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October 15, 2010

Guilford County Schools Recognized for High Graduation Rates

State Superintendent June Atkinson recognized seven of the district’s schools for having some of the highest four-year cohort graduation rates in the state for the 2009-10 school year.

Five of the district’s high schools had 100 percent graduation rates. The Academy at Smith, Greensboro College Middle College, The Early College at Guilford, Penn-Griffin School for the Arts and Weaver Academy, all magnet and choice schools, were among only 12 schools statewide to achieve a graduation rate of 100 percent.

Northern High and Northwest High also had some of the highest graduation rates in the state. Northern was recognized in the category of 200 to 299 seniors for its 94 percent graduation rate. Northwest, which had a graduation rate of 93.8 percent, received recognition in the largest cohort size of 500 or more seniors.

Overall, the 2009-10 graduation rate for Guilford County Schools (GCS) increased for the fourth year in a row to 80.7 percent. This is the highest graduation rate for GCS since the N.C. Department of Public Instruction established its four-year cohort measure in 2006. Including the schools recognized today, a total of 12 GCS schools had graduation rates higher than 90 percent.

The Academy at Smith, one of the schools that achieved a 100 percent graduation rate, provides students with a focused study in medical careers or construction technology. Students enrolled in these programs have the opportunity to earn state and nationally recognized certifications, participate in apprenticeships and internships and earn college credit from Guilford Technical Community College during their senior year.

Greensboro College Middle College provides small class sizes and individualized student support on the campus of Greensboro College. The school offers an honors-level high school curriculum and the opportunity for students to enroll in college courses. It is open to creative and free-spirited students in 11th and 12th grades who may be dissatisfied with or unsuccessful in the traditional high school setting.

The Early College at Guilford was established in 2002 as North Carolina’s first early college high school. The school offers an intensive college preparatory education on the campus of Guilford College. Students are able to take a full array of advanced and college-level courses taught by both GCS teachers and college professors throughout high school. Students work with their academic advisers to build course schedules that meet their individual needs.

Penn-Griffin School for the Arts is a performing and visual arts school serving students in grades six through 12. In addition to traditional core courses, the school offers classes in orchestra, band, chorus, classical guitar, piano, dance, theatre and visual arts. Students explore all of the arts areas at the beginning of middle school and continue in a formal study of their arts concentration later in middle school and in high school.

Weaver Academy students participate in both a full-time Academy of Performing and Visual Arts and a part-time Academy of Advanced Technology. The full-time high school provides students with career preparation in an artistic discipline. The part-time career and technical education program provides specialized courses to students from many of the district’s traditional high schools.

Ethics Policies Posted for Public Comment

The Guilford County Board of Education approved Tuesday for the first reading of Board Policy CB, Code of Ethics, and Board Policy BH, Guilford County Board of Education Code of Ethics. Since revisions have been made to these existing policies, they will be posted on the district’s website for a 21-day public comment period. They can also be found in the front office of district offices and schools.

The revisions have been made to align Policy CB with the district’s strategic plan, particularly the character development and respectful and responsive service initiatives, and to update Policy BH to reflect current state law.

To view the policies, visit Input on this item may be made to or via courier or U.S. mail to Policy Development, Guilford County Schools, 712 N. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401. The district will be receiving comments through Nov. 2.

Cafeteria Benefits Annual Enrollment

Annual Enrollment of Cafeteria Benefits and dental insurance will begin Oct. 18 and continue through Nov. 5. Eligible employees can enroll online or meet with Mark III representatives at their work sites. Beginning Monday, Oct. 18, employees can click here to enroll or make changes to most products online. All employees also have been sent detailed information by e-mail concerning this enrollment. If you have questions, please contact Patty Kinkade, director of benefits, at 370-8092 or at

GCS Names Strategic Planning and Project Management Officer

GCS named Dr. Tony Watlington as the strategic planning and project management officer. Watlington currently serves as the executive director of the Central Region.

In his new role, Watlington will oversee the implementation of the district’s strategic plan, ensuring all goals, strategies and objectives of the strategic plan are met on time and on budget. Watlington will also manage Race to the Top funding for GCS. According to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, GCS will receive an estimated $9.9 million in funding over four years.

A former social studies teacher at Dudley High, Watlington has served GCS in a number of capacities, including executive director of school support, principal at The Middle College at GTCC-Jamestown, Dudley High and Fairview Elementary. He served as assistant principal for instruction at Page High and a curriculum specialist for social studies.

