2016 Year in Review


Buncombe County Schools
Week in Review

Happy New Year from BCS!
The 2016 Year in Review


Happy New Year! With so much to look forward to in 2017, why look back? Because remembering where we've been is important! Every week that school is in session, our Communications Department compiles and brings you the top stories from around our schools and six districts in the Week in Review. We also highlight a Post of the Week, which is a story determined by the engagement of our students, parents, stakeholders, and community via our online channels.

Thank you for being active in this community and doing your part to make Buncombe County Schools a special place for our students to learn and grow! Below you will find every Post of the Week for 2016- we hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

After you're done, check out the current stories in the latest Winter 2017 Edition of the Buncombe County Schools Advantage Magazine!

Best wishes for the new year,
Buncombe County Schools

DECEMBER

American Enka Heritage
These photos of the American Enka plant and workers date back to 1929 and have special meaning for those in Hominy Valley. Enka Intermediate School was designed with this historical facility in mind and even contains bricks from the walls of the plant!

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Thank You to Our Everyday Heroes (Video)

Students at Black Mountain Elementary School and schools across BCS took some time to write thank you letters to the firefighters who spent weeks battling the wildfires in our region.

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Reynolds' Regional Principal of the Year
Doris Sellers, Principal at A.C. Reynolds High School, continues to earn recognition for being an outstanding administrator! Surrounded by teachers, administrators, and family at her school's holiday party, Mrs. Sellers was informed in a surprise announcement that she has been named the 2017 Western Region Principal of the Year! She is one of eight regional winners and will go on now to compete for North Carolina Principal of the Year.


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Pisgah's Blue Ribbon Celebration
On Thursday afternoon, the Pisgah Elementary community officially celebrated their 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award! Students played a significant role in the program which included singing, dancing, and reading essays about how much they love their school. 

Second grader Leah wrote, "I 
love how the teachers stand outside of their doors and say good morning to the kids." Ava, also in 2nd grade, says, "The teachers teach us good things. They are nice to us. They help us learn fun things!" View photos in the Post of the Week and read more in the article by the Citizen-Times.


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Meet Owen's Dynasty Basketball Team
Meet the Owen High Dynasty Team! Between 1964 and 1970, the Owen girls basketball team made history with an incredible 90 game winning streak, and no one could stand in their way! During this time, girls teams had no state championships to compete in, so to make the record right, the school unveiled a new "Dynasty" team banner that will hang high and mark their incredible feat for all future generations. Read the full article at BuncombeSchools.org.

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NOVEMBER

Cheering Champions
#BCS cheerleaders dominated at the 14th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Cheerleading Championships held in Raleigh this month! Buncombe County athletes made their community proud when teams from Clyde A. Erwin High, North Buncombe High, and T.C. Roberson High each took home state titles in their respective divisions.

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Honoring Our Veterans
This Veterans Day, the Erwin High School JROTC "Warrior" Battalion honored those who have served by appearing in two special video features shared on social media. The first feature, Honoring Our Veterans, includes several statements from the cadets about why they celebrate this important day. In the second feature, the battalion leads the community in reciting the traditional Pledge of Allegiance. View this Top Story at BuncombeSchools.org!

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Prestigious Performers at Cane Creek and Roberson

Students from Buncombe County are eager to showcase their talents for the whole state this November! Each year, a handful of musical ensembles are chosen to perform at the prestigious NC Music Educators Association’s annual conference. This year, two of these musical groups proudly hail from Buncombe County Schools and in the coming days both Roberson High and Cane Creek Middle schools will be sending students to perform in Winston-Salem. >> Read the full story

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Countdown to Kindergarten

At this year's Countdown to Kindergarten, future students and their parents had the chance to meet the teachers and principals from their local elementary schools! The fun gathering at the Asheville Outlets featured plenty of hands-on activities to help kids get a feel for the creative projects they have in store, as well as lots of useful information for moms and dads!  Photos and more details are also available at BuncombeSchools.org!

