Thursday, October 19, 2017

John Williams - CHCCS Principal of the Year

Phoenix Academy High School Principal John Williams was named the 2017-2018 Principal of the Year by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.  The announcement was made today by Superintendent Pam Baldwin in the presence of students and staff.

Williams was selected for the honor by his peers for the numerous accomplishments he has made during his tenure at Phoenix.  He will go on to represent CHCCS at the state level.

“John Williams is a hero at his school, in our community, and, most importantly, in the lives of his students,” said Superintendent Pam Baldwin. “John is the principal who comes to work early on Monday mornings and picks up trash in the parking lot because he believes his students deserve a clean campus. His students tell stories of him showing up at their homes to take them to school on days when they decided not to attend. He laughs with them, he cries with them, and he is always there for them. John is a very worthy choice for Principal of the Year.”

Williams has been the principal of Phoenix since 2012.  Previously, he served as a principal and assistant principal with Durham Public Schools.  He began his teaching career in Greene County. Prior to his work as an educator, Williams served in the United States Air Force for 20 years. He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Williams operated a private mental health counseling practice.

While his background is not the traditional path for a high school principal, Williams emphasizes the role his distinct experience has played in preparing him for his current position.

“My own high school experience was not positive, and returning to work in a school was never something that crossed my mind,” said Williams. “However, I realized that my background in both the military and in the mental health field provided a unique set of life experiences that could work for the benefit of young people. I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to genuinely help students every day.”

Williams holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, and master's degrees from Troy State University and East Carolina University.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

International Welcome Center - Above and Beyond

On any given weekday, no matter the month, the CHCCS International Welcome Center at Lincoln Center can be bursting at the seams with activity. Housed in a trailer with a brightly colored sign, the Center opened as a stand alone facility in 2015, one of the only of its kind in North Carolina. Families who have just arrived in the U.S., as well as those whose first visit to the Center was a couple of years ago, might be speaking to one staff person in Spanish, another family speaking in Karen, and another may be waiting patiently for an interpreter in a different language. For some newcomers, it’s not too much of an exaggeration to call the Center a lifeline and the starting point for their journeys into brand new lives.

“They leave this office with some hope,” said Zulma Urena, EL Student Success Advocate. “We can’t change all their lives. But maybe one a week, one a day,” she added with a smile.
        
On the Center’s website pages, the messages are in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, Karen, Korean, Arabic and Swahili, a dramatic shift for a school district that had relatively few English language learners even 20 years ago. Also on the Center’s website is a nine minute orientation video in numerous languages, covering the most basic aspects of orientation to our schools: attendance, transportation, nutrition, inclement weather, etc. Currently, there are nearly 60 home languages identified among CHCCS families.

          
The most basic mission of the Center is to fulfill the requirements for registration and assessment of new students whose dominant language is other than English.  These students must ta


ke the N.C. state-designated English Language Proficiency assessment, as well as a math test, while families meet simultaneously with Zaida Walker, the ESL Parent Liaison to complete a language survey and listen to a general overview of CHCCS. Although many assessments are scheduled by appointment, throughout the day other newcomers find their way to the Center by word of mouth, or they stop by when they see the multi-language sign on the trailer, so the flow of people can be nonstop for hours.
          
Before the Welcome Center existed, most new ESL students started at their base schools before their assessments took place. Helen Atkins, the district’s ESL Coordinator, said that when she came on board in October 2014, many ESL teachers had not yet begun teaching their students because they were still testing. I knew that we had to help teachers so that they could spend their time instructing instead of testing.”
          
Atkins and the rest of the staff at the Center rarely hide their passion and commitment to our new international families; their love for this work is evident immediately. They understand the depth of support they offer to adults and children who feel vulnerable and confused. Zulma Urena said, “It’s hard to believe that a person you haven’t met before can trust you so quickly.” She described the experience of home visits with families who rarely unlock their doors. “But they see our staff, our faces, and they open the doors, the windows, and they’re happy to share the food that’s on the table.”
          
