School news: Cabarrus

The new W.R. Odell Elementary School will open in 2016.
The new W.R. Odell Elementary School will open in 2016. CABARRUS COUNTY SCHOOLS

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Compiled by Gina Smith

Cabarrus County Schools

Open house events: Cabarrus County Schools have planned open house events at each school as follows: elementary schools – 5-7 p.m. Aug. 20; middle schools – 4-6 p.m. Aug. 19; high schools – 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 19. Visit individual school websites for further details.

Personnel changes: The Cabarrus County Board of Education approved several personnel appointments at its work session and business meeting on July 13.

▪ Melody Marsh, assistant principal at Charles E. Boger Elementary School, was named principal of Royal Oaks Elementary School, replacing Chrystal Brown, who resigned.

▪  Michael Stocks, technology specialist, was named director of technology for the school system.

▪ Danielle Baker was named an assistant principal at W.M. Irvin Elementary School, replacing Nicole Pilla, who resigned.

▪ Heidi Copeland was named an assistant principal at Patriots Elementary School, replacing Adrian Parry, who was named principal of Rocky River Elementary School in June.

▪ Alicia Davis was named assistant principal at Concord Middle School. Davis joins Cabarrus County Schools from Mooresville Graded School District where she most recently worked as an assistant principal intern.

▪ Denise Yates, instructional technology facilitator for the school system, has been named assistant principal at A.T. Allen Elementary School, replacing Sue Nash, who was named principal of the school in June.

Beverly Hills Elementary

Kindergarten Camp: Kindergarten Camp for rising kindergarten students will be offered 8:30-11 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m. Aug. 5.

W.R. Odell Elementary

Construction update: Construction is progressing on the new W.R. Odell Elementary School site at the corner of Odell School Road and N.C. 73. On July 20, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $1.3 million funding request from Cabarrus County Schools for six additional classrooms for the school. Adding the classrooms during construction will be cheaper than adding them after the school opens. During the meeting, the commissioners also unanimously approved the purchase of 50 acres for the Mount Pleasant Middle School replacement and to adapt the current site design to accommodate the larger property. They also voted to buy property for another drive entrance into Royal Oaks Elementary School. The school, which is being built on the site of the former W.R. Odell Elementary School, will open in 2016. It will accommodate students in grades 3-5. Odell students in kindergarten through second grade will attend Odell Primary School in the current W.R. Odell Elementary School building on Moss Farm Road.

C.C. Griffin Middle

Gryphon Football Camp: Football camp for rising seventh- and eighth-graders interested in playing football for C.C. Griffin this fall will be held 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 11-13 in the gym. Cost is $40. Payments can be dropped off at or mailed to the school care of Coach Medinger at 7650 Griffins Gate Drive S.W., Concord 28025. Details are available at Tryouts begin Aug. 14. .

Softball camp: Softball camp for rising seventh- through ninth-grade girls interested in playing softball this fall at C.C. Griffin may attend softball camp 6-8 p.m. Aug. 11-13 at the school softball field. Cost is $40. For details, contact Michelle Kline at Tryouts will be held 4:15-6:15 p.m. Aug. 14, 17 and 18 at the softball field. To participate in tryouts, students must have a completed Athletic Packet for the 2015-2016 school year including a current physical with a doctor’s signature on file at C.C. Griffin or ready to hand in at the first day of tryouts. Athletic packets can be found on C.C. Griffin’s Athletics webpage. For details, visit

Kannapolis City Schools

New classroom technology: New lease agreements funded by the Cabarrus County Commission will allow Kannapolis City Schools to add $1 million in classroom technology for the 2015-16 school year. The agreements will provide 1,850 Chromebook computers at the middle school and high school levels and 740 iPad Air tablets at the elementary and intermediate school levels. A three-year lease with Apple will allow each elementary school in the system to add 76 new iPads. Kannapolis Intermediate School will receive 360 new iPads. The schools will also receive computer carts. The lease payment will be approximately $134,000 per year for three years. At the end of the lease, the school district will have the option of buying the iPads for a token fee of one dollar. A separate four-year lease with Dell is supplying 915 Chromebooks to A.L. Brown High School. 781 of the devices will be for students and 134 will be for teachers. The lease will also provide 935 Chromebooks to Kannapolis Middle School. That will allow each student and teacher to have access to a Chromebook. Students will not be allowed to take the computers home, but they will have access to them at school. The cost of the Dell lease agreement is $165,743.40 per year, with the option to buy the computers for $1 at the end of the lease. The total cost of the lease agreements will be $300,000 per year.