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OCTOBER

Black Mountain’s Haunted Labyrinth

Black Mountain Primary students are getting exercise and working together in a fun way! Each fall, PE teacher John Gibson spends his weekend building an elaborate "gym maze" with hundreds of sheets and ropes, filling the school's gymnasium with twists, turns, and dead-ends for kids to navigate! Even more impressive is that Mr. Gibson has kept this tradition alive for more than two decades, and hundreds of former students are loving the latest pictures and video of this year’s maze.

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Ongoing Ovation for Pisgah Elementary
The exceptional staff of Pisgah Elementary were invited to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioner's Meeting to be recognized for their National Blue Ribbon School status! At the meeting, they were applauded and presented with a special plaque on behalf of the county’s citizens. We are proud to have such committed educators and students in our schools!

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Enka District Teacher of the Year
In this short video feature, the Enka District of #BCS proudly presents their Teacher of the Year, Sean Dare. Mr. Dare keeps the energy high in his science classes at Enka Middle School through his wit and winsome personality, and he also serves as a dedicated coach for both the football and track teams. Congratulations, Mr. Dare, on your wonderful accomplishment!

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Rams for Brian
Students were proud to shave the heads of three Valley Springs Middle School staff during Friday’s Pep Rally in support of 8th grade classmate Brian Granados, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Brian was unable to personally attend the rally, but was given a front row seat through the use of a tablet video call. Students and staff- who are selling ‘Rams for Brian’ bracelets to fund treatments- also wore super hero costumes to show Brian what an inspiration he has been to the community. See our photos of the upbeat and heart-warming rally and don’t miss WLOS’ story!

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Proud to be Pisgah Elementary
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Pisgah Elementary among the nation’s best schools with a 2016 National Blue Ribbon award! The school is one of only two in WNC and eight in all of North Carolina to receive the designation. Pisgah is proud to be the third BCS school to earn the Blue Ribbon School status since the program started in 1982- joining Reynolds High and Emma Elementary! Former Principal Jay Dale says, “Our formula was simple. We got to know our students at Pisgah and tailored our teaching to meet their needs.”

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SEPTEMBER

Video Feature: 2017 District Teachers of the Year
Math teacher Cathy Belair of Valley Springs Middle was proclaimed the Buncombe County Teacher of the Year! Before the big announcement, the six district finalists were honored with a video feature that brought the audience into their classrooms and showed what makes BCS teachers so special. Be sure to check out the photos from the ceremony at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, which also recognized the Teachers of the Year from all county schools.

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BCS Advantage Magazine Released
The Fall Edition of the BCS Advantage Magazine is available. In our Back- to-School issue, Enka Intermediate’s first day of classes is our cover story! Other highlights include the full BCS Fall Football Schedule, lots of pictures from the first day of classes, digital learning expands for our students this year, and we learn more about BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin’s priorities for this school year!

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Official Superintendent Welcome
In a special Back-to-School message for the 2016-17 academic year, BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin highlights some of the many wonderful things happening in our school system in this year’s message including facility updates such as the teacher housing complex, an update to the 1:1 Digital Initiative for grades 7-9, and much more. See his 3-minute video message!

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Introducing Enka Intermediate
After much anticipation, the Enka-Candler community is proud to announce the historic opening of the new Enka Intermediate School. Now open for students, the facility for fifth and sixth graders was dedicated during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 26. Notably, the school’s design and construction pays homage to the community’s American Enka plant, which employed many thousands of workers starting in the 1920s. The event and what the school means for the community has been covered by local media such as the Asheville Citizen-Times and WLOS-TV.

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JUNE

The Class of 2016
A student never forgets their graduation day and BCS applauds the Class of 2016! Last week, as the community gathered in support, seniors from across our districts walked proudly across the stage to receive the diplomas they had earned. Be sure to celebrate the graduating students in your life and see the many inspiring Citizen-Times photos from the ceremonies of A.C. Reynolds High, BC Early College, BC Middle College, Charles D. Owen High, Clyde A. Erwin High, Community High, Enka High, North Buncombe High, Progressive Education Program and T.C. Roberson High!

