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Rigor + Relevance + Relationships = Student Leaders by Karyn Suggs

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Front Row: Danae Walker (Student Ambassador), Mattisen Nevels (SGA Historian), Jenna Davis (SGA President), Victoria Suggs (SGA Vice-President), Akshdeep Dhillon (Jr. Civ Vice-President)  Back Row: Ashley Mullikin (Jr. Civ President & NHS Secretary), Ryan Merkel (SGA Secretary), Joshua Johnson (SGA Treasurer), Brandon Hunter (Jr. Civ Historian), Kirstie Bobbitt (Jr. Civ Senior Director)

 

As a STEM school, Havelock’s Early College EAST (Eastern Applied Sciences & Technology) High School has always emphasized science, technology, engineering, and math and students are engaged in learning that explores connections among all four of these disciplines, throughout all curriculum areas. But in addition to the STEM theme, there has always been the early college foundation of rigor, relevance, and relationships. Over the past five years, we have seen that foundation develop student leaders.
Students choose to come to EAST anticipating high academic expectations. Every high school classroom uses essential skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication to provide students with a rigorous learning experience. “I chose to be an early college student because I want to make a future for me,” says senior Samantha Howe. “I want to go above and beyond what is normally expected of students my age. I want to be challenged, which in return prepares me for college.”
At EAST, the opportunity to go above and beyond takes place in high school honors and community college classrooms and is relevant to our students’ goal to graduate from a university in pursuit of a career. We offer high school students first-hand experience in a college classroom and a much better idea of what to expect academically from universities. Senior Nate Cleaves would agree stating, “Early College has prepared me for college because the classes are similarly challenging to that of college courses, which means it’s easier to transition from a high-school workload to a college workload.”
Every year, EAST admits 50 students to the freshman class. These students become close as they embark upon their early college adventure. “Early college has truly been one of the best experiences and blessings I have ever been a part of,” says senior Danae Walker. “I have met some of my best friends all while getting a two year degree for free. It truly is a wonderful opportunity.”
Our students are making connections between what they are learning in the classrooms and our community. Clubs at EAST have been a vehicle for community service and partnerships across Craven County. “Being a part of Junior Citivians has taught me multiple skills that will help me later on in life, such as leadership and coordinating skills,” says senior Kirstie Bobbitt. “Being in this club is a great way to help out our local communities and gain more experiences.”
Every EAST student is a member of a club and the types of clubs offered every year are student generated, to maximize student interest. “The clubs at Early College EAST give students the opportunity to have some great leadership roles,” says senior Ashley Mullikin. “Early College EAST clubs are largely student run giving us the chance to be more independent and prepared for college. “
“We collaborate with our peers and our teachers to effectively execute our goals to contribute to the school and community through fundraisers, dances, and student services,” agree super-senior Jenna Davis and senior Victoria Suggs. “Our clubs are volunteering at retirement homes, gathering peanut butter for food pantries, ringing the Salvation Army Bell, and volunteering at local festivals.”
EAST students have found their niche and flourished as they give back to their community. “ECE has taught me a variety of things,” says junior Akshdeep Dhillon. “It has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and have the confidence I need to achieve great things.”

 

 

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Spotlight from New Bern High – Gayle Hardy

NBH PICOn November 12, 2014, the Board of Education and New Bern High spotlighted Mrs. Gayle Hardy. We are extremely proud to name Mrs. Gayle Hardy as the Spotlight Teacher for New Bern High School for 2014. Gayle has become an integral part of what makes New Bern High a great place.

Mrs. Hardy helps reinforce research-based reading strategies for some of our struggling learners. She creates a bond with these students whereby they will work harder and do more for Gayle than they have ever done before. She is also data-driven and always looking to make adjustments to the pace of instruction to benefit her students.

Gayle was selected this year to serve as the elective teacher for our AVID Program. She works with this group of freshmen to ensure they are working on their study techniques, organizational skills and note-taking, all aimed at getting them ready for success at the college level. The very best way to sum up Gayle’s actions here at New Bern High would be to say she is selfless. She is genuinely more concerned with others well before herself. She embodies the true Bear Spirit and we are all fortunate to have her each and every day.

 

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Creekside Spotlights Danielle Banks

CES PICOn November 5, 2014, the Board of Education and Creekside Elementary spotlighted Ms. Danielle Banks. Through her hard work and dedication, she has strengthened her students reading and fanned their love for books. She is a true professional and always strives to learn. She has gone above and beyond her position requirements by seeking and achieving National Board Certification and a Master’s Degree.

Although she has many duties at the school, she maintains high standards for her students. She works hard to maintain powerful instruction by implementing learning centers and finds the time to ensure great programs continue at the school.

She has developed relationships with her students that let each know that they are special to her. She is always willing to help students.

