Empty Stocking Fund: Alexander Central High School Student Services will accept public donations to its Cougar Empty Stocking Fund through Dec. 19.
The fund helps the school’s low-income students and their families with holiday gifts and food. Last year, the drive assisted 139 students with $25 Wal-Mart gift cards and baskets of food and hygiene items.
A percentage of donations also helps students with financial needs year-round.
To make a donation, download a Cougar Empty Stocking Fund form from the school website and mail it in with a check. Forms also are available in the school office. Donations may be made as a gift, with a holiday greeting card designed by the school art department sent to the honoree.
Details: Kathy Jones, Alexander Central High social worker, 828-632-7063, ext. 2260.
Breakfast with Santa: The staff of Burke Middle College recently held a Breakfast with Santa fundraiser. Proceeds will go toward student activities and textbook funds.
Friday Friends in Morganton and Burke Middle College elves helped with the celebration, which included an unlimited breakfast buffet. Santa and Mrs. Claus also attended for photos with local students.
Guests visit Drexel: Drexel Elementary students have enjoyed visits from several people in the community this semester.
Students heard presentations by veterans Lt. Col. Rick Sherrill and Ray Raymer during a Veterans Day celebration. As part of the event, youngsters made a Wall of Honor to honor veterans for service and sacrifice.
Author Arvis Boughman visited to discuss his book, “Chicora and the Little People” and Lumbee and Native American traditions. Meg Bumgarner, a former Burke County teacher, shared Native American artifacts from her travels and led children in a traditional Native American friendship dance.
Anchor Club: The East Burke High School Anchor Club sponsored two residents of the J. Iverson Riddle Center this holiday season.
Club members recently sorted Christmas gifts for children at the center, which provides treatment and care for the mentally disabled.
Lower Creek No. 2 in nation: Lower Creek Elementary recently ranked No. 2 in the nation in the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness and Sports Award. The school also won the top state award in its population category.
The championship title is awarded to schools that post the highest number of students scoring at or above the 85th percentile on the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test.
Lower Creek Elementary has won 15 state championships, three national titles and six top-three nationwide finishes. Of approximately 350 students, 86 percent met the physical fitness challenge.
Breakfast for vets: Banoak Elementary recently hosted a breakfast and special program for 33 veterans. The ceremony included “America the Beautiful” and a presentation of colors by the Fred T. Foard High JROTC Color Guard.
Guest speaker Lt. Col. William Miller spoke to students about the importance of honoring veterans and the gratitude citizens should hold for our freedom.
As each veteran’s name was called, a kindergarten student presented a handmade gift. John Grindel received a special gift as the oldest attending veteran.
Quick wins grant: Tonya Quick, an eighth-grade science teacher at Mill Creek Middle School, recently won a Bright Ideas Grant from Rutherford EMC. She will use the funds to create an outdoor pond.
Students in Quick’s class assisted her in writing the grant.
Percussionists visit: Rick Cline’s percussion students at Lenoir-Rhyne University recently visited Startown Elementary.
Students heard a range of holiday tunes performed on percussion instruments.
Poinsettia sale: The Bunker Hill High School horticulture class is selling poinsettias it has grown this fall. Students started the plants as cuttings in August and have cared for them in greenhouses throughout the semester.
Plants are $5 for a 6.5-inch pot with a slip cover. Red, white, marble and jingle bell varieties are available.
To place an order, call 828-241-3355 or contact danny_Montgomery@catawbaschools.net.
Jarrett wins scholarship: Hickory High School senior Zach Jarrett recently signed to play baseball for UNC Charlotte.
Competitive athletics is in Zach’s blood, from his grandfather, Jack Spears, who played shortstop with the Brooklyn Dodgers, to his paternal grandfather, Ned Jarrett, and his father, Dale Jarrett, both stock car legends in NASCAR.
