• INSPIRED. Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes - Part 2. Harnessing Opportunities for Growth

    INSPIRED. Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes - Part 2. Harnessing Opportunities for Growth

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no secret that learning has changed. Students receive instruction far more often by themselves than they do in groups. Classes are done remotely. The familiar pace of a typical school day has been replaced by something new. But students aren't the only ones for whom life has changed. Just as often, teachers are dealing with the impact of the pandemic on learning. And Lee County Schools has been at the front of not just recognizing those changes, but harnessing them into opportunities for growth.

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  • INSPIRED. Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes - Part 1. Providing Nutritious Meals for Children

    INSPIRED. Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes - Part 1. Providing Nutritious Meals for Children

    Not all superheroes wear capes. In Lee County, a lot of them right now are wearing masks and gloves. Those heroes, who since the closure of schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have served breakfast and lunch to thousands of students three days per week, consist of staffers from the school system, ranging from maintenance workers and bus drivers to cafeteria staff, social workers and more.

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  • INSPIRED. District 2020 Spelling Bee Champ, Bryan Armstrong

    INSPIRED. District 2020 Spelling Bee Champ, Bryan Armstrong

    When Bryan Armstrong, West Lee Middle School sixth grader, was given the word “Connemara” – a very specific type of stone which comes from a region of the same name in Ireland – during the final round of the Lee County Schools district-wide spelling bee on February 13, he wasn't worried. He was confident, in fact. He'd studied his word list closely, promptly gave the correct spelling and was named the event's winner.

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  • INSPIRED. Southern Spice Girls Place Fourth in NC Jr. Chef Competition

    INSPIRED. Southern Spice Girls Place Fourth in NC Jr. Chef Competition

    One of Lee County's best new dishes isn't one you'll be able to find in any of our many restaurants. Instead, the Sweet Carolina Chicken Bang Bang – an outside the box take on chili – was served several times this year at Southern Lee High School by a team of students from Gwen Williams' Foods II class. The team, known as the “Southern Spice Girls” took their dish to the 2020 North Carolina Jr. Chef Competition at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte earlier this month.

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  • INSPIRED. National Board Certified Teachers

    INSPIRED. National Board Certified Teachers

    North Carolina leads the country with more than 22,600 National Board Certified teachers. Lee County just added six more in a single year. “It's meant to be a distinction. It's nationally recognized,” said Patricia Coldren, the National Board district coordinator for Lee County Schools. “Having six in one year is a big deal. It's normally between zero and two, and two had been a high number for us.” These six now give Lee County Schools a total of 46 National Board Certified teachers.

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  • INSPIRED. Seniors Launch Futures With More Than A Diploma

    INSPIRED. Seniors Launch Futures With More Than A Diploma

    As seniors returned to class after a well-deserved holiday break, they were faced with a startling reality. After 13 or more years of formal learning, their initial journey is almost over. Only one semester remains before they take their next big step in life. The good news is that their work is about to pay off, and not only with the high school diploma everyone their age has been seeking. Nearly all will graduate with something more — distinctions that give them a leg up in college or work. That’s thanks to “More Than a Diploma,” a Lee County Schools initiative helping students leave high school with college credit, nationally recognized career certifications and other widely recognized academic distinctions.

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  • INSPIRED. Our Champions

    INSPIRED. Our Champions

    The outcome of the football game at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh between the Lee County Yellow Jackets and the Weddington Warriors on Dec. 14 didn't go the way folks in Lee County wanted it to. The game, which decided the NCHSAA 3AA state championship, went Weddington's way, as the Matthews, N.C. based team won its second consecutive title. But for folks at home, the Yellow Jackets are champions anyway, and for the team, the lessons learned are as valuable as anything.

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  • INSPIRED. Winter Games

    INSPIRED. Winter Games

    Last Friday, Tucker Debo watched as a day of fun known as the “Winter Games” unfolded at Floyd L. Knight School. Nearly 80 JROTC students from Lee County High School, where Debo is a senior, visited the elementary campus for a day of fun, games and connecting with the school's special needs student body. Activities throughout the day included multiple sporting relay events in the gym – a basketball shoot, a “snowman bowling” event and several more – as well as arts and crafts activities in the school's classrooms.

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  • INSPIRED. Region 4 HS Science Teacher of the Year - Dillon Crockett

    INSPIRED. Region 4 HS Science Teacher of the Year - Dillon Crockett

    For sixth-year science Southern Lee High teacher School Dillon Crockett, what happens outside the classroom is as important as what happens inside the classroom — Quiz Bowl. Science Olympiad. Chairman of the School Improvement Team. AIG adviser. The list goes on, and it's all in addition to his regular, advanced and honors biology classes. Crockett's busy schedule was rewarded recently when the North Carolina Science Teachers Association named him the Outstanding Science Teacher of the Year for the state's fourth district, which includes Lee and 10 other counties. He was presented with the honor at the NCSTA's annual conference in Winston-Salem.

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  • INSPIRED. One Brick At A Time

    INSPIRED. One Brick At A Time

    Josephine Shelton has always had a knack for building things. So it was a logical move for her to enroll in Chris Garner's core construction class when she entered Lee County High School as a freshman. Shelton – now a junior – has not only completed that core class, but Masonry 1 as well, and will start Masonry 2 next semester. Shelton is now looking towards construction management as a career after taking Garner's classes, which is something Garner tries to teach his students about. “My main focus is to show these kids that they can learn a trade. Even if they don't want to do it for a living, it can still help them get to where they want to be. And if they do want to do it for a living, there are doors I can open for them.”

