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April 23
CCS's Students and Teachers Stand Together to Pay Tribute to Blue and the Miracle of Hickory

Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) selected Joyce Moyer Hostetter's award-winning novel Blue for this year's Little Read. Catawba County Schools (CCS) fifth-grade teachers and students spent the past weeks reading and interacting with the novel and learning about the events of 1944, here and abroad. Hostetter wrote her most famous book Blue about a brave heroine named Ann Fay, the hardships of World War II, and the miracle of the Emergency Polio Hospital in Hickory, NC.  The theme of this year's event was "Standing Together," which Hostetter found fitting "because that is what our community did to fight polio."

As part of the community event on Saturday, April 18, Hostetter presented Camryn S. from Oxford Elementary and Zoe C. from Snow Creek Elementary first place awards for the district literature contest.  Every 5th grader in Alexander, Catawba, Hickory City, and Newton Conover schools received a copy of Blue and had the opportunity to participate in art and literature contests.  In addition, Hostetter and Dr. Dan Brigman, CCS superintendent, brought all of the CCS school-level contest winners to the stage for recognition.

To recognize the fifth-grade teachers participating, LRU and Hostetter honored the educators with a reception and an opportunity to share their lessons on April 16. Amanda Moose and Erin Weaver, from Claremont Elementary presented the classroom activities they used to teach the time period and themes in Blue and showed off the creative student products from the novel study. Education majors at LRU also helped the teachers by creating a variety of lesson plans and resources.

Hostetter told her enthusiastic fans that Blue began with a homework assignment to write about something "local." She recalled that as she got first-hand accounts about the extraordinary efforts of the people of Hickory to combat polio during 1944, she found the "heart of the story" and was inspired to create the character of Ann Fay. The Hickory Emergency Polio Hospital was built by our community in the short span of three days to respond to a severe outbreak of infantile paralysis.

The Saturday celebration opened with a greeting from Dr. Rand Brandes, English professor and director of the Visiting Writers Series, and a performance of several scenes from Blue by the LR Playmakers. The performance was directed by adjunct Professor Elisabeth Bokhoven and featured LR students, faculty, and actors from the Hickory community. The LR Playmakers previously performed the show in 10 schools throughout Catawba and Alexander counties, for about 2,500 fifth-grade students.

Hostetter writes middle grade historical fiction. In 2007, Hostetter received the International Reading Association Children's Book Award for Blue.  Her novel Healing Water, published in 2008, retells the story of Hawaii's history with leprosy. In 2009, Hostetter released Comfort, the sequel to Blue. Prior to becoming a writer, Hostetter ran a pre-school and taught special education.

LRU's Little Read is a community literacy initiative funded by the family of Ron and Sandra Deal in memory of their daughter Sara Catherine Deal Temple who loved teaching children to read. Sponsors of this year's Little Read event include: Crowne Plaza--Hickory, WFAE 90.7-FM, Our State: North Carolina, Hickory Public Library, United Arts Council of Catawba County, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers. For more information, go to http://visitingwriters.lr.edu/thelittleread.

 

Dr, Brigman and Joyce Hostetter applauding
the efforts of CCS students

Zoe and Camryn

Alexander, Catawba, Hickory, Newton district winners

CCS staff discussing reading and teaching with the author

CCS families enjoying Little Read

April 23
Catawba County Students and Teachers Stand Together to Pay Tribute to Blue and the Miracle of Hickory

Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) selected Joyce Moyer Hostetter's award-winning novel Blue for this year's Little Read. Catawba County Schools (CCS) fifth-grade teachers and students spent the past weeks reading and interacting with the novel and learning about the events of 1944, here and abroad. Hostetter wrote her most famous book Blue about a brave heroine named Ann Fay, the hardships of World War II, and the miracle of the Emergency Polio Hospital in Hickory, NC.  The theme of this year's event was "Standing Together," which Hostetter found fitting "because that is what our community did to fight polio."

As part of the community event on Saturday, April 18, Hostetter presented Camryn S. from Oxford Elementary and Zoe C. from Snow Creek Elementary first place awards for the district literature contest.  Every 5th grader in Alexander, Catawba, Hickory City, and Newton Conover schools received a copy of Blue and had the opportunity to participate in art and literature contests.  In addition, Hostetter and Dr. Dan Brigman, CCS superintendent, brought all of the CCS school-level contest winners to the stage for recognition.

To recognize the fifth-grade teachers participating, LRU and Hostetter honored the educators with a reception and an opportunity to share their lessons on April 16. Amanda Moose and Erin Weaver, from Claremont Elementary presented the classroom activities they used to teach the time period and themes in Blue and showed off the creative student products from the novel study. Education majors at LRU also helped the teachers by creating a variety of lesson plans and resources.

