Eight Watauga students chosen to attend NC School of Science and Mathematics

BOONE — After a rigorous application process, eight students from Watauga High School were chosen to participate in either the online or residential program at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

The NCSSM was established in 1980 and is a public residential high school for science, technology, engineering and math. Watauga students participating in the 2019-20 residential program at NCSSM are Harper Shanly, Jimin Yu, Madelyne Street and Valerie Kitchell. Students participating in the online program — who will continue to attend school at Watauga but will take online NCSSM classes — are Lena Westwood, Luke Ramsdell, Katie Thompson and Apurba Paudel.

Street is going to be a junior in the new school year and said she started researching the NCSSM in the eighth grade.

“I realized it was a perfect place for me,” Street said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for any student to be chosen.”

Applications opened to students for the 2019-20 school year last October and closed in January. The process consisted of writing 15 essays spanning topics such as why the student wanted to attend the school and extracurricular activities they participated in, Street said. Those applying also had to submit recommendations from an English teacher, a science teacher or a math teacher and a counselor.

The research opportunities that students have through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is what Street said drew her to apply to NCSSM. She also liked that the school offers international trips and allows students to choose specialized classes that they are interested in.

Street said residential students will move onto the campus on Aug. 10, and classes begin Aug. 15. She said she plans to complete both her junior and senior years at NCSSM.

“I feel very proud and accomplished of my hard work during my freshman and sophomore year that I get the privilege to go for my junior and senior year,” Street said.

For more information on the NC School of Science and Mathematics, visit www.ncssm.edu.

Hound Ears residents keep ‘adopted’ roadways clean

BOONE – Maintaining a 27-year tradition, Hound Ears residents recently pitched in to clean up local roadways.

Since 1992, the Hound Ears Property Owners Association has organized Community Clean-up Day to pick up trash along two sections of Shulls Mill Road.

“Hound Ears has always been a community minded neighborhood – ever since the start in the 60s. We’re so privileged as a POA to keep this tradition going,” POA President Marie Blake said.

“One of the things that make these mountains so amazing is the pristine views. Keeping the roads clean is a way we can show thanks for what a blessing this place really is.”

Fueled with coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, around 25 residents and staff worked for several hours to make the roads litter free.

“The street clean-up allows participants to become even more aware of the amount of litter on our public streets. Since I drive that road nearly every day and don’t see that much trash, I was astonished at the amount of litter that we picked up,” POA Vice President Fran Page said.

The POA works in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program.

With more than 120,000 participants across North Carolina, Adopt-A-Highway is made up of civic and community groups — including schools, religious, professional and social organizations — as well as individuals and families.

There is no fee to be part of the program, but the N.C. Department of Transportation asks volunteer groups to commit at least four years to a two-mile stretch of roadway. Two signs with a recognition panel are installed at each end of the adopted roadway.

Russ of Banner Elk named to UA Dean’s List

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tameron Elizabeth Russ of Banner Elk was named to The University of Alabama Dean’s List for spring 2019.

A total of 11,406 students enrolled during the 2019 spring term at UA were named to the Dean’s List with an academic record of 3.5 or above or the President’s List with an academic record of 4.0 (all A’s).

The UA Dean’s and President’s lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. The lists do not apply to graduate students or to undergraduate students who take less than a full course load.

Kayla Lasure contributed reporting to this article.

Smith recognized for distinguished service in middle grades education

BOONE — Tracy Smith, professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education, has been named the recipient of the 2019 C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service in Middle Grades Education Award. The award was presented to Smith at the North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education 2019 Annual Conference in Greensboro.

The award, which is named in honor of Appalachian Professor Emeritus C. Kenneth McEwin, is presented to an individual (or a school or an organization) who has had a significant, longterm impact on the advancement of middle-level education in North Carolina. The contribution can be in service, leadership and/or research.

“Receiving the award that bears his name from Dr. McEwin himself was more of an honor than I could express,” Smith said. “Like the other early leaders in middle grades education, Dr. McEwin believed decades ago that young adolescents needed a different type of education than was being provided to younger, elementary-aged children and older adolescents in high school.

“For about 50 years, he advocated for developmentally responsive practices for young adolescents and their teachers and families. He is to me, and to many, a legend,” she added.

McEwin served as a professor in Appalachian’s RCOE for nearly 40 years and was also the coordinator of the college’s Master of Arts in middle grades education program. He developed the first middle grades licensure and degree programs in North Carolina and at Appalachian.

Together, Smith and McEwin authored the book “The Legacy of Middle School Leaders: In Their Own Words” (Information Age Publishing, 2011).

Commenting on their research for the book, Smith said, “Fearing that their voices would be lost, we spent 10 years interviewing those leaders of middle grades education and have argued that the middle grades movement was a critical social movement to come out of the 1960s.”

“After some years of teaching students in the (Reich) College of Education, I was able to help cultivate a network of middle grades teachers across the state who continued to stay in touch with me — and with each other,” Smith shared. “What bound us together was a continued conviction that young adolescents possess unlimited potential and promise.”

She continued, “I chose and continue to choose Appalachian because of its long and rich history and commitment to teaching excellence.”

Kayla Lasure contributed reporting to this article.

Send announcements of achievements, milestones and other life news to editor@wataugademocrat.com.

Send announcements of achievements, milestones and other life news to editor@wataugademocrat.com.

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