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District Announcements
Emerging Issues Award

John A. Holmes High School Teacher Steve Karl and the JAHHS Environmental Club are finalists for the Emerging Issues Award.  They have already received $1000 and are candidates for the $5000 award in February.  The audience at the Emerging Issues conference will be the deciding vote.

A bit about their project: The 2015 Emerging Issues High School Prize for Innovation Proposal: Develop a Community Awareness “Campaign to Stop the Spread of the Aquatic plant Hydrilla in the Chowan River!”

“Our objective as a team is to raise awareness for this aquatic invasive species by posting public awareness videos, posters, brochures and boat ramp signs. As for our innovation end of the project, we intend to make a specially designed rake that will be used to scrape the Hydrilla off of the axle of the boat trailer. We will have a compost barrel at boat ramps to deposit the Hydrilla after removal. The technology aspect of the project will be a digital information sign to help promote awareness.”

STEM Kits for CMS Students

Chowan Middle School Teachers, Debbie Bunch and Janie Joseph, gave been notified that they will receive two Carolina Biological Kits for free for the STEM Club through the Carolina STEM Challenge Competition program. They are getting a solar car kit and mouse trap cars.
Teachers Earn National Board Certification

Five teachers in the Edenton-Chowan School System achieved National Board Certification through a performance-based, peer-review process.  The certification earned by the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is the profession’s gold standard for accomplished teaching, based on standards created by teachers, for teachers, that define what teachers should know and be able to do to advance student learning.

Mara Swindell, an Art Education teacher at Chowan Middle School earned certification for the first time.

Four educators achieved the recertification process: Elizabeth Huff, Counselor at John A. Holmes High School; Brenda Pate, Instructional Facilitator at White Oak Elementary School; Joy Brickhouse, Teacher at D.F. Walker Elementary; and Tracy Faircloth, Teacher at White Oak Elementary.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. It complements, but does not replace, a state’s professional educator’s license. It is valid for 10 years, and renewal candidates must begin the renewal process during their eighth or ninth years as National Board Certified Teachers. National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K−12th grades.

School Board Members Take Oath of Office

The Honorable Michael J. McArthur, Clerk of Superior Court for Chowan County administered the oath of office to John Guard and Gil Burroughs at the December 1, 2014 meeting of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  Guard and Burroughs were re-elected in November to serve as members of the school board.  Guard was elected to serve a two-year term and represents District 2.  Burroughs was elected to serve a four-year term and represents District 3.

In addition to the oath of office, school board members nominated and elected Guard to serve as Chairman of the Board of Education and Mrs. Jean Bunch as Vice-Chair.

Teachers Receive Bright Ideas Grants

Three teachers with the Edenton-Chowan Schools, Debbie Bunch, Janie Joseph, and Steve Karl were awarded Bright Ideas Mini Grants by the Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation.   The Bright Ideas Grant Program is sponsored and funded by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. 

Bunch is a sixth grade teacher at Chowan Middle School.  Her grant was titled “Take a Bite Out of the Apple.”  This project will fund Apple TV Airplay in the classroom allowing for more teacher/student collaboration and innovative problem solving with the iPads used with instruction.

Joseph is a sixth grade teacher at Chowan Middle School.  Her grant was titled “Everybody Loves Robots – Engaging Middle School Minds with Robotics.”  This project will allow Chowan Middle School students in the STEM Crazy Club to creatively innovate and explore the world of robotics and engineering by integrating math, science, and technology.  Students will learn about the basics of robotics, build a variety of Lego Mindstorm robots and learn to program them to perform a variety of tasks.

Karl is a Science teacher at John A. Holmes High School.  His grant titled “Organic Gardening” focuses on providing greenhouse supplies to promote student involvement in growing plants and starting gardens.  Seeds and other materials will be used to grow plants that will be planted in a garden located at the high school.  The garden was a product of an Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation mini grant received last school year and is sustained through funds from the mini grant.         

5th Graders Skype Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler

The fifth grade science classes at D. F. Walker Elementary School participated in a Skype session with Jeremy Wheeler, WAVY-TV Meteorologist, on Tuesday, November 25th. Mr. Wheeler talked with them about predicting the weather, forecasting the weather and various types of severe weather. He also explained the education needed to become a meteorologist. Lastly, students were able to ask questions about local weather conditions and the potential for snow this year. Mr. Wheeler stated, "We will definitely have snow (at some point) this winter."
Storyteller Visits Edenton-Chowan Schools