A brand new feature from the Center, launched this month, is a hotline that directs callers to leave messages for interpreters in Spanish, Karen, Arabic and five other languages. The challenges tied to giving and receiving information for non-English speaking families are often enormous...and stressful. Hundreds of CHCCS families have no direct access to internet, and some have no personal phones, so the impediments to navigating an unfamiliar and mysterious school system are compounded in many ways. Communications that come from Lincoln Center, the home school or the classroom teacher might all be impenetrable, and the quick clicking most adults and children do on their computers to find information, from calendars to transportation to PowerSchool, is not a part of these families’ capabilities. For the rest of the district, these limitations are often off the radar, yet the team at the Welcome Center immerse themselves in outreach and problem-solving, in order to ease these transitions.
            
Often the first point of contact at the Center is Ya Day Moo, the administrative assistant, bookkeeper, scheduler of interpretation and translation services - and “Jill-of-all-trades.” Her demeanor is unfailingly calm and warm, but her emotion is notable when she describes how powerful she finds this work, and how blessed she feels to have landed at the Center. In 2007, Ya Day arrived with her family from Southeast Asia to the U.S.; none of them spoke English. They settled in Georgia, and though they had few of the resources available that our CHCCS newcomers find, Ya Day was able to complete high school and then attain a business degree from a community college, first in ESL, then in regular classes. Working at the Center is her first official job, and yet she is the adept and confident heart of the information flow.
        
Besides greeting people at the front desk, Ya Day answers the phone and acts as air traffic controller as she matches visitors with other staff or outside resources. She organizes most of the interpretations and translations provided by the Center. In 2014-15, more than 4,000 requests were filled; last year the number climbed to more than 6,300. So far this school year, they have already received 1,500 requests, in languages ranging from Rohingya to Swedish. In September alone, they handled more than 450 requests for Spanish language assistance.
        
Contracted interpreters will function as the support spokes for the newcomer hotline, but traditionally their roles cover many in-person functions, from accompanying Center staff on home visits, to assistance with food stamp applications, making appointments with health agencies and IEP meetings at schools. Currently the Center contracts with 26 interpreters, but the need is higher. The Center also makes sure that there is interpreters’ equipment in Spanish and Karen at district and school functions.
        
There are 612 newcomer families currently on the roster this year. But many families who first met Ya Day Moo or Zaida Walker, EL Family Support Specialist, months ago, still call and drop by with questions, fears, or simply to say hello. Not all of these newcomer families are refugees, but many are, and the entire staff at the Center embraces the research that learning, especially among young people, happens most effectively when their social, physical and emotional needs are addressed. The students themselves may adapt to their schools quickly, while parents remain apprehensive and isolated much longer. Taking a holistic approach to meeting a family’s needs means recognizing how much students’ academic success is tied to their parents’ and other family members’ overall mental health. Teens from immigrant families might miss school to accompany parents to medical or legal appointments, so the more the families recognize available resources, the fewer days their high school children will miss as interpreters and guides.
        
In the past two years, hundreds of newcomer parents have responded to surveys created by the Center, and more than 80% of them have rated the services with 5’s-- “extremely satisfied.” In the comment boxes, parents have written, “The staff answered ALL my questions and concerns amazingly,” and “We are so glad to live in such a supportive community.”
From a single trailer packed with supplies and printed resources - and a small team of staff members sharing space - an abundance of positive outcomes unfold, day in and day out.

Welcome!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

“Hope for Houston” at Carrboro High School

Within days of Harvey’s crippling blast through Houston, a group of students and staff at Carrboro High created a committee to organize support for affected students and teachers in Texas. They called the group “Hope for Houston,” and through a grassroots Facebook effort, “Principals Helping Principals,” Carrboro High adopted Cypress Creek High in Houston.
       
Beverly Rudolph, principal at Carrboro High, and CTE teacher, Julie Francis, set the process in motion at a faculty meeting in late August as reports of damage from Harvey dominated the news. Francis said, “It actually started through my business classes. I wanted to open up a dialogue about businesses getting involved in their communities...it boiled down initially to hey, we can write letters of support and encouragement...then look to next steps.”
      