Active in the community, Watlington currently serves on the Board of Directors for Community In Schools of Greater Greensboro and the United Way African-American Leadership Advisory Committee. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Master of Science in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in American Political History from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in History Education from North Carolina A&T State University.

Principal Fellows Program Available

A merit-based scholarship loan program funded by the North Carolina General Assembly designed to attract outstanding educators to full-time, two-year Master of School Administrator (MSA) degree programs. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2011. For additional details and the application process, please visit or click here to view PFP flyer.

Southwest Elementary to Learn About Japanese Storytelling

On October 20, the Asian Pacific Studies department of Duke University will present a unique program for Southwest Elementary’s third-grade students entitled, “Kamishibai: Japanese Storytelling in the Classroom.” The instructor will be Laurie Wolf, aka “Mr. Who.” Program times will be 10:20 a.m.-11 a.m., 12:40 p.m.-1:20 p.m. and 1:25 p.m.-2:05 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to see traditional Japanese Kamishibai as told by Mr. Who. This style of picture storytelling in Japan is detailed in Allen Say’s book Kamishibai Man. Mr. Who will share the performance art and engage students in traditional stories from Japan. Students will have a follow-up activity in art class on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 when they will write and illustrate their own story. For more information, please contact Anne Beavan, art teacher, at

Penn-Griffin Holds Yard Sale on Saturday for Senior Trip

Penn-Griffin School for the Arts will hold a yard sale from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct.16 at the High Point Public Library to raise funds for their senior trip. All merchandise not sold will be donated to Salvation Army, and other donations are appreciated. For more information, please contact Christine Albright, high school counselor, at 819-2870.

Electrical Technology Students Wire Habitat House

Students enrolled in Electrical Technology II classes at The Academy at Smith are putting skills they have learned in the classroom to work for a good cause. On Saturday, these students will be doing some of the electrical work for a Habitat for Humanity house. This project provides an opportunity for students to participate in a meaningful service-learning experience. For more information, please contact Principal David Miller or John Hensley, Career and Technical Education teacher, at 316-5866.

Illustrator Visits Falkener Elementary

Children’s book illustrator Michael Dooling visited Falkener Elementary on Tuesday to demonstrate how his books are created. His books are about famous historical figures, including Thomas Edison, Lewis and Clark, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He demonstrated how his books are illustrated and sketched portraits of some students. For more information, please contact Principal Pamela Stewart or Media Specialist Susanne Martin at 370-8150.

Hunter Elementary Celebrates After-School Programs

From 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, Hunter Elementary After-School Care Enrichment Services (ACES) program will be participating in the 11th annual “Lights on Afterschool,”a nationwide celebration of after-school programs. Hunter is one of more than 7,500 sites across the nation sending the message that afterschool is key to children’s success, and that we must keep the lights on and doors open after school.

The Hunter ACES Program will present a play written by José Rondon, ACES group leader, entitled "Alice in ACESland," as well as several other student performances. Carol Andrews, WFMY weekend news anchor and children’s book author will emcee the event. Guest speakers include Robin Sink, Guilford Child Development Region 14 School-Age Specialist, Anna Dorsett and Maggie Medlin from the Greensboro Day School partnership, Kevin Orellano from the Western High partnership, Kara Ciociola, a former ACES group leader and second-grade teacher at Hunter, Principal Michelle Thompson and former ACES students Kacy Edmondson and Alicia Mayhand.

For more information, please contact Beth Menefee, ACES site coordinator, at 316-5861.

School Counselors Share Expertise in Published Articles

Three GCS counselors have recently published articles in state and national publications.

Dr. Karen Meadows, supervisor of K-8 counseling, published “Grieving Lessons in Any Language” in the Spring 2010 issue of NCSCA News, a publication of the North Carolina School Counselor Association. Her article explains how she and students were able to connect through silence during a time of crisis. The article is available at:

Patricia Taylor, counselor at Washington Montessori, wrote “Young Ladies of Destiny,” which was published in the Winter 2010 issue of NCSCA News. Her article describes the Young Ladies of Destiny program at Washington, which helps fourth- and fifth-grade girls develop healthy self-images and build meaningful relationships with other girls. It is available at:

Stephen Kennedy, counselor at Northeast High, authored “The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School and What Parents and Educators Must Do,” a review of a book by Peg Tyre. The book studies the “boy problem,” the gap between the academic success of boys and girls. His article was published in the June 2010 issue of the Professional School Counseling Journal. It is available at:

School Social Workers Held Community Resource Fair

On Oct. 6, GCS School Social Workers hosted a Community Resource Fair at the Life Community Church for more than 75 school social workers and interns representing 114 schools. Approximately 60 agencies attended representing the areas of homelessness, hunger, mental health, mentoring, law enforcement, human relations, youth programs, housing, violence and drug prevention. The purpose of the resource fair was to give school social workers the opportunity to meet agencies that will assist the students and the families they serve. 

