Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Phillips Orchestra Wows General Assembly

Anne Daaleman recently brought the Phillips Middle School Orchestra to the North Carolina General Assembly. They provided a beautiful thirty-minute concert. Dozens of legislators and others watched. Sens. Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca even looked on for a good fifteen minutes and heard Ms. Daaleman talk about the importance of arts education. Several students spoke about the positive impact Orchestra has had on them.

This event was arranged by Representative Graig Meyer. His office has received numerous expressions of appreciation regarding the performance. State Senator Josh Stein is a Phillips Middle School Alumnus, and he was especially pleased to have the performance. Everyone was impressed by the quality of the performance.

Congratulations to Ms. Daaleman and the Phillips Orchestra.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Names CHCCS a 2015 Green Ribbon School District

“Green Ribbon schools are an inspiration,” says Arne Duncan

Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce that Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees. 

CHCCS was nominated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The entire application can be found here. The district was selected due in large part to its waste reduction, energy conservation and sustainability education integration.

“We are very pleased to be awarded the Green Ribbon as a school district,” said Superintendent Tom Forcella. “It is the direct result of much creativity, collaboration and hard work of many people – all under the leadership of Dan Schnitzer, our Sustainability Coordinator.”

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, nine colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. One other North Carolina school district, Cherokee County Schools, was selected as a Green Ribbon school district. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC. 

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

Regarding the local efforts of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Sustainability Coordinator Dan Schnitzer commented that while the school district has seen a significant reduction in energy costs, from day one it has been about much more than saving money. “Our goal is to help students create a sustainable paradigm that includes healthy habits and lifelong sustainability skills that benefit their health, their community and the environment.”

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges.  

For more information about sustainability efforts in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, please contact Dan Schnitzer at or by phone at 919-967-8211 (ext. 28322).

Dan Schnitzer teaches sustainability to middle school students

Board of Education, principal and architects receive Platinum LEED award
for Northside Elementary in September 2014

McDougle Middle unveils its new solar panel in October 2014

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Coretta Sharpless - Assistant Principal of the Year

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is pleased to announce that Coretta Sharpless has been named the district's Assistant Principal of the Year.

Ms. Sharpless has been with the school district since 2003, and is currently the assistant principal at Northside Elementary. Following six years of teaching in Burlington, North Carolina, Sharpless came to CHCCS as a classroom teacher. She also served as an intervention specialist, gifted education specialist, lead teacher and administrative intern. Prior to joining the team at Northside, Sharpless served as assistant principal at Estes Hills Elementary.

After graduating from Chapel Hill High, Sharpless went on to receive her Bachelor's degree from North Carolina Central University and her Master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Congratulations to Coretta Sharpless and all the Northside Navigators.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

District Announces New Administrators

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has hired a new Chief Technology Officer.  Dr. Daniel Curry-Corcoran was approved by the Board of Education at its March 10 meeting.

Curry-Corcoran is currently the executive director of technology and accountability for the Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) in Newport News, VA and has spent two years in this position.  Prior to that for NNPS , Curry-Corcoran served as the executive director of accountability and the director of accountability.  He also worked for the Montgomery County Schools in Rockville, MD, where he was the coordinator of student assessment and the evaluation specialist.

Curry-Corcoran holds a bachelor of arts degree in English Education from Old Dominion University, and both a master of education degree in Educational Research and a doctor of philosophy degree in Educational Research from the University of Virginia.

Curry-Corcoran will join CHCCS in June.

Daniel Curry-Corcoran
incoming Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Amatullah Stanback was approved as the district's Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate (BRMA) Coordinator at the Board's December 18, 2014 meeting.

Before joining the district, Stanback was the assistant principal at Holly Shelter Middle School in New Hanover County Schools for four years.  Prior to that, Stanback worked for Wake County Schools as a middle school assistant principal and a math teacher.

Stanback holds a bachelor of science degree in Mass Communications from Shaw University, certification in Middle Grades Mathematics from East Carolina University, a masters of administration in School Administration from the UNC-Chapel Hill, and a doctor of education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UNC-Wilmington.

At their December 18 meeting, the Board also approved transferring Kevin Kay as an assistant principal at Chapel Hill High to an assistant principal at Smith Middle effective January 20.

Kay had been an assistant principal at CHHS since 2010.  Before joining CHCCS, Kay was an assistant principal at a middle school and a high school English teacher in Massachusetts and a middle school English/Language Arts teacher in New York.  Kay has also coached boys' lacrosse and freshmen football at the high school level.

Kay holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Siena College in Loudonville, NY and a masters of education degree in Education from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA.

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Ephesus Elementary's Kindness Video

In addition to being National Volunteer Week, it is also Kindness Week (coincidence?).

To help remind us of its impact, our friends at Ephesus Elementary, with the help of the Public School Foundation, made this wonderful video tribute to kindness. Enjoy.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

CHCCS Announces Teachers of the Year for 2015-16

Faculties across the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district have selected their Teachers of the Year to represent the best in teaching at each school.

Elementary teachers who have been elected to the honor are: Mariella Mabe, first grade dual language teacher, Carrboro Elem.; Kim Chamberlin, second grade teacher, Ephesus Elem.; Ghada Ramadan, fifth grade teacher, Estes Hills Elem.; Allison Stewart, third grade dual language teacher, FPG Billing├╝e; Carla Gilchrist, first grade teacher, Glenwood Elem.; Mary Kennan Eaddy, second grade teacher, McDougle Elem.; Lisa Frangipane, healthful living/PE teacher, Morris Grove Elem.; Nicole Dixon, first grade teacher, Northside Elem.; Gretchen Pegram, first grade teacher, Rashkis Elem.; Tamara Edmonds, kindergarten teacher, Scroggs Elem.; and Donna Kauffman, third grade teacher, Seawell Elem.

At the middle school level, these teachers were selected:  Mike Jones, music teacher, Culbreth MS; Stephen Rayfield, theater teacher, McDougle MS; Megan Tolbert, English/language arts teacher, Phillips MS; and Channing Bennett, science teacher, Smith MS.

From the high schools, these teachers have been chosen:  Kay Johnson, vocal music teacher, Carrboro HS; Jack Watson, art teacher, Chapel Hill HS; and Maureen Galvin, social studies teacher, East Chapel Hill HS.

All of the schools' Teachers of the Year will be honored May 15 at Carrboro High School at the district's annual Recognition Reception where they will be presented with items donated by local businesses.  The District Teacher of the Year and two honor teachers will be announced that evening.  The district will also recognize Classified Employees of the Year, Exceptional Children & Student Services Employees of the Year, staff members who are retiring, as well as staff awards which include Teaching Chairs and Years of Service.  Tickets to the event must be purchased by April 15 from the Human Resources Department at Lincoln Center.  Tickets are $5 per person.

Pictured: 2014-15 Teachers of the Year at the
2014 Recognition Reception

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