Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lake Norman school news

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Compiled by Gina Smith

North Mecklenburg High

Debate and Speech Team: Twenty-one members attended the recent Asheville High tournament. The team competed against 27 of the best teams from both North and South Carolina, and more than 500 students attended. The Vikings came in third overall. Freshman Beth Kingaby captured first place in oral interpretation and declamation; sophomore Alex Pope took third in declamation, and freshman Okan Pektas placed fourth; junior James Williams placed third in oral interpretation; junior Colleen Watson, first in original oratory; junior Taylor Barrett, second in impromptu, the largest speech event at the tournament, with Colleen placing eighth. The team of seniors, Lauren Calucag and Brooke Carter, debuted this season in duo interpretation and placed fourth; Lauren also placed first in children's storytelling. The Vikings also dominated Varsity Student Congress, with senior Catherine Bizub placing first and sophomore Sarah Kerman taking sixth. The novice and JV squad will compete next at Philip O. Berry High in Charlotte on Dec. 3.

Davidson Day

Robotics team: With a win at a recent regional competition, the robotics team has earned a spot to compete in the N.C. State Championships on Jan. 21 at N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. Davidson Day's "Nine Notorious Bionic Bananas" team members include Justin Riou, fourth grade; Zach Mandel and Jack Ransom, fifth grade; Christina Catlett, Kyle Fabrizio and Jordan Graham, sixth grade; and Gable Brown, Michael Sofio and Avery Sommer, seventh grade. The competitions involve robot design, programming, teamwork and research.

J.V.Washam Elementary

Grant: The school in Cornelius recently received a "Challenge Grant" matching gift for $45,000 from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. The school plans to use the money to buy iPad technology for student use, complete the playground area and fitness track, and build an outdoor learning center with a focus on North Carolina native landscaping. J.V. Washam was the only school in North Carolina to be approved for the grant. To receive the grant, the school must raise an additional $45,000. For details on how to help with the project, contact Ray Giovanelli at 980-343-1071 or

Cannon School

SAT prep: The school will offer the Princeton Review Scholastic Aptitude Test Preparation Course Jan. 3-21 and Feb. 4-March 2 on the school's campus, 5801 Poplar Tent Road, Concord. The course is open to area public, independent and homeschool students in grades 11-12. The course is recommended for juniors. The course includes 18 hours of instruction and online practice tools, plus two practice tests scored by the Princeton Review to track progress. The cost is $450. Course materials are included. The registration deadline is Dec. 1. Class sizes are limited. For details, course schedules and registration, visit

Student theater productions: "The Hitch-Hiker" and "Sorry, Wrong Number" won four awards at an N.C. Theatre Conference regional high school play festival held Nov. 4-5 in Kings Mountain. The school was one of 13 public and independent high schools that competed at one of eight regional sites. Each school had 45 minutes to set up, perform their play and take down and remove the set. Austin Larkin, a junior from Davidson, won the excellence in acting award for males for "The Hitch-Hiker." Hailey Wade, a senior from the University City area, won the award for excellence in costume design for "Sorry, Wrong Number." Theater teacher David Fitzsimmons was honored for excellence in directing for "The Hitch-Hiker." The cast received an award for excellence in set, costume and sound design for "The Hitch-Hiker."