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Good News Spotlight May 10, 2016
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Good News Spotlight - Dec. 5, 2017
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Good News Spotlight October 3, 2017
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Michael Elder, our director of Academic Innovation and AIG Services, announced Governor's School Candidtates

Governor’s School

Thank you for this opportunity to shine a light on some of the amazing students we are fortunate to serve each day here in Onslow County.

The Governor's School is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation. The program, is a five-week summer residential program which is open to rising seniors, is located on two campuses of up to 305 students each: Governor's School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem (begun in 1963), and Governor's School East at Meredith College in Raleigh (begun in 1978). Students are encouraged to apply in areas including art, music, theater, English, world languages, math, natural science, and social science. Throughout their time, students are immersed in both academic and creative ventures which allow them to learn new information while also making life-long friendships.

In November, students submitted an application which included essays, nominations from teachers, personal experiences, and academic achievement information. Students were either interviewed by a team including community members or had auditions for selection. The NC Governor’s School has selected 13 students from Onslow County and tonight we get to recognize them.

There are so many things that we could share about each one of these students, but we have tried to narrow it down to a few things you might like to know about them:

From Northside High School (Janice Barbee, Counselor; Mrs. Maria Johnson- Principal)

1.    Khulan Khuchibaatarr (Natural Science)- Khulan's family immigrated from Mongolia to the United States in 2003.  Being selected to attend Governor's School is the first honor of this nature that anyone in her family has ever received.

2.    Dejha Nixon (Mathematics)-Dejha aspires to be an engineer and hopes that the knowledge she gains from attending Governor's School will help her in this quest.

3.    Rico Castillo (Percussion) -Rico was particularly honored to be chosen as a percussionist for Governor's School, especially since this is only the 3rd year he has participated in percussion education.

Jacksonville High School (Sue Lynn Whitehurst, counselor; Dr. Donna Lynch- Principal)

4.    Sailor Drum (Dance)- In March 2015, Sailor was chosen to perform in The University of North Carolina School of the Art's Dance Festival at the Steven's Center. Sailor was also casted and preformed as Clara in a production of "The Nutcracker."

5.    Joseph Cheung (Viola)- Joseph made the Eastern Regional Orchestra in the spring of 2016.

6.    Alan Davila (Natural Science)- Alan was selected to attend Summer Ventures in Science and Math as a rising junior Nominated for a Catalyst Award at Summer Ventures for developing a computer model of graphene (an allotrope of carbon).

7.    Kaitlin Coogan (English)- Kaitlin is a very active member of our community and her school.  She is on the varsity softball team as well as a participant in various organizations including Interact, SADD, and HOSA.  Earlier this year she was inducted into the Ralph T. Croom Chapter of the National Honor Society.

8.    Avery Woods (Dance)- As a middle schooler, Avery attended a National Dance competition in New York City and since then she has won many scholarships at conventions and numerous awards at dance competitions. Avery has been accepted into national Honor Society, invited to attend the Rotary Club Leadership Conference, and has had many opportunities in spring musicals with dancing and choreography.

9.    Katherine Spade (Percussion)- Katherine was selected twice to the Eastern Regional Orchestra and once to the North Carolina Honors Orchestra ; Recently Katie learned that she has been admitted into the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for her senior year.


Swansboro High School (Jane Simpson, Counselor; Mrs. Chris Andre- Principal)

10.  Alexandria Chadwick (Math)- Alexandria attended Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics at East Carolina University. She is also the Junior Class President and recently donated $2,000 to the community as President of the Swansboro Area Youth Development Foundation.

White Oak High School (Tina Howard, Counselor; Mrs. Jane Dennis- Principal)

11.  Hannah DeNuzzi (Social Science)  Hannah is secretary of the Junior Class at White Oak where she is also the section leader and center snare of the Marching Vikings Drumline. In addition, she is Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

12.  Victoria Gregg (Alto II): Victoria is Vice President of the Junior Class at White Oak and President of Tri-M Music Honor Society.

13.  Grey Goodson (Mathematics) - Grey spent last summer as a counselor-in-training at Camp Cheerio.  He is currently serving for two years as the area representative on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Student Athlete Advisory Council.  This year he helped found White Oak’s first KEY Club and tutors fellow students as part of the White Oak Math Honor Society.  He has also lettered in soccer and tennis.


Ross Friebel, our director of Digital, Learning and Teaching Services, announced Battle of the Books.


Battle of the Books: Elementary, Middle School & High School

We had another exciting year of Battle of the Books.

The purpose of the Battle of the Books program is to encourage reading by all students. Students, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors. Through the fun and excitement of the competition, students improve reading and social skills, mature in their choices of reading materials, and acquire a broader knowledge base. Even during the height of the competition, students and coaches know that the goal is to READ, not necessarily to win!

The elementary competition consisted of 18 books with 17 of our Elementary Schools competing.

After a 4 day event in March, 1 team emerged and defended their title Onslow County BOB Champions. This team went on to represent Onslow County in the regional competition where they faced teams from Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico, Pender and Wayne Counties.

Not only did this team repeat as Onslow County’s champion, they repeated as the regional champion as well.

Erin Glover and Michelle Bailey and their team members came to the podium
With team members.

