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Compiled by Gina Smith
Cabarrus County Schools
Feed the Hungry: Cabarrus County Schools students from six schools took part in a Feed the Hungry volunteer event on Oct. 30. The Cox Mill High School football team; the Mount Pleasant Middle School Student Council; Northwest Cabarrus High School’s student leadership, Yearbook Club and Interact Club; and groups from the Performance Learning Center and R. Brown McAllister and Rocky River elementary schools participated. Volunteers packaged more than 570,000 meals were packaged during the two-day event. The meals were sent to Haiti to be served at Haitian schools as the children’s lunch and passed out to families through the nutrition program at Lifeline Christian Mission in Grand Goave, Haiti. The event also produced more than 4,000 pounds of donated nonperishable food items for the food banks of Cabarrus County through Cooperative Christian Ministries.
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Graduation schedule: The dates and times for Cabarrus County Schools class of 2016 graduation ceremonies have been set, except for Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School, which is yet to be decided. All ceremonies will be held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. Rehearsal dates and times and graduation information for the community will be released at a later date. Graduations are scheduled as follows: Performance Learning Center – 9 a.m. June 10; Mount Pleasant High School – 12:30 p.m. June 10; Northwest Cabarrus High School – 4 p.m. June 10; Concord High School – 7:30 p.m. June 10; Central Cabarrus High School – 9 a.m. June 11; Cox Mill High School – 12:30 p.m. June 11; Hickory Ridge High School – 4 p.m. June 11; Jay M. Robinson High School – 7:30 p.m. June 11.
Cheer safety certification: All Cabarrus County Schools middle school and high school cheer coaches have earned their American Association of Cheerleading Coaches Spirit Safety Certification well in advance of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s required date of Aug. 1. The Spirit Safety Certification course is sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators. It provides information and strategies to help cheer coaches and athletic administrators evaluate their safety programs with the goal of minimizing the risks associated with the sport.
J.N. Fries Magnet Middle
Patriotic art contest: Seventh-grader Hannah Jiang won first place in the Carolinas Freedom Foundation Patriotism Art Contest. Justine Keever, another J.N. Fries student, placed second in the competition. Hannah was recognized for her achievement at the American Airlines Freedom Breakfast at the Hilton Center City in Charlotte on Nov. 9. The Freedom Breakfast is an annual gathering of more than 700 veterans, sponsors and guests honoring those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Both students’ artwork will be displayed along with all of the other entries in the American Airlines terminal at Charlotte Douglas Airport.
Hickory Ridge Middle
Breast Cancer awareness campaign: During October, nine students at Hickory Ridge Middle School honored those fighting and those who have lost their battle with breast cancer with a schoolwide “pink out” to raise awareness about the disease. Students wearing pink were coordinated to form the shape of a breast cancer awareness ribbon for a photo. Students who led the initiative were: Danielle Cooper, Madison Pyne, Marin Pillsbury, Eshika Singh, Anna Cornelius, Abigail Roller, Derek Prillaman, Noelle Edwards and Kate Thompson.
Northwest Cabarrus High
High School Heisman winner: Student athlete Kara Dunkle was chosen as the female 2015 Wendy’s High School Heisman state winner. Each state winner receives a silver medal, a Wendy’s High School Heisman state winner patch and a $50 Wendy’s gift card. State winners also move on for the chance to become a national finalist. State winners who do not win a spot as a national finalist will receive a $1,000 donation to their school in their name. Cabarrus County Schools athletes Megan Campany of Hickory Ridge High and Brittany Stanley of Mount Pleasant High joined Dunkle as state finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman. To become a Wendy’s High School Heisman winner, applicants must be proven role models within their schools and communities and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The 10 national finalists will be announced the week of Nov. 23.
Kannapolis City Schools
Garden grant: The agricultural science program at Kannapolis Middle School recently received a $250 grant from Cabarrus County’s Master Gardeners program. The school will use the money to buy materials and resources to continue developing a mini-farm on its Oakwood Avenue campus. Kannapolis Middle School launched its agricultural science program two years ago. Science teacher Tim Downing, who leads the program, teaches students the science behind growing food, nurturing plants and operating a successful farm. Downing was Kannapolis City Schools’ 2006 Teacher of the Year and operates his own farm, Downing Farms. As part of the agricultural science program, students have planted row crops, built raised plant beds and constructed low tunnels that allow plants to grow beyond the first frost. This is the second year in a row that the Cabarrus County Master Gardeners program has supported the KMS agricultural science program with a $250 grant.
Play festival: The theater department at cfa Academy brought home honors from the 2015 North Carolina Theatre Conference High School Play Festival held Oct. 30 at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. Cfa Academy’s theatre program, led by Karissa Thorpe, presented the Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest at the festival, earning an overall rating of Superior, an award for Excellence in Production Design and an Excellence in Acting award for student Brittany Schell. At this year’s festival, 3,000 students from 90 schools performed 118 plays.
Golf tournament fundraiser: Cannon School golfers Michael Sanders of Davidson, Michael Childress of Salisbury, Lansdon Robbins of Davidson, Braxton Tracy of Huntersville and Tim Bunten of Concord raised $38,710 charity when they participated in a junior charity golf tournament at the Dormie Club in Pinehurst the weekend of Oct. 24-25. The Dormie Cup is a Ryder Cup-style tournament, which brought together 24 of the top junior golfers from North Carolina to raise money for golf-related organizations including the Jack Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, the First Tee program and the ACE grant for the American Junior Golf Association. The event was created six years ago by aspiring junior golfers Patrick Cover of Huntersville and Thomas Walsh of High Point. Cover and Walsh both went on to play college golf at UNC Wilmington and the University of Virginia, respectively. Each player committed to raising a minimum of $1,000 in order to play in the tournament. The tournament has raised over $230,000 for charities since its inception.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Quality Enhancement Plan: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is undertaking a large-scale project aimed at improving educational success for students. The project, known as a Quality Enhancement Plan, focuses on career planning. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, now requires colleges to develop and measure a Quality Enhancement Plan as part of their ongoing re-accreditation process. The QEP focuses on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning. Through a series of surveys completed by faculty, staff and students, it was determined that career readiness is the area where students need the most guidance.
To support this goal, the college developed four activities or connections to guide students in choosing a career path. Through the college’s English 111 and English 114 classes, students complete a job shadowing project that allows them to explore a career field. Other connections include career counseling, Work-Based Learning or internships, and the Virtual Employment Resource Center, which helps students build interviewing, resume-writing and job-search skills. Though the project has been in pilot mode, it officially launched for Rowan-Cabarrus students this fall. In September, SACSCOC visited the college and reviewed the start of its QEP.