Principal Rudolph knew of the Facebook leadership group, “Principals Helping Principals;” a member of that group, Texas principal Kristen Eriksen, created a Google sheet to share with principals around the country. Within 24 hours of Rudolph’s conversation with Francis, Carrboro High had connected with Cypress Creek High in Houston, and their drive was underway. Now, a group of CTE and other students are providing leadership and ideas as they meet weekly in Ms. Francis’ classroom.
      
Since the school adopted Cypress Creek, the country has watched as two other hurricanes have decimated parts of Florida and Puerto Rico, but the committee decided to stay focused on their original goal of supporting one high school. Ms. Francis said they recognize how many donation drives have sprung up around the country, but they want to sustain a long term partnership with Cypress Creek.
      
As future business leaders, Ms. Francis’ students, as well as the members of DECA and Skills USA, understand how important it is to step forward and contribute in your own community and beyond. During the first meeting, Ms. Francis urged the new committee to ask themselves, “How do you step out of the box and make an enormous impact?”
       
Reflecting on how social media targeted and expedited this national aid drive, the creator of Principals Helping Principals, Kristen Eriksen said in a Dallas News article, “A big part of that Facebook page was sharing great ideas and advice that helped fellow principals. Now to see those principals who have helped you in need? You have people in Texas losing everything, including schools. There’s going to be so many little things that you’re used to having that are just gone now.”
       
By early September, more than 275 partnerships between schools had formed, and the original spreadsheet now has been changed to “view only,” since all of the Texas schools in need have been adopted.
       
Anyone who would like to contribute to Hope for Houston can make donations via the following:

  1. Write a check payable to Carrboro High for any amount with Hope for Houston on the memo line. Bring to room D212 or email Ms. Francis at jfrancis@chccs.k12.nc.us.
  2. Go to k12paymentcenter.com: under Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools/Carrboro High School, Donation- Hurricane Harvey
  3. Cypress Creek High School has suggested that if individuals would like to contribute something more personal, they are requesting gift cards to the following stores: Target, Walmart, Lowe’s Home Improvement or Kroger’s. Gift cards should be sent to the attention of Ms. Francis in D212 so that they can be mailed together.
        
The students on the committee reflect a “sky is the limit” attitude as they continue to brainstorm ideas for support, both large and small, beyond the direct financial donations. Certain Carrboro High clubs are discussing ways to adopt their sister clubs at Cypress Creek, and several members are looking toward the holiday season, when they hope to send homemade gifts.
        
One young entrepreneur at Carrboro High, Katie Coyne, is exploring ways that she can contribute from Katie’s Kreations, her growing online business that sells small stuffed animals, soft slippers and other fabric items. “I’m always trying to find a way to help out, and every year I try to incorporate my business as my way to donate.” Katie hopes the committee will create a Hope for Houston logo soon, so that she can use that on each toy or baby blanket she sends to Houston. “We can also do theme colors for the stuffed animals. Or I can donate 30% of my overall profits for a certain amount of time as well if that's easier.”
         
The entire school community has undertaken a letter writing campaign to students and teachers at their adopted school. Several of Ms. Francis’ students drew from comparable experiences in their lives. One who lived in New Orleans as a child wrote, “Before Katrina, there was an incredible aquarium in New Orleans that I loved visiting. After Katrina, there was an incredible aquarium called New Orleans that I hated visiting.” Another shared her dramatic story of living through floods in Southeast Asia, when the river “came to our home and some houses (were) taken away by the river.”
         
Another wrote that he had lived in Texas for 11 years, and he watched the news from Houston, wondering if his family would get to safety. One student described how she had watched reports on television as she worked at a restaurant, “During the time of Harvey, it never left the news channel, and so I constantly had my eyes on what was happening. I thought about high school students a lot.”
        
Who knows what new support ideas will spring from the next Hope for Houston meeting in Ms. Francis’ classroom?

Other Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are engaged in a variety of hurricane relief activities. Stay tuned for an update on those drives!

A comprehensive list of organizations collecting support for Hurricane Harvey victims is posted on the TASA website, Texas Association of School Administrators. https://www.tasanet.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=1028

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Special Board Meeting - Wednesday, October 11

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education has called a special meeting to take place at Glenwood Elementary (2 Prestwick Road - Chapel Hill) on Wednesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting is for staff to present options for the reduction of enrollment levels at Glenwood Elementary, and to collect feedback from the Board regarding the criteria for evaluating the options. The Board will also entertain public comments.

