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September 22
Board of Education Highlights for September 22, 2014
September 22
Catawba Elementary “Mustache” Students to Read!

At Catawba Elementary, we “mustache” (must ask) our students to read! A display greets students and visitors as they enter the building that encourages reading by portraying book characters wearing mustaches to capitalize on the popular motif.

Familiar characters including Curious George, The Hungry Caterpillar and Clifford “must ask” students to read this school year to raise achievement in all academic areas. Faculty members donned mustaches to motivate students to read since research shows the importance of night reading to increase a student’s reading ability.

Hanes Industries in Conover partnered with Catawba Elementary to make the display case possible by donating black fabric to serve as a background. Students who completed summer reading enjoyed a variety of outdoor water activities and an opportunity to soak their Principal, Todd Sudderth and Assistant Principal, Keisha Clemons. Other reading initiatives include a variety of monthly prizes for students who meet night reading goals.

Reading is never optional; it is a “must” at Catawba Elementary!



September 22
BHHS’s Isenhour Named to Academic Standards Review Commission

Dr. Jeff IsenhourDr. Jeffrey Isenhour, principal at Bunker Hill High School, has been selected as a final member of the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission. He is one of eleven citizens chosen from a cross-section of professionals from across the state.

Appointed in accordance with Senate Bill 812, the Commission members will review classroom standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics and make recommendations regarding the standards to the State Board of Education.

“This Commission has an opportunity to build upon the current standards, which are the highest and most rigorous we’ve ever had, “said Public School Forum President and Executive Director Keith Poston.  “Hopefully, members of the commission will move swiftly beyond critique of the current standards to answer the fundamental questions:  what specifically do they recommend to improve the standards, and how will their recommendations improve academic achievement, increase rigor, and better prepare our students for today’s job market?”

The first meeting of the Commission was set for September 22nd at the Department of Public Instruction.

September 22
Teachers Learn About Latest Literacy Initiatives
CurrCatawba County Schools Title I Literacy Specialists, Instructional Coaches, and Interventionists met recently for the latest updates on state and local literacy initiatives.  Representatives from all 16 elementary schools worked with Mia Johnson, district curriculum specialist and master literacy trainer, on using students’ reading errors to individualize reading instruction and remediation. 
Lora Drum, district curriculum specialist, introduced the specialists to the book Word Nerds: Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary by Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith.  The book will be the focus of a book study by the group over the next few months. 
September 18
Teachers And Industries Are Forging Partnerships

photo 3Five Catawba County teachers recently had up-close-and-personal experiences with industries in the Claremont community. Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues, the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) West initiative provides teachers with rich, engaging professional development opportunities.

The grant enables teachers to visit local STEM business and then work alongside business professionals to create relevant, real-world curriculum units. These units will also be correlated to the North Carolina Standard Course of study and will span several subject areas.

With Claremont City Manager Doug Barrick serving as tour guide, teachers and other CCS staff members were able to visit CommScope, AdvancePierre Foods, Centro, and Cargo Transporters and view their manufacturing processes.  They talked with personnel about specific job needs in their particular industries.

Participating teachers were Tracy Shanks, Arndt math teacher; Andy Owens, SSHS drafting and robotics teacher; Molly Barlow, Challenger biology teacher; Heather Houston, Bunker Hill biology teacher; and Danny Montgomery, Bunker Hill agricultural teacher.  Also touring were Carol Moore, district science specialist; Jeanine Lynch, district math specialist; Mark Story, CTE director; Sean Brown, Claremont mayor; Gina Barrier, from the Science House at NC State; and Kendall Hageman from the Emerging Issues Institute.

Further information and pictures can be accessed at this link:

September 18
Constitution Day Comes Alive At Mountain View

Mountain View Elementary School celebrated Constitution Day – September 17th – by taking a trip back in time to learn about the establishment of the Constitution of the United States.  The entire student body was treated to a dramatization by the combined fifth-grade classes.

Students learned how, after the Revolutionary War, the individual colonies were loosely governed by the Articles of Confederation.  There were problems with these such as no common currency and no common means of defense.  Representatives from the colonies decided to come together and create a unified constitution consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and establishing two houses of Congress.  The new constitution was signed and adopted on September 17, 1787.