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North Buncombe High Senior Walk
Seniors at North Buncombe High started a new tradition this year, participating in their first “Senior Walk”- an inspiring event where seniors in caps and gowns parade through the halls of the elementary schools they once attended. Young students at North Buncombe Elementary, Weaverville Primary, Weaverville Elementary, and Barnardsville Elementary held signs and cheered for the Class of 2016, looking forward to their own future graduations!

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MAY

Video: Our #BCS Schools
In this special video production, step inside these amazing classrooms across Buncombe County to see what students are learning! Along the way, you’ll meet some dedicated BCS teachers from Erwin Middle, Emma Elementary, and Johnston Elementary!

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Community Rallies Around Robin Floyd of Avery’s Creek
BCS teachers have big hearts and we love to see them celebrated! In this week’s Thanks to Teachers news segment from WLOS News 13, Robin Floyd is lauded for going above and beyond for her students during her decade of teaching at Avery’s Creek Elementary. “I went into teaching because I really enjoy forming relationships with the kids,” says Floyd.

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U.S. Gives Directive to Schools on Transgender Bathroom Access
In response to an Obama administration directive issued amid a court fight between the federal government and North Carolina, BCS issued a statement: “Buncombe County Schools remain steadfast in ensuring that all students, employees, and visitors feel safe, welcomed and respected in any of our facilities…”. View the full statement, as well as coverage by the Citizen-Times and WLOS.

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Special Olympians Shine
On Thursday, T.C. Roberson High School hosted the Buncombe County Special Olympics Spring Games. About 500 athletes, including many from the BCS Progressive Education Program, went for the gold! These talented young people showed off their skills as friends, family, and the community cheered them on! 

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Radio Hosts Honor North Buncombe High Teacher
History teacher Wil Maney was declared the Mix 96.5 Teacher of the Month during a surprise in-class visit by radio personalities Tammy and Dex! After barging into Mr. Maney’s classroom unexpectedly, the radio hosts read personal notes from students and awarded him gift cards to local businesses while his students cheered and applauded. job well done, Mr. Maney! (Be sure to watch Mix 96.5’s video of the surprise visit!)

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APRIL

WNC Superintendents Stand United for Legislative Goals
Public school superintendents from across WNC stood side-by-side during last week’s press conference to communicate their legislative priorities. Among the important topics they'd like lawmakers to support: Investing in public schools, changing the way school performance is graded, and increasing salaries for school personnel. The event was also covered by the Citizen-Times.

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Later Start for 2016-17 School Year
With just 5 snow days at this point in the year and additional missed days
unlikely, BCS school officials say the district no longer qualifies for a waiver from the state school calendar law. This means that according to the finalized calendar, Buncombe County students will get a longer summer break, starting about a week later than last year.

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NBHS Celebrates Life of Student Body President
Trevor Bowman passed away at only seventeen, but leaves a legacy of hope and faith for his family, friends and school community. The Weaverville teen had battled cancer since age six, but loved life, school, swimming, and his church. His last twitter post read, "God really takes care of me. #unendinglove."

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Operation Prom Dress
Asheville’s Eblen Charities is on a mission to help students make memories by giving donated prom dresses and other accessories to Buncombe County girls who need them. Last year’s event provided nearly 150 dresses to grateful students who might have otherwise skipped their school’s proms to avoid the cost. This year, some lucky girls from Community High even had an early sneak peak of this year’s outfits and donations. We hope these girls have a magical prom night!

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Caleb Johnson: From Erwin High to the National Stage
See our latest video featuring local hero, Caleb Johnson, American Idol Season 13 champion and '09 Clyde A. Erwin High graduate! Caleb visited home and met with BCS in the studio to talk about the influence his teachers had on his life and success on the national stage.