Through a grant provided by the Arts of the Albemarle, Edenton-Chowan Schools was fortunate to have the opportunity to hear the award winning performer, Ms. Donna Washington. She spoke with students at Chowan Middle School on Thursday, November 20th and students at D. F. Walker Elementary and White Oak Elementary on Friday, November 21st.  Ms. Anna Kay Laughton, Music and Choral Educator at Chowan Middle School, coordinated these efforts.
Ms. Donna Washington was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and attended Northwestern University. Having been involved in numerous theatrical productions in college she found her love for storytelling. Donna is a multiple award winning recording artist, receiving the 2002 Parent’s Choice Award for her first independent recording, “Live and Learn: The Exploding Frog and Other Stories,” as well as numerous other awards for her writings, performances and books. Donna has performed at thousands of schools, libraries and numerous storytelling festivals throughout the country and offers workshops in storytelling, writing, education, and creative drama.
White Oak Elementary Celebrates and Honors Veterans

White Oak Elementary School students celebrate and honor Veterans in a program held at the school today, November 7, 2014. First graders perform under the direction of Jane Parr, Music Teacher at the school.
John A. Holmes JROTC Places First in Drill Competition

Congratulations to the John A. Holmes High School JROTC Cadets for taking first place out of seven teams competing in a Drill Meet held on Saturday, November 1, 2014.
Rocky Hock Ruritans Donate Dictionaries

The Rocky Hock Ruritan Club raised money to purchase and give every third grade student at D.F. Walker Elementary School a student dictionary.  President Keith Rollins, Secretary Joe Asbell, and Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee Jack Perry, and member Jacob Ullom are pictured passing out dictionaries to excited third grade students at the school.  The Ruritans gave 173 dictionaries to students and teachers in an effort to support the Read to Achieve literacy initiative and encourage students to learn new words and expand their vocabulary.
Albemarle Electric Supports Local Schools

The Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (AEMC) recently hosted a luncheon for local school districts within its membership to discuss the various ways they can support local schools.  


Edenton-Chowan Schools’ staff and students have benefited from various AEMC programs including: Bright Ideas grants, Washington Youth Tour, Light-Up for Christmas Toy Drive, Basketball camps, demonstrations on electricity safety and the use of equipment.  AEMC has also supported the "Kids-n-Cops” program in cooperation with the Chowan County Sheriff’s Department.  


Pictured (L-R): Superintendent Rob Jackson, White Oak Elementary School Principal Michelle White, D.F. Walker Elementary School Principal Jamie Bowers, Chowan Middle School Principal Tanya Turner, John A. Holmes High School Principal Sheila Evans, and AEMC General Manager Gary Ray.

Lassiter Earns Apple Foundations Trainer Credential

Dr. Vann Lassiter, Instructional Technology Coordinator with the Edenton-Chowan School System, has earned the credential of Apple Foundations Trainer.  Lassiter is one of only five educators in North Carolina to hold this certification and the only person in Northeastern North Carolina.

The Apple Foundations Trainer Academy is a train-the-trainer program focused on the educational uses of Apple technologies.

AFT Academy classes consist of individuals from public K–12 districts, private schools, schools of education, and higher education institutions across the United States. The focus of the program is on enhancing the readiness of individuals for their role in leading professional learning for Apple OS and related  iWork and iLife apps in their schools and to sustain basic Apple technology skills in education organizations that have implemented a one-to-one Apple learning initiative such as the programs at John A. Holmes High School and Chowan Middle School.

Lassiter completed the week-long AFT Academy program in Cupertino, CA. Every session modeled best professional development practices—all in a curricular context. The agenda covered advanced skills in the features of iOS, OS X, iLife and iWork apps, iBooks Author, and iTunes U, and to understanding and practicing effective teaching strategies for adult learning.

AFT Academy attendees are selected by an application process. Applicants must hold positions that include responsibility for delivering preservice or in-service professional development within their district, school, institution, or organization. Acceptance to and success in the AFT Academy program requires robust skills in a range of Apple software products that typically reflect a number of years of usage.

Elliott Nominated to Board of Directors

Glorious Elliott, a member of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education, has been selected to serve on the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) Board of Directors by the nominating committee.  Following formal election at the NCSBA Delegate Assembly in November, Elliott will be a representing Edenton-Chowan Schools and Northeastern North Carolina on the association’s board.  Elliott is the first Board of Education member to serve in this capacity since the late 1970’s when Eugene Jordan, Sr. represented the school system.

“Mrs. Elliott has proven to be a strong supporter of public education during her service as a member of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education,” said John Guard, Chairman of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  “Prior to serving on the Board of Education, she was also an active parent serving in leadership roles of local PTA’s and the local band boosters in the school district.  The Board of Education feels strongly that Mrs. Elliott will be an outstanding representative for both the Northeast Region and the State as a member of the NCSBA’s Board of Directors,” he added.

