Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

Chatham County Schools introduces principal changes

Chatham County Schools has implemented several administrative changes as the new school year opened this week.

There are five schools with new principals in the 2009-10 school year:

  • Bonlee School – Daniel Haithcox moved from principal of SAGE Academy to Bonlee.
  • Chatham Middle – Tracy Fowler moved from principal of Bonlee to Chatham Middle.
  • Perry Harrison – Janice Frazier moved from principal of Silk Hope to Harrison.
  • SAGE Academy – Kim Taylor moved from assistant principal at Virginia Cross                 Elementary to SAGE.
  • Silk Hope – Chad Morgan moved from assistant principal to principal at Silk Hope.
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August 27, 2009 Posted by | Education | , | Leave a comment

Help name new Chatham middle school

Chatham County Schools is soliciting input for help naming its new middle school in the northeast corner of the county. Ideas will be accepted until Oct. 1.

The following criteria should be used for suggestions:

  • The name may be that of an educational or community leader of prominence; priority will be given to the names of educational or community leaders who have directly or indirectly helped students in this school attendance zone to succeed;
  • The name may specify the geographic locality or description of the school.
  • The school, which the district plans to open in the fall of 2010, will be located off Andrews Store Road in northeastern Chatham County.

Applications can be sent to one of these three places:

  • Chatham County Schools, P.O. Box 128, Pittsboro, NC  27312, c/o Beth McCullough, Public Information Officer
  • North Chatham School, 3380 Lystra Church Rd., Chapel Hill, NC  27527, c/o Wendy Phillips
  • Perry Harrison School, 2655 Hamlet Chapel Rd., Pittsboro, NC  27312, c/o Kim Harris

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Education | | Leave a comment

Chatham school board calls special meeting

The Chatham County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting at 2 p.m. Monday via telephone conference call. Board members will consider a resolution approving a grant application so the district can apply for more federal stimulus funds that would go toward capital projects.

School board representatives previously approved in July an application for no-interest school construction bonds. Superintendent Robert Logan said that money (about $1.6 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds) would go toward bathroom improvements at various schools across the district.

The conference call will be based in the superintendent’s office at the central office in Pittsboro.

August 23, 2009 Posted by | Education | , | Leave a comment

Chatham schools launches new Web site

As previously reported here, Chatham County Schools has now launched its new, streamlined Web site.

The site is much more simplified but still contains all of the essential information and links that it previously had.

Two thumbs up in my opinion. Here is a screen shot of the new site (You can compare it to the old screen shot at the previous post):

Picture 1

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Education, Social media | | Leave a comment

Chatham schools launching new Web site

Chatham County Schools will launch a new Web site Wednesday, according to information posted on the current site.

The redesign is an attempt to streamline the site’s content and make it more user-friendly.

The homepage will feature a slideshow of students; a news ticker to highlight activities, school and district features, announcements, and the upcoming Board meeting agenda, according to the announcement. Google site search will be accessible on all pages.

A screen shot of the school district's current home page

A screen shot of the school district's current home page

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Education, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

3 Chatham Central teams compete in FFA state championship

Central_FFA_tool_teamFrom Chatham County Schools:

Chatham Central High School had three teams of students that competed in the 2009 FFA career development events during the 81st annual North Carolina FFA convention in Raleigh held June 23 through June 25.

The Chatham Central agricultural tools and mechanics team won the state competition. The Central floriculture and nursery/ landscape teams placed second.  Julian Smith, horticulture teacher at Chatham Central, coached all three teams.

“The purpose of the Agricultural Tools and Materials Identification Career Development event is to stimulate interest, knowledge, and understanding of the various tools used in the agricultural industry,” said Jason Davis, State FFA Coordinator for North Carolina. The participants were asked to identify 40 tools from a list of over 150 and took a knowledge test in which they matched the proper use with the tool.

Members of the winning Chatham Central tools and mechanics team were Craig Dunn, Amber Fields, Cam Fields, and Kevin Foushee.  Fields and Foushee were among the top scoring individuals, and Chatham Central was the only team to have two top individuals on the same team.  The competition is only a state level one so the team will not compete at the national FFA convention in the fall.

Participants in the floriculture event must demonstrate their problem solving and technical skills, identify plant materials, and complete a general knowledge exam on the floral industry.  The Chatham Central floriculture team members were John Bartee, Will Bartee, Taylor Craig and Debbie Russell.

The nursery-landscape event tests students’ skills by asking them to identify common plants and complete a written test covering general knowledge of horticulture. Participants also compete in many hands-on activities, which include landscape drawing, nursery operation practices, and customer relations.  The Chatham Central nursery-landscape team members were Garett Barker, Josh Brooks, Justin Johnson, and Jessica Loflin.

On Wednesday evening, June 24, during the fourth general session of the convention, several other awards and honors were presented.  Chatham Central High School had multiple connections to those recognized.

Kara Miller, a state FFA vice president and 2008 Chatham Central graduate, recognized Smith and Principal Mitch Stensland onstage for their influence on her as a student.  Each state officer also introduced his or her family to those in attendance.

Holland and Alan Gaines, brothers and Chatham Central graduates, received the Premier Partner Award for a 10+ acre site The Legacy at Jordan Lake gave to North Carolina State University and the North Carolina FFA Foundation for an open-air classroom.  The gift is the largest ever received by the NC FFA Foundation.