Glenwood Elementary's enrollment currently exceeds capacity by 68 students. Each of the school’s 20 classrooms and five mobile classrooms are now in use. The school's enrollment is projected to increase again next year. This increase is anticipated due to the expansion of the Mandarin Immersion program along with growth from within Glenwood’s attendance zones. As a result of the Mandarin expansion, the projected number of classrooms for traditional students will decrease in 2018-19.

For more information, see the agenda abstract for this Board item.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Music Mentors

Every Tuesday afternoon, soon after the 7th period bell rings at East Chapel Hill High, a group of more than 20 Wildcat musicians journey over to Phillips Middle School. Some carpool, some take the city bus. They roll up their sleeves, forget about their own homework for an hour, and pay it forward.
   
Two years ago, Jack Welsby, now a senior at East, met with his former Phillips orchestra teacher, Ann Daaleman, and he proposed starting a mentoring program for her current students. “We set up a plan during the summer,” Ms. Daaleman said, “but quite honestly, I thought it would last a month or two and then everyone would get too busy to continue or lose interest. Instead, it is growing and prospering in Year Two and reaching many of my students. It’s also spread to our band program.”

In fact, nearly 60 Phillips students, participants in Ms. Daaleman’s orchestra and Mr. Ashley Sample’s band programs, are now involved in the after school mentoring.

As any parent of a young musician knows, the cost of ongoing private lessons can be expensive...and completely out of reach for many families. Ms. Daaleman said, “Many of the Phillips students who participate would not have a chance for private lessons due to finances.” She noted that the high school students involved in the mentoring program are some of the best musicians at East Chapel Hill, with years of private lessons already behind them.

With the help and encouragement of Ryan Ellefsen, the orchestra and band teacher at East Chapel Hill High, students Zac Johnson, clarinet, and Quentin Sieredzki, horn, have helped to coordinate the band side of the mentor program.

When asked about why he chooses to mentor middle school students, Sieredzki explained, “It was kind of natural...and it was a way for me to give back to our middle school band.”
Program founder Welsby said, “The Phillips and East orchestras both have a lot of talent, and it’s hard for beginning students to keep up with the advanced ones. I wanted to offer free lessons so the beginning students would keep up with music.”
      
Some East students work consistently with the same Phillips musicians, but others teach pairs or small groups, as the numbers dictate. The mentors smile often and radiate patience, even at the end of their own long, demanding school days. “There you go, that was amazing,” one mentor said to a young violinist. “Perfect.”
      
“I can't tell you how rewarding it is to see my former students come back to teach and inspire my newbies as they learn how to play their first songs,” said Ms. Daaleman. “Even my more advanced students love coming on Tuesdays to work with the high school students.”
The young musicians understand the gift they’ve been given, and their comments reflect that awareness:

"We get to learn things ahead of the class."
"It’s a private tutor for free."
"They help you specifically with what you personally are struggling with."

When asked what he receives from the mentorship program, Johnson stated, “I feel that I am learning to be a better teacher and how to interact with students that are younger and have less experience playing their instrument.”

There really is a bond that develops between the mentors and young musicians. Taniya Rogers, a 6th grade trombonist, asks each week, “Is Megan coming? I really want to work with Megan!”

Ms. Daaleman deflects any credit for this flourishing program, although Jack Welsby said one of the motivations for him has been “to give back to Mrs. Daaleman for helping me find my love for music.” The orchestra teacher’s influence is pervasive. She and Sample are fervent proponents of arts education as part of the district’s larger equity work. They will continue to look for ways to make instrumental music education more widely accessible. Teachers are partnering with the SKAJAJA non-profit on instrument donations for middle school students across the district who want to play but are unable to afford an instrument.
      

Ms. Daaleman said that this program gives her as much joy as she’s ever experienced in her long teaching career. “I just sit at my desk and observe this magic and enjoy seeing the smiles, the relationships and the learning.”

