Leaders approve charter school rezoning

CORNELIUS – If construction goes on schedule, students and staff will start school in August at Thunderbird Preparatory Academy off Will Knox and Old Statesville roads.

Cornelius commissioners approved the rezoning for the upcoming charter school Feb. 24.

Despite concern raised by the neighboring Dealer Imports owner regarding traffic at the intersection, the board felt the approved N.C. Department of Transportation plan and the 16 stipulated conditions added to the application would suffice.

Prior to the school opening, the parking lot has to be extended to be able to handle carpool traffic, a small portion of the building must be taken off and additional sidewalks constructed.

Other renovations include recovering the metal siding of the buildings to match the stone fronts and making the front entry more recognizable.

The school will initially serve students in kindergarten through fourth grade, though the goal is to eventually house K-12 at a different building.


Grand Oak Elementary awards top staff 

HUNTERSVILLE – Kelly Lippard and Christina Saladino became Grand Oak Elementary School’s first Teacher and Teacher Assistant of the Year.

Peers picked Lippard as Teacher of the Year for consistently encouraging children to stretch their learning. The fifth-grade science and social studies teacher also finds ways to engage students by creatively integrating technology, has high expectations and is a positive collaborator.

Peers chose Saladino as Teacher Assistant of the Year for her dedication to students. The Exceptional Children assistant works to treat children as individuals and gets them the support they need.


Middle school students join orchestra

CORNELIUS – Three eighth-grade orchestra students at Bailey Middle School recently auditioned for the N.C. Western Region Junior Honors Orchestra.

Brooke Lackey and Maya Stolle, who play viola, and Nora Matthews, who plays cello, were accepted into the junior honors orchestra.

They will participate in a two-day workshop and concert in April in Boone.


SouthLake Christian holds open house

HUNTERSVILLE – SouthLake Christian Academy will offer an open house where prospective parents and students can tour the school and meet leaders, teachers and students.

Find out about academics, athletics, arts, student organizations and mission programs.

The open house starts at 7 p.m. March 13 at the school, 13820 Hager's Ferry Road.

Details: www.southlakechristian.org, 704-949-2200.  


Institute honors teachers as leaders

CHARLOTTE – Several leaders, including some from Lake Norman, will guide the Charlotte Teachers Institute’s 2014 seminar season.

UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are partnering to cultivate content knowledge, leadership skills and collaboration among CMS teachers.

Teachers and college faculty will lead seminars. Among them are Davidson College professors Maria Fackler, Meghan Griffith, Raghuram Ramanujan and Durwin Striplin, as well as Jennifer Ladanyi, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Bailey Middle.

New members of the steering committee are Gloria Brinkman, a visual art teacher from North Mecklenburg High, and Alexandra Edwards, a social studies teacher from Bailey Middle.


Spring break remains intact for CMS

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students will not have to make up school days missed on Feb. 13 and 14 due to the winter storm.

The district calendar has 1,080 hours of instructional time scheduled, more than the 1,025 hours required by the state. The extra hours provided some flexibility.

The district will make up the Feb. 12 snow day on March 31.


CMS holds community budget meetings

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will hold five communitymeetings to discuss its 2014-15 budget.

Meetings will be held 6-7:30 p.m. March 10 at Bradley Middle, 13345 Beatties Ford Road and April 21 at Hopewell High, 11530 Beatties Ford Road. 


Debaters place in tournament

HUNTERSVILLE – The North Meck Debate and Speech Team finished seventh among 23 schools at a tournament Feb. 22 in Forest City.

Several students placed including:

• Aneesha Raj and Ryan Golden, first place in novice public forum;

• Nich Macri and Erik Thorsheim, third place in the varsity public forum;

• Antonio Rivera, second place in oral interpretations; and

• Alex Pope, third place, impromptu speaking.

In addition, Nick Macri and Erik Thorsheim qualified in public forum debate at the NCFL Grand National Championships in May in Chicago. Kennedy Watkins, Jack Watson and Antonio Rivera were named alternates.


Students achieve college honors

HUNTERSVILLE – Students from around the region achieved honors at colleges and universities for the fall semester. They are as follows:

• Morgan Grubbs, of Huntersville, was named to the dean’s list at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y.

• Riley Beatty, of Davidson, was named to the president’s list at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

• Brent Simpson, of Huntersville, graduated in December from Saint Joseph's College of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in general studies.