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April 08
Open House Set For Prospective Teachers

Join the schools of Catawba County as they host an Open House for prospective teachers on Saturday, May 3rd at Maiden High.  Click the image below for more information.


April 08
Bandys FFA Ag Day Set For April 11th

Ag Day Poster fullAfter a long winter, spring has finally sprung and it is time to celebrate Ag Day 2014. 

The Bandys High FFA Chapter extends an invitation to join it on Friday, April 11th for the annual Ag Day event.  Live animals, farm equipment, and interactive exhibits will be available for attendees to enjoy.  The event will run from 9:00 AM until 6:30 PM on the school farm which is located on the back side of the school, near the water tower.  

In addition to the activities sponsored by the FFA, other clubs at Bandys will host the first Bandys Community Carnival from 4:00 - 7:00 PM with games and activities for families. These will be old-fashioned carnival games that children and grandchildren - or children at heart - will love!  These activities will be located in the parking lot across from the Water Tower.

In past years more than 1,100 elementary school visitors have visited Ag Day.  Ninety FFA chapter members are involved this year, making this the largest Ag Day ever.

Students from Mt Olive University are also attending and will have an exhibit at the event.

April 05
BHHS FFA Chapter Awarded Program Improvement Grant

The Bunker Hill High School FFA Chapter has been awarded a $5,000 program improvement grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.  These funds will be used to purchase a computer-operated plasma cutting table to be used in the Agriculture Mechanics Laboratory.

During its 2014 grant cycle, the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission awarded a grant of $180,540 to the North Carolina FFA Association to distribute for its Agricultural Education Improvement Initiative.  A total of 34 grants, with awards of up to $5,000 each, have been directed to schools across North Carolina.  Enhancing agricultural teaching programs, developing innovative projects and purchasing much-needed classroom equipment are just some of the goals of the programs.

The NC FFA is a youth organization of more than 19,300 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, with 253 local chapters across the state. 

“These grants will enable our teachers to invest resources in a number of critical areas, from equipment and facilities to new course development,” said State Agricultural Education Leader Gerald Barlowe. “We are extremely grateful to the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission for sharing our vision and making possible tremendous opportunities for students throughout the state.”

The NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission was created in 2000 by the NC General Assembly to administer part of the funds from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the state and major tobacco companies.  Since then, the agency has funded over 100 different projects which have touched nearly all NC farmers.

“We’re excited to be a partner with the FFA,” said William Upchurch, Executive Director of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “This is a great opportunity for students and teachers to feature innovative and creative projects designed to strengthen Agricultural Education. These students represent the future of agriculture in North Carolina.”


Pictured is the presentation of the grant monies to the CCS Board of Education and administrators, BHHS Agriculture Teacher Danny Montgomery, and BHHS students.

FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information.  

April 05
Foard JROTC Tiger Battalion Fights Hunger

SLPFoodDriveThe Fred T. Foard JROTC Tiger Battalion, under the leadership of First Sergeant (R) William Thiel and LTC (R) Steven Crowe, recently conducted its annual Service Learning Project (Fight Against Hunger, Stuff the Ruck Canned Food Drive).

JROTC’s overall mission is “To Motivate Young People To Be Better Citizens,” and service learning is a key component of this mission. The Service Learning Project is part of the curriculum and is one of the best learning strategies in accomplishing the most good for the greatest number of people.

The Tiger Battalion cadets planned, organized, and completed this project in efforts to fight hunger in the Catawba County area. The donations received will be distributed to the Salvation Army, various local Soup Kitchens, and designated churches all in efforts to help fight the problem of hunger in the community.

The Cadets decided this year to solicit additional support from the local feeder schools in order to make a profound impact. In addition to Foard, the schools that participated were Banoak, Blackburn, and Mountain View Elementary Schools and Jacobs Fork Middle School. Incentives were offered to participating schools with the class donating the most canned goods receiving a special award. This year, the winning class was Mrs. Ellis’ third-grade class from Blackburn Elementary School.

Overall, canned donations totaled approximately 6,232 cans from all the participating schools. There were 19 cadets from Foard who collected 100+ cans each with the top cadet being Tanner W. who collected 300 cans. This is a huge accomplishment for the Battalion and is by far the most donations ever collected for this type of Service Learning Project.

Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Dylan S. and Cadet Sergeant Major Austin L., the top leaders of the Tiger Battalion, stated that this year’s project was a huge success and they were especially proud of the way everyone pitched in and exhibited great teamwork, dedication, and motivation. The Battalion would also like to give a sincere thanks to the participating schools, their teachers, their principals, and the parents. Without their support, the Tiger Battalion would not have been able to make such a dramatic impact this year.

