Long Creek Elementary to host Montessori magnet program

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will establish a full Montessori magnet program at Long Creek Elementary starting in the 2014-15 school year.

Long Creek will be open to pre-kindergarten to third grade in fall 2014. Highland Mill Montessori will serve grades 4-6 until Long Creek expands to sixth grade. 

The school board voted on 13 proposals Dec. 11 as part of the expansion of academic options for students. Among them, Cato Middle College will offer the option to remain an extra year and complete an associate’s degree.

“We are very pleased that our Board of Education has supported our strategies to provide more choices to our families,” said Heath Morrison, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “These new and expanded programs, as well as the new middle colleges and a new elementary school, will help us educate every child, every day, for a better tomorrow.”

Parents will have an opportunity to learn more about new and existing programs at the CMS Options Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 11 at Phillip O. Berry Academy.


Gisiano named principal at Hopewell 

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools appointed J. Dino Gisiano as principal at Hopewell High School on Dec. 11.

Gisiano began his career in CMS in 2005 at Olympic High School, where he taught math.

From 2006 to 2012, he served at Myers Park High School as a teacher and became dean of students in 2011. In 2012, Gisiano served as an instructional data coach in the Office of Accountability and most recently has been the interim principal at Hopewell High School.

He also holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Arizona State University. He also holds a master’s degree in education leadership from Winthrop University.


Davidson Day’s Brock named an outstanding participant

DAVIDSON – Kaylyn Brock was recognized as an Outstanding Participant in the National Achievement Scholarship Program because her PSAT score placed her in the top 3 percent of more than 160,000 African Americans who requested consideration in the 2014 National Achievement Program.

Brock’s achievement was especially notable considering she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Diffuse Lymphoma during her junior year. After rounds of chemotherapy, she was able to return to school.


Newspaper intern proves productive in class, community

DAVIDSON – Herald Weekly intern Angela Poffenbaugh was recently crowned 2013 Homecoming Queen at Cannon School, a private school in Concord.

Poffenbaugh serves as executive editor of the Cannon Upper School Paper, as well as an intern for her school’s public relations staff, known as The Agency. She began interning for Lake Norman Publications in the fall.

Poffenbaugh has also taken on the task of creating a radio station and broadcasting program at Cannon for high school students.

The senior is also a co-leader for her school’s Relay For Life team, which raises thousands of dollars annually to benefit cancer research. Through this club, she founded Cannon Races for Cancer Research and Pancakes for Pancreatic Cancer day, both events raising hundreds of dollars.


NFL’s Kuechly joins Davidson College’s spin-off agency

CHARLOTTE – Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has become an ambassador for Project Life, a national nonprofit that registers college students for bone marrow and tissue donation.

Kuechly, 22, was the National Football League’s defensive rookie of the year in 2012.

“Luke has graciously offered his support for Project Life and its mission to save lives,” said David Lindsay, executive director of the movement. “Project Life’s sole purpose and focus is to increase the pool of potential donors by reaching out to young, healthy college students because they provide the most successful matches.”

Founded at Davidson College more than 20 years ago, Project Life asks potential donors to swab their cheeks to be typed for a national database. If doctors find a match for a patient, they contact the volunteer to request bone marrow or tissue donation.

“I was surprised how easy and painless it is for people to get on the registry,” Kuechly said. “A simple swab of the cheek could help save a life, so we should rally around this cause.”

Project Life has registered more than 8,000 potential donors. By spring 2014, Project Life anticipates 25 colleges and universities will have established chapters, which can host volunteer recruitment donor drives on their campuses.


Woodlawn School performs service at holiday festival

DAVIDSON – Students at Woodlawn School developed, designed and created projects that would ultimately be sold at Christmas in Davidson to raise money to help the school’s service partners.

Students raised more than $1,600 following the three-day holiday festival.

Students in all grades contributed to projects, often with a theme that represented the individual grade’s service partner. Projects included:

• Kindergarteners made a craft out of their handprints, representing their helping hands at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.

• First-graders made homemade dog treats and toys to benefit Cornelius Animal Shelter.

• Second-graders offer assistance to Mooresville Public Library, so the students designed bookmarks to sell.

Other gifts for sale at the Woodlawn booth ranged from reusable lunch bags and fleece pillows to recycled ornaments and uniquely packaged magic reindeer food.

Woodlawn students mingled with the crowds, explained their projects and sold their goods during Christmas in Davidson. Very few items remained by the end of the festival.

Ten organizations will benefit from the effort.

Service learning is an integral part of the Woodlawn curriculum as each grade pairs with a local community service organization for the entire year. Students make monthly trips to places such as Fifth Street Ministries, the Mooresville Soup Kitchen and Thomasboro Academy.


Davidson Day students to go on dig

DAVIDSON – Davidson Day School's AFAR Program recently honored dozens of students who had participated in archaeological research in Belize over the years and accepted the students who will participate in Expedition 2014.

The program accepted 27 students to carry out research at the Ancient Maya city of Cahal Pech in Western Belize and 14 students to its new archaeological research project that will study the 12th century medieval castle of Zorita de los Cannes located roughly one hour east of Madrid.

This standing castle was occupied by Christians, Jews and Muslims over the course of its life and was even built from the stones of an ancient Visagothic city. The team will excavate a cemetery, which is presumed to hold the tombs of the Medieval city's knights.


Haupt performs in St. Olaf Christmas Festival

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Emma Haupt, of Davidson, recently performed in the annual St. Olaf College Christmas Festival.

Haupt is a church music major and member of the ensemble. She is the daughter of Robert and Lisa Haupt and graduate of Woodlawn School.

The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States.


Sprinkle visits Davidson Elementary

DAVIDSON – Larry Sprinkle, weatherman for WCNC, visited Davidson Elementary School to speak to fifth-graders.  

The fifth graders are studying weather in science. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools curriculum focuses on integrating math and science in class as part of its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) requirements.

Sprinkle reports for the WCNC weekday morning and noon newscasts.