CCS Staff In the Know
May your Holiday Season be Merry & Bright! We appreciate your commitment to the academic success for all students throughout the school year. Best wishes for a wonderful break filled with peace, joy, and happiness.
The Craven County Board of Education
David Hale, Chairman
Frances Boomer, Vice-Chairman
Naomi Clark
Carr Ipock
Stefanie King
Beatrice Smith
Kim Rice Smith
Dr. Meghan S. Doyle, Superintendent
(Proudly Recognizing Individuals Demonstrating Excellence).
It is the belief of the Craven County Board of Education the   employees are worthy of and deserve recognition.  The employee recognition program was created to create a culture of appreciation and honor district employees for the exemplary work they do. The PRIDE Employee Recognition Program is to support the goal work of the board in keeping all employees engaged and passionate about their work that supports the academic excellence for every child in Craven County Schools. The purpose of the program is to compliment other recognition programs/opportunities we have in place and to assist in fostering a culture of appreciation within Craven County Schools that honors and acknowledges district employees as an  “essential piece”  of the important work we do.

The PRIDE Employee Recognition Program recognizes classified employees who go far beyond the call of duty, doing more than others expect and demonstrating excellence in everything they do. The board of education is seeking to spotlight those employees that maintain the high standards, pay attention to the smallest details, and go the extra mile. Excellence means caring -- it means making effort to do more. Celebrating excellence is an important part of the Board of Education's recognition of the contribution made by the employees of Craven County Schools.

We will be selecting an employee of the month from a classified employee group each month. Selecting a PRIDE Employee of the Month is intended to provide frequent and ongoing recognition of exemplary staff members throughout Craven County Schools. It is important to honor and recognize those who exhibit a commitment to exemplary performance, have an inherent tendency to serve beyond the call of duty, and who foster a positive learning and working environment for our staff and students. 

H.J. MacDonald Middle School – Spotlight Information
Classroom Learning System Implementation
What’s YOUR W? - Willing
The start of the 2019-2020 school year included returning to processes that have led to academic gains for students in Craven County. The classroom continuous improvement process includes the input from both the students and teacher in the learning process. At the onset of a lesson, both the teacher and students share how they will contribute to or serve as active participants in the learning process as the material is delivered. Once students are assessed on the current learning targets, students reflect upon the learning that has taken place and determine what practices proved to be beneficial for them and/or got in the way. Using that feedback, the teacher and students as a team plan for the next learning cycle. H.J. MacDonald is honored to have nine teachers in the building who were WILLING to take on the challenge of doing business differently. They were WILLING to unlearn classroom practices and processes that were primarily teacher centered in order to embrace processes that are student learning focused. They are WILLING to create a partnership with their students to TRULY maximize learning in their classrooms. Their commitment to, consistency of, and fidelity in implementing the classroom continuous improvement process is appreciated and worthy of recognition. 
Congratulations to the following teachers: Satoria Bautista, Joshua Boyd, Monkea Bryant, Nikesha Farrior, Kristina Genovese, Margaret Jackson, Jesse James, Alexandra Meeks, and Mary Wible.
High Performing Professional Learning Community/Team
What’s YOUR W? - Why
At the core of every plan, decision, and action is a purpose or the reason WHY. To determine our purpose we can ask ourselves this question: “What is YOUR W?” This year H.J. MacDonald staff was asked to consider this. For some it was a Work Zone, to Wonder, a Warrior, to be Wholehearted, to be Whatever Whenever You Need Me, to keep check on Wellness, to be Whole or Well-Rounded, or maybe even to make it all Worthwhile. From this point we move into considering our W and how we use this to positively impact our school. Countless hours of planning, collaborating, “speaking our truths”, modifying plans, and pushing each other in order to truly consider the needs of every staff member and student at our school can be a daunting task. However, this year there have been several educators at THE H.J. MacDonald who have willingly accepted this challenge and continue to strive for excellence. These teachers have read books, researched articles, listened to podcasts, and benchmarked with neighboring schools all in an effort to find ways to lead their colleagues and student body toward excellence. Time has been spent before school, after school, and even on weekends to complete tasks that directly speak to their professional learning community’s mission which states: The H.J. MacDonald Middle School Improvement Team is committed to a focus on student achievement for ALL learners through the use of continuous data-based decision making, reflective practice, collaborative problem solving, and relevant professional development.  
Congratulations to the following teachers: Jordan Alsbrook, Dawn Grady, Christy Hazlett, Lydia Matthews, Christi Mendes, Arnita Morris, Barbara Shy, Jennifer Walmsley, and Amanda Whitford.
Educators Leading in Professional Learning
What’s YOUR W? – Wealth of knowledge
#TheNewHJ is a hashtag that is being used to describe the NEW culture that has been created at H.J. MacDonald. The professional learning process has undergone an overhaul this year in comparison to previous years. The spirit of student centered learning has taken over the building and can easily be felt when you enter the front doors. Although many have contributed to this shift, it has been the effort of one person in particular who has been instrumental in this movement. Many educators are “hungry and/or thirsty” for information to make themselves better in order to impact more students. There are some educators who understand that a greater impact is made when your professional growth leads to growth in other educators/colleagues who then influence/impact the students in their classes. The power of this exponential growth reaches far wider and much deeper. H.J. MacDonald is fortunate to have leaders in the building who understand and live by the latter description. Teachers at THE H.J. MacDonald have their instructional skills sharpened weekly by a leader who has scoured numerous books, articles, videos, podcasts, and educational journals on topics aligned to increasing student achievement. This leader has delivered multiple professional development sessions in the HJM PLC room each week thus transforming it into a learning lab for teachers. The walls are filled with anchor charts, data, and other artifacts of the learning that is taking place for teachers in order for them to facilitate the learning for our students. Assistant Principal Courtney Morgan’s commitment to increasing her knowledge bank in order to become a wealth of knowledge for her colleagues is commendable.  
HMS Board Spotlight Information

