Gaston & Catawba

Catawba Valley school news

Alexander County

Hiddenite happenings: Hiddenite Elementary School will host several events in the coming weeks.

Hiddenite Wendy’s Night will be held during the dinner shift on Jan. 20 at the Wendy’s restaurant in Hiddenite. Patrons should tell the cashier they are with the school for Hiddenite Elementary to receive a portion of sales.

A Red Cross Bloodmobile will be held 2-6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the school.

The PTO will sponsor Dinner and a Movie on Jan. 23, along with Love our School Bingo Night and Auction on Feb. 20. Contact the school for more information.

Parents who would like to sign up for weekly school announcements via text message can text @e5cfd to 81010. Reminders also will be sent through the School Reach phone system.

Burke County

Science fair: Liberty Middle School student Mario Sacchetti recently won first place in the regional science fair for a chemistry project on “Antifreeze – How Much Do You Need?” The regional competition was held in Boone.

Burke County Public Schools had 13 projects competing in the fair.

Mario’s first-place win advances him to the North Carolina State Science Fair in March.

Archaeological find: Patton High School students in Libby Norvell’s class recently found rare Native American beads while helping analyze artifacts from the Berry Site.

Archaeology teams from Warren Wilson College work at the site where Fort San Juan was built in the 1500s. Patton High students regularly visit the archaeology lab at the Exploring Joara Foundation.

College credit available: Burke County Public Schools and Western Piedmont Community College are offering high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to dual enroll in high school and college classes through the Career and College Promise program.

By the end of the school year, dual-enrolled students earn 15 college credits for free. Credits are transferable to any college in the University of North Carolina system.

To participate, students must have a 3.0 grade-point average and a 500 in English, reading and math on the SAT or an 18 in English on the ACT and a 22 in reading and math on the ACT.

Plans are in the works to offer college-level English and art appreciation classes at East Burke High School next year. Other college courses are offered online and on the Western Piedmont campus.

To learn about dual enrollment, contact a school counselor or Amanda Cooper at Western Piedmont Community College at or 828-448-3159.

Caldwell County

College information night: Caldwell Middle College will hold an informational session for eighth-graders and their families who are interested in attending next fall 6-7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.

Administrators and staff will attend to explain the application process and answer questions.

Early college high information sessions: Caldwell Early College High School will hold two parent-student information sessions at 5:45 and 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the school.

Applications for the dual-enrollment program will be available on the school website Jan. 30. Applications are due to middle school counselors by Feb. 12.

Acceptance notifications will be made in mid-March.

Shakespeare monologue contest: High school students from traditional, home and Christian schools in Caldwell and contiguous counties are invited to participate in the third annual High School Shakespeare Monologue Competition sponsored by the Caldwell Arts Council and Caldwell County Schools.

The competition offers a way for students to increase their appreciation for language and to demonstrate their mastery of public speaking.

Competitors will memorize and recite a Shakespeare monologue of 90 seconds to two-and-a-half minutes long. More than $1,000 in cash awards will be presented.

Caldwell County students should contact their school office for information. Home school students and those from outside Caldwell County should contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or

Applications will be accepted through March 6. The final competition will be held at 9:30 a.m. March 28 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.

For details, visit

Catawba County

Quest program available: Catawba County Schools offers a before- and after-school program called QUEST 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays in each elementary school.

QUEST is open to children in kindergarten to sixth grades and provides activities that are fun, safe and educationally enriching. Physical activity and quiet time for homework and reading are included.

For information on the program, call 828-695-2684.

Teachers can win gift cards: One teacher from Catawba County will be recognized each month this school year with the Hometown Hero Teacher Appreciation Award. The program is sponsored by Charlotte law firm Charles G. Monnett III & Associates and features a $250 gift card for classroom supplies.

Educators in Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Iredell, Cabarrus and Union counties also will be recognized for their hard work and dedication. Each winning teacher’s classroom also will receive a pizza party courtesy of Domino’s Pizza.

To make a nomination or vote, visit and click on vote. Nominations may be made each month.


District wins writing award: Hickory Public Schools was recently named one of the top five in the United States for Excellence in Writing from the National School Public Relations Association.

Public information officer Beverly Snowden was honored for an article written about Hickory High School senior Emily Perry, who won the Morehead-Cain Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was judged as one of the best five articles among hundreds of entries written by communications professionals from school districts across the country.

Now in her fifth year as the public information officer with Hickory Pubic Schools, Snowden has earned more than two dozen North Carolina School Public Relations Blue-Ribbon Awards for Excellence in Writing, Publications and Marketing Campaigns.

Snowden’s photography was also used for the cover of a national magazine, “Insight Into Diversity,” as well as the featured story center spread. Prior to joining Hickory Public Schools, Snowden was recognized for producing award-winning broadcast/television programs and publications for higher education.

Blankets for shelter: Students in the Northview Middle School Yarn Lover’s Club recently made squares to create blankets for a homeless shelter in Hickory. One student’s grandmother crocheted the squares together to make a finished blanket.

Hickory High students Thea Jacumin and Haley Nolan also contributed to the finished blanket.

Club members are using additional squares to make lap robes for patients in nursing homes. Sponsored by ESL teacher Beverly Ohlendorf and school nurse Ginny Beisler, the Yarn Lover’s Club meets once a week after school. Students from every grade learn to crochet, knit and loom knit.

Singers perform: Singers from Grandview Middle School, under the direction of Cammie Rowe, recently performed at the holiday luncheon for the Catawba County Retired School Personnel.

Known as the Grandview Singing Sensations, the students donned choral attire with Santa hats and reindeer antlers. They mingled with the audience sharing special holiday greetings and performed a medley of holiday tunes, including the audience favorite “White Christmas.”


Meteorologist visits: Burke Weather meteorologist Scotty Powell recently visited fifth-graders at Shuford Elementary to give a lesson on weather.

Students learned about weather forecasting and weather tools. Powell is a Certified Basic and Advanced National Weather Service Storm Spotter.

Christmas AR party: Santa Claus stopped by Shuford Elementary on Dec. 19 for the school’s annual Christmas Accelerated Reader party. Students who met at least 50 percent of their AR goal enjoyed hot chocolate and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Students also participated in a Christmas sing-along. Compiled by Leigh Pressley