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER at Culbreth Middle School

On many weekday mornings at Culbreth Middle School, a cozy room called the Family Resource Center opens its doors to school and community visitors. The inviting environment looks less like a school space than a family room with packed bookshelves, a couch and a polished dining table. A jazz or salsa CD might be playing softly, and a coffeemaker sits ready for people to settle in with a cup and a book on parenting or common social/emotional challenges in children of all ages.
       
The Center was launched at Culbreth on March 3 with an all-day grand opening. Roslyn Moffitt, district director of Title I and Family and Community Engagement, believes that a school-based family resource center can, and should, be a priority when creating new engagement strategies. As she likes to say, “warm and welcoming” is the first mantra of family engagement. Slowly and steadily, the Center is gaining traction as a multi-purpose space for community sharing, support and education. Nationally, the value and flexibility of family resource centers is gaining prominence as a crucial element of building reciprocity and trust between schools and parents.
       
So far this year, direct publicity appeals have gone out to Culbreth families and the feeder elementary schools, including Scroggs, Glenwood and Frank Porter Graham, but anyone from the CHCCS community is welcome to drop by. The Center is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and again from 1:30-3:30 p.m..
       
“This center will be built by our families,” said Stefanie Mazva-Cohen, Culbreth social worker and site coordinator. “We are nurturing it and letting it grow.”
        
The basic mission of the Center aligns with an increasing emphasis on family engagement, rather than the prior educational focus on “parental involvement.” The new federal education guidelines of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) place more responsibility on school districts to cultivate ways to engage families through school activities, professional development for teachers and home visiting programs. Research shows that students attending schools that embed and prioritize family engagement have seen increased scores in both math and reading.
       
“Parents want their children to do well in school and to be a part of their child’s success,” said Meredith McMonigle of Orange County Family Success Alliance. “But sometimes parents don’t know how to help or how school works. A place like the Culbreth Resource Center is a welcoming place for parents to drop in, learn more about the school and find their own way to be a part of the school and the larger community. Parents need a place within the school to lend their voice and their commitment to the school’s success. The resource center at Culbreth does just that - kudos to them for making it happen.”
        
In keeping with the vision of developing and expanding resource options, Ms. Mazva-Cohen and Ms. Moffitt hope to schedule workshops several times a month, led by district staff, parents or community members. Topics will likely range from developmental psychology to basic workshops on citizenship or immigration services.
       
One recent host at the Center was Sandra Clifton, a local educational therapist. “I cannot say enough wonderful things about (the Center). It weaves in beautiful elements of outreach, education and inclusion.” She hopes to fill a host shift at least once a month and seek feedback as well as share information in her capacity as a Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) representative.
      
The selection of books, articles and DVD’s is already extensive, but Mazva-Cohen will keep building on existing materials in English, Spanish and a few Karen books, as well as accessing or creating handouts for parents who are English-language learners, or are simply new to the community.
     
Noa Stuchiner, now a math coach at Culbreth, arrived in Chapel Hill 18 years ago from Israel. Although she spoke English well, she was often assumed to be a Spanish-speaker and would receive school-based materials in that language. “What I needed were ways to understand the school system and the resources available to my children - and to me.” She says that now, after so much time, she still wants to say to new families, “Don’t lose who you are.”
    
I think it is a great way to connect staff, families, and community members,” said Alisha Schiltz, Coordinator of Multi-Tiered System of Support in the district. “There are so many wonderful resources, not to mention how warm and inviting the space is. I’m eager to see more community members and families use this space to their benefit.”

Dr. Schiltz, like other CHCCS administrators and staff, has signed up to host shifts at the Center.
    
Carla Smith, the Parent Involvement Specialist with Parent University, summed up the prevailing opinions well. “This is a great space to engage families.”
   
Please consider signing up to host within the next few weeks,” said Mazva-Cohen. “It's a great way to meet CMS families and staff. Please spread the word! The folks who are coming in are loving what is happening here and are returning to be a part of the action.”

                    

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Roy Wilkins Featured in Public Service Announcement for Living Wage

CHCCS is pleased to have our very own Roy Wilkins, custodian at Ephesus Elementary, featured in a recent public service announcement promoting the importance of the Living Wage.

