Month: Anna Guzauskas, Ashbrook High School; Holly Hite, Cramerton Middle School; Jill Lenox, East Gaston High School; and Angela Sanders, Southwest Middle School.

Linda Cathcart of Belmont Middle School was named the Gaston County Schools Media Specialist of the Year for 2022-2023.  Caitlin Garvey of East Gaston High School was named the Gaston County Schools School Psychologist of the Year for 2022-2023. 

Dr. Melissa Balknight, associate superintendent of academic services for Gaston County Schools, participated in a recent “Tar Heel Teachers at Home” web episode.

Gaston County Schools athletic director Chad Duncan was elected to serve as president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) and received the State Award of Merit from the NCADA and NIAAA (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association).

Dr. Aaron Slutsky, chief technology officer for Gaston County Schools, completed the North Carolina School Superintendents Association’s Aspiring Superintendents Program. 

Belmont Middle School student Rex Dover won The Gaston Gazette Spelling Bee.  He will go on to represent Gaston County Schools at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  Paolo Sexton of York Chester Middle School was the runner-up.

The following schools won awards at the fourth annual Gaston County Schools High School Battle of the Books competition: Stuart W. Cramer High School, first place; Forestview High School, second place; and Bessemer City High School, third place.

Chapel Grove Elementary was named the “grand champion” of the Elementary Battle of the Books competition and will represent Gaston County Schools in the regional competition. 

The East Division winners in the Battle of the Books competition were W.A. Bess Elementary, first place; Costner Elementary, second place; Belmont Central Elementary, third place; and New Hope Elementary, fourth place. The West Division winners were Chapel Grove Elementary, first place; W.B. Beam Intermediate, second place; Catawba Heights Elementary, third place; and Gardner Park Elementary, fourth place.

Belmont Middle School placed second at the Region VI Battle of the Books virtual competition. Media specialist Linda Cathcart is the school’s coach.

Media specialist Julie Shatterly challenged students at W.A. Bess Elementary to read 500 minutes during the “March into Spring Reading” program.  Collectively, students read 500,000 minutes.  In addition, members of the community participated in the reading program by reading a book to students via a video recording.  The students who met their reading goal received a gift certificate for a free pizza at Bubba’s 33.

North Carolina Senator Kathy Harrington visited with students in Victoria Brown’s second grade class at Chapel Grove Elementary.

Cherryville Elementary students in Kelly Brown’s second grade class wrote a letter to Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam and asked him several questions about local government.  In return, Mayor Beam surprised the students with a visit to the class to answer their questions.  

The North Carolina Theater Conference presented the K-12 Educator of the Year Award to Stuart W. Cramer High School teacher Chuck Stowe.  The presentation took place on opening night of the school’s spring performance of “Done to Death.”

Zoe Deo and Kelly Smith of Stuart W. Cramer High School received an honorable mention at the Region 6 North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair for their project titled “Crime Scene Chemistry: The Action of Luminol to Blood Stain Alternative.”

Tindol Ford and Gastonia Dodge donated $1,320 to support East Gaston High School automotive students, who attended the SkillsUSA state competition in Greensboro.

East Gaston High School senior Hannah Mullis competed at the North Carolina Junior Science and Humanities Symposium as a presenter and won second place.  She also competed at the NC Student Academy of Science competition and placed second in the biological sciences division.

Forestview High School senior Evan Friday received the Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship. He plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Forestview High School prom closet provided new prom attire to more than 100 students.

Gaston Early College High School senior Allen Chen achieved a perfect score on the math section of the SAT.

Gaston Early College High School students worked with the Gastonia Street Ministry to put together more than 300 care bags for the homeless community.

Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences freshman Andre Gaddy earned third place in the biology division at the Region 6 North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair for his project titled “Light Intensity and its Effect on Plant Growth.”

The City of Gastonia installed a school pride rock at Hawks Nest STEAM Academy.

Eleven Highland School of Technology delegates attended the 46th annual North Carolina Future Health Professionals (HOSA) State Leadership Conference in Greensboro and received several awards, including the Gold Star Chapter Award and the Gold Star Advisor Award. In addition, the following students placed at the competition: Jordan Abernathy, first, dental science; Amy Okonkwo, first, medical assisting; Osra Johnson, second, dental science; Regis Lu, second, dental terminology; and Myla Howe, third, dental terminology.

Hunter Huss High School athletic director Elliott Bridges was awarded the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association’s Citation Award. Additionally, South Point High School athletic director Kent Hyde was awarded the Athletic Director of Excellence Award.

For the second year in a row, New Hope Elementary students and staff exceeded their fundraising goal to support the American Heart Association by collecting more than $15,000. Students who raised a certain amount had the opportunity to make “human sundaes” out of principal Lynn Whiteside and assistant principal Ken Loudon.

North Belmont Elementary teacher Vanessa Hariston was featured on the Kenan Fellows Program website. Through a partnership with Cornerstone Building Brands, Hariston designed a lesson for fourth grade students to give them a hands-on understanding of the science behind electromagnetism in STEM workplace settings.

Page Primary School held its PTO Spring Carnival, and it was the largest in school history. Student volunteers from Belmont Middle School, South Point High School, and Stuart W. Cramer High School assisted with the carnival, which served as a school fundraiser.

The Pleasant Ridge Elementary Junior Beta Club is having an American flag fly over the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh on the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week.  Later, the flag will be presented to the school. 

The Pleasant Ridge Elementary “Roaring Panthers” band had the opportunity to perform at a recent Charlotte Checkers game.

Stanley Middle School had 12 teams to compete in the Envirothon regional competition.  Four teams finished in the top 10 out of 37 teams.  Diana Baxter is the school’s Envirothon adviser.