“Collaboration is important,” explained GCS social worker Keith G. Pemberton. “We need to do everything we can to assist the student and their families to have a successful educational experience. One of our goals is to help students achieve academically and socially by removing barriers. Assessing the issue, identifying an agency, referring the student/family and following up with the process is one way of alleviating or removing those barriers.”

Thanks to the following organizations/businesses that served as donors/sponsors: Life Community Church, Lowes Food, Costco, CiCi’s Pizza, Starbucks, Little Caesars Pizza, Sam’s Club, Dominoes Pizza, Harris Teeter and Company’s Coming.

The School Social Worker Community Resource Fair Committee consisted of Stephanie Blake from Welborn Middle, Mallie Mae Burton of Bluford Elementary STEM Academy and Oak View Elementary, intern Shekeia Washington, Janice Grady of Northwood Elementary, Melanie McCarthy of McIver Education Center, Angel Katona from the Doris Henderson Newcomers School, Erica Vasile of Brightwood Elementary, Patricia Wallace of Falkner Elementary, and Keith G. Pemberton from Oak Hill Elementary. For more information, please contact Pemberton at 819-2925. 

Aycock Middle Teacher Receives National Attention

Aycock Middle technology teacher, Rick Mitts, was recently published in “Technology and Engineer Teacher Magazine,” an international technology magazine. In addition, Mitts was a featured speaker at the 2010 Southeastern Technology Conference, held on the campus of   Virginia Tech. Mitts was the only middle or high school technology teacher invited to be a featured speaker. For more information, please contact Principal Valerie Akins at 370-8110.

Falkener Elementary Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Falkener Elementary hosted its annual Hispanic Heritage Month program on Thursday as an opportunity for members of the Hispanic community to meet the principal and teachers, share their talents and connect with the school. The performing students were from various countries, including Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and El Salvador. During their presentation, there was a student parade of traditional Hispanic dress, readings in English and Spanish, singing and dancing. For more information, please contact Principal Pamela Stewart at 370-8150.

Senator Hagan Visits Oak Hill Elementary

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan visited Oak Hill Elementary Thursday. She shadowed Principal Patrice Faison and observed classes throughout the morning. Oak Hill received a federal School Improvement Grant, which is helping the school increase student achievement by extending the school day and calendar, adding technology to classrooms, providing professional development to staff and increasing parent involvement. For more information, please contact Principal Patrice Faison at 819-2925.

Jones Elementary Teacher Featured in Museum Exhibit

Jones Elementary kindergarten teacher Maria Mosquera was invited to be part of the new exhibit at the Greensboro Historical Museum. The exhibit is called "Voices of Greensboro." Señora Mosquera's voice was recorded saying a message in Spanish about Greensboro being her new home. Her picture is displayed with the exhibit and her message has been translated into English for everyone to read. For more information, please contact Principal Bea Jones at 370-8230.

High School All-County Chorus Concert

The High School All-County Chorus continues the district’s tradition of musical excellence by bringing together some of the brightest and most talented students in the county. Students were selected for the chorus through auditions held at their individual high schools. After rehearsing in a workshop with guest clinicians on Friday and Saturday morning, the chorus will perform at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Grimsley High. The performance is open to the public. For more information, please contact Nathan Street, arts curriculum specialist, at 574-2645.

Workshop for Children and Teens Who Stutter

The Guilford County Schools Exceptional Children department is partnering with the National Stuttering Association to hold a workshop for children and teens who stutter, along with their families and speech-language pathologists. There will be opportunities for them to learn more about stuttering, seek support and share their experiences with each other. The workshop will be held on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Greensboro. For more information, please contact Emily Sharpe, speech-language pathologist, at 819-2110.

How Many Minutes Will You Read?

Saturday, October 23 is National Make A Difference Day. Governor Beverly Perdue is asking all North Carolinians to use this day to help local schools. GCS is partnering with Barnes and Noble, BooksAMillion, Borders Books and local libraries for a One Million Books/Make A Difference Day special event.

