Gaston & Catawba

Gaston/Lincoln school news

Gaston County

Panthers visit pep rally: More than 600 cheering Belmont Central Elementary students, teachers and special guests enjoyed a Dec. 16 pep rally attended by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Top Cats cheerleaders and team mascot Sir Purr at the school gymnasium.

The 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year visited the school for a pep rally sponsored by CPI Security of Charlotte. Students and teachers had the opportunity to play games with Kuechly and ask him questions about his career. The star player also spoke to students about the Panthers’ Play 60 campaign, which encourages children to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

The visit was part of CPI Security’s “What if Luke Kuechly” marketing campaign that invited fans to participate in a contest imagining what it would be like to have Kuechly visit their home.

Belmont Central students and Riley, Reece and Mason Braswell were among the top vote-getters in the online competition with their video, “What if Luke Kuechly was the babysitter to 10-year-old triplets?”

Belmont Central principal Phyllis Whitworth also accepted a $1,000 contribution to the school from CPI Security marketing director Heidi Cowley.

Day of the Dead: The Gaston Day School Spanish Club recently participated in the Latin American Coalition’s annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration and Altar Competition at the Levine Museum of the New South in uptown Charlotte.

It was Gaston Day’s fifth year participating in the authentic recreation of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. Students created a beautiful altar in memory of Mexican Olympic diver, Joaquin Capilla.

Heather Gertis is the Upper School Spanish teacher at Gaston Day.

Apply for Commissioners School: Ninth-graders can apply to attend the 2015 Commissioners’ School of Excellence, a two-week summer enrichment program held at Belmont Abbey College.

The prestigious program gives rising sophomores an opportunity to learn more about Gaston County and their roles as future leaders in the community. Activities include seminars, hands-on experiences, field trips, guest speakers and sessions to development problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Applications will be accepted Jan. 26-Feb. 13. For information, contact a high school counselor or email directors Lori Collins at or Bridget Matzke at

Project Hawk: Parents, students and teachers from Mount Holly Middle School and Stuart Cramer High School who are involved in the Project Hawk program recently completed two service projects.

The group raked and cleaned the yards of five elderly couples in Mount Holly. Another group made centerpieces for the Brian Center of Gastonia to use during the holiday season.

Food pantry drive: East Gaston High School recently held a successful food drive at the school.

Students and staff collected 3,217 canned goods for food pantries in Mount Holly and Stanley.

Governor’s School: Highland School of Technology had several students nominated for the prestigious Governor’s School of North Carolina program.

Nominees were: Garrett Buchanan, Matthew Noles, Elise Sweezy, Katherine Purello, George Dent, Collin Hill and Savannah Lutz.

County champs: Three local schools recently won Gaston County championship titles in their respective sports.

Stanley Middle’s wrestling team took the county title, while W.C. Friday Middle won top honors in volleyball and Mount Holly Middle earned the title in boys’ soccer.

Family night: Carr Elementary recently hosted a “Step into Storyland” Family Night. Each grade level performed a skit from a popular book in a program designed to promote reading together as a family.

Mental health training: Several Gaston County Schools support personnel participated in a recent five-day training program sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Participants earned national certification as Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainers.

They were: Katie Bass, Michelle Black, Jennifer Christy, Justine Davis, Joe Freeman, Millicent Heavener, Whitney Hill, Judy Leahy, Ashley Ligon, Barbara Martin, Sarah Martinez, Nohra Nunez, Ami Parker, Tina Peterson and Wanda Love Rauch.

Volunteer orientation: Volunteers who are interested in working in Gaston County Schools should plan to attend an upcoming volunteer orientation session.

Sessions will be held at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 12 and Jan. 21 and 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26, all at the Gaston County Schools Central Office.

For information, call the Business Partnerships Office at 704-866-6329.

Spirit Night: Belmont Middle School sponsors Spirit Night 5-8 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at Johnny B’s Pizza.

Patrons should write BMS on the back of their receipt. Dine-in and carry-out orders apply to the Spirit Night fundraiser for the school.

Mobile app available: Gaston County Schools has a new mobile app to enhance communication with parents, students, employees and the community.

The mobile app is available as a free download in the Apple iTunes and Google Play online stores. Find it by searching Gaston County Schools.

Lincoln County

Grants awarded: The Lincoln County Public Education Foundation recently announced grant recipients for the 2014-15 school year.

S. Ray Lowder Elementary teachers Laurie Sellers, Danielle Edwards and Candace Poovey received $2,500 for a “Building our 21st Century Skills Block by Block” project.

Stephanie Jacobs of Lincolnton Middle received a $2,500 award for “Project LabQuest.”

Lindsay Fier of North Lincoln High earned a $2,500 grant for “A Smart Move.”

Morgan Fox S. Ray Lowder and Pumpkin Center Primary received a $1,000 award for “Bringing Technology into the Gym.”

Darla Stines of East Lincoln Middle earned $1,000 for “Getting SMART with Calculators.”

Carolyn Prunier of North Lincoln High received $1,000 for Elmo CRV-32 Response Clickers.

Mentors needed: West Lincoln Middle Schools needs volunteer mentors for several students.

For information on how to participate, call Penny Hullette, CIS Coordinator, at 704-276-1760.

Parent portal available: Parents of children attending Lincoln County Schools can now sign up for the Home Base PowerSchool Parent Portal. The free Internet-based system allows parents to see grades, attendance and class schedules and to monitor their child’s academic progress.

A computer with Internet access is needed to view the website.

For an instructional video and other support documents, visit Compiled by Leigh Pressley