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MARCH

Salad Bar for Valley Springs
Students at Valley Springs Middle School can now enjoy a salad bar option thanks to Whole Foods, whose generous grant enabled the school to purchase a new bar fixture. The new salad bar was first put into service on March 16 and enables the school to offer a wider variety of fresh foods to students and staff! 

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Erwin Students Lauded for Bravery
Sheriff Van Duncan and officers from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office made a special presentation to two brave Clyde A. Erwin High School students for their roles in capturing an armed robbery suspect last month. This story was even reported as far as Montana and Hawaii!

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Enka Intermediate’s Principal Announced
Current Leicester Elementary Principal Carleene Finger has been named as the inaugural principal for the new Enka Intermediate School. “I am honored to be chosen to lead this extraordinary school in such a close-knit, vibrant community,” said Mrs. Finger.

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FEBRUARY

Credit Union Donates Impressive $100,000 to Schools
Champion Credit Union set a bold goal last year to save members over $100,000 and then redirect those funds to area public schools. On February 25, school personnel from 9 counties in WNC were welcomed at a donation ceremony in Canton where Associate Superintendent Susanne Swanger graciously accepted over $36K on behalf of BCS.

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Christina Maxwell’s Artistic Journey
Talented 2012 A.C. Reynolds High School graduate Christina Maxwell speaks about her years in Buncombe County and how her teachers shaped and prepared her to be successful in a career in the arts! Watch this engaging and inspiring interview to learn more about her past accomplishments and dreams for the future.

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BCS Perspective (Video)
Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin examines the 10 most critical issues for K-12 public education in NC this legislative session.

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Harlem Wizards vs. Oakley Elementary
On Friday evening, the legendary Harlem Wizards basketball team faced off against a formidable Bobcats squad composed of Oakley Elementary School staff and students on the campus on UNC Asheville.

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JANUARY

Engineering Comes to Life
Buncombe County CTE Technology Student Association hosted a Vex
Robotics Scrimmage sponsored by Duke Energy. 14 robot teams from BCS competed head to head! Read the story to find out who won!


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Erin’s ‘Make-A-Wish’ Comes True
The Make-A-Wish Foundation made a special presentation to Erin Pickle, a remarkable student at the Progressive Education Program at T.C. Roberson High. Erin's wish was for a bicycle she could ride on. On Friday- Erin's 15th birthday- that wish became her reality. 

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New Title I/Federal Programs Director Announced
Ginny Barrett, the principal at Haw Creek Elementary School, was named as Federal Programs Director last week, replacing the retired Anita Owenby. Marcia Gudger, a retired elementary school administrator, will serve as interim principal for the remainder of the school year.

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Engineering with Love
In our most viewed video to date, Mr. Christopher Todd's 6th grade students at Cane Creek Middle School are designing and building a new wheelchair for Clark the Kitten. Watch as they apply what they've learned in class to help a sweet cat in need! Watch the BCS video that has reached over 35,000 people on our Facebook page, and check out Never Stop Learning and the Citizen-Times for more coverage.

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BCS Digital Learning Initiative Begins
The BCS Digital Learning Initiative began its first phase in January. 5,600 touchscreen laptops have been delivered to all BCS students in grades 4, 5, and 6. See BCS Technology Director Barry Pace explain the rollout on BCS TV, and learn more in the Citizen-Times and on WLOS.

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The Buncombe County Schools Week in Review highlights some of the important stories making news in our districts and schools each week. When sharing about your BCS school or event on social media, be sure to use #BCS! The Week in Review is created and maintained by the Communications Department:

Stacia Harris
Interim Director of Communications

Benjamin Rickert
Interim Assistant Director of Communications

Communications Dept.

Department of Communications
175 Bingham Road, Asheville NC 28806
(828) 350-2261

Have a story idea? We'd love to hear about it. Email us at communications@bcsemail.org.


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