He congratulated Carolina Forest Elementary.  


Our Middle School competition took place over 1 day and all 8 of our schools participated. MS were required to read 27 Books!

This team also defended their title as Onslow County champion. During the regional competition where they battled teams from Arapahoe, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Lenoir, Pamlico, Pender, New Hanover, and Wayne Counties, this team represented Onslow County extremely well with a 2nd place finish.

Will Jennifer Sullivan and her team please join me at the podium.

Please congratulate New Bridge Middle

For the MS and ES competition a State organization provides the list of books and questions for the competition. There is no State organization designed for a HS BOB competition. So our teams (coaches and students) had to write 30 questions per book. We selected 12 books. The questions were compiled and randomly selected to be used in our competition. So a lot of hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm, went in to making this even possible.  


Five of our seven high schools competed and as part of the Good News Spotlight we recognized the first ever Onslow County High School Battle of the Book Champions. There is no regional or state competition, yet. But when there is I’m sure this team will be ready.

Will Stacie Friebel and Pasty Crawford and their team please come up

Please congratulate Swansboro High


 Carol Jackson, a social worker who serves White Oak High School, Hunters Creek Middle School and Hunters Creek Elementary School and also serves as the Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) advisor at all three schools made two recognitions.

SAVE recognitions

Mamie Frank Presidents Volunteer Service Award - Gold

Mamie Frank, a senior at White Oak High School, has been recognized nationally for her volunteerism. She is the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award in the Gold category meaning she has performed more than 250 service hours within a 12-month period of time.

In addition to volunteering outside of school with the Carolina Animal Protection Society and the Infant of Prague Thrift Store, she has been a mentor to students at Hunters Creek Middle and Hunters Creek Elementary schools through Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), a student run violence prevention organization at White Oak High School.

Due to her effective leadership skills she was selected as one of 10 high school students from across the country to serve on the 2015-16 National SAVE Youth Advisory Board.

Frank has been a member of SAVE since 2012. She served as the secretary from 2013 to 2014 and as the vice president from 2014 to 2015.

She is also a member of the WOHS marching band at her school since 2012. She earned position of section captain then section leader. Additionally, she is a member of National Honor Society and has participated in WOHS musical productions.


Khalandra Williams, SAVE Shining Star – February


The SAVE Shining Star for the month of February was Khalandra Williams.

 Khalandra is a senior at White Oak High School and consistently goes above and beyond with her leadership skills and dedication to her chapter.

 Khalandra demonstrates these skills along with her SAVE chapter by going on monthly field trips to mentor at Hunters Creek Elementary School. She and her fellow SAVE members plan, teach and execute lesson plans for the HCE SAVE chapter. These lessons include speakers, role plays, arts and crafts and games with a focus on conflict management, peer mediation and anti-bullying.

 Khalandra is active in her SAVE chapter and regularly volunteers for committees. She exhibits a high level of compassion for all students regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation. In her time with SAVE, Khalandra has helped attract and recruit students for the club, making it one of the most diverse on campus. She was the winner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship and on March 12, she and members of the White Oak High School step team will be performing at the National SAVE Summit.

 Friebel congratulated both students.


  Dr. Beth Folger, the Chief of Community Affairs, made the remaining recognitions

Principal to serve on state council

Folger announced Linda Kopec has joined the NC ACT State Organization as the Elementary School Representative for the state council.

 Having worked in Onslow County Schools for over twenty years and having previously served as principal at Summersill Elementary and now Parkwood Elementary School, Ms. Kopec will bring a wealth of experience to the state council.

 The ACT State Organization

·       supports and promotes education and career planning

·       coordinates and leads professional development opportunities

·       identifies educational issues and service needs

·       identifies barriers to college and workplace readiness

·       communicates research, tools, and other information on college and work readiness trends

 The state council oversees the ongoing work of the State Organization in helping to provide opportunities for ACT to work with and support a variety of K-12, postsecondary and workforce initiatives that are important to North Carolina.

 Suzanne Conquest, director of state organizations at ACT, said, “Linda will bring fresh perspective on how we can improve the educational and workforce landscape in NC.”

ACT is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. Each year, ACT serves millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies—nationally and internationally. Though designed to meet a wide array of needs, all ACT programs and services have one guiding purpose—helping people achieve education and workforce success


Hope Conn Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program

Our next recognition involves a high school junior’s selection to attend a very prestigious leadership program.

Hope Conn, a Swansboro High School junior, was accepted to the spring Frances Hesselbein Leadership Program at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado.  She was there from April 3-8 representing the school, program, and county.  The Military Child Education Coalition funds the full tuition, meals, lodging, program materials, and airfare for all students selected to the Leadership Program.

 For each program, only 12 students are accepted nationally, meaning only 24 high school students get this opportunity each year.  Of all U.S. high schools in the last two years, only one other school has sent more students to the Hesselbein Leadership Program than Swansboro. 

Hope is Swansboro High School’s fourth S2S member attending the Hesselbein Leadership Program in the last two years. 

In addition to her studies, Hope is involved in Swabsboro High School’s S2S program, Project UNIFY, Model UN, Rachael’s Challenge, and the National Honor Society. She also volunteers at the USO.





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