Gaston & Catawba

Gaston/Lincoln school news

Gaston County

Math project: A math project at Belmont Central Elementary became a lesson in giving when four classes worked together to collect more than $700 in coins for families in need.

Beginning in October, third-graders taught by Joy Richmond, Erin Braswell, Celina Crowder and Wendi Stuckey began studying place value, three-digit numbers and the structure of 1,000. To reinforce the lesson, students brought in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to be counted and graphed.

Students set a goal to collect 1,000 of each coin and to then use the money for 15 families who needed help during the holidays. School counselor Francina Newby visited classes to explain how the money would benefit others.

A few parents sent additional donations, but the project mostly involved kids collecting coins, giving up their ice cream money or looking in the sofa cushions. Several youngsters also did yard work or extra chores to earn coins to contribute.

The four classes raised $712, which Newby used to purchase gift cards for the families.

Horseback riding honor: Gaston Day School student Makenzie Moore and her horse, Chinaberry, were recently named the American Saddlebred Horse Association National High Point Champion in the Walk/Trot Pleasure division. Makenzie also earned the Regional Champion Award for Region 9, which covers North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

This was the second consecutive year Makenzie, 11, has won both the regional and national honor. She is a sixth-grader at Gaston Day School.

Now in its fourth year, the High Point Championship recognizes winners in 10 regions, as well as an overall national winner. Makenzie was recognized at the American Saddlebred Awards luncheon Jan. 17 in Savannah, Ga.

Makenzie started learning about horses during summer camp at age 6. She began showing horses at age 9, and is now in her second show season with her own horse, Chinaberry. The competition involves English-style saddle seat, with walking and trotting skills demonstrated in the show ring.

Robotics championship: Several Gaston County schools are participating in the North Carolina First LEGO League State Robotics Championship at NC A&T State University in Greensboro.

Local schools competing are Belmont Middle, Costner Elementary, Cramerton Middle, McAdenville Elementary, Rankin Elementary, Stanley Middle and W.C. Friday Middle.

Students selected for All-State Chorus: Four students from John Chavis Middle School were recently selected to perform with the 2015 North Carolina Middle School All-State Chorus.

The honored choral singers are: Ashlyn Beattie, Allie McCloskey, Becca Knowles and Macie Drum.

New art at central office: The Central Office of Gaston County Schools has new artwork on display in the main hallway.

The gallery features outstanding artwork by middle and high school students.

Tammy Hovis, art teacher at North Gaston High, coordinated the gallery with teachers across the county.

Highland open house, lottery dates: Highland School of Technology is accepting applications from eighth grade students who want to attend the school next year.

An open house will be held 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 10. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 28.

Highland will hold a lottery for spots in next year’s freshman class at 4 p.m. March 19 in the auditorium.

For information, visit the school’s Web page via

Early college open house: Gaston Early College High School will host two open house events for eighth grade students interested in attending next year.

The open house sessions for students and parents will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 and Feb. 16. Applications are due to middle school counselors or the Early College office by Feb. 20.

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. 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.

Lincoln County

Peace poster contest: East Lincoln Middle School student Sydney George recently won the Lions Club Peace Poster contest on both the regional and state level.

A sixth-grader at East Lincoln Middle, she is an art student of Cheryl Buckner.

Sydney’s peace poster will advance to national competition.

Basketball team wins tournament: The Lincolnton Middle School Lady Wildcat basketball team recently won the 12th annual Buck Dellinger Memorial Basketball Tournament held at West Lincoln Middle School.

All four county middle schools competed in the two-day tournament. Lincolnton Middle defeated East Lincoln Middle to advance to the championship game, then beat North Lincoln Middle to take the championship title for the first time in the tournament’s history.

The boys’ team finished third, losing to East Lincoln Middle in the first round and defeating west Lincoln Middle in the second round.

Toys for Tots: Lincolnton Middle School students and staff collected 968 toys in its annual Toys For Tots toy drive, sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Sherrie Trevino, Lincoln County coordinator of Toys For Tots, and other members of the Marine Corps League of Lincoln County, picked up the toys from the school and distributed them to needy families in the area.

Each year the Marines collect more than 8 million toys nationwide to distribute to children who might not have a Christmas without them.

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