She has shown dedication and flexibility while completing her seemingly endless duties: facilitating the student news show, managing the technology check out, teaching classes, and overseeing the library. She coordinates an annual book fair to raise money to purchase current books for the media center. She also hosts the Battle of the Books. Danielle has always put the needs of her students and fellow teachers first and her dedication can be seen everyday in all that she pours into this school. It is evident that Danielle Banks uses all the strategies available to meet the educational needs of her students. The spotlight should definitely be on Danielle Banks for her dedication to education and Creekside Elementary.

 

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Early College EAST spotlights Jessica McKittrick

ECE Spotlight PICOn October 29, 2014, the Board of Education and Early College EAST spotlighted Mrs. Jessica McKittrick. For four years, Mrs. McKittrick has continued to adapt to the ever-changing High School Math curriculum by teaching Algebra 1, Math 2, AFM, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus, while integrating 21st Century Learning Skills throughout her lessons. Meticulously tracking each student and their status based on the current math requirements, she serves as an integral part of a group of teachers who provided valuable information when scheduling students for both high school classes and college courses this summer. Mrs. McKittrick’s expertise allowed us to create a flexible schedule and still benefit the students in order to reduce class size and maximize our limited space. As a team player, she volunteered to be one of our floating teachers in order to create the least disruptive schedule for our students. She continues to serve as an advisor for our counselor and a mentor to the new teachers within the staff. Additionally, Mrs. McKittrick has served as the yearbook coordinator for the past four years.

Mrs. McKittrick was selected by her peers to be spotlighted by the Craven County Board of Education for the 2014-2015 school year. This selection allows her to be considered for the Craven County Teacher Ambassador of the Year Award for 2014-2015.

 

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Oaks Road Elementary spotlights Paul Schwab

ORE PICHenry Adams stated, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” This statement epitomizes one of our very own, Mr. Paul Schwab.
Mr. Schwab serves as a positive role model within the school and the community. Not only does he do a great job of teaching 5th grade curriculum, but he also teaches students values and principles that will last a lifetime. Someone may soon declare him as the “Tie Guy”. His eclectic collection of shirt ties have been worn all around the building by his students that exhibit high standards of character. When it comes to teaching children who are well rounded individuals geared for success, he gets it.
Colleagues recognize his efforts in implementing initiatives that improve education. Mr. Schwab is currently in year 2 of the Craven County Leadership Initiative “Grow”. He is a team player that shares and reinforces the vision, mission, values, and beliefs of Craven County Schools.
His classroom performance is truly commendable. He strives for excellence with each and every student. Something unique about his approach is his outreach to students and families in and outside of school. Mr. Schwab can be found supporting students in and around the community.
For years to come, students will remember wearing the ties, watching him fall to his knees at the thought of a spider, and the fact that he is truly “running the race with them”. It is an honor to recognize Mr. Schwab in front of his peers. His commitment to the values of Craven County Schools and his support of school and district initiatives is worthy of the highest praise. He is truly turning today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders.

 

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STEM – More Than Just Part of a Flower? by Principal, Renee Whitford

Pic 2 with just kids_1Enter into a room where you see seven different crews hard at work with each crew working on a different “assignment” and actively collaborating with everyone on their team. Each crew is composed of a Commander, a Materials Specialist, an Information Specialist, and a Communications Specialist. They each have a task to complete which involves them working collaboratively with one another and utilizing various resources to identify, explain, solve and answer specific questions relative to their topic area.
You may be asking yourself if this “room” is at NASA or some other scientific laboratory that is developing or testing a new product. The answer to your question is a simple “no”. The room where you see this level of engagement and activity from crew members (also known as students) is at the new STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Lab at James W. Smith Elementary School. Through a grant funded from the Duke Energy Foundation and Craven County Schools, and in collaboration with Pitsco Education, students in grades three through five are now able to experience the opportunity of a lifetime where learning comes alive through more hands-on, integrated Science than ever before. Each grade level spends nine weeks working through seven different “missions” that are student centered. Students have the opportunity to be problem solvers, risk takers, critical thinkers and innovators by taking on real world problems. While their experiences expose the students to different careers in Science and Technology, it also capitalizes on other curricular areas by providing opportunities for them to enhance and practice their Literacy skills as they work through the different missions.

At James W. Smith Elementary School, our fourth grade students are finalizing their nine weeks of missions and our third graders will be beginning their experience in the STEM Lab in the upcoming weeks. Tips that have been given to our third grade students from our fourth grade pioneers include: “You will love it!”, “It is the fastest part of your day!”, “You get to move through different stations where you learn something totally different than what you did the week before!”, and “We are in control of our learning!”.
Do you feel ready to accept the challenge and become a crew member on one of our exciting STEM Lab teams? If so, feel free to pay our site a visit and become a part of our learning crews where students and staff members are modeling our vision of “today’s learners, tomorrow’s leaders”.