The Legacy at Jordan Lake also sponsors an endowment for three scholarships and three, eight-week summer internships for seniors from high schools in Chatham County Schools.  The Gaines recognized the 2009 scholarship recipients and interns during the fourth general session of the FFA convention.  Christian Herrera, a Jordan-Matthews graduate, received the Business and Entrepreneurship scholarship.  Paul Drumheller, a Jordan-Matthews graduate, received the Holland and Elsie Gaines God and Community Scholarship.  Jessica Loflin, a Chatham Central graduate and member of the Central nursery-landscape FFA team, was the recipient of the Outstanding FFA Student at Chatham Central scholarship.

James Langdon, Jr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday evening.   Tolson began his career as a teacher at Chatham Central High School in 1960.  He later became the Director of Career-Technical Education for Johnston County Schools and is currently a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

The North Carolina FFA is a youth organization of over 17,400 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with nearly 250 local chapters across the state. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment

Chatham County Schools meeting agenda

The Chatham County Board of Education will meet at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. A full agenda can be viewed here.

The school board will honor its 2009 teacher assistant and teacher of the year. Members also will vote on the 2009-10 budget proposal. Like most public school districts across the state, Chatham County Schools is facing a severe budget reduction from N.C. government and has already announced staff layoffs.

The board also is scheduled to discuss the current attendance policy in the district to clarify and reorganize some wording.

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | | Leave a comment

Introducing Chatham Schools teacher and teacher assistant of the year

Chatham County Schools has announced its 2009 teacher and teacher assistant of the year. (From CCS):

The district named Carol Bartholf from Northwood High School as Chatham County Teacher of the Year. It also chose Denise Holt from Siler City Elementary School as Chatham County Teacher Assistant of the Year. Each received flowers when they were surprised with the announcements at their respective schools Monday.

Carol Bartholf is surprised with flowers for winning Teacher of the Year

Carol Bartholf is surprised with flowers for winning Teacher of the Year

Bartholf has been a teacher in the Exceptional Children’s Department at Northwood High School for the past 12 years.  There were 17 candidates for the county teacher of the year honor, one from each school and the Paul Braxton Pre-K. Each school-level teacher of the year will receive a $500 check and a plaque from the Chatham County Board of Education.

Bartholf will receive an additional $1,500 and plaque from the school board. Each candidate was chosen by teaching peers at his or her school and completed a portfolio before being interviewed by a district selection committee.

Denise Holt is 2009 Teacher Assistant of the Year

Denise Holt is 2009 Teacher Assistant of the Year

Holt has been a teacher assistant at Siler City Elementary since 2006 and works with early grades.  There were 16 candidates for the county teacher of the year honor, one from the Paul Braxton Pre-K and all schools except SAGE Academy.  Each school could nominate a teacher assistant using the following criteria:  1) dedication to students; 2) school involvement; 3) professionalism; and 4) effective communication throughout the school. School-level honorees will receive a $100 check and a plaque from the Chatham County Board of Education. Holt will receive an additional $200 and a plaque from the Board.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Education | , | 1 Comment

Chatham County graduation events

From Chatham County Schools, here is a rundown of the upcoming graduation events at the three high schools:

Chatham Central High School: (93 graduates)

  • Baccalaureate Ceremony:  The Baccalaureate ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at the Polly O. Yow Auditorium on the Chatham Central High School campus. The guest speaker will be Rev. Buddy Brafford from Goldston Baptist Church.
  • Graduation Ceremony:  Graduation will also be held in the Polly O. Yow Auditorium on Friday, June 12, at 7 p.m.

Jordan-Matthews High School: (154 graduates)

  • Baccalaureate Ceremony:  The Baccalaureate ceremony will be held in the Jordan-Matthews High School auditorium on Sunday, June 7, at 6 p.m. The speaker will be Reverend Anissa T. Little.  Little currently teaches at Knightdale High School in Wake County.
  • Graduation Ceremony:  Graduation will be held at the Phil Senter Football Stadium at Jordan-Matthews High School on Friday, June 12, at 10 a.m.  The guest speaker will be John Phillips, Athletic Director and social studies teacher at Jordan-Matthews.

Northwood High School: (232 graduates)

  • Baccalaureate Ceremony:  The Baccalaureate ceremony will be held in the Benjamin Lee Auditorium at Northwood High School on Sunday, June 7, at 6 p.m. The speaker will be Robert Logan, Superintendent of Chatham County Schools.
  • Graduation Ceremony: The graduation ceremony will be held in the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill on Friday, June 12, at 7 p.m.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Education | , | Leave a comment

Prepping for the EOGs

The End-of-Grade tests are rapidly coming up for students in North Carolina public schools. At one Chatham County Schools middle school, the students had a creative way of preparing.

Last week eighth-grade students at SAGE Academy participated in an EOG stress relief and review sponge throw. The students were divided into three teams and worked together by group to answer questions from teachers.

These questions covered test material, as well as test-taking tips and strategies.  If a group answered correctly, an individual member then got a chance to throw a sponge at Principal Daniel Haithcox or eighth-grade teacher Robert Templin.

“This was a fun way to review and focus for their EOG tests,”Haithcox said. “The students and teachers have worked really hard to prepare.  The least I could do was stand if as a target.  I think we all had a good time.”

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment