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Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

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Our hearts remain heavy today as we mourn the loss of a member of our WCS family - New Hope Elementary Assistant Principal Sabrina Smith-Epley. Ms. Smith-Epley, an educator for 14 years, passed away unexpectedly Wednesdaynight. This was her first year with WCS, but her impact at New Hope was huge. Ms. Smith-Epley was always on top of communication with students, staff, and parents and was respected by all who came in contact with her. Her love for life, her family and her New Hope family was an inspiration to everyone, and she will forever be missed. Let's celebrate her today by going the extra mile in all that we do!! Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers, and we will let you know arrangement details when they become available.  

Shout Outs!

1. Staff and Parent Volunteers at New Hope Elementary 
After learning about the loss of their assistant principal, the staff at New Hope had to return to their duties and be there for students while struggling with their own emotions. Watching them come together as a team to support each other and focus on students was amazing - and exactly what Ms. Smith-Epley would have wanted. Parent volunteers, including PTO President Jay Jones, were at the school all day to help with whatever was needed. The staff and students were also supported by counselors and psychologists from across the district as well as Central Office administrators and support staff. We are truly a family!

2. Kim Schmidt's Health Science II and Advanced Studies Classes at Fike High
These students recently visited the Wilson Community College Virtual Medical Lab housed at Wilson Medical Center where Wilson Community College Nursing Instructor Dawn Watson allowed them to practice their clinical skills. The students used the interactive mannequins that the nursing students use. On a side note, Ms. Watson is one of the most hilarious people you will ever meet and is phenomenal at what she does! 

3. Molly Smith's Science Classes at Hunt High 
At the beginning of the semester, Ms. Smith challenged her three classes to raise money for a charity. The students voted and selected the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville. They raised money at the Homecoming Carnival by selling food provided by Brewmasters of Wilson, holding a pie throwing contest and by scheduling a Chick-fil-a Spirit Night. In total, they raised $1,000! 

4. Members of the WCS Maintenance Department
Wells Elementary Principal Wendy Sullivan would like to thank Stuart Tedder, Allen Batts, Allan Langley, William Davis and Randolph Lucas for delivering and installing new cabinets at Wells. The cabinets weighed around 700 pounds each, and the men were patient and kept smiling even though it took Ms. Sullivan forever to find a spot large enough for the cabinets. She told them to tell their wives that she said they were the most patient men she had ever seen! They all wanted that in writing! : )

5. Donna Hunter, eighth-grade math teacher, Toisnot Middle
Ms. Hunter had two separate Shout Outs! submitted to me this week because she is just that awesome! The first one: Kudos to Ms. Hunter for her leadership of a National Jr. Beta Club at Toisnot, which just received its charter. The purpose of the club is to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among students. Second one from a parent: Ms. Hunter goes above and beyond to make sure students are successful in math. She works additional hours providing extra help for students and always keeps parents in the loop with emails/texts/phone calls. She is much appreciated!

Wilson County Emergency Management (WCEM) and WCS Weather Team
I personally want to thank Wilson County Emergency Management and my WCS Weather Team colleagues for all their work this week as we delayed school twice. Inclement weather decisions are never easy, and I always feel guilty that when we are on the phone at 4 a.m. giving each other updates, I'm making the calls from the warmth of my home while these guys are on the road. Props to Gordon Deno and Rodney Dancy with WCEM, Superintendent Sean Bulson, Chief of Business Operations Eric Davis, Exec. Director of Admin. Services Glen Davis, Director of Maintenance Mark Letchworth and Director of Transportation Jim Lewis! 

7. ACT! for Youth
Actors from ACT! for Youth's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs performance visited several of our schools this week to read to students and tell them about ACT! for Youth. Snow White, Sarge the Dwarf and the Wicked Queen read children's books to third- and fourth-graders and entertained the students telling their own version of the same fairy tale. Pictured are students at Jones Elementary. To learn more about ACT! for Youth, click here.

8. Tiasell Richardson, parent, Barnes Elementary
Ms. Richardson volunteers at Barnes for several hours each week. She works one-on-one with a student and also assists in the library. Her kindness and dedication at Barnes is appreciated, and we are fortunate to have parents like her in our schools!

9. Donell Best, fifth-grader, Elm City Elementary
Donell recently found $20 on the floor in the hallway and took it to the first teacher he saw. Later that day, he asked to see the counselor so he could make sure that the money had been returned to the person who lost it. His integrity should be an inspiration for us all!

10. BB&T Lighthouse Project Teams
WCS appreciates BB&T and its Lighthouse Project initiative that allows BB&T employees to complete service projects throughout our community. Many of our schools have benefited from the time, talent and resources of BB&T employees. Our schools submitted project proposals last week and should hear back by the end of March which projects were approved. 


- Mark your calendars! Wilson County Schools is holding kindergarten registration on Wed., March 11, from 2-6 p.m. for the 2015-2016 school year. Children eligible to enter kindergarten for the upcoming school year must be five years old on or before August 31, 2015. Parents should register their children at the elementary school serving the attendance zone in which they reside. Fo

- Elm City Middle's AVID students are holding a fundraiser at Moe's on Wed., Feb. 4 from 5-8 p.m. for anyone who would like to support this program. 

- Please consider helping the family of a student at Springfeld Middle who lost their home this week. Please send any donations to Springfield Middle and make checks payable to Springfield Middle as well. On the memo line, indicate that the check is for the Wells Family. Let's do everything we can to support them! 

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