Friday, May 30, 2014

Fearrington Named Teacher of the Year at Recognition Reception

Kim Fearrington of Northside Elementary, was named the District Teacher of the Year at the Annual Recognition Reception on May 30 at Carrboro High.

Fearrington is a kindergarten teacher with 20 years of teaching experience.  Fearrington holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from North Carolina Central University.  Fearrington received a $1,000 check from Harrington Bank, as well as gifts from area businesses.

Two Honor Teachers were also named on Friday.  They are Alicia Adcock of Phoenix Academy High School and Mary Beth Braker of Carrboro High School.  They each received a $500 check from Harrington Bank and gifts from local businesses.

Other Teachers of the Year were recognized with $100 checks from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation and gifts from local businesses.  They are:  Emily Kochy, Carrboro Elementary; Kristin Ducanis, Ephesus Elementary; Dawn McClendon, Estes Hills Elementary; Ann Harrawood, FPG Elementary; Sheryl Finegan, Glenwood Elementary; Mike Sharp, McDougle Elementary; Amanda Woodroffe, Morris Grove Elementary; Ashley Laver, Rashkis Elementary; Susan Kenny, Scroggs Elementary; Molly McLean, Seawell Elementary; Megan Taber, Culbreth Middle School; Steven Simmons, McDougle Middle School; Jennifer Marquis, Phillips Middle School; Regina Baratta, Smith Middle School; Jennifer Ballew, Chapel Hill High School; and Keith Gerdes, East Chapel Hill High School.

Kim Fearrington, District Teacher of the Year 2014-15
Kindergarten Teacher at Northside Elementary

Alicia Adcock, District Honor Teacher of the Year 2014-15
Science Teacher at Phoenix Academy High

Mary Beth Braker, District Honor Teacher of the Year 2014-15
English Teacher at Carrboro High

Teacher of the Year gifts were provided by:  A Better Image Printing, Barnes and Noble at New Hope Commons, Chapel Hill Florist, Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, FSI, Office Depot, the Spotted Dog Restaurant and University Florist.

The Mary Scroggs Award for Excellence in Providing Support Services recognizes one classified staff member from each school and Lincoln Center.  The award recipient is Gina Clark, a custodian at McDougle Elementary, who also received a $1,000 check.  Two Honor Recipients were named.  They are Linda Fyle, the school secretary at Scroggs Elementary, and Kara O’Dor, a media specialist at Ephesus Elementary.  They each received $250.

Other Classified Staff of the Year, who each received $100, are:  Lee Newbold, EC teacher assistant, Carrboro Elementary; Savada Gilmore, EC teacher assistant, Estes Hills Elementary; Esteban Mena, teacher assistant, FPG Elementary; Annabelle Devonport, EC teacher assistant, Glenwood Elementary; Cindy Renner, teacher assistant, Morris Grove Elementary; Jeremy McIlwaine, EC teacher assistant, Northside Elementary; Teresa Harrington, custodial services supervisor, Rashkis Elementary; Joann Westfall, school secretary, Seawell Elementary; Matthew McCauley, ISS teacher assistant, Culbreth Middle; Julie Walker, guidance secretary, McDougle Middle; Delphine Sieredzki, media center assistant, Phillips Middle; Panda Rushing, EC teacher assistant, Smith Middle; Belinda Nix, school secretary, Carrboro High; Daryl Anderson, teacher assistant, Chapel Hill High; Sharie Walker, receptionist, East Chapel Hill High; Nicole Hodge, teacher assistant, Phoenix Academy High; Kathy Nelson, benefits specialist, Human Resources, Lincoln Center; Holly Snyder, network support technician, Information Technology, Lincoln Center; Kenny Daulton, electrical foreman, Maintenance, Lincoln Center; and Catherine Day, bus driver, Transportation.

Irene Slydel, school nurse at Smith Middle, received the Exceptional Children Student Support Services Staff of the Year Award, as well as a check for $500.  The other nominees for this award are: Reyna Rivera, school social worker, Carrboro Elementary; Marne Meredith, school social worker, Ephesus Elementary; Ashley Hudson, speech pathologist, Estes Hills Elementary; Barbie Tudryn, school counselor, FPG Elementary; Wendy Johnston, school social worker, Glenwood Elementary; Kathie Guild, school counselor, McDougle Elementary; Stephanie Bruce, school counselor, Morris Grove Elementary; Candice Norwood, school social worker, Northisde Elementary; Carlie Ewen, school social worker, Rashkis Elementary; Sue Heflin, school social worker, Scroggs Elementary; Eileen Stough, school nurse, Seawell Elementary; Matthew Straub, school counselor, Culbreth Middle; Sarah Morales, school counselor, McDougle Middle; Jeremy Young, school counselor, Phillips Middle; Linda Karcher, student assistance program specialist, Carrboro High; Montez Thomas, school counselor, Chapel Hill High; Brenda McNeely-Allen, school social worker, East Chapel Hill High; and Gloria Sanchez-Lane, school social worker, Phoenix Academy High.

