Friday, June 29, 2012

Knott resigns post to relocate to Virginia

Stephanie Knott
Assistant to the Superintendent for Community Relations Stephanie Knott will leave the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in mid-July to assume a new position with the Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn, VA.

Knott joined the district in this role back in 2005.  Knott's responsibilities have included community engagement activities; communications; and supervision of the Volunteers and Partners Office, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program and Community Schools Office.

Since Knott joined the district, the Community Relations Office has been awarded 23 Blue Ribbon Awards from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association and six Publications Awards from the National School Public Relations Association.  Knott was named Orange County Campaign Leader of the Year by the Triangle United Way in both 2007 and 2008.  She was selected as Administrator of the Year for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Association of Educational Office Professionals in 2010.

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Klionsky appears on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Seawell Elementary Technology Specialist David Klionsky appeared on Wednesday's episode of the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Klionsky won $11,250 during his appearance, which was taped back in October.  While on the show, Klionsky recounted Seawell's send-off for him.

Klionsky was selected to appear on the show following a written test, an interview and an on-camera test.
Klionsky sponsors a Scrabble Club at Seawell and volunteers with the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program.

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Phoenix student wins essay contest

Freshman Jesus Sabiel Garcia of Phoenix Academy has won the 9th grade category in Olive Garden's essay contest.

Garcia will receive a $125 Olive Garden gift card and a $500 savings bond for his effort.
Garcia worked on his submission with Matt Kotzen, his mentor in the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate program.

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Board committee on electronic communication to meet

A Board committee discussing electronic communication used by the Board will meet on Thursday, August 2, at 6:30 pm in the Lincoln Center Boardroom.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Glenwood wins playground grant

Glenwood Elementary has been awarded a $15,000 playground grant in the Let's Play contest sponsored by KaBoom.

KaBoom notified the school yesterday that it had finished in the top five projects in their grant competition and would receive a $15,000 grant for a playground project. 

The next steps of the project include selecting equipment for the playground, having it installed and celebrating the new play space.  As part of the KaBoom grant,Glenwood has committed to a "Community Build."  The school will be seeking volunteers from community groups to help install the new equipment, hopefully by next spring.

This grant helped the school attain a total fundraising goal of $30,000 for the project.  The school thanks all of the supporters of this contest and other fundraisers. 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Mattocks named principal of Carrboro High

LaVerne MattocksLaVerne Mattocks has been named the new principal of Carrboro High School for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Ms. Mattocks' hiring was approved by the Board of Education at the June 21 Board Meeting. Members of the Carrboro High School SIT team, as well as district administrative leadership, participated in the interview process.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Forcella said "Ms. Mattocks brings a wealth of instructional experience and knowledge to the Carrboro High community, in addition to a positive and enthusiastic spirit of collaboration. Ms. Mattocks is committed to helping students grow and achieve to their full potential. We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Mattocks to the Carrboro High School community."

Ms. Mattocks has served as principal at the Phoenix Academy here at CHCCS for the past three years, where she has done an exemplary job. She previously served as an assistant principal at Hillside High School, Charles E. Jordan High School, and Riverside High School, all in Durham, NC; as well as at Orange High School in Hillsborough, NC.

Ms. Mattocks holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UNC Wilmington; a Master of Arts degree in School Administration from UNC Chapel Hill; and is currently working toward an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Supervision at NC State.

The CHCCS community is excited about Ms. Mattocks' appointment as the new principal at Carrboro High. She will begin her new role in July.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

District announces Dual Language meetings and deadlines

On June 7, 2012, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education approved a plan to convert Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Elementary into a Spanish/English Dual Language Magnet School.

The first phase of the plan will begin in the 2012-13 school year. During the 2012-13 school year, FPG will enroll two Dual Language kindergarten classrooms and two first grade Dual Language classrooms.  Selection into the kindergarten and first grade Dual Language classrooms will give preference to students currently assigned to FPG.  For 2012-13, limited spaces will remain after preference is given to rising kindergarten and rising first grade FPG students.  The remaining spaces will be opened to all rising kindergarten and rising first grade Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students.