 

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Character Word for October by Xavier Carter from Havelock Elementary

image1The character word for October is RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility means completing a task or duty that is required or expected of you. When we act RESPONSIBLY, we show others that they can depend on us to do the right thing in any situation.This is an important way to build trust with others.

At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, President Obama spoke to young people around the country about becoming responsible citizens. In his speech he explained that we can have dedicated teachers, supportive parents and the best schools in the world – but none of it matters if we don’t have responsible students with good attitudes who are willing to work hard to succeed. He said responsibility isn’t just about completing a task. It’s an attitude that lets others know you can be trusted to follow through on your promises.

At Havelock Elelmentary School we are learning that success comes through hard work and effort. As we build our skills in these areas, we are also becoming more RESPONSIBLE as both students and citizens. Please join us and remember to take action when its needed, follow through on your promises to others, and be determined to become more responsible everyday!

 

Written By; Xavier Carter
4th Grade Student-Havelock Elementary School

 

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Havelock High spotlights Tameka Wiggins

HHS PICOn October 8, 2014, the Board of Education and Havelock High spotlighted Ms. Tameka Wiggins. Ms. Wiggins has been a teacher and coach at Havelock High School for fifteen years. She has taught physical education courses including Health and PE, PE 2, and strength and conditioning for both women and men. She addresses the curriculum in creative and innovative ways as she provides instruction. She incorporates her knowledge of physiology, anatomy and nutrition in freshman health classes with a level of rigor that prepares students for the complexity of Biology and other challenging core courses.
In addition to teaching curriculums mandated by the state, Coach Wiggins has developed a bi-level curriculum for Sports Medicine at Havelock High School. The development of the Sports Medicine program is a true example of her unique skill set. This program is extremely rigorous and provides an introduction to a variety of medical fields for interested students. In this course, students are given advanced instruction in anatomy and physiology that allow them to develop the ability to analyze and treat sports injuries. In addition, students are regularly allowed to learn from and work with the Havelock High School team physician, Dr. Raymond Bradley, and other doctors from Carolina Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Coach Wiggins initiated and forged this unique partnership, demonstrating her distinctive interpersonal skills.
Coach Wiggins has high academic, athletic, and behavioral standards for her students and players and has an excellent rapport with all students. She is an encourager and an excellent motivator who leads by example and is quick to share recommendations for improvement with students and her fellow coaches. Tameka Wiggins epitomizes the mission of Havelock High School on a daily basis and teaches each one of us what it means to be a Ram!

 

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Brinson Memorial Elementary spotlights Ms. Megan Davis

BME GROUP PICThis teacher personifies a highly effective, 21st century educator, while also exhibiting many wonderful qualities as a person. She instills in her students the love of being both physically and mentally fit. She creates a learning environment that integrates the physical education curriculum with regular classroom content and technology. She is constantly seeking new and innovative methods to challenge her students, continually striving for excellence in her classes, and holding all students to high expectations.

As if that’s not enough, she willingly takes on additional duties in an effort to improve school efficiency and effectiveness. She consistently thinks outside the box for her students and colleagues. She seeks out and applies for grants to enhance her Physical Education curriculum and improve student engagement.

She serves on our cabinet as the goal team manager for Safe Facilities and continues to add value by seeking ways to improve our school and to make a difference in our students’ lives.

We are so proud to have Megan Davis as part of our family at Brinson Memorial Elementary. In actions and words, she strives to make a difference in the lives of her colleagues, students, and all stakeholders!

We think you are simply fabulous Megan Davis!

 

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Grizzles at their Greatest by Beth Caraway

Grover C. Fields Middle School recognizes 26 Seventh grade students for their excellent performance on a recent grade-level standardized test. These students have qualified to participate in the highly selective Duke University Talent Identification Program. Through this Talent Search, these students are invited to take the SAT or ACT with college-bound eleventh and twelfth grade students in the next couple of months.

After taking the ACT or SAT, Duke TIP nominees receive their summary results, gain a better understanding of where they stand in comparison to their peers, and may also have a clearer insight to what level of education is within their grasp. Depending on their scores, high-scoring participants are then invited to attend a Duke TIP ceremony while some are invited to participate in challenging and rewarding Summer Studies and eStudies program.

Mrs. Beth Caraway, AIG Specialist at GCF, has been the advisor for Duke TIP Program for several years and has had many of her students participate in these wonderful educational experiences. Some students have been recognized at both the State and Grand levels. “As these students mature, it is interesting to hear back from them and see what avenue of education they pursued. Over the past 20 years as a gifted teacher, our gifted students still seem to amaze me in the professions they pursue…from lawyers to doctors ….from Bio-mechanical engineers to Kindergarten teachers! “Our Grizzly nominees are extremely smart kids who love the challenges in their classes at Grover C. Fields Middle. Again, what an excellent way to begin your 2014-2015 school year….way to go our Grover Grizzlies!!”

 

 

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