South Charlotte

Celebrate south Charlotte students: May 15, 2017

Caroline Gorman ’17
Caroline Gorman ’17 Charlotte Catholic High School

Charlotte Catholic High School

Robertson Scholarship Senior Jake Sheridan has been named to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. As a Robertson Scholar, Sheridan has won a four-year scholarship that gives him unique access to the academic and extracurricular offerings at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Sheridan’s academic achievements, extracurricular activities, remarkable character, and service-oriented personality recommend him as the type of scholar the Robertson program seeks. Sheridan was elected to the Honor Council during his freshman year, and has served on the council each year since then. He is a very successful participant on the Debate and Speech Team, and plays basketball as well. He is known for selecting the most challenging courses offered at Catholic, and is taking seven Advanced Placement classes during his senior year. Sheridan has participated in Mecklenburg County Teen Court, a program of the Assistance League of Charlotte, which provides a second chance for juvenile offenders with no prior convictions when they admit guilt to a misdemeanor offense, agree to be tried by a jury of their peers, and take responsibility for their actions. Teen volunteers such as Jake are trained in the legal process as jurors, clerks of court, bailiffs, and attorneys.

Girl Scout Gold Award recipients: Four seniors have received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious honor in Girl Scouting. Sarah Anderson, Taylor Buck, Caroline Gorman, and Kelsie Roper were honored by the Hornets’ Nest Council on April 29. Their Gold Award Ceremony was held that afternoon at Calvary Church.

Sarah Anderson wished to use her Gold Award project as a means to raise awareness of the need to spay and neuter pets. She also wanted to make more people mindful of the amount of time and money that are needed to provide a loving home to a dog or cat. Her concern involves people who think they want pets, but once they adopt a dog or a cat, they realize they are unable to take care of them, and leave them at a shelter. She established a club at CCHS called the PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) Club, and set up a web site,, to provide information to the community about homeless animals in our area and all over the country. The web site emphasizes the importance of spaying and neutering. It also seeks to reach people before they adopt pets, and raise awareness among prospective pet owners regarding the money and time it takes to provide a good home to a dog or cat. Sarah spent more than 80 hours on her Gold Award project, and received a Certificate of Recognition from US Senator Thom Tillis.

Taylor Buck realized that teenagers need a space where they feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed. This led her to discover that churches that gave serious thought to their teen meeting spaces had higher levels of teen participation. Taylor formed a team of eight teens, and they compiled data from churches around the United States, as well as churches in other countries. Using the data they collected, they formed a plan to renovate the church’s teen room at Taylor’s church. Taylor coordinated a 24-hour lock-in to complete the renovation. She then worked with the church’s video director and a local producer to make a video to share the information with other churches. She also learned about web design and created a web site to make her information available to other Girl Scouts searching for Gold Award projects, in the hope that they would be able to complete similar projects at their churches, giving teenagers a place of belonging.

Caroline Gorman planned her Gold Award project around her interest in artistic pursuits. She planned and led an Artistic Career Fair for high school students considering careers in artistic fields. She recruited professionals representing many different fields, including Interior Design, Graphic Design, Architecture, Fashion Design, Media Production, Marketing, Photojournalism, Makeup Artistry, Art Therapy, and Textile Design. The Artistic Career Fair was held at CCHS, and students from four different high schools, as well as home-schooled students, attended the event. Caroline then created a web site,, and a project planning guide, so that others could plan similar career fairs for their high schools or communities.

Kelsie Roper chose to use her Gold Award project to address several escalating issues: the decreasing amount of time children are spending outside, their lack of knowledge about the sources of their foods, their lack of concern about the environment and the effects of climate change, and the rise in childhood obesity. She wished to give children the same opportunity she had as a child to be around and work with nature. Kelsie created a Garden Club at St. Gabriel Catholic School, where she attended elementary school. She built high-quality raised garden beds in a sunny corner of the playground behind the school, and planted several different kinds of flowers and vegetables. She provided seeds, information, and gardening instructions to the families of the children in the club. Kelsie then established a curriculum on the science of gardening, the practice of eating well, and the effect of our actions on the environment. Garden Club meetings involve expanding local lessons learned to a global scale. Kelsie inspires the club members to take small steps every day to do their part to save our planet and help our world. In addition to working with St. Gabriel children, Kelsie shared her knowledge and curriculum with five local public elementary schools. Kelsie spent more than 80 hours on her Gold Award project, and received a Certificate of Recognition from US Senator Thom Tillis.


Appointments: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education on May 9 approved the appointment of Rick Mohrien as principal at Winget Park Elementary, Summer Rogers as principal at Ballantyne Elementary and Shalinda Williams as principal at Mallard Creek Elementary.

Mohrien has been assistant principal at Shamrock Gardens Elementary since 2014. He was a resident principal at Albemarle Road Elementary from 2013-2014. Mohrien has also been a teacher of social studies, world history and geography in a variety of districts in New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree in adolescent education from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. Mohrien earned a master’s degree in adolescent education from State University of New York College at Oneonta and a certificate in educational leadership from Binghamton University.

Rogers has been assistant principal at River Gate Elementary since 2016. She has also been an assistant principal at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary from 2014-2016 and McClintock Middle from 2013-2014. Rogers also was an assistant principal and instructional facilitator at Ashley Park Pre K-8 from 2009-2013. She was an instructional facilitator at McAlpine Elementary form 2006-2009. Rogers’ teaching experience was at Southwest Middle from 2003-2006 and Smithfield Elementary from 2000-2003. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Western Carolina University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Winthrop University.

Williams has been interim principal at Mallard Creek Elementary since 2016. She was an assistant principal at Barringer Academic Center from 2011-2016. Williams has also been an assistant principal at Lake Wylie Elementary from 2009-2010 and Paw Creek Elementary from 2008-2009. From 1995-2008, she was an assistant principal, testing coordinator and teacher in the Cumberland County School District. Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Campbell University. She earned her master’s degree in school administration from Fayetteville State University and an education doctorate in educational administration and supervision from North Carolina State University.

National Merit scholarships

Seven students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools class of 2017 have won National Merit scholarships. The scholarships of $2,500 are awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. and chosen from more than 15,000 finalists nationwide.

The $2,500 winners are those with the strongest accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous post-secondary study. Funding for the scholarships comes from either the National Merit Scholarship Corp. or its corporate foundation partners. Students may use the awards at any regionally accredited American college or university.

The competition began in October 2015, when more than 1.6 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In the fall of 2016, the highest-scoring participants in each state were chosen as semifinalists and continued in the competition. Another round of winners will be announced in June; in all, about 7,500 students will earn more than $32 million in college scholarships in 2017.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Ardrey Kell High had the highest number of winners, with three students earning the scholarship. Providence High had two winners. East Meck and Levine Middle College High each had one.

Elizabeth R. Dorans, Samhitha Sunkara and Michael Xing were the winners at Ardrey Kell. Mark J. Schachner and Jordan Ari Schuler were the winners at Providence. Minh-Anh Le Dinh was the East Meck winner and Sara Hailu was the winner at Levine Middle College.

The May 10 announcement was the second round of winners to be announced. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced some winners April 19 and there will be additional announcements on June 7 and July 17.

Charlotte Country Day School

Euro Challenge Team: Students from Country Day demonstrated their financial literacy and global awareness at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as they competed in the semi-final round of this year’s Euro Challenge competition. Country Day was one of only 25 high schools from across the country to compete in the semi-finals. Student participants include Foster Harris, Hidde Ploeger, Zoe Conner, William Harris and Thomsen Hoops.

The Euro Challenge introduces students to the European Union and the global economy. Teams create presentations that explore real world economic problems and allow students the opportunity to step into the shoes of international policy makers by crafting recommendations and solutions.

Ardrey Kell High School

Leadership award: Catherine McMillan, an 11th-grader, has been named one of the inaugural Billy Michal Student Leadership Award winners by The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The new honor, which is part of the Museum’s American Spirit Awards program, recognizes students who demonstrate the American spirit in their community. Students receiving the award have a strong record of volunteerism, school and community activism and implementing creative solutions to recognized problems. The award is named after Billy Michal who was a child during World War II. At just six years old, Michal helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap paper-collection contest during the war, proving every citizen could contribute to victory.

McMillan, along with one student from each state across the country, will be travelling to New Orleans to accept their award at The National WWII Museum during a ceremony at the American Spirit Awards on June 9.

Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy

Quiz Bowl: Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy joined 159 of the top middle school quiz bowl teams at the Hyatt Regency DFW for the 2017 Middle School National Championship Tournament to determine who was the best.

Quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for teams of four students. The team was captained by Billy DiBella, Samanyu Dixit, and Meeta Sindagi, who were joined by Shreyas Iyer, Teagan O’Sullivan, and Justin Zhang. The team was coached by Ravikumar S. Sindagi.

Metrolina was one of six North Carolina teams competing at the national championship on the weekend of May 13.

Metrolina finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-3 record, which qualified them for the playoffs.

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