The Mount Airy Board of Education opened its regular business meeting Tuesday night at Mount Airy High School by announcing a partnership with the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics using a video link similar to what local students taking advanced placement courses through the school will use. The school of science and mathematics was opened in Durham in 1980 and specializes in intensive studies in technology as well as science and math.
Mount Airy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little told the audience the school will add 10 courses to Mount Airy’s offerings in advanced placement classes. Classes that are planned to be offered through the partnership include Honors Aerospace and Engineering, Advanced Environmental Science, Honors Forensic Science, Honors Statistics, Honors Genetics and Biotechnology, Advanced Topics in Art History, Honors Forensic Science: Anthropology, AP Statistics, Art History and Environmental Science.
“It shows we are working on behalf of our students to take their college preparation to the next level,” said Little.
School of Science and Mathematics Dean of Distance Education and Extended Programs Ross White told the board on the video link the school was “thrilled to be working with Mount Airy City Schools.”
“Our teaching faculty is really hoping to make an impact with distance learning,” said White to the board after accepting a certificate of appreciation. “We are hoping to add to the skills student will need in college as well as the workplace.” White told the board many students who participated in distance education advanced classes wound up rooming in college with someone they had met who also was taking the courses.
“It’s that interactive an experience,” added White. “Thank you again for the opportunity to work with your school.”
Little said a special room at Mount Airy High will be used for the distance courses. He said students already are registered for classes which are set to begin in the fall of next year.
Little and the board next recognized school improvement teams from Tharrington Primary, Jones Intermediate and Mount Airy High School for their work.
“The students are the benefactors of these (school improvement) plans,” said Little of the work done by the SIT teams. Mount Airy High School Principal Dr. Sandy George told the group her team was a schoolwide effort involving the entire staff and said they were excited about the future.
Little announced the Star Students whose framed profiles will be displayed in all system schools. The Star Students from Tharrington were second-graders Cristoto Lim and Keisha Parentila. Students from Jones Intermediate named as Star Students were Isaac Washington, a fourth-grade student, and Ximena Hernandez, a fifth-grade student. Mount Airy Middle School eight-graders named Star Students were Reagan Fitzgibbons and Madison Wright. Mount Airy High School juniors named to Star Student honors were Mikayla Seivers and Isaiah King.
“Star Students are nominated at their schools and these are the students who represent our system’s values,” said Little. “I continue to see students earning honors across the board in a range of areas and I think that says much about our district.”
Veteran educator Vickie Cameron, who has announced her retirement after more than 40 years in education, was honored by the board as well. She told them her journey had truly made it all worthwhile. Academically and Intellectually Gifted student teacher Kathy Ratcliffe also was honored for her work.
Mount Airy Middle School sixth-grade student Carly Grace Sheets was honored for being named the 2012-2013 Nicholas Green Distinguished Student recipient of the North Carolina Association of Gifted and Talented. Little said this award is granted to one student from each state through the National Association for Gifted Children.
Sheets’ composition explained her future goal to obtain a dual degree in medicine and dancing. Little reported that she has worked with her mother to host three events to raise money for cancer research and also helps the Surry Cancer Awareness Team (SCAT).
District Spelling Bee winners also were honored by the board. Winners named included Will Banfield, Olivia Phillips, Connor Lindsley, Hailey Martin, Alisha Dowell, Liam Overby, Meredith Cox, Christian Parker, Jack Stancil and Aryale Blevins.
Little wrapped up the meeting by telling the board he and his staff had worked to draft a “progressive social media policy” for the system.
“We wanted to make sure we had a social media policy that didn’t just say no,” commented Little. “We feel these updates provide common sense guidelines for our teachers and really let them use this powerful tool to benefit students.” He told the board no action will be taken on the proposal for 30 days to give an opportunity for comment.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.