Hostetter told her enthusiastic fans that Blue began with a homework assignment to write about something "local." She recalled that as she got first-hand accounts about the extraordinary efforts of the people of Hickory to combat polio during 1944, she found the "heart of the story" and was inspired to create the character of Ann Fay. The Hickory Emergency Polio Hospital was built by our community in the short span of three days to respond to a severe outbreak of infantile paralysis.

The Saturday celebration opened with a greeting from Dr. Rand Brandes, English professor and director of the Visiting Writers Series, and a performance of several scenes from Blue by the LR Playmakers. The performance was directed by adjunct Professor Elisabeth Bokhoven and featured LR students, faculty, and actors from the Hickory community. The LR Playmakers previously performed the show in 10 schools throughout Catawba and Alexander counties, for about 2,500 fifth-grade students.

Hostetter writes middle grade historical fiction. In 2007, Hostetter received the International Reading Association Children's Book Award for Blue.  Her novel Healing Water, published in 2008, retells the story of Hawaii's history with leprosy. In 2009, Hostetter released Comfort, the sequel to Blue. Prior to becoming a writer, Hostetter ran a pre-school and taught special education.

LRU's Little Read is a community literacy initiative funded by the family of Ron and Sandra Deal in memory of their daughter Sara Catherine Deal Temple who loved teaching children to read. Sponsors of this year's Little Read event include: Crowne Plaza--Hickory, WFAE 90.7-FM, Our State: North Carolina, Hickory Public Library, United Arts Council of Catawba County, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers. For more information, go to http://visitingwriters.lr.edu/thelittleread.

 

Dr, Brigman and Joyce Hostetter applauding
the efforts of CCS students

Zoe and Camryn

Alexander, Catawba, Hickory, Newton district winners

CCS staff discussing reading and teaching with the author

CCS families enjoying Little Read

April 23
LR Scholars Academy Senior Wins Appointment to West Point and Follows Family Tradition

Nathaniel M., a senior in the Lenoir-Rhyne High School Scholars Academy, has been granted an appointment to attend the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point upon graduation. Nathaniel applied to several excellent universities, but knew after spending a summer at the West Point Summer Leaders Experience (where 6,000 applicants competed for 1,000 places) that West Point was his top choice. Nathaniel recalls his summer at West Point as "phenomenal." He loved the beautiful campus and the expert teaching faculty. But what really sold Nathaniel was the way that the cadets ran the summer program. He was intrigued by the level of responsibility he saw young cadets given.

Nathaniel has a 4.8 G.P.A and has participated in JROTC throughout high school. In addition, he has won numerous academic and community service awards. He is a member of the Beta Club and a Varsity athlete in Cross Country, Track, and Swimming. Nathaniel is active in his church, playing music and working on mission trips, and works as a lifeguard for the YMCA.

He plans to study political science and economics at West Point. He is humbled by the opportunities that this appointment will provide. Nathaniel explains that he is looking forward to traveling abroad and to interning with different agencies.

In describing the application process, Nathaniel recalls the extensive application essays and the rigorous steps he completed. Among these, Nathaniel had to complete a separate application process to gain the recommendations of Senator Burr and Congressman McHenry.

Nathaniel learned of his appointment when Congressman McHenry's office called him while in class. He stepped out to take the phone call and became ecstatic upon learning the good news. His formal, leather-bound acceptance arrived in the mail a few days later.

His parents and younger brother Andrew are extremely proud of Nathaniel. Nathaniel's father also attended West Point. Nathaniel said, however, that his father did not pressure him; he wanted the decision to be Nathaniel's.

Dr. Dan Brigman, Superintendent of Catawba County Schools, applauds Nathaniel for his well-rounded accomplishments. "This outstanding young man has excelled in all areas: academic excellence, demonstrated leadership capabilities, and athletic talent. We wish him all the success for a bright future," notes Brigman.

April 20
St. Stephens Teacher Wins Hometown Hero Award and Receives Cheers from Her Fifth Grade Students!

St. Stephens Elementary's Jennifer Haltiwanger, fifth grade Math teacher, wins the Hometown Hero for March. As a surprise, her colleagues and students collaborated to get their favorite teacher the most votes in the county. Ms. Haltiwanger wins $250 for her classroom! Even better, her students win a pizza party!

Congratulations Jennifer, Principal Donna Heavner, and Ms. Haltiwanger's class!

   

Charles G. Monnett III & Associates awards $250 each month to a new Hometown Hero throughout the school year...along with a Domino's Pizza Party, too! You can vote once per day and so can your friends, family, and neighbors. Vote for your favorite teacher today!