Elliott has cumulative service of almost 17 years on the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  She initially served on the school board from 1987-2002.  She left the school board in 2002 because she was covered by a term limits restriction in effect at that time.  During this tenure she served as both Vice Chair and Chair of the Board.  Elliott was reelected to the Board of Education in November 2012 as an at-large candidate.  Elliott is a retired Chief of Probation and Parole with the Department of Corrections who served multiple counties in Northeastern North Carolina.  She is the wife of James Elliott and they have a son, Dr. Stanley Elliott, Vice Chancellor of Shaw University.

White Oak Principal 2014-2015 Administrator of the Year

Michelle White, Principal of White Oak Elementary School has been named the 2014-15 Edenton-Chowan Schools Administrator of the Year.  The recognition is part of The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s 2015 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Program.  The program has been administered since 1984 with financial support from Wells Fargo Company. Mrs. White has been principal at White Oak Elementary School since August, 2012.  Prior, Mrs. White served as assistant principal at Perquimans High School.  She has also served in an administrative position at Perquimans Central School performing duties of Assistant Principal, technology facilitator, and instructional facilitator. Mrs. White will advance to regional competition with eight finalists competing for the state award. 

With over 12 years of experience in public education, Mrs. White earned a Masters Degree in School Administration from Elizabeth City State University.  In addition, she holds a Masters Degree in Technology Education from East Carolina University and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from East Carolina.  Along with these certifications, she also holds a teaching license in the areas of Elementary Education, and Art Education.  She also holds certification as a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified teacher.

Education Foundation Awards Mini Grants

The Edenton-Chowan Education Foundation awarded the following teachers mini-grants totaling $3,501.61 at the Board of Education Meeting held on October 6, 2014:


White Oak Elementary School:

·         Jennifer Attkisson – Keeping the Reading Fire Lit

·         Lacey Winslow- iPad, uPad, we ALL love an iPad for Literacy


DF Walker Elementary School:

·         Angela Speck & Phil Huey – Integrating Mindfulness Into the Classroom

·         Krista Bond & Nicole Dowd – Literature for Learning

·         Kristine Ludlow- VersaTiles Manipulatives

·         Jennifer Thach – DFW Book Clubs


Chowan Middle School:

·         Angela Elsbree – The Gift of Reading

·         Deborah Bunch – I Need to Know More

·         Janie Joseph – Tablet-Based Literature Circles: Transforming Reluctant Readers Into Independent Readers


John A Holmes:

·         Stephen Karl, Victor Agraz, Stephanie Graban, Rachel Ward- Outdoor Learning Lab Classroom

·         Victor Agraz- Improving Rigor and Real World Global Scientific Practices through Hands-On Inquiry-based Labs

·         Rosa Michelle Downing – Reading for a Purpose

Parent Portal Application

Edenton-Chowan Schools is offering a new Parent Portal which may be used to view student grades, attendance and other academic information online. The parent portal provides parents and guardians access to all their students' information with a single log on. In order to receive access to Parent Portal, parents/guardians are required to do the following:
1. Fill out an application for each child. Parents/guardians with children in more than one school will be required to fill out a separate application for each school. Please note that this is a necessary step. 
2. Take the completed application to the school where the student is enrolled.
3. Provide photo ID to the school staff when the form is returned.

After completing and returning the application as directed, parents/guardians will receive their account information. A copy of the application can be found below or picked up at the school. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

Debra Rook Named Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year

Debra Rook, an eighth grade Language Arts Teacher and Teacher of the Year at Chowan Middle School has been awarded the honor of 2014-2015 Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year.  Representing Edenton-Chowan Schools, Rook will advance to regional competition as part of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program.  Rook has been teaching for 12 years, five of those years have been at Chowan Middle School.


“Mrs. Rook’s students are taught to use a wealth of critical thinking skills, advanced communication skills, and high-level technology applications in her daily lessons,” said Tanya Turner, Principal of Chowan Middle School.  “She integrates global awareness through the units of literature she teaches by strategically weaving in informational text that contains current and past news articles, biographies, and primary documents.  She strives to challenge all children to achieve maximum growth by planning her lessons with the goal of meeting individual students’ needs.”

Rook is a graduate of John Brown University where she earned a B.S. Ed. in English/English as a Second Language.  She is currently completing a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults through Vermont College of Fine Arts.

“I push myself to reach and try and change and grow so that my passion thrives for what and how I teach,” said Rook.  “Teaching is igniting the torch of inspiration in students, but it also confers the responsibility of seeking sources of inspiration so a lesson, video, poem or novel inspires others. Teaching is examining closely the details of a child’s heart and mind, but it is also broadly accessing a whole class, school and community to find resources that connect and support individuals,” she added.

The North Carolina Teacher of the Year program provides an opportunity to honor and recognize exemplary teachers in the state and to call attention to the importance of the teaching profession.  The North Carolina Teacher of the Year program is affiliated with the National Teacher of the Year Program presented by the ING Foundation, a project of the Council of the Chief State Officers of Schools.

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