Good News from Gaston County Schools
(March 11, 2021 Issue)
The Gaston County Board of Education received the following “good news” for the months of January and February 2021:
The following students were winners in the Gaston Regional Science and Engineering Fair: Abby Armstrong, Brianna Maga, Brittany Isaac, Carly Craig, Carter Robinson, James Gunter, Kaitlyn Anthony, Madelyn Ludwig, Martin Inman, Molly Self, Morgan Clark, and Patrick Nanney from Forestview High School; Luigi Bortolussi from Highland School of Technology; and Nikki Bortolussi from Mount Holly Middle School.
Bessemer City High School senior T’Kia Moore earned the Chancellor’s Scholarship from Appalachian State University. This is a highly-competitive, full-tuition scholarship and only 10 students were chosen from a pool of 14,000 applicants.
Olivia Goodson, a student at Stuart W. Cramer High School, is one of 112 finalists for the prestigious N.C. State University Park Scholarship. She is the only Gaston County student continuing in the scholarship competition and vying to become one of the university’s 40 Park Scholars.
Cherryville High School senior Ben Hayes was chosen as one of three “Campus Captain Award” winners for January 2021. The honor is presented by the N.C. High School Athletic Association in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement to recognize student-athletes for their efforts to “Build Back Sports” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ben was instrumental in starting the Kindness Club at the school and took steps to help his fellow athletes understand the importance of following COVID-19 health protocols to ensure that athletics at his school could happen in a safe environment. Scott Harrill, the school’s athletic director, submitted the award nomination.
Gaston County Board of Education member Dot Guthrie received the 2021 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The national recognition is presented by the American Library Association, and it honors an individual for his/her outstanding contributions in areas such as literacy, education, and service to the community.
The Gaston County Schools Communications Department received 17 Blue Ribbon Awards from the N.C. School Public Relations Association. The department won 16 awards in the following categories: digital media engagement (2), electronic media (6), image/graphic design (2), excellence in writing (3), marketing (2), and publications (1). Additionally, the department won the “Best of the Best” award in the publications category for our “Gaston County Schools Storybook.” The 17 awards for Gaston County is the fourth highest number of awards for a school district in the state.
For its “Positive Sign Thursday” feature on social media, Tryon Elementary highlighted members of the Gaston County Board of Education as a way to show appreciation and say “thank you” for their service to education and the community.
Yeva Hall-Williamson, school counselor at Stuart W. Cramer High School, was selected for the College Board Counselor Recognition program. The acknowledgement honors outstanding school counselors for their hard work and dedication toward helping students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recognizes counselors’ efforts to prepare students for college and career success.
Students from Ashbrook, Cramerton, Stuart W. Cramer, East Gaston, and Forestview earned 13 awards in the Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program. The students won two Gold Key, four Silver Key, and seven honorable mention awards.
Highland School of Technology junior Lauren Tolbert won the 1A individual cross country state championship. Her time of 19:15.05 set a 1A state record.
The following schools placed in the Festival of Trees competition sponsored by the City of Belmont: Belmont Middle, first place; Cramerton Middle and Pinewood Elementary tied for second place; and W.A. Bess Elementary, third place.
With the help of the Rotary Club of Gastonia, Angel Tree, and Roxanne Rankin, H.H. Beam Elementary was able to make the Christmas holiday special for 39 students.
Belmont Central Elementary received $2,000 from Duke Energy through the My Energy Kit Challenge.
Belmont Central Elementary student Addison Jones auditioned for the TV series “Go Iguanas!” She will portray Mindy Maplewood, a student who attends a school for spies.
Belmont Central Elementary student Isla Rose Hightower will participate in the Braille Challenge, a program that motivates students to practice and hone their Braille literacy skills.
Bessemer City High School sophomore Janiya Adams broke a 37-year Gaston County single-game record by scoring 50 points during a recent basketball game.
The Carr Elementary cafeteria staff earned a 100 percent health inspection score. It is the third consecutive score of 100 for the school.
Cherryville High School’s Scott Harrill became Gaston County’s all-time winningest basketball coach with his 380th victory.