April 05
Maiden High Freshman’s Art Work To Be Displayed At DPI

Selena Y., a freshman at Maiden High School, will see her self-portrait artwork on permanent display at North Carolina’s Selena, Art Winner NCDPI Selected Artist with Artwork 2014Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

The Student Art Opening reception will be held Friday, April 11, 2014 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm honoring students from the state selected to be a part of NCDPI’s Permanent Art Collection.

Selena competed with all Catawba County artwork submissions from grades 9-12. She is a freshman taking Beginning Visual Design at Maiden High School with teacher Noelle Peerey.

DPI Student Art Opening April 11 2014

Selena, Art Work NCDPI Selected Artist 2014

March 27
Maiden Elementary’s Breakfast Program Shows Huge Increase in Participation

How can students learn without eating breakfast in the morning? This question has been asked by many educators over the years. Fortunately, Sandy Helms, CCS child nutrition supervisor, found the answer. It is called the NoKidHungry@mySchool Breakfast Challenge. Students in 920 schools across the State of North Carolina participated and received free breakfast every morning this year.

Of the 920 schools, nine schools have been recognized for having the highest increases in breakfast participation change: three for elementary, three for middle school, and three for high school. Maiden Elementary School (MES) was among those nine schools with an increased participation of 52%. MES went from 31% participation to 83% of students participating in the Breakfast Challenge.

Rhonda Lingle, the MES cafeteria manager, stated, “The way we do it here makes a difference.” She said that it took everyone to make the breakfast program a success.

“It took the administration, teachers, cafeteria staff, and custodians; not just students eating,” she said. “It [the program] will not work if it’s not a team effort.” Lingle wanted to give credit to her cafeteria staff who help her serve and clean up after a morning breakfast, and then turn around to get ready for lunch. They are, Glenda Prather, Lisha Lail, Brenda Fox, and Kimmie Hull.

NoKidHungry@mySchool 2 NoKidHungry@mySchool 1


March 27
Public School Choice Fair Set For April 1st

Public Schools FairP

March 27
Claremont Elementary Has Snowball Extravaganza

Claremont Elementary celebrated the end of a grading period with a Snowball Extravaganza.  The celebration was part of the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) incentive and was enjoyed by 86% of the student body. 

To attend the celebration, students had to meet positive behavior criteria.  Since most of the students met the criteria, Claremont saw lots of white in its gymnasium. Congratulations to all who attended for their support of PBIS!


March 19
Blackburn’s Science Olympiad Team Wins First Place

The Blackburn Elementary Science Olympiad team won first place in the Catawba Regional Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament held March 1, 2014 at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Team members are pictured below.


Front row: Christopher K.-JV, Ava B.-JV, Jamie R., Vincent E.-JV, Luke F., Connor J. Second Row: Katie W., Kevin C., Alexis W., Emma H., Haley J. Third row: Zac M., Madelyn S., Kaylee V., Hope C., Malea M.,Riley H., Chloe S.

Back row: Coaches: Tiphani Hodge, Pam Mundy, Michelle Terpak, Denise Wyant, Jessica Esposito, Pam Schubert.

March 19
School Nurse Doesn’t Miss A Beat

CCPH_AED_Wilson and Sigmon_March 2014Catawba County Public Health school nurse Sandy Wilson, RN, BSN, NCSN, recently presented an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to Snow Creek Elementary School. The device will offer lifesaving services to more than 500 children, staff, and community members.

Wilson secured $1,150 to pay for the AED. When Wilson first learned of a potential AED grant opportunity from a fellow school nurse, she didn’t hesitate to apply for the support. She was awarded a $250 grant from CPR Savers and partnered with Snow Creek Elementary School’s PTO to raise the rest of the money.

In addition to securing the grant, Wilson invited Catawba County paramedics Billie Peeler and Melanie Sigmon to Snow Creek Elementary School to help train all of the school’s staff on how to use the device and how to perform Hands-Only CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location, like school, die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.

“As a school nurse, it’s my job to educate and prepare school staff to confidently handle potential student health situations or emergencies,” said Wilson. “Sometimes an AED is not at the exact location where an emergency occurs, which is why I wanted the staff to learn about CPR, one of the first steps taken after someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest. CPR and an

AED work together to increase a victim’s chance of survival.” The American Heart Association’s website outlines some of the lifesaving tips Wilson, Peeler, and Sigmon taught to Snow Creek Elementary School staff, such as, calling 9-1-1 and pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song "Stayin' Alive" if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse. CPR can more than double a person's chances of survival, and "Stayin' Alive" has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

Located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., Catawba County Public Health provides health and education services to eligible men, women, and children in the community. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit

In the photo above, Catawba County paramedic Melanie Sigmon and Catawba County Public Health school nurse Sandy Wilson train Snow Creek Elementary School staff on how to use an Automated External Defibrillator.

Article courtesy of Kelly Shermerhorn, Public Information Officer, Catawba County Public Health

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