Other staff awards were also presented at the event.  Amy Rickard of Morris Grove Elementary was recognized as the district's Principal of the Year, while Tomeka Ward-Satterfield of East Chapel Hill High was named the district's Assistant Principal of the Year.  Alisa McAlister of McDougle Middle was the recipient of the Jeanette Blackwell Mentor Teacher Award.  Amy Lineberry of Phillips Middle was the recipient of the Exceptional Children's Award for Outstanding Contributions as a Teacher.  Jasmine Johnson of Scroggs Elementary received the CHC Public School Foundation Promising New Teacher Award.

The Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate (BRMA) program presented two Excellence in Equitable Teaching Awards.  These award recipients are selected by the students in BRMA.  The middle school award went to Eric Zeigler of Smith Middle, while Alicia Adcock of Phoenix Academy High received the high school award.

Representatives of the Public School Foundation were on hand to present both new and renewing Teaching Chairs. Katherine MacKinnon of Seawell Elementary was named the recipient of the Elmo's Award for Excellence in Teaching English as a Second Language and World Language. Jack Watson is the CHHS PTSA Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities.  Danae Shipp of McDougle Middle is the Glaxo Award for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Science. Candace White of Glenwood Elementawry is the Neil Pedersen Teachers First Chair. Ashley Laver of Rashkis Elementary is the Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching in the Elementary Classroom.  Katherine Pardue of Phillips Middle is the Burton Stuart Chair for Promising New Teachers in Math or Science. Ashley Lang of East Chapel Hill High is the Bernadine Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching English.

Renewing chair recipients also were honored on Friday.  Tom Brown of Carrboro High School is the Elmo's Excellence in Teaching Mathematics or Science Chair.  Tate Little of Carrboro Elementary is the Upper Elementary Chair for Excellence in Teaching Innovation.  Jennifer Scott of Phillips Middle is the Zora Rashkis Chair in Middle School Language Arts.

Twelve teachers were recognized for earning their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  They join the almost 300 other CHCCS teachers who have earned their National Boards.  They are:  Susan Azzu, Rashkis Elementary; Agnes Bernasconi, Rashkis Elementary; Miles Chappell, Phillips Middle; Christine Cohn, Estes Hills Elementary; Samantha Howard, Morris Grove Elementary; Ashley Laver, Rashkis Elementary; Beth Kinney, McDougle Middle; Holly Loranger, Chapel Hill High; Lisa Myles, McDougle Elementary; Melissa Nicholson-Clark, Morris Grove Elementary; Jennifer Pedersen, Northside Elementary; and Jenny Marie Smith, East Chapel Hill High.

The Public School Foundation created a new award this year, the Lincoln Center Administrator of the Year award.  This new award’s first recipient is Arasi Adkins, the executive director of human resources.  She received $500 and a plaque from the Foundation.

Twenty-three employees were recognized for retiring from the district this year.  They include:  Amanda Carol Cantrell, Carrboro Elementary; Kathy Latta, FPG Elementary; Sarah Mansfield, Seawell Elementary; Pamela Wright, Seawell Elementary; Sara Buechler, Culbreth Middle; Linda Glover, McDougle Middle; Rhonda Hairston, McDougle Middle; Cissy O’Neal, McDougle Middle; Anne Brashear, Phillips Middle; Julia Gaskell, Phillips Middle; Susan Prillaman, Phillips Middle; Dianne Sturdivant, Phillips Middle; Anne Hicks-Mitchell, Carrboro High; Ron Benson, Chapel Hill High; Hollie Taylor Novak, Chapel Hill High; Winslow Carter, East Chapel Hill High; Hubert (Hugh) Clark, East Chapel Hill High; Patricia (Trish) Dallen, East Chapel Hill High; Wandolyn Merritt, East Chapel Hill High Sandy Williamson, East Chapel Hill High; Bill Frenzel, PreK/Head Start; Jean Parrish, Lincoln Center; and Stephanie Willis, Lincoln Center.

Employees were also honored for attaining milestone years of service with CHCCS.  Two employees have 35 years of service:  Beverly Roberson, Transportation; and Patricia Farrington, Ephesus Elementary.  