Cherryville High School sophomore Rileigh Kiser was named the 1A Player of the Year for volleyball. She is the school’s first student-athlete to earn all-state recognition in volleyball.
In lieu of the traditional “Polar Express” celebration, Chapel Grove Elementary held a “Winter Celebrations Around the World” drive-thru event with 345 students/family members participating in the program. Additionally, an anonymous donor contributed $500 to the school to help a families during the Christmas season.
Cramerton Middle School eighth grader Noelle Martin won first place in the Veterans of Foreign Affairs (VFW) Patriot’s Pen competition at the local and district levels. In addition, Southwest Middle School students Abigail Bruce, Caitlyn Killian, Ethan Dennis, and Megan Hogencamp received recognition certificates for their entries.
Stuart W. Cramer High School band director Kameron Radford was selected for membership in the American School Band Directors Association. The national organization is for band directors whose mission is to promote, enhance, and preserve quality school programs through leadership and fellowship.
Stuart W. Cramer High School senior Nathan Linkous signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Western Carolina University.
Stuart W. Cramer High School cross country runners Zachary Willer and Nicholas Willer finished sixth and seventh in the 3A state championship meet.
Forestview High School is a finalist for this year’s College Success Gold Award, which is presented to schools that have a multiyear track record of preparing students to succeed in college.
Forestview High School cross country runners Austin Brotemarkle and Oussama Ajala finished eighth and twelfth in the 3A state championship meet.
Forestview High School senior Traviyon Barnett signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
Gardner Park Elementary is participating in a Remote Learning Challenge that involves students earning points for the completion of at-home assignments. Based on the number of points earned, the students are presented with karate belts. Since the challenge started, the school has seen an increase in the number of iReady lessons and Schoology work completed.
Hunter Huss High School was awarded a grant for an artificial intelligence-powered robot to communicate with families about attendance during the spring semester. The chatbot will remind families of key deadlines and help address attendance-related issues. The school was one of 60 schools selected to participate in the program out of more than 7,400 applications.
Hunter Huss High School students created beautiful mandalas (geometric diagrams) in the school hallways.
For the third consecutive year, Hunter Huss High School junior Allison Kimmel was named the Big South 3A Conference Swimmer of the Year.
Lingerfeldt Elementary received cleaning supplies and personal care packages from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. The sorority also donated coats and shoes for students at the school.
Lowell Elementary students participated in the Kindness Challenge, which included daily efforts such as giving compliments to classmates, leaving appreciation notes for teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers, etc. In addition, the school sponsored a canned food drive to support local families through the Salvation Army and collected 1,040 items.
Pleasant Ridge Elementary second grade teacher Rhoda Verhosek won the Veterans Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9337 and the Post Auxiliary’s Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award. She was also selected as the District 13 VFW Teacher of the Year and received $100 and a certificate of recognition.
Pleasant Ridge Elementary principal Glenn Cook and assistant principals Dan Barber and Bridgette Best were accepted into the North Carolina Association of Principals and Assistant Principals’ 2021 Distinguished Leadership in a Remote Learning Environment program.
Every Sadler Elementary student received a bag filled with presents such as hats, gloves, mugs and candy from Christ Worship Center. The church also provided lunch for the school staff. Additionally, the school received dozens of coats, masks, and socks from Pisgah ARP Church and First Baptist Church.
Sadler Elementary students are completing two i-Ready lessons a week in reading and math. With a focus on student engagement through the computer-based program, iReady participation has increased to 87 percent in reading and 89 percent in math.
Stanley Middle School collected more than 1,000 items for a local food pantry.
South Point High School senior Asheton Queen signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Gardner-Webb University, and senior Jackson Risk signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Belmont Abbey College.
South Point High School sophomore Davis Adcock won the 200-yard individual medley title at the 1A/2A swimming regionals. He also was a runner-up in the 100-yard individual medley backstroke.
South Point High School swimming coach Mary Ellen Lewis was selected as the Southwestern 2A Conference Coach of the Year.
Anna Dunbar and Emily Revels of South Point High School were chosen for the North Carolina Volleyball Coaches Association’s 2A all-state volleyball team. In addition, Dunbar signed a National Letter of Intent to play beach volleyball at Jacksonville University.