Donate books or bookstore gift cards for students, bring the kids for story time and help us reach the goal of reading one million minutes in one day. Click here for more information or contact Cecilia Adams, manager of community partnerships, at 370-8355.

Exceptional Children Services Needs Volunteers for Surrogate Parents

GCS Exceptional Children Services needs volunteers for surrogate parents. A surrogate parent is assigned to a student when no parent can be identified. The trained surrogate parent shall represent the child in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation and educational placement of the child and the provision of a free and appropriate public education to the child.

The next training will be Thursday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the EC Training Room, 134 Franklin Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27401. GCS now requires yearly updates to continue serving as a surrogate parent.

If you are not employed by GCS or Guilford County DSS and have experience in education or would like to train for this opportunity, please contact Stephanie Antkowiak, EC parent liaison, at 370-2319 ext. 1 or e-mail


The district’s television channel broadcasts throughout Guilford County on Time Warner Cable channel 2 and LIVE on the GCS website.

The Latest News from GCS:
GCS Newsbreak

The Marcellus Waddill Award at Northwest High and the Youth Volunteer Corps Summer of Service Celebration

GCS Newsbreak

New GCS International Baccalaureate Schools and Young Peacemaker Awards from Win-Win Resolutions

MCHP Rocks!

Students show off their video production and acting skills as The Middle College at GTCC-High Point presents a new season of MCHP Rocks! This program is broadcast daily at 10:32 a.m., 2:06 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Friday Nite Rivalries

Football season is underway and GCSTV 2 brings you highlights of the game of the week Thursdays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Friday Nite Rivalries.

Weaver Academy-Student Reports

Reporter Tyler Hardin reports on news and events at Weaver Academy.  This report is broadcast at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

GCS Newsbreak

The district honors its 16 Most Improved Schools, Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year at the annual Celebrating Excellence in Education event. This Newsbreak is broadcast daily at 9:10 a.m.

Celebrating Excellence

In its 10th year, GCS shows the Celebrating Excellence in Education event, sponsored by Businesses for Excellence in Education, in its entirety. This program is broadcast each evening at 8 p.m. 

Superintendent’s Media Briefings

See previous media briefings, during which Superintendent Green and others address topics important to GCS and answer reporters’ questions on a variety of topics.


Watch this primer designed to help Spanish-speaking parents and their children be successful in school and in life. This program is broadcast mornings at 7 a.m.

Space Shuttle/ISS Downlink to GCS

Watch this historic event from Eastern High during which GCS students talk directly with the astronauts of Space Shuttle Mission STS-131 while docked at the International Space Station.   GCSTV 2 partnered with WFMY News 2 to broadcast this event live as it happened. See encore presentations daily at 3:03 p.m. on GCSTV 2 and on demand.

GCS Newsbreaks and other GCS video productions are also available on YouTube


Watch our live broadcast now streaming on the World Wide Web.

Guilford County Board of Education

Watch Guilford County Board of Education meetings live. Encore presentations of board meetings are telecast the day following the meeting at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and the following Saturday at 1 p.m. You can also watch Board of Education meetings at your convenience. The meetings are now archived and available online anytime at See them here.

Also on GCSTV 2:
GCSTV 2 Programming Guide

Find out what else is showing on GCSTV 2 here: GCSTV 2 Programming Guide

Showcase Your Talent on GCSTV 2

GCSTV 2 is accepting student-, faculty-, staff- or parent-produced programming. See the details for submissions here or watch the video.

GCSTV 2 & ABC-45

GCS continues its partnership with ABC-45 television to share current news and feature stories about our district. These Newsbreak segments are broadcast on ABC-45 (Cable Channel 7) during “Good Morning America” each Wednesday and Friday at 7:25 a.m. and 8:25 a.m.

For more information, please contact Leonard Simpson, broadcast production manager, at 370-8167.

In compliance with federal laws, Guilford County Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, color, age, military service, disability or gender, except where exemption is appropriate and allowed by law. Refer to the Board of Education's Discrimination Free Environment Policy AC for a complete statement. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the Guilford County Schools Compliance Officer, 120 Franklin Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401; 336.370.2323.

All Guilford County Schools facilities, both educational and athletic, are tobacco-free learning environments.

©2009 Guilford County Schools, 712 North Eugene Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 336.370.8100

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