Employees with 30 years of service included:  Thomas Brown, Carrboro High; Jane Clunie, McDougle Elementary and McDougle Middle; and Cissy O’Neal, McDougle Middle.

Employees with 25 years of service included:  Sonya Adams, Ephesus Elementary; Herbert Ferguson, Lincoln Center; George Gilmer, Smith Middle; Deborah Gray-Ford, Northside Elementary; Elizabeth Harris, Glenwood Elementary; Amy Langenderfer, Lincoln Center; Rick McVey, Lincoln Center; Mary Roberts, Lincoln Center; and Kevin Staring, Phillips Middle.

Employees with 20 years of service included:  Ronald Barbee, Rashkis Elementary; Faye Barker, Glenwood Elementary; Lynn Carrino, Culbreth Middle; Lisa Clarke, Phillips Middle; Toni DeMarco, Morris Grove Elementary; Linda Fyle, Scroggs Elementary; Kathleen Eveleigh, McDougle and Scroggs Elementary; Carla Gilchrist, Glenwood Elementary; James Gillan, Chapel Hill High; Carment Hackney, Rashkis Elementary; Jessica Harris, East Chapel Hill High; Mary Hill, FPG Elementary; Wendy Johnston, Glenwood Elementary; Antoinette Joyner, East Chapel Hill HS; Susan Julian, Scroggs Elementary; Bill Kelley, Lincoln Center; Wanda King, Morris Grove Elementary; Stephanie Lawrence, Scroggs Elementary; Toni Lehman, McDougle Elementary; Jean McGregor, Carrboro Elementary; Sherdina Morrison, Chapel Hill High; William Mullin, Lincoln Center; Patricia Pierce-Thompson, Scroggs Elementary; Sammy Rape, Phillips Middle; Wanda Roper, Ephesus Elementary; Mary Ristanio, McDougle Elementary; Kerry Sherrill, FPG Elementary; Rita Simpson, Carrboro High; Robin Small, Transportation; Suzanne Stokes, Morris Grove Elementary; Nara Strickland, Ephesus Elementary; Dave Tinker, Lincoln Center; Missy Valentine, Smith Middle; Sheila Wilkerson, Chapel Hill High; Kirsten Gardner Venema, Ephesus Elementary.

The annual Recognition Reception is hosted in collaboration with the Public School Foundation.

"We are all inspired by the truly amazing performance of these dedicated professionals," said Superintendent Thomas A. Forcella.  "Recognizing and celebrating them in this public ceremony is one of the highlights of our school year.”

Pictures from the event posted on Facebook (after Monday, June 2).

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Budget Update

Last week the Governor released his recommended state budget for 2014-15.  In addition, the County Manager released his recommended local operating budget for 2014-15.  We felt it was important to provide our community with an overview how the two recommended budgets impact our school system.

The Governor’s budget recommends a sorely needed salary increase for teachers.  The majority of the increase is focused on teachers at the beginning of their careers.  While this is a positive first step, it falls far short of meeting the needs of our workforce.  Multiple years of no raises, and legislation enacted by the General Assembly, have placed us at a competitive disadvantage to recruit and retain teachers.  Our turnover rate is the highest it has been in over ten years.  We are losing teachers to other states, and teachers are leaving the profession.  The Governor is funding a teacher raise by recommending cuts elsewhere, including cutting the UNC system, reducing levels of teacher assistant support, and transferring state insurance claim costs to local school systems.  This follows significant permanent reductions made to our state budget last year – including the permanent cut of nearly 40 teacher positions and 25 teacher assistant positions.  Having highly qualified and talented teachers is the single most important factor for student success.    It is imperative that concerned North Carolinians let the Governor and General Assembly know how important it is to properly fund and support our schools and teachers.

The County Manager is recommending an additional $95 per pupil allocation.  While this additional amount is appreciated, it does not nearly fund our request.  We had requested a $314 per pupil increase.  Our budget request is comprised of primarily of three components: funding to support a raise for locally paid teachers and staff; funding to cover mandated medical and retirement matching increases; and funding to support positions that had been previously supported by fund balance.  Our budget request is generally limited to maintaining existing services and providing teachers a raise.

If the County Manager’s recommended budget is adopted, we will need to make approximately $2.7 million in reductions to balance our budget.  This would result in significant position losses and services in our schools.  We have compiled a list of possible reductions, including reducing gifted specialist positions, media assistant positions, teacher assistant positions, theater technicians, and many others.  The complete list is available at the following link:  April 17, 2014 Board of Education Meeting Budget Agenda Abstract.

We are hopeful that the county commissioners will be able to increase the amount of funding for public education.  We know they have been trying their best to do so despite increasing pressures from state reductions, while simultaneously not raising property taxes.

