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Lenoir County Public Schools: About LCPS middle schools

Middle Schools

All-County Honors Chorus set for fourth annual concert

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More than 200 elementary and middle school students from across Lenoir County will assemble Saturday as the LCPS All-County Honors Chorus to perform a free concert of classical and contemporary art music.

The fourth annual event begins at 2 p.m. at Kinston-Lenoir County Performing Arts Center.

The chorus represents students from all 12 LCPS elementary and middle schools. The fourth and fifth graders who make up the elementary group will perform four songs, as will the middle school students. The two groups come together for the finale, a spirited rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The students have practiced at their school for months, but will unite as an elementary chorus and a middle school chorus for the first time the day before the concert, when they will also meet and begin to work with their respective conductors. The two groups rehearse together the morning of the concert.

Conducting the elementary group this year is Dr. Raychl Smith, assistant professor of music education at East Carolina University. The middle school singers will perform under the baton of Paul Flowers, choral director at Hope Middle School in Pitt County.

Returning as accompanists are Sheila Miller, music teacher at Pink Hill Elementary, and Jacob Mewborn, director of music ministries at Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston. Both have worked with the concert as accompanists – Miller with the elementary group and Mewborn with the middle schoolers – since its inception.

For the young singers, it’s an experience draped in professionalism.

“Organizing this concert each year is in some ways a dream come true for me,” Christine White, music educator at Banks Elementary School, said. “It is extremely fulfilling as an educator to know that I can reach beyond the four walls of my classroom and impact the musical opportunities of students all across our county.”

White was part of that corps of LCPS music educators that conceived and organized the inaugural concert four years ago and has taken a lead role in ensuring the performances continued.

“It is definitely an extraordinary amount of work, but I receive a great deal of support and assistance from Lenoir County Public Schools’ administrative team and my music education colleagues,” she said. “Together we are providing a broadening and enriching experience for our students that they would not otherwise have.”

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Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017 15:55

NASA lands at CSS, bolstering its connection with district

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NASA landed at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School on Friday to give middle school students a glimpse of the work that goes on inside the nation’s space agency and to bolster its ties with LCPS.

“Typically, we would bring the students to us, but this is a long distance and this is an area of North Carolina we’ve been focusing on a lot this year with some other programs, so we decided to bring the lab to you,” explained Kim Brush, an education specialist with the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.nasa4web

Students heard a presentation by NASA engineers Sam James and – via Skype – Kevin McLean about their work building and testing models of spacecraft, then put some of what the engineers told them into practice in hands-on experiments with Brush’s colleagues and demonstrations in the mobile STEM lab from Elizabeth City State University.

CSS was chosen as a stop for this once-a-year event – called STEM Week at the Lab – because of connections NASA educators have made with teachers from LCPS and other eastern North Carolina counties in the past year, according to Brush.

Since June, NASA has rolled out a program it calls Network of States, which “allows us to focus on a specific region and build a network within that community of industry, government, schools, universities and community colleges so we can add support to the local schools,” Brush said.

Teachers from Lenoir and Beaufort counties have particularly been involved in professional development through NASA, including a four-day session in June and another on Thursday, which included 15 teachers from LCPS.

Students at S.W. Snowden K-8 School in Aurora, in Beaufort County, were connected to the presentation by James and McLean via Skype.

Photos from NASA's visit are here.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 March 2017 11:30

Woodington's Battle of Books win its second in three years

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A team of young scholars from Woodington Middle School jumped out to a commanding early lead and never looked back en route to victory Wednesday in the annual LCPS Middle School Battle of the Books.

Woodington went undefeated in six contests – head-to-head matches with the district’s three other middle schools – to win its second county title in three years. With the win, the team advances to the regional Battle of the Books competition in April.bob_logo

Each year, the Battle of the Books tests students’ knowledge of books from a common reading list of 27 fiction and nonfiction titles through questions related to content. This year’s reading list included the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “I Am Malala,” the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who defied the Taliban and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Teams competed in a round-robin format. After the first round, Woodington held a 20-point lead over its closest competition, the team from E.B. Frink Middle School. Woodington stretched its lead to more than 40 points by the end of the contest. Frink finished in second place; Rochelle Middle, in third; and Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, in fourth.

The event was held at Teachers Memorial School and Training Facility. Ryan Gardner, science department head at South Lenoir High School, was moderator.

