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Students involved in Commissioners’ School

Students participating in Commissioners’ School of Excellence program

It’s Commissioners’ School time for more than 100 rising sophomores and juniors in Gaston County Schools.

This week (June 7-10), 60 students in the Class of 2024 (rising sophomores) are participating in the Commissioners’ School of Excellence, an annual summer enrichment program that dates back to 1986.  Fifty-one rising juniors, who missed out on attending Commissioners’ School last year because of the pandemic, get their chance the week of June 14-17.  

Traditionally, Commissioners’ School is a two-week residential experience that takes place on the Belmont Abbey College campus.  Because of on-going concerns related to COVID-19, the program will be held at Ashbrook High School and last four days for each group of students.

Students will spend four days developing leadership, communication, social collaboration, and workforce skills while participating in classes that involve problem-solving scenarios, presentations from community leaders, and exploring local businesses and potential career paths. 

“There will be content-specific classes in the morning, and afternoon classes will be enriched with culture, leadership, and problem-solving aspects,” said Commissioners’ School of Excellence coordinator Bridget Matzke.      

Additionally, students will be placed in small groups and visit various locations throughout Gaston County based on their interests. For example, some groups will visit CaroMont Health while others will visit the Gaston County Police Department and the FUSE District in downtown Gastonia.

Students are chosen for Commissioners’ School, which is sponsored by the Gaston County Commissioners and operated by Gaston County Schools, based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, leadership potential, self-motivation, and written expression.  The number of students selected from each school is based on the school’s size.

Below is a list of students from Gaston County Schools who will participate in this year’s James S. Forrester Commissioners’ School of Excellence:

■ Ashbrook High School
Tymon Childs

Aissatou Diouf
Kameron Kee
Charles Langford
John Ledbetter
Zaniya Littlejohn
Camryn Massey
Joycelyn Marlowe
Keya Patel
Kimberly Ramirez
Sherry Ramos-Martinez
Jackson Sheehan
Alfredo Tario
Ja’Leah Thomas
Monica Velasco

■ Bessemer City High School
Allyson Beam
Jersey Beattie
Kaylan Davis
Abigail Ratte
Michael Scott
Blake Splawn
Laura Thomas

■ Cherryville High School
Payton Cook
Joseph Dattoli
Sarah Eaker
Caleb Hovis
Paige Laroche
Mason McBride
Kylie Reynolds

■ Stuart W. Cramer High School
Michael Abby

Emilee Barker
Chandler Brown
Ava Cooper
Zoe Deo
Sarah Herzberg
Lyndie Humphrey
Annmarie Lawing
Madeline McKinley
Eliana Phadke
Mason Robinson
Ainsley VanderMeer
Jacob Washam

■ East Gaston High School
Marya Beam

Trinity Brown
Parker Davis
Johnathan Green
Lillian Griffin
Kaitlyn Russell
Kiersten Sadler
Isabel Suarez
Jessica Tejada
Lydia Walls
Madison Waugh

■ Forestview High School
James Gunter

Rachel Long
Madelyn Ludwig
Amelia Matzke
Lilly Riley
Riley Rouse
Meredith Russell
Sarah Shiflet
Merrily Tew
Anna Townsend
Mary Whatley
Jacey Williams
Sara Younan

■ Gaston Early College High School
Kiara Gonzalez

Skylar Harris

■ Highland School of Technology
Quinnlyn Beam

Jerome Butler III
Samuel Cook
Avery Davis
Skylar Hernandez
Josefina Houchard
Luke Kelly
Riley Lavinder
Amy Okonkwo
Abigail Osborne
Kieran Wood

■ Hunter Huss High School
Kenedi Armstrong

Kendal Boone
Sacari Forney
Malasia Friday-Scales
Benjamin Kimmel
Lauren Moonie
Jade Skipper
Trinity Swann

■ North Gaston High School
Hala Freeman

Peyton Davis
Ajah Harris
Claire Hayes
Sydney Newton
Kamrin Sharpe
Camryn Tuttle

■ South Point High School
Nicole Allen

Lauren Authors
Evan Black
Avery Boyd
Chandandeep Chahil
Shelden Clark
Gabryele Collins
Jordan Coffey
James Crawford
Lauren Downey
Jacob Echevarria
Henry Eisenhuth
George Keel
Ian McGinnis
Michelle Tracy
Alexander Villarreal
Keira Wilcox