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Good News Spotlight September 5, 2017
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Good News Spotlight September 5, 2017

Northwoods Elementary second grader recognized for selflessness

Brent Anderson, director of Community Affairs recognized a very special second grader from Northwoods Elementary.

He invited Ben Ingram and his family to join him at the podium.

For Ben’s seventh birthday July 15, 2017, he took it upon himself to think about his classmates rather than himself.  He asked his parents to spread the word amongst relatives and other invitees that he did not want gifts. In place of gifts, he asked for schools supplies for the students at his school. His goal was to collect five containers of supplies.  To his surprise, and with much enthusiasm about his donation request, there were more than seven large containers of supplies for his schoolmates by the party’s end.  Word spread about his altruism and he started receiving donations from community members, including a dental office and a real estate firm who provided a donation drop box at their office on his behalf and/or matching funds based on donations.  He was able to give supplies not only to his school but to several other elementary schools in the district.

Teacher garners Coastal Federation Pelican Award and OCS Math Teacher of the Year

Coastal Federation Pelican Awards annually recognize the effective work of people, businesses, non-profit groups, local and state governments and educators to improve environmental quality on the North Carolina Coast.

Brent Anderson, director of Community Affairs announced that an OCS educator, Kathleen Lester, a first grade teacher at Swansboro Elementary School, was selected to receive the North Carolina Coastal Federation 2017 Pelican Awards for dedication and leadership in coastal environmental education.

Ms. Lester has been instrumental in creating two rain gardens at her school to reduce polluted stormwater runoff.  In 2009, she reached out to the Coastal Federation for help and was awarded a grant to build two rain gardens.  To help her students become good stewards of the environment, she taught them about different plants and animals and through hands-on learning they helped plant the gardens. Through the project students learned how they could play a part in keeping our environment clean and safe for all living organisms.  She is currently working with the Coastal Federation to get an informational sign for the largest rain garden to include pictures and names of the native plants and a little information about its purpose.

This past year she used the Coastal Federation as a resource to teach her students about monarch butterflies and oysters.  She would like to see Swansboro Elementary School become a monarch way station and help increase the monarch population.  Most of all she hopes her students are learning that what they do has an impact on our environment.

In addition, he recognized Ms. Lester for receiving another award, Onslow County Schools Math Teacher of the Year.

Every other year the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics in collaboration with the NC Department of Public Instruction recognizes one elementary teacher of mathematics for excellence in the classroom and leadership in the math community.  Ms. Lester was selected by colleagues for her leadership in exploring making math instruction more engaging through the use of a Guided Mathematics approach.  Mrs. Lester has not only worked to refine her teaching of mathematics, but has inspired others at her school to look at different ways of reaching students. 


Hunters Creek Middle School Grant

Hunters Creek Middle School has been selected to receive a $50,000 grant from Leader.org to implement The Leader in Me, Franklin Covey whole-school transformation process for teaching leadership principals and skills to K-12 students. 

Hunters Creek Middle School will become the first LEAD Middle School in North Carolina east of Raleigh.  “We are beyond excited for this opportunity to work with Covey and their wealth of resources that will impact not only our students, but our community as well,” said Bryant Copeland, assistant principal at the school.

Leader.org is a private grant-making charity that provides programs and services that develop students’ leadership skills and character in K-12 schools nationwide. The Leader in Me also teaches students how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences and live a balanced life.

As the program is implemented, it will help to shape the school culture and climate students experience on a daily basis, as well as teach them the skills they need to be college and career ready.


Financial Awards

Brent Anderson, director of Community Affairs, announced that Onslow County Schools has recently received two distinguished recognitions for financial management for fiscal year 2016.

 The first award is the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting presented by the Association of School Business Officials.  It is the highest recognition for school district financial operations.  This program reviews district accounting practices as represented in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and commends school districts that adhere to sound principles and reporting procedures.  A district earning the Certificate of Excellence has demonstrated its credibility in financial management for the school system.

The second award is the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting presented by the Government Finance Officers Association.  This award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.  It represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

He noted this is the 14th consecutive year that the Onslow County Board of Education has earned these two prestigious awards.

He commended OCS Finance Director Jeff Hollamon, and his dedicated staff for their continued outstanding management of our financial resources.



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