Thanks to Roy, and all of our custodians, for the important work they accomplish every day. Our schools could not function without them.

video

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Off to a Flying Start

It’s been exactly a month since our students took their seats in their new classrooms and started the 2017-18 year. Seems like a lot longer, doesn’t it? I spent the first two days visiting each of the 20 schools in our district, and the energy level was inspiring. In every school, on the athletic fields, in the hallways, in learning labs and media centers, you can find examples of those three challenges I raised to the CHCCS community at Convocation: make school fun, take risks, and always encourage everyone.

Already this year, I’ve listened to student voices in focus groups, hallways, classrooms and in school cafeterias. What they tell us is remarkable...very profound.

Plenty of exciting new ideas are being implemented. We’re piloting new courses, new academic support initiatives, and expanding opportunities in CTE, Arts Education and other areas.

State accountability data has already been released. Our schools continue to make progress. Additionally, thirty nine current seniors were recently named National Merit Semi-finalists from our district!
    
Although it would be impossible to publicize even a fraction of the exciting and creative activities happening every day in our schools, we plan to shine a brighter light on a variety of subjects. We’ll be posting more in-depth stories about students, partnerships and teachers, like the recent articles on the Solar Panel Project students at East Chapel Hill High, Phillips Middle School’s cafeteria manager Ann Morgan’s national award or the upcoming articles on the Hope for Houston fundraising efforts at Carrboro High. Our employee video newsletter "60 Seconds” has roared back out of the video mothballs, and soon we’ll be premiering the first episode of “Five with the Soup”.
              
Stay tuned! We’ll try to share as much of the good work of our students and staff as possible. Send story ideas our way!
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School Board Filing Period Re-Opens from Oct. 2-6

When long-time Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board member, Annetta Streater resigned her position in early September, a new opportunity to file for school board candidacy arose. Although the regular filing deadline ended on July 21, a re-opened period is required by the Orange County Board of Elections, in order to allow new candidates to file.
     
The top three vote-getters will be placed in the three vacant four-year terms, and the fourth highest vote-getter will serve the two years that remain of Streater’s four year term.
     
Any resident interested in running for the school board needs to submit a Notice of Candidacy to the county board of elections, either by mail or in person, between October 2 and October 6. The requirements to run for office in a county election are: Candidate is a registered voter, at least 21 years of age as of the date of the general election, and is not serving an active felony sentence, including any period of probation or parole. A Notice of Candidacy form is available to download from this link:

     

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

National Recognition for Chapel Hill High Students at Future Business Leaders of America

Four students from Chapel Hill High School received national recognition at the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Awards of Excellence Program this summer, where more than 9,600 students competed at the National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Anaheim,  CA.

The awards were part of a comprehensive national competitive events program that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas.

Students Riley Johnson and Ian Doerfer competed in Website Design and won second place among all national competitors. John Dews-Flick earned third place in Mobile Application Development and Alan George competed in Cyber Security, bringing home sixth place. Riley Johnson and Ian Doerfer recently received letters from Governor Roy Cooper in recognition of their national honors.

Local chapter adviser, Mary Jones was awarded the Adviser of the Year for the State of North Carolina and was presented with a plaque at the Southern Region caucus held at the conference.

“These students made history for Chapel Hill High School,” said Jones. “This is the first time local students have won a national award in my 17-year tenure as the Chapel Hill High FBLA adviser.” Chapel Hill High led the way in the number of competitive events for the North Carolina delegation. Of the 22 students who placed during the State Leadership Conference held in March of this year, 11
students advanced to compete at the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Chapel Hill High School’s Gabrielle Kmiec was elected to be a North Carolina state officer for FBLA for 2017-2018, and will lead the Triad Region (high schools and middle schools in eight counties) as
Vice-President. While at the NLC, Gabrielle presided over a portion of the state meeting of all FBLA students from North Carolina. Kmiec and the Chapel Hill High chapter will be responsible for hosting the Triad Regional Competitive Events Conference in December.

Students from Chapel Hill were able to travel to the conference with assistance from an Achiever’s Fund Grant from the Public School Foundation. “For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers,” said Jones.

In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an
information-packed exhibit hall, heard from motivational speakers on a broad range of business topics, and had a fun evening at Disneyland.
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