Schools help with coat drive

HUNTERSVILLE – Several schools are collecting donations for Lake Norman’s Largest Coat Drive 2014.

Schools compete against each other to see who can collect the most items. The items of need are heavy coats, warm outerwear, boys clothes for ages 6-16, blankets, towels, socks, undergarments, gloves and hats.

Ballas Chiropractic, which organized the drive, rewards the winning school and class with a party and other forms of sponsorship and support.

Last year, Torrence Creek Elementary won with more than 2,300 items donated. The total number of items donated last year was about 4,300.

Schools participating this year are Grand Oak Elementary, Torrence Creek Elementary, JV Washam Elementary, Huntersville Elementary, JM Alexander Middle and Francis Bradley Middle.

Bailey Middle and Blythe Elementary have also made contributions.

Drop off donations at any of the participating schools or the following locations:

• Ballas Chiropractic, 9718 Sam Furr Road, Huntersville;

• The Learning Experience, 16604 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville;

• Huntersville Town Hall, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road, Huntersville; and

• Davidson Town Hall, 216 S. Main St., Davidson.

Donations go through Lydia’s Loft, which partners with other facilities across the area, including the Ada Jenkins Center and local churches.

The coat drive ends Jan. 10.

Details: Kendall Heath,


Montessori school plans open house

HUNTERSVILLE – Christian Montessori School at Lake Norman will host an open house, dubbed "Why Montessori," at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9.

Christian Montessori School provides Christian Montessori classrooms for infants, beginning at six weeks, through sixth grade.

Its mission is to provide families with a Christian Montessori education that celebrates the individual gifts of the child, nurtures a passion for learning and Biblical principles, and equips them for academic excellence and discipleship.

Register in advance.

Details: or 704-875-1801.


Students graduate from Gardner-Webb

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb University recently held its 2013 fall commencement exercises, where more than 550 students graduated.

Graduates included the following:

• Tabatha Conley and Lan Hardy, of Cornelius, received a master’s degree in executive leadership studies and a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, respectively.

• Paxton DeRemer and Craig Higgins, of Huntersville, received master’s degrees in executive leadership studies.

• David Harris and Rebecca Wilson, of Huntersville, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a doctorate degree in educational leadership, respectively. 


CMS to showcase school options

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will hold its new Options Fair, featuring magnets, career and technical education and cooperative innovative high schools.

The fair takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 11 at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, 1430 Alleghany St.

The online application period for the first lottery will open Jan. 11 and end at 10 p.m. Feb. 11.

CMS has 37 magnet schools and nine magnet programs, which include International Baccalaureate, Learning Immersion, Montessori, Traditional, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), World Languages and Visual and Performing Arts.

Beginning in 2014-15, CMS will offer a full county-wide health science magnet at Hawthorne High, a Montessori magnet at Long Creek Elementary, an early college program at UNC Charlotte and several other options.

Details: 980-343-5030.


Debate, speech team competes

CHARLOTTE – Some 29 members of the North Meck Debate & Speech Team attended the 41st Annual Laird Lewis Invitational tournament Jan. 4-5 at Myers Park High School.

The team competed against nearly 1,200 students from 22 states in a national level tournament.

Here’s how team members fared:

• Sophomore Kaylin Price made the final round in student congress;

• Senior Sarah Kerman made semi-finals in student congress;

• Sophomore Kennedy Parkins made the semi-final round in declamation;

• Sophomore Jack Watson made quarter-finals in original oratory;  

• Senior Antonio Rivera made the quarterfinal round in dramatic interpretation.

• The novice public forum debate team of Aneesha Raj and Halynna Snyder reached the octafinal round; and

• The varsity public forum team of Ebony Hargro and Danielle Lafleur reached the triple octa-final round.