Applications for the Dual Language magnet school are due by 1:30pm on July 13, 2012.  Applications are available by visiting the district website, the Dual Language office or Registration office located at Lincoln Center, 750 South Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill NC 27516.

During the 2012-13 school year, FPG will continue to have one Dual Language classroom in second through fifth grades. The district will maintain the Spanish Dual Language program at Carrboro Elementary. The Spanish Dual Language program at Carrboro Elementary will be converted to a magnet model in 2013-14.  For the 2012-13 school year, the district will maintain the Spanish Dual Language program at Scroggs Elementary.

FPG will be converted into a full district magnet school beginning with the 2013-14 school year.  For the 2013-14 school year, all rising kindergarten students from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will be able to apply for the Spanish/English Dual Language Magnet School at FPG.

During the 2013-14 school year, all students from the Dual Language program at Scroggs Elementary and some Dual Language students from Carrboro Elementary will transition to FPG.

Information sessions will be held to provide additional information to parents as listed below. 
Frank Porter Graham Elementary School    Monday July 9, 2012 at 6pm
Mary Scroggs Elementary School              Tuesday July 10, 2012 at 10am
Carrboro Elementary School                     Wednesday July 11, 2012 at 5pm

For more information or questions, please contact José Antonio Nambo at 919-967-8211 ext. 28353 or at

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CHS wins state AA Wells Fargo Cup

Carrboro HS Jaguars
The Carrboro HS Jaguars won the 2012 Well Fargo Cup for the State AA Classification.

Athletic Director April Ross calls the award "a special tribute to our student athletes, coaches, parents, athletic boosters and community support." She also acknowledges the the Class of 2012 and alumni who were instrumental in building a great foundation for Jaguar Athletics.

The Wells Fargo Cup,  formerly known as the Wachovia Cup, is sponsored by Wells Fargo and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state's four competitive classifications. The Cup program is in its 33rd year. For more information visit

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Culbreth students engage in challenge-based learning

Working on the outdoor classroom
Students on Culbreth's Explorer team took part in an extensive challenge-based learning project. This year's challenge was design. Students were challenged to redesign a space to be more useful, beautiful or green.The students' efforts culminated in numerous upgrades to the school's facilty.  Check out before and after photos of the students' work.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

District creates video on priorities for 2012-13

Superintendent Tom Forcella today released a video message to CHCCS staff members to wish them a wonderful summer, thank them for the efforts of the past school year and outline new directions for 2012-2013.  View the video on YouTube:

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Smith MS principal encourages students

Philip Holmes, the principal at Smith Middle School, strove to inspire his students at the eighth grade promotion ceremony at the school on June 8.

In his remarks, Holmes reminds the rising freshmen that, "your GPA, class rank, SAT score and number of AP courses you take are important, but they are not, and never will be, who you are as a person."  The students responded by standing, clapping and cheering.

As he wrapped up his comments, he told them, "Think of the person you want to become and then think of the person your parents dreamed of 14 years ago.  Then, with that in mind, make the best decision you can."
To hear the entire eight-minute remarks, with pictures from the ceremony, watch this video:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Books on Break gives away books to students

Books on Break
Over 4,500 books were given to more than 550 CHCCS students in grades K-8. Many happy children will be reading lots of wonderful books this summer; books they chose themselves. Remember to encourage all students to read, read, read over the summer break.

The Books on Break is in its second year and is coordinated by the Volunteers and Partners for Education Department with the school social workers.  They are also supported by Book Harvest and the Public School Foundation.

Susan Pearce is the program manager for the School Reading Partners.