A group of students, representing delegates to the Constitutional Convention, circulated throughout the crowd, asking students and staff to sign petitions, indicating their support of the new constitution and illustrating how the ratification process evolved.

Students performed a variety of patriotic songs:  “Star Spangled Banner,” “This Land is Your Land,” You’re a Grand Old Flag,” Schoolhouse Rock’s “Constitution Song,” and “Mighty United.” 

The program was coordinated by drama teacher Katherine Bryant and music teacher Jeremy Whitener. Fifth-grade teachers assisting were Renee Hughes, Ruth Kiser, Heather Miller, and Linda Wright.

photo 1ac photo 4c
convention2 signing2
signing1 photo 3c
September 15
Maiden Elementary Sponsors Successful Blood Drive

Congratulations to Maiden Elementary for meeting its goal of collecting 30 units of blood at its recent blood drive!   Sandi Wike, donor recruiter for the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC), notified Maiden Elementary Principal Lori Reed of the drive’s success.

“These units of blood will make a lifelong difference in the lives of 90 people here in your Catawba County community, Wike said.  “Because of your sponsorship and hard work, 90 patients will be able to receive the blood products that they so desperately need.  Please let your staff and the community know the difference that they made.”

In addition, CBCC is donating to Maiden Elementary 30 units of school supplies for the units collected at the drive.  T-shirts will  be delivered to the school for the children whose parents or others donated in their honor.

The entire Maiden school feeder area was invited to participate in the drive.


September 15
Bandys 2014 Graduate Elected State FFA President

SarahSarah Lemons of Catawba was elected State FFA President this summer at the 86th State FFA Convention. Sarah will serve a one-year term of service.

Over the next year, she will serve as an ambassador for youth, agriculture and education. She will travel over 100 days visiting FFA chapters, meeting with agribusiness leaders and representing the North Carolina FFA Association in various state and national

Sarah is a graduate of Bandys High School where Laura Parker and Shannon Vanhoy were her agricultural education/FFA instructors. She is the daughter of Lisa and Mike Lemons.

The North Carolina FFA Association has 20,057 members in 258 FFA chapters. The FFA student organization is an integral part of the agricultural education program. Agricultural education and FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success

September 09
Annual College Night Set For September 18th At CVCC

Students in Catawba County, Hickory Public, Newton-Conover City, and other neighboring school systems are invited to attend College Night on September 18th at CVCC.  The event will be held in the Tarlton Complex (formerly called the Multipurpose Building) from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Representatives of many colleges, universities, community/technical colleges, armed services, and private schools offering specialties such as business, nursing, and fashion will be on hand to provide materials and information on their institutions.  They will be available to answer questions and high school counselors will also be present to provide support.

Pictured below are the names and the tentative floor layout for the participating schools.

Appalachian State University Meredith College
Barton College

Methodist University

Brevard College Mid-Atlantic Christian University
Bluefield College Montreat College
Bridgewater College Mount Olive College
Caldwell Community College & TI North Carolina State University
Campbell University Pfeiffer University
Carson-Newman University Queens University of Charlotte
Catawba College Salem College
Catawba Valley Community College The Art Institutes
College Foundation Tusculum College
Concord University University of Alabama
East Carolina University UNC - Asheville
East Tennessee State University UNC – Chapel Hill
Fayetteville State University

UNC - Charlotte

Gardner-Webb University

UNC - Greensboro

Greensboro College UNC - Pembroke
Haywood Community College UNC - Wilmington
High Point University University of South Carolina - Columbia
Johnson & Wales University Wake Forest University
King University Warren Wilson College
King’s College

Western Carolina University

Lander University

Western Piedmont Community College

Lees-McRae College William Peace University
Lenoir-Rhyne University Wingate University
Livingston College Winston-Salem State University
Mars Hill College

College Night Map 2014

September 08
Challenger SGA Makes Visit To Atlanta

The Challenger Early College Student Government Association (SGA) recently paid a visit to Atlanta, Georgia. Every SGA trip for the school contains a cultural, social, and educational aspect.

The students helped decide some of the visited sites which included Georgia State University, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site, World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and Six Flags over Georgia. The group enjoyed dining at local favorites such as The Varsity and the Hard Rock Café.

The group is pictured below in front of CNN headquarters in Atlanta.


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