october 12 2009 - Suggested Good News for the March 3 Board Meeting

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					                              October 12, 2009
                          Agenda Item: Good News!

Asheville City Schools Preschool was one of 351 Preschool programs in the nation to receive a $5,000
grant from the Head Start National Center for Physical Development. The funds will be used for
shade structures, gardening, landscaping and outdoor learning equipment. Laura Jane Howald and Dr.
Marna Holland wrote the grant, which will help improve outdoor play space at our 5-Star Preschool.
Meanwhile, Preschool Director Debra Preneta wrote and was awarded two grants from Early Head Start
to be used at ACS Preschool:
    o a Program Improvement grant for $60,899 for new cabinets in the Early Head Start
        Classrooms and replacement of materials for the classrooms
    o A Health and Safety grant for $34,448 to be used for new carpets in the Early Head Start
        classrooms and two new shade awnings for the infant/toddler playground

We are blessed with an incredible Child Care Center at Asheville High School that serves both
staff/student families with excellent childcare as well as functioning as a learning laboratory for
students in the Early Childhood Development program in our Career Technical Education
offerings. After many months of hard work and paper work, the Asheville High School Child
Care Center was awarded 5-star status, scoring near-perfect marks on administration, lead
teacher, teacher, education, program standards and quality! In 2003, by the way, the program
was a 2-star center!! . Congratulations to administrator and lead teacher Laura Westbrook, and
teacher Regina [Gina] Woody, CTE director Ann Leonard and all the students and families who
comprise our 5-Star Child Care Center!

Last month we recognized four of our school cafeterias for outstanding results on their health
inspections and tonight we want to add two more cafeterias to our honor roll. These two
managers and their child nutrition teams have sustained the district’s tradition of providing not
just nutritious food for our students/staff but doing so in clean and healthy environments: Lisa
Davis and staff at Vance elementary---100 on their Food Service Establishment Inspection; and
Susan Bowers and staff at Ira B. Jones, 100.5. Congratulations, also to Child Nutrition director
Beth Palien and her staff, Melissa Bates and Sylvia Pope. What a great team!


The Asheville High Debate Team finished 11th place overall out of 113 schools from 23 states
at the Wake Forest Earlybird Preseason National Tournament over the weekend. This was the
team's best overall finish ever at Wake Forest. The competition was very close, Debate
Teacher/Coach Keith Pittman, told us, and the team finished just ten points away from 5th place.
Please congratulate the following students who were individual winners:
     o Alex Boudreau - Runner-up in Congressional Debate
     o Wilson Parker - 4th Place in Congressional Debate
     o Riley Hurst - Finalist in Congressional Debate
     o Allen Worth and Oliver Sholder - 1st alternates to finals in Congressional Debate
     o Zach Simonetti and Alex Kennedy - Octofinalists in Public Forum Debate
     o Ali McGrath and Rosie Howland - Double Octofinalists in Public Forum Debate

                                       (More)
      Twenty-six Western North Carolina students were among 16,000 semifinalists in the 55th
      National Merit Scholarship Program and five of those students belong to us! These seniors
      have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships.
      Semifinalists include:
•
          o   Alex Boudreau,
          o   Taylor Haynes
          o   Max Hays
          o   Raminta Holden
          o   Ari Zitin.

      About 34,000 National Merit Commended Students throughout the nation are being
      recognized for their exceptional academic promise and seven of those students are our very own.
      Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who
      entered the 2010 competition by taking the 2008 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship
      Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). “Recognition of high-achieving students is essential to
      advancing educational excellence in our nation,” commented a spokesperson for MNSC.
      Commended Students in the 2010 National Merit Program:

          o   Patrick Bohan
          o   Carter Haun
          o   Riley Hurst
          o   Katie Myrick
          o   Rachel Nash
          o   Ivy Palas
          o   Haley Smith

      We would like to introduce you to Isaac Dickson elementary School teacher Rhonda Sizemore
      our Asheville City Schools 2009-10 Teacher of the Year. Sizemore, who has taught in the
      district for three years, was chosen from among the ten teachers of the year at the system’s
      individual schools. She and her competitors were honored at a banquet on September 22nd
      Asheville City Board of Education chairman Gene Bell said that night: “No higher honor can
      befall a teacher than to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments by ones peers…and
      that’s the way these ten teachers were chosen back in May…by their colleagues.” By the way,
      we welcomed HomeTrust Bank as the new sponsor of the district Teacher of the Year program.
      Outgoing teacher of the year Jo Peterson Gibbs acknowledged the work and dedication of the
      other ACS teachers of the year finalists: Cindy Byron, School of Inquiry & Life Sciences at
      Asheville; Phyllis Cook, Randolph Learning Center; Sarah Duffer, Asheville High School,
      Kimberly Eggett, Claxton Elementary; Jennifer Hartman, Asheville Middle School; Blair
      Johnston, Vance Elementary; Andrea Kacher, Ira B. Jones Elementary; Christine Mau, Asheville
      City Preschool; Angela Trantham, Hall Fletcher Elementary. Now let’s hear from Ms. Sizemore.

      Finally tonight, we will close with a very special recognition of our district. As you may recall,
      Asheville City Schools prepared for and received a three-day Quality Assurance Review in
      February 2008, when the visiting accreditation team interviewed 334 stakeholders, including 82
      parents. IT is our pleasure to introduce Dr. Donna James from SACS-CASI, who will make a
      presentation to the Asheville City Board of Education and our district. [Dr. James—presentation]

For more information, or to report on “good news”, please contact:
Charlie Glazener
Executive Director of Community Relations and Communications; Asheville City Schools
(828) 255-5190 (direct); (828) 255-5131 (FAX); charlie.glazener@asheville.k12.nc.us

				
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