Decisions that impact our budget will be made over the next two months.  We anticipate a state budget being adopted in June.  The county budget process includes two public hearings (May 22 and May 29) and then the county commissioners will discuss and adopt a budget in June.  Once the state and county budgets are adopted, the Board intends to approve its final budget on July 17, 2014.  We will do our very best to keep the public informed as we navigate this difficult financial situation.

For parents looking for ways to advocate, please visit the PTA Council blog for assistance.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

High School Students Selected for 2014 Governor's School

CHCCS had 19 students selected to attend NC Governor's School this summer.

Students selected from Carrboro High and their subjects are:  Anthony Fraden, Choral Music (Tenor); Marichi Gupta, Choral Music (Tenor); Claire Hanlon, Theater; and Jordan Owen, Social Science.

Students selected from Chapel Hill High and their subjects are:  Emily Aleman, Dance; Catherine Cho, Instrumental Music (cello); Jacob Engel, Instrumental Music (trombone); Sandeep Gill, Spanish; Grace Gollmar, Choral Music (Soprano I) Sophia Kahn, Art; Shomya Mitra, Instrumental Music (violin); Lauren Su, Natural Science; Emilee Taxman, Art; and Henry Wilkinson, Art.

Students selected from East Chapel Hill High and their subjects are:  Jones Bell, Choral Music (Bass); Jane Carsey, Natural Science; Daniel Yu, Instrumental Music (violin); Aaron Yun, Instrumental Music (cello); and Blaise Whitesell, Instrumental Music (French horn).

The Governor's School is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation.  The program, open to rising seniors only (with some exceptions made for rising juniors in the performing/visual arts area), is located on two college campuses, Salem College in Winston-Salem and Meredith College in Raleigh.  The sessions will run June 15 to July 23.

Over 800 students were selected to attend.  The Governor's School is administered by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division.  A Board of Governors is appointed by the State Board of Education to act as an advisory body.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Carrboro High Men's Tennis - State Champs!

Congratulations to Carrboro High Men's Tennis Team…Carrboro defeated Brevard 5-0 to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 2-A State Dual Championship.

A special thank you goes out to Coach Noyes and Coach Delafield for all their hard work and leadership in getting our young men to focus all season despite weather conditions this Spring.  Junior Max Fritsch was selected as the Championship MVP, freshman Jason Wykoff was selected Most Outstanding Sportsmanship recipient. 

Job well done, Jaguars!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Amy Rickard Named NAESP North Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year

The North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA) has designated Amy Rickard of Morris Grove Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC as North Carolina’s National Distinguished Principal.  For the past 31 years the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has honored a principal selected from each state for this prestigious award. 

“We are proud to designate Amy as our NAESP North Carolina Distinguished Principal of the Year,” said Dr. Shirley Prince, Executive Director of NCPAPA.  “She has proven herself to be an outstanding leader for her school and a role model for other principals,” said Dr. Prince.

In October, Ms. Rickard will travel to Washington, D.C., for two days of activities planned to honor and bring recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, and private and overseas schools.

“Amy Rickard is a superstar by any definition,” said Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Tom Forcella. “She is a tremendous school leader who is consistently focused on the success of her students and staff.”

Criteria for selection of the principals require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.  Ms. Rickard has also been recognized as the 2014 Wells Fargo Regional Principal of the Year for the Piedmont-Triad/Central Region.

The National Distinguished Principals program is made possible through the corporate sponsorship of VALIC, an active supporter of NAESP for over two decades.  For more than half a century, VALIC has served as a leading financial-plan provider for K–12 schools, higher education and healthcare institutions, and manages plans for nearly 25,000 groups, serving nearly two million plan participants.

In existence since 1976, the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association has served as North Carolina’s professional education association for school administrators, and now represents over 4,500 elementary and middle-level principals throughout the state.  NCPAPA maintains close ties with the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 20,000 members worldwide.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

District Announces Duke TIP Students for 2014

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools had 20 seventh graders qualify for the Grand Recognition in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) this year.

To qualify for Grand Recognition, on the SAT Exam, students must exceed a score ≥ 680 on Math, ≥ 650 Critical Reading and/or ≥ 650 on Writing or must have an overall score ≥ 1850.  To qualify on the ACT Exam, students must score at or above a 27 on the Composite, or must score on individual exams:  ≥ 27 on Science; ≥ 28 on Math; ≥ 29 on English; or ≥ 30 on Reading or a Composite of ≥ 28.

From Culbreth the students who qualified for Grand Recognition are:  Skyler Boyer; and Ryan Helms.