A third baseman, Zach was selected to the All Northwestern 3A/4A All Conference Team and the All Catawba Valley Easter Classic Team as a junior. He closed out his junior year with a batting average of .355, hitting six doubles, three triples and batting in 15 runs. Zach also plays on Hickory High’s basketball team, which went to the state championship last year. In addition, he maintains a 4.5 GPA.
Artist visits Southwest: Artist Sigrid Hice recently visited Southwest Elementary School to help children explore the art of making their own keepsake books.
The United Arts Council of Catawba County funded the visit, which included Hice reading, writing and creating with students.
A book artist and writer who grew up in West Germany, Hice has lived in Hickory for 37 years. She is a member of the Mountain Arts Program, the South Carolina Alliance for Art Education, the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and a the Hickory Museum of Art.
White named principal: Jennifer Blalock White was recently named the new principal of Southwest Elementary School. She replaces Sherry Willis and begins in January.
White currently serves as principal of China Grove Elementary in Rowan County. She has 23 years of experience in North Carolina public education, including as an assistant principal, curriculum coach and teacher. In the area, White served as assistant principal at St. Stephens High, as a social studies teacher at Freedom High and as an exceptional children’s teacher at Arndt Middle.
White is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, Appalachian State University and the Principals Executive Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Wilson wins national award: Grandview Middle School teacher Ellie Wilson recently received the 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award from the National Council for Geographic Education.
One of 27 national winners, Wilson teaches seventh-grade social studies and math. She was named the Hickory Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2006 and the Hickory Rotary Club Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year in 1998. At Grandview, she received Teacher of the Year Award four times.
Wilson received the award at a national conference in San Marcos, Texas.
Business tours: Hickory students recently stepped away from textbooks and lectures to visit regional businesses for a hands-on look at science, technology, engineering and math careers.
Students from Northview and Grandview middle schools visited Charlotte Charter Jet, Turbocoating, Frye Regional Medical Center, Catawba County EcoComplex, Corning Cable Systems, Hickory Business Furniture and Graystone Eye.
A Lunch & Learn session at CVCC followed, where students met with representatives from college, business and the military.
Students honored: Hickory High School students selected Alex Hale as the 2012 Homecoming Queen this semester. She received the Queen’s scepter and a floral bouquet.
Trinh Truong was crowned Mr. Funnel and was honored on the field as well.
Both are seniors and were selected by the Hickory High student body.
Proctors needed: Proctors are needed for end-of-course testing at Hickory Public Schools Dec. 17-20.
Sessions run 7:30-11:30 a.m. at Hickory Career & Arts Magnet High or Hickory High. Proctors must be 18 or older and not enrolled as a student in K-12 public school system.
For more information, contact Teresa Carroll at 828-328-6738 or Shannon Clemons at 828-322-5860.
Spelling Bee: Brendan Young won the South Newton Elementary Spelling Bee on Dec. 7.
The additional top four spellers in the school competition will represent South Newton at the District Spelling Bee. They are: John Robinette, Michael Estes, Rory Sullivan and Katie Foster.
Red ribbon week: Shuford Elementary recently sponsored Red Ribbon Week, a time in which students learn to respect their health and stay drug free. The week included fun dress-up days, contests and drug prevention lessons.
Newton-Conover High role models visited fourth and fifth graders to discuss peer pressure. They were Matthew Coulter, Kevin Cline, Marquis Pope, Taylor Thompson, Marissa Meeseree and Sarahi Robles.
Community survey: The Newton-Conover City Board of Education is searching for a new Superintendent and would like direct input from members of the community.
Surveys are available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3TKZQHN. Printed copies of the survey are available at the central office, community centers and libraries.
Hall of Fame: Nominations are now being accepted for the Newton-Conover High School Hall of Fame.
Athletes, coaches and major contributors to Newton-Conover athletics are eligible for the honor. Deadline is Dec. 31.
For more information, visit www.nccs.k12.nc.us or contact Shawn Sigmon at email@example.com.
Compiled by Leigh Pressley
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