Free student meals: The Kannapolis City School District will offer free breakfast and lunch to all students in all district schools every day in the coming school year through a federal program called Community Eligibility Provision. Districts that participate in the CEP are reimbursed by the federal government based on the percentage of students who are directly certified by the government as qualifying for free or reduced price meals. Districts also receive reimbursements based on the overall number of children who eat school-prepared meals. Therefore, having more students eat meals prepared in the cafeteria raises the amount of money that districts receive. With the new program in place, Kannapolis City Schools expects to see at least a 10 percent increase in the number of students who eat meals prepared at school. Kannapolis City Schools has already been providing free breakfasts for all students. Adults, including staff members, will continue to pay for their meals.

Doctoral degrees: Kannapolis City Schools employees Erin Anderson, Kelly Burgess, Mandi Campbell and Lyndsey Pelusi all recently received doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership from Wingate University. Anderson is the principal of Jackson Park Elementary School. Her doctoral research focused on ways to support new principals through developing mentoring programs and other support systems. Burgess is Kannapolis City Schools’ director of Student Assessment. As part of her doctoral research, she examined how student surveys can be used to evaluate teachers and improve teaching effectiveness. Campbell is the principal of Fred. L. Wilson Elementary. Her research looked at how children are impacted when they have family members who are in prison, and she studied how schools can support those children and raise their academic achievement. Pelusi is Fred L. Wilson’s curriculum coordinator. The school has developed a Professional Learning Community, and Pelusi’s research focused on how well PLCs improve student achievement and teaching success. Anderson, Burgess, Campbell and Pelusi are among nine KCS administrators who are earning their doctorate degrees through Wingate University. Kannapolis City Schools is working with Wingate University to make the doctoral program available to KCS leaders and to support them through tuition reimbursements.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SkillsUSA awards: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College SkillsUSA students recently won awards at the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships, held in Greensboro. SkillsUSA is a career-oriented leadership organization. Students competed in two categories, Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration, and Automotive and Welding Technologies. The conference was the largest showcase of career and technical education in North Carolina with more than 1,700 students competing in over 100 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests. Students in the AHR program competed and placed as follows: Brandon Martin – Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, second consecutive state championship; Steven Hepler – Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology, third consecutive state championship; Robert Brown – Sheet Metal, second consecutive state championship and current national champion; Michael Ferguson – Plumbing. Students in Automotive and Welding Technologies competed and placed as follows: Kyle Harmon – first place in Welding Art/Sculpture; Eli Brandt – second place in Computer Numerical Control Technician; Felton Donnell – fourth place in the Automotive Refinishing Technology; Dan Burns – second place in Power Technology Equipment; and the team of Chase Wilhite, Carson Branham and Stephen Brown – second place in the Automotive Skills Showcase. The four AHR state champions and the first-place Welding Technologies student will join more than 6,000 other competitors in Louisville, Kentucky, at the 2015 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Fall registration: Registration for the fall term is now underway at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Classes begin Aug. 17. Visit or call 704-216-7222 for details.

Free eye screening: The Concord Lions Club will sponsor a free eye screening 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Logan Multipurpose Center, 184 Booker Drive S.W., Concord. No appointment is needed.

Hickory Ridge High

Women’s golf tryouts: Women’s golf tryouts will be held 4-7 p.m. Aug. 10, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 11 and at 8 a.m. Aug. 12, all at Rocky River Golf Club, 6900 Bruton Smith Blvd., Concord.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary

New principal: The Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education approved Jason Irving as the new principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary during its meeting on July 13. Irving will replace Erik Johnson, who transferred to become principal of Kannapolis Intermediate School on July 1. Since 2013, Irving has served as the curriculum coordinator at Woodrow Wilson. He previously spent two years as the literacy /co-teaching facilitator at Highland Creek Elementary in Charlotte. He also served as a lead teacher at Mallard Creek Elementary in Charlotte. Irving holds a Master of School Administration degree from UNC Charlotte. Kannapolis City Schools is hiring a curriculum coordinator for Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.