School social workers serve as school liaisons and help schedule the events and get the programs rolling at their schools.  School social workers are:  Kerry Sherrill, Carrboro Elem.; Marne Meredith, Ephesus; Betsy Booth, Estes Hills; Karen Aldridge, FPG; Wendy Johnston and Patty Moore, Glenwood; Gloria Sanchez-Lane, McDougle Elem.; Angela Snider, Morris Grove; Candice Norwood, Rashkis; Sue Heflin, Scroggs; Linda Williford, Seawell; Stephanie Minter, Culbreth; Lisa DeCesaris, McDougle MS; Julia Gaskell, Phillips; and Tina Moore, Smith.

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Phoenix Academy HS celebrates Spring Graduation

Posted by CHCCS on Wednesday, Jun 13th, 2012.
Phoenix Academy Graduation
Eight students graduated from Phoenix Academy HS on June 8. The graduation celebration was held at Carrboro HS in the auditorium at 5:30 p.m.

The graduates are: Asia Ashley, Amanda Bynum, Peter Dreher, Michael Gatewood, Kevin Griffith, Caleb Irving, Jassiel Salazar-Salcedo and Daquwan Sharp.

Speakers included the graduates and Phoenix Academy staff members Wilson Diaz, Maggie Fonge, Lorena Gatlin, Chris Johnson, Rachael Kares and Steve Messiter. Bellino Evans performed a musical selection. LaVerne Mattocks is the school's principal.

Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

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Emerson named CHCCS Data Manager of the Year

Terri Emerson
Terri Emerson was named the CHCCS Data Manager of the Year for 2011-12.  The award is presented to the district's data manager who has supported the other district data managers and who goes above and beyond his/her own duties.

Emerson is the data manager at FPG Elementary.  She collaborates with the FPG staff to insure she has the most current information for all FPG students and staff.  She started the development of an NCWISE "playbook," which standardized how and when schools maintain information in the state's Student Information System (NCWISE).

Emerson also took advantage of opportunities to grow, learn and implement procedures, demonstrating her dedication to maintaining accurate data for the school, the data manager's main responsibility.  Emerson also met all deadlines in supplying her school, district and state with information used in their reporting needs.

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Three CHCCS high schools win Wells Fargo Conference Cups

Wells Fargo, along with the NC High School Athletic Association, announced the standings in the Wells Fargo Conference Cup competitions for the 2011-12 sports season.  The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state's four competitive classifications.

Carrboro High won the Carolina 12 1-A/2-A cup.  Carrboro HS holds the top spot in the conference, holding off the rest of the pack with first place finishes in Women's Track and Field and Women's Soccer.  Conference standings are:  Carrboro HS 175, Cedar Ridge 157.5 and Northwood 149.  April Ross is the athletic director at CHS.

Chapel Hill High won the Carolina 3-A cup.  In a duel for the top spot, CHHS held off Cardinal Gibbons, thanks to a share of the baseball title with its conference rival, and also for adding championships in Women's Soccer, Men's Track and Field and Women's Track and Field.  CHHS also had second place finishes in Men's Golf and Men's Tennis.  Conference standings are:  Chapel Hill HS 87, Cardinal Gibbons 85, Orang HS 64.5.  Tod Morgan is the athletic director at CHHS.

East Chapel Hill High won the Pac-6 4-A cup.  East Chapel Hill HS finished first in Women's Soccer and Women's Track and Field and also tied for first in both Men's Tennis and Baseball with conference runner up Jordan HS.  Conference standings are:  East Chapel Hill HS 109.5, Jordan HS 103, Riverside HS 89.5.  Ray Hartsfield is the athletic director at ECHHS.

Scarlett Steinert is the CHCCS coordinator for Athletics and PE.

The Wells Fargo Cup Award is sponsored by Wells Fargo and the NHSAA.  The conference awards program began in 1980.  In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play.  Each conference determines its own method of awarding points.