   

April 16
Into the Woods

April 15
Claremont Elementary Celebrates World Culture Day

On March 31, 2015, Claremont Elementary hosted its first World Culture Day, where students, staff, families, and the community were engaged all day with different cultures from around the world. Presenters from both Catawba County Schools and the community shared their knowledge and travel experiences. Some of the countries represented included: Costa Rica, Columbia, Honduras, Russia, China, Philippines, Laos, England, and Argentina. The students had an opportunity to see the native dress, money, photographs and other artifacts from these places. Students also got a chance to try their dance and rhythm skills with a Filipino dance, Tinikling. Creativity was in the air as each child was able to make homemade maracas and shell necklaces as keepsakes from the day. As students traveled throughout the day, they collected information in their "passports," along with a stamp for each country.

Claremont Elementary finished the voyage with a culminating evening program for students, parents, staff, and the community called All around the World. The Music Ensemble and PE Club, directed by Shari Wright, Darla Peeler, Erin Weaver, and Maggie Wasielewski, performed songs and dances from several of the countries and played native instruments.

Claremont students, staff, and community had nothing but glowing reviews for this highly attended trip around the world.

April 15
Duke Energy Science Night held at Banoak Elementary School

 

Banoak Elementary hosted a Duke Energy Science Night on March 24. This was an official event of the 2015 North Carolina Science Festival. Denise Taylor, 5th grade math and science teacher, applied for a grant through Duke Energy to make the event possible. Banoak is one of 125 North Carolina elementary schools selected to host a Duke Energy Science Night.

The evening featured hands-on activities focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Activities were designed to engage children and their families in science exploration. Participants worked to make stomp rockets, gross goo, marshmallow towers, parachutes, roller coasters, bubbles, sound sandwiches, gardens in a glove, and paper flying machines. 260 people attended the event. It was wonderful to have teachers, parents, and students work together to learn and have fun with science!

April 14
Bandys Teacher becomes Published Author with Wonderful Paisley

Jodi Sloan, EC teacher at Bandys High School, has recently added "published author" to her resume. Her book, Wonderful Paisley, has been published and will be released June 9, 2015. The book is about a couple who, along with a thoughtful teacher, changes the way a community views a child in a wheelchair. It is written for early elementary readers. Book signings and meet-and-greets will be scheduled soon, and the book will be available to purchase in soft and hard covers through Barnes and Noble and Tate Publishing. Jodi will also have copies on hand for sale by the end of April for early release editions.

April 06
Creative Robotics Students Wrestle for Top Prize

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, the 2015 CCS Sumo Fest was held at Maiden Middle School.  Thirty-six teams from eight schools met in fierce competition.

   

Whitty Comebacks (built by Carson P. and Josh L. from Snow Creek) was the last sumo bot standing, earning 1st Place.  Destroyer (built by Gage S. from Murray) earned 2nd place; Simba (built by Landon A. from Maiden Middle) earned 3rd place; and Challenger (built by Alex M. from Murray) earned 4th place. In a Special Division competition, sumo bots created by adults and parent/child pairs battled.  Doug P. (6th grade teacher at Murray Elementary) won 1st place.

   

The competition pitted "sumo bots," constructed totally of Legos and programmed to run autonomously, against each other.  In this competition, taken from the Sumo Wrestling matches, the sumo bot must push the other bot out of the ring twice during a three minute round.  Each sumo bot must be no larger than 10 inches x 10 inches and weigh no more than 1000 grams.  The bot design and programming make each creation unique.

   

Students competed in five round robin matches that helped to decide placement for the afternoon single elimination tournament. 

   

 Blaire T. Miller, Math Teacher and Robotics Coach at Maiden Middle School, organized the event.

   

 



Pictured: Josh L. and Carson P.

 

April 02
Riverbend Park features Bunker Hill High Student Work

 

 

Visit Catawba County's Riverbend Park at 6700 North NC Highway 16, across from the Oxford Dam, to enjoy artwork of the wonders of our natural world in North Carolina's Western Piedmont.

Enjoy this petite exhibit of images produced by the Visual Art students from Bunker Hill High School. Afterwards, enjoy walking the trails and appreciate this natural part of our region first hand.

When will this be?

This weekend exhibition starts Friday, April 17th continuing through Sunday, April 19th. Each day the exhibition will be open to the public from 12 noon until 6 pm.

Why is this happening?

We thought you might enjoy this experience. There is no admission fee to enjoy the exhibition. Just come to the park and discover the wild and beautiful things in your own backyard!

Who is making this happen?

 

For more information: http://www.catawbacountync.gov/Parks/

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