From McDougle MS, Noam Gumerman qualified for Grand Recognition.

From Phillips the students who qualified for Grand Recognition are Dalton Akos and Emily Kohn.

From Smith, the students who qualified for Grand Recognition are:  Mason Clark; Leanne Ding; Edric Eun; Albert Gong; Alex Guo; Ellie Kim; Michael Li; Grant Lyerly; Melissa Peters; Abigail Phillips; Sanya Raynoe; Grant Reed; Thomas Walker; Kelly Wang; and Megan Wu.

There were more than 64,000 students from across the US who took the college entrance exams this year through Duke TIP, with less than 2,000 qualifying for Grand Recognition.

The district also had 83 seventh graders who took the SAT or ACT who qualified for State Recognition in the Duke TIP program.  To qualify for state level on the SAT exam, students qualified with three of the four of SAT scores: ≥ 500 in Writing, ≥ 500 in Critical Reading or ≥ 530 in Math.  Or students qualified with three of the four ACT scores: English ≥ 20; Math ≥ 20; Reading ≥ 20; and/or Science ≥ 20.

The Duke TIP program is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to being a national leader in identifying academically talented students and providing innovative programs to support their educational development.  Currently, students in 16 states may participate in the Duke TIP program.  For more information, visit the TIP website at

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Time To Say Thanks

The first full week of May is one of our favorite weeks of the entire school year. Why? Many of our students, parents and PTA's are celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week in a variety of creative ways. Our teachers really enjoy the festivities and appreciate all the well-wishes.

However, there are two other groups we also celebrate this week. This week is Child Nutrition Week, so we thank all who are involved in providing nutritious meals to our students every day. Additionally, today, Wednesday, May 7, is also National School Nurse Day. Today we show our gratitude to all those who help keep our students healthy and safe.

Thank you to the community for celebrating with us and honoring these dedicated professionals.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

High School Fiction and Poetry Contest

The CHCCS first annual High School Fiction and Poetry Contest recently concluded and the winners were as follows:


500$ 1st: "I See You Not in Flaws, But in Color" by Jordan Owen - Carrboro High

250$ 2nd: "City of Mirrors" by Kate Meadows - East Chapel Hill High

100$ 3rd: "Phoenix" by Allyson Taylor - East Chapel Hill High


500$ 1st: "Before I Grew" by Reshma Jayaram - Carrboro High

250$ 2nd: "A Mother's Last Try" by Alicia Smith - Carrboro High

100$ 3rd: "Shotgun Reform" by Joseph Jewett - Carrboro High

Finalists had the opportunity to read his/her work to the community. Celebrity judges included Rosecranz Baldwin for fiction finalists, and
State Poet Laureate: Joseph Bathanti for poetry finalists.

This contest was generously sponsored by Chris Kubica of Application Architects.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Two CHCCS Teachers Selected as Kenan Fellows

Allison Stewart of Frank Porter Graham Biling├╝e is supported by the NC Space Grant and will partner with Marissa Hartzler and Jonathan Frederick of the Moreheard Planetarium on a project entitled 'The First in Flight Challenge."

The 2014-15 Fellows will spend five weeks of their summer shadowing and learning from local experts in renewable energy, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Kenan Fellows use this experience to create and implement cutting-edge classroom resources designed to elevate student learning.

“Through our partnerships with industries, institutes of higher education and community organizations, the Kenan Fellows Program provides a remarkable opportunity for teachers to enrich their profession and connect students to real-world practices,” said Elaine Franklin, director.

Kenan Fellowships are made possible through the support of the program’s partners. A multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program is helping fund eight Kenan Master Teaching Fellows in the Fort Bragg region. The new Kenan Master Teachers join part of an ongoing effort to engage in a variety of leadership activities in their home districts including assisting in the preparation of new teachers.

The 2014-15 Kenan Fellows were selected after a competitive application and interview process. Fellows receive a tablet donated by Lenovo, leadership training, professional development and a stipend. They join an elite statewide network of more than 300 Kenan Fellows whom have a track-record of achievement and excellence in education.

The Kenan Fellows Program is an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at NC State University. Program supporters are the National Science Foundation, the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, the Biogen Idec Foundation, CommScope, GlaxoSmithKlein, the Goodnight Educational Foundation, Lenovo, Dr. Brian Strahl of UNC Chapel-Hill, Dr. David Muddiman of NC State University, Dr. Fred Gould of NC State University, FREEDM Systems Center, NC A&T University, Halifax Helps Inc., Iredell County Farm Bureau, NC Space Grant, Ply Gem, SAMSI, NISS and the NC Electric Membership Corporation.

Visit to learn more.

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