Valley Hills Mall will award $5,000 to a local school at the end of each semester this academic year.
The shopping center's annual My School's Cool program challenges schools to earn points based on receipts turned in at collection lockers located at the mall. Extra points will be available through special events, promotions and goodwill programs.
To register your school, contact Stephanie Poteet at Stephanie.Poteet@ ggp.com or visit www.valleyhills mall.com.
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Darlene Carrigan, central office director of Alexander County Schools, retired Aug. 1 after 33 years on the job.
Carrigan began her work with the school system as a math teacher at Alexander Central High. She later served as assistant principal at East Junior High and Hiddenite Elementary and as principal at Hiddenite Elementary. Carrigan also worked as director of curriculum and student services for 12 years.
Carrigan holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in mathematics education and an educational specialist degree in public school administration, all from Appalachian State University.
In the community, she has worked with the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, School Heath Advisory Council, Alexander County Community Collaborative, Safe Schools Task Force and the Commissioner's Task Force on Child Abuse.
Alexander County Schools recently announced that school meal prices have remained the same for the 2009-10 year.
Breakfast: $1 for grades K-5, $1.25 for grades 6-12.
Lunch: $2 for grades K-5, $2.25 for grades 6-12, 50 cents for milk.
Adults are charged per item.
Two Caldwell County schools will hold orientation meetings in September:
Gateway School: 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Career Center Middle College: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14.
Granite Falls Middle and Lenoir Middle schools recently earned “Project Lead the Way” School of Excellence recognition.
Project Lead the Way is a middle and high school math, science, technology and engineering curriculum. The award is presented to schools that successfully implement technology programs in grades 6-9.
Granite Falls principal Brian Suddreth and Lenoir Middle principal Pete Yount had a team of teachers, staff, students, parents and community members assess their school's implementation of the program.
The Caldwell County Schools Finance Department was recently awarded a certificate of excellence in financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International.
The award is one of the highest forms of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
Catawba County Schools recently announced several open house and orientation events.
The schedule includes:
Arndt Middle: Open house, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 22. A PTO meeting and book fair also will be held Sept. 22.
Banoak Elementary: PTO open house, 6-7 p.m. Sept. 21. A hot-dog social will follow the meeting.
Blackburn Elementary: PTO open house, 6 p.m. Sept. 14. Dinner will kick off the event, followed by a short meeting at 6:45 p.m. and teacher meetings at 7 p.m.
Claremont Elementary: PTO open house, 7 p.m. Sept. 8.
Mill Creek Middle: PTO open house, 6-7 p.m. Monday.
Mountain View Elementary: PTO open house for grades 4-6, 7 p.m. Monday; open house for grades K-3, 7 p.m. Monday; Watch Dog Kick-Off, 6:45-7:45 p.m. Sept. 8.
Oxford Elementary: PTO open house/parent orientation, 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 15
River Bend Middle: PTO open house, 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 8.
Snow Creek Elementary: Formal dedication of the school, 3 p.m. Sept. 27.
Tuttle Elementary teacher Meredith Huret hosted a week of interactive learning activities for 13 rising second-graders Aug. 3-7 at the school.
The program helps students make a smoother transition from first to second grade and to be more prepared for the beginning of the academic year.
Huret and teaching assistants Leigh Ann Oaks and Lorraine Lawing coordinated the program without pay. Local businesses donated lunch for the group, including Don's Grill, Subway, Scottie's, Jason's Deli, Untouchables Pizza and Food Lion.
The hands-on lessons ranged from literature and mathematics to reading and computers.
Northview Middle School will offer a Parent-to-Parent course this fall for parents of pre-teens. The five-session video-based program is presented by the Catawba County Parenting Network.
The first session will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15. The class is free, and child care is provided.
To register, call 828-465-8151 or visit www.catawbaparenting.com.
Thornton Elementary School has been named the beneficiary of a book drive planned by the middle school class at Newton First Presbyterian Church.
Each year, the book drive benefits a different youth organization or elementary school. The collection will begin in September and run through Dec. 10.
New and gently used books for preschool through grade 6 can be dropped off in collection boxes at First Presbyterian Church in Hickory and in Newton, Hobby Town USA, the Newton Public Library and at the fall Hickorycon, sponsored by Time Tunnel Comics.
For more information, contact Dennis DeBalso at 828-368-2886 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Compiled by Leigh Pressley