Members of the Woodington team are: Eli Aycock, Jason Nilon, Amedith Stroud, Sydney McLawhorn, Kalista Ciccarelli, Avery Rouse, Nathan Carlyle, Isabelle Vernon, David Phillippe, Drew Hedrick, Gracie Howard, Fernando Flores and coaches Jean Whaley and Sherry Williams.

Members of the Frink team were: Victoria Flores, Diana Leon-Lara, Jada Clark, Kamryn Sutton, Erica Croom, Cintja Cordova, Heidy Alvarez, Kaitlyn Minder, Keyonna Taylor, Cristina Aguilar, Amanda Glen and coaches Joanna Price and Beverly Jones.

Members of the Rochelle team were: Alando Coleman, Nazier McIver, Lovell Gooding, Jakyra Simmons, Jai'Len Strickland, Elijah Powell, Janiya Edwards, Tinya Blake, Nicholas Harvey, III, Shanauria Hassell, Mariela Salgado-Villa, assistant coach Nadine Grady and coach Brenda Moultrie.

Members of the Contentnea-Savannah team were Genesis Campos, Sara Jones, Katara Fisher, Kristen Williams, Jared Carlyle and Coach Traci Banks.

The Woodington team is pictured below. Team photos are on the district Facebook page here.

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Last Updated on Friday, 10 March 2017 23:19

Seventh grader on 'familiar' ground with spelling bee win

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Winning the LCPS Spelling Bee wasn’t a certainty for Reygan Dawson – she went up against tough competition – but it does seem like victory was in the cards.

The word she spelled correctly to set up the win – “easel” – was familiar to her. She won the county bee four years ago on that word. Tuesday night, she won the county bee again by spelling the word the final word, “familiar.”reyganalone

Eleven school representatives started the contest but it came down to Reygan, from Woodington Middle School, and Grant Haze of Northwest Elementary School. They dueled for a half-dozen words before Grant got his “l” before his “e.”

“He was good. He went on and on and on,” Reygan said. “When he misspelled easel, I kind of got excited because I know how to spell that. I was like, the next word can’t be too difficult.”

The seventh grader is nonchalant about her spelling talent. “I study some words sometime, words I need,” she said. “I don’t have a problem with it. I like to spell.”

Chasity Uribe of Moss Hill Elementary finished third.

Other contestants were: Susannah Swindell of Banks Elementary, Hannah Vann (elementary) and Tomir Moore (middle) of Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, Ashton Hoffman of Frink Middle, Daniel Simmons of La Grange Elementary, Jordan Middleton of Northeast Elementary, Zitlaly Resendiz Cornejo of Pink Hill Elementary, Jovante Coward of Southeast Elementary and Dakota Tyndall of Southwood Elementary.

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Three students earn honors at regional science fair

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Two sixth-graders from E.B. Frink Middle School in La Grange and a fifth-grader at Northwest Elementary in Kinston came home from the Southeast Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Wilmington on Saturday with honors, including a ticket to the state science fair for one of them.

Tyler Sears finished first in the Earth/Environmental Science category and will take his project on the drainage properties of soil to the state science fair in March. The top two projects in each of the seven categories for middle school and high school students advanced to the state.sears_dawson

Emma Dawson, a classmate of Sears’ at Frink, won a third-place medal in the Chemical category. Her project investigated the differences between natural and synthetic fabrics in absorbing dye.

“We’re so excited for them,” Frink principal Elizabeth Pendleton said. “They did a wonderful job.”

Sean Olesen of Northwest earned an honorable mention certificate for a project testing his hypothesis that size determines how quickly a comet melts.olesen

“We’re very proud of the work he did on this project,” said his teacher, Sheila West, adding Sean will be recognized at school Wednesday during morning announcements.

LCPS sent 25 students from seven schools – the brains behind 10 elementary and 10 middle school division projects – to the regional fair, held at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Students from 13 counties competed in the regional event, having qualified as the top projects at their county-level competitions.

Tyler’s winning entry has relevance to work being overseen by his father, Kinston city manager Tony Sears – renovations to historic Grainger Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers’ minor league team beginning in April.

The project tested soil from five different locations to determine which drained best. Sandy soil from the mountains, the Piedmont, the beach, the Neuse River and Grainger were put into cups with holes in the bottom. A precise amount of water was poured into each cup, with another cup underneath each to collect the water that drained. By measuring the amount of water in the collection cups, Tyler determined the soil currently at Grainer drained best and Neuse River soil drained second-best.

The 2017 North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 24-25 at Meredith College in Raleigh.

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