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  • INSPIRED. Never An 'Average' Day

    INSPIRED. Never An 'Average' Day

    Chris McNeill was at W.B. Wicker Elementary so much at the start of this school year that students began asking him if he was some kind of principal. McNeill, the maintenance department director for Lee County Schools, is not some kind of principal. But for the district's 17 campuses and other auxiliary buildings, he and his department are often unsung heroes – the team that keeps the lights on, the water running and the temperature right for the teachers, staff and students every day.

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  • INSPIRED. Assistant Principal of the Year - Erika McNickle

    INSPIRED. Assistant Principal of the Year - Erika McNickle

    It's been a good couple of weeks for Deep River Elementary School. That's particularly true for Assistant Principal Erika McNickle. After Deep River received the Head of Class award on Oct. 30, McNickle was surprised at a "staff meeting" when Central Office staff dropped in and announced that she is Lee County Schools Assistant Principal of the Year.

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  • INSPIRED. Head of Class, Deep River Elementary

    INSPIRED. Head of Class, Deep River Elementary

    For the second time, Deep River Elementary has claimed the Lee County Education Foundation's Head of Class award. The award is a project of the foundation, which has been giving the prize to an individual school in Lee County since 2011. The winning school's staff – from the principal to the custodians – split the $50,000 award in a merit-pay program that has been hailed by leaders from across North Carolina as an innovative way to reward achievement by a public-private partnership.

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  • INSPIRED. Tramway Gets Its "Sky Sight" On

    INSPIRED. Tramway Gets Its "Sky Sight" On

    “Get your 'sky sight' on,” artist Daniel Dancer sang to students last Friday at the school, “and keep it on your whole life long.” The song was part of a presentation that represented the better part of a week's work, in which Dancer visited the school to work with its students on an art project that involved having them fill up a large-scale drawing of Tramway's tiger shark mascot so Dancer could take aerial photos and document the process on video.

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  • INSPIRED. 2019-2020 Principal of the Year, Stefanie Clarke

    INSPIRED. 2019-2020 Principal of the Year, Stefanie Clarke

    The staff at B.T. Bullock Elementary is somewhat used to celebrations. Principal Stefanie Clarke, after all, makes them a part of the school's regular staff meetings. “We always lead staff meetings with staff celebrations inside and outside the classroom. It includes anything from a child meeting their behavior goal to the announcement of an engagement,” Clarke said. “(Monday) was most certainly a celebration I was not expecting." That's because on Monday, as Clarke and Assistant Principal Salvatore Cosimo led a regular staff meeting, Clarke was named the district's principal of the year.

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  • INSPIRED. PLAY TIME: Broadway Elementary STEM Lab

    INSPIRED. PLAY TIME: Broadway Elementary STEM Lab

    At Broadway Elementary, play is literally a part of the curriculum. And we don't mean recess. For 45 minutes each week, every second through fifth grader visits Emma Smith's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classroom at the school, and while the activities they undertake there look a lot like play, the kids are also busy learning – even if they don't realize it.

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  • INSPIRED. National Merit Semi-Finalist, Mackenzie Roche

    INSPIRED. National Merit Semi-Finalist, Mackenzie Roche

    Lee County has yet to produce a United States Supreme Court justice, but Mackenzie Roche is aiming to change that. At 17, the senior at Lee Early College already has her eyes on studying political science and public policy in college and then attending law school to become a civil rights attorney. “The dream is the Supreme Court one day,” she said. “When I took civics (at LEC), I found a passion for wanting to make the world a better place through being involved.”

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  • INSPIRED. FINDING HER PLACE: Beginning Teacher of the Year, Morgan Carlyle

    INSPIRED. FINDING HER PLACE: Beginning Teacher of the Year, Morgan Carlyle

    As recently as a few years ago, Morgan Carlyle never really expected that she'd be a teacher. When that changed, she figured she'd teach either at the elementary or high school level. Definitely not middle school. When that changed, she dove right in. A little more than a year later, another thing Carlyle never expected happened: She was named Lee County Schools' beginning teacher of the year.

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  • INSPIRED. Southern Lee High And Moldova, Learning From Each Other

    INSPIRED. Southern Lee High And Moldova, Learning From Each Other

    When Southern Lee High history teacher Amber Burns told her colleagues that she was going to spend part of her summer in Moldova, many of them cringed a little when they asked her just where that was. “I didn't judge too much,” Burns explained with a laugh. “Moldova is a very young country and a very small country.” Burns said that as the 2018-19 school year was winding up, she began looking for professional development opportunities, which ended up leading her across the ocean and to Moldova.

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  • INSPIRED. Welcome Back to the Lee County Schools Family, W.B. Wicker

    INSPIRED. Welcome Back to the Lee County Schools Family, W.B. Wicker

    W.B. Wicker Elementary — which once housed elementary, middle and high school students back in the late 20s until the 90s, then Central Carolina Community College students from 2006-2018 — has rejoined the Lee County Schools family and is off to a great start.

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