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Phillips GSA recognized by NC LGBTQISA

The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Phillips Middle School was recognized on May 27 at the iNSIDEoUT annual awards banquet.  Seven students from Phillips attended the event and accepted the award for the school.  They were joined by their parents and their Phillips MS GSA sponsors, Anne Brashear, Sandra Martinez-Zuniga and Patricia Saylor.

The Phillips MS group was recognized, along with a group of students from Carolina Friends School, for being the first middle school goups to form in North Carolina.

Amy Glaser, adult advisor to iNSIDEoUT said, "I wanted to let you know that you all have been nominated for an iNSIDEoUT award for coming into existence, which is excpetional in itself, and providing support for youth at such a critical age.  Thank you.  You all rock!"

iNSIDEoUT is a youth-founded, youth-led organization that provides leadership opportunities and a safe space for North Carolina's LGBTQISA-queer youth, both in and out of schools.

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East Chapel Hill High's ESL class featured on CNN

Gregory Cain's ESL Class
Gregory Cain's ESL class at East Chapel Hill High School was featured on CNN's Student News and received a "shoutout" in a news clip.

The students show a high level of engagement when the class watches the 10 minute Student News segment several times a week.  The show is ideal for second language learners and is very visual, featuring many international news segments.  The series allows ESL students to learn language in a highly engaging setting and is always followed up with classroom discussions.

This class asked Cain to send their picture to CNN Student News.  The class is highly diverse, which is what piqued CNN's interest.  There are students from Burma, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand and Venezuela.  Cain himself is from Canada.
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Monday, June 11, 2012

CHCCS holds graduation ceremonies

Carrboro High, Chapel Hill High and East Chapel Hill High conducted commencement exercises on Saturday, June 9, at the Dean Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  More than 800 students turned their tassels and received their diplomas at the three ceremonies.  View pictures from Saturday's graduations on flickr:

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Friday, June 8, 2012

BRMA holds graduation celebration

On Sunday June 3, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate (BRMA) held its 10th Annual Graduation Ceremony, a celebration of six high school seniors who will graduate from the program. The event took place at Carrboro High School at 3pm.

The graduates have been involved with BRMA since 4th grade and described the impact of the program on their lives and offered advice to young students on how they, too, can achieve success. Younger students were recognized for their academic achievement over the past year.

The graduating students who were celebrated include: Oscar Romero Sanchez and Samantha Salazar from Carrboro High School, Chloe Raines and Jordan Williams from Chapel Hill High School and Netasha Herron and Jasmine Shelton from East Chapel Hill High School.

These students have been paired with adult mentors from the community since they joined the program eight years ago. They have also demonstrated a commitment to both academic achievement and service throughout high school. All six students participated in the Blue Ribbon Youth Leadership Institute. Through service projects, summer camps, and alternative spring break trips, the graduates have developed their leadership skills through serving their community.

Next year, each graduate will continue on to post-secondary education. Samantha Salazar will be attending UNC-Greensboro. Chloe Raines will study culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University. Samantha Salazar will attend UNC-Greensboro. Jasmine Shelton plans to study social work at Durham Tech. Oscar Salazar and Jordan Williams both plan to attend community college.

The Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program seeks to support the achievement of minority students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools through mentoring, tutoring, cultural enrichment, leadership development and scholarship opportunities. Since its inception in 1995, over 95 percent of the program's students have graduated from high school and gone on to post-secondary education. BRMA has achieved has been recognized for excellence in mentoring and school-community partnerships.

 BRMA Coordinator Graig Meyer begins the program

Graduate Jordan Williams delivers remarks 

Graduate Chloe Raines delivers remarks 

Intern Jake Jacoby hands out certificates 

Some of the 40 students who received Academic Recognition Awards 

Academic Specialist Teresa Bunner introduces the one-book project 

Graduate Netasha Herron delivers remarks 

Graduate Jasmine Shelton delivers remarks 

Graduate Oscar Romero Sanchez delivers remarks 

Graduate Samantha Salazar delivers remarks 

BRMA graduates with their scholarship checks, mentors and parents

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