Mount Airy students, teachers to showcase schools

David Broyles Staff Reporter

January 4, 2014

Tharrington Primary School students and teachers had an opportunity to further refine their presentations for the upcoming Jan. 9 Community Night at Mount Airy High School to showcase the city school system.

PTO President Reagan Tidd and School Instructional Technology Facilitator Carrie Venable began their rounds Friday morning at the school as students in Beth Welch and Betty Snow’s pre-kindergarten class talked about the class mission statement.

Welch explained they had used pictures depicting what work, play and learning means to the students and posted them in front of the classroom of the school, which also uses principles from Stephen Covey’s “Leader In Me” program. She said when they saw students playing school take turns reciting the mission statement they felt they were making progress.

Tidd and Venable later explained to Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Coach Kelly Johnson the event could be used to make parents aware of classroom needs as well as showcasing student achievement. Johnson showed the two an ongoing project growing cucumbers as part of a soil science unit. She said students want to try growing the vegetables in local soil to see how it compares to dirt they mix themselves.

“I think this (Community Night) will be a good way to get the word out on Mount Airy City Schools,” said Tidd. “Just through helping planning this I’ve learned a lot I didn’t know about going on in the schools.” In another class, Teacher Leeann Kirby showed a video her class had made on an iPad which talked about them writing a persuasive letter to Principal Lydia Lovell to allow staffers to wear bluejeans for a month as a fundraiser for Yokefellow Ministries.

Kirby told them her students netted $640 for the charity. Moments later, Lucas Goins and several other first grade students in teacher Alex Farley’s class got ready to explain the concepts in a video. Goins discussed goals which included being nice, respectful, helping others, including everyone in activities and being responsible.

Mount Airy City Schools Parent Teacher Organizations have slated the Community Night to establish more ties with the community, parents and students. She said another one of the goals is to get across the message it’s all right for parents to seek information and be involved in their child’s education.

Tidd said the PTOs are organizing the night as a way to showcase students’ successes and teachers’ work. She said the event will be held at the Mount Airy High School Commons Area from 6-8 p.m. and will showcase each school in the district. If the event is postponed because of weather, the alternate date is Jan. 23 from 6-8 p.m.

“The purpose of the event is to celebrate what our schools are doing while also informing the community of the changes staff and students have experienced recently,” said Tidd. “We would like to extend an invitation to our community to come help us celebrate our successes while checking out what is new.”

Tidd encouraged participants to invite friends and neighbors to bring their families to enjoy an evening she characterized as “a night of eating, education and entertainment.” She said the event will feature face painting, free food, inflatable bounce houses, and information booths which will showcase student clubs and athletics. All schools will be represented by student performances, teachers and administrators.

She said other opportunities include sign-ups for high school tours and registration of students, PTO volunteer opportunities and chances for parents to learn of programs available to their children in current and future grade levels. Tidd said volunteers from the high school will help and a lot of the schools will use innovative ways to tell their story.

She said Jones School’s booth, for instance, will have video produced by a math teacher for parents learn how to help children with mathematics. Tidd characterized community night as “a safe place for people to find out what city schools are all about.”

Tidd said Mount Airy High School Furniture and Cabinet Making Class students will raffle off a set of cornhole boards they will have on display with proceeds going to help local charities. A health fair will be held on community night by HOSA students. Performances by the band and chorus are also planned as well as Leader In Me songs being sung by second graders.

Reach David Broyles at or 336-719-1952.