Classroom Learning System Implementation
This team of educators stepped up to be the first group of teachers to be trained in the PDSA process. Not only have they completed many of the steps to incorporate this into their teaching, they were recognized by Joe Wheeler for their hard work on that implementation. These teachers have worked through the process with one class each and have already begun seeing a more engaged class that is a participant in the learning that is taking place.
Congratulations to the following educators:
Jeffrey Drew
Gwen Thurston
Andrew Holleman
Kimberly Morelli 
Kayla Harth
Sara Bennett 
Anna Wethington 
Kyle White

High Performing Professional Learning Community/Team
This PLC team has worked together to develop Predictive Common Formative Assessments. They work together to support the instruction taking place in each others rooms, and collaboratively work through real issues within their grade and the school. In working together, they were able to significantly reduce the amount of referrals coming from their grade, while also using creative designs to build lasting relationships with their students. 
We celebrate the following team:
Gwen Thurston 
Mary Sackie
Kayla Harth
Sara Bennett
Anna Wethington 

Educators Leading in Professional Learning
Mrs. Strohschien has taught lessons during our mini summit at Havelock Middle School on classroom management techniques. She supports other core classes by reaching out to teachers to see how to best incorporate their needs into her own art lessons. This behavior was then modeled for other teachers in the building, leading to the beginnings of a consistency of practice in the building. 
Thank you, Erin Strohschien for all you do for HMS!

Digital Learning Leader
Mrs. Scarfpin is an Apple Certified Educator. Daily, in her classroom, she uses all forms of technology to the benefit of her students. She uses coding, robots bought from grants, and the full suite of Apple Apps to teach math in a way that promotes not only learning, but also future readiness. 
Katie Scarfpin, we are so glad you are part of the HMS Team!
Deadline for Margaret Stancil Award applications is January 31, 2020.
In 2012, the Alpha Psi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International established the Margaret Stancil Individual Professional Development Award to benefit teachers in Craven and Pamlico counties.

The purpose of this award is to provide funding for professional development
opportunities. Past recipients have used this financial assistance to attend state and national conferences to enhance their instruction and further their professional growth.

For additional information regarding this award, please visit the Alpha Psi Chapter website (direct link:, then click on "Margaret Stancil Individual Professional Development Award" on the left side.
The criteria, rubric, and application are found on that page.
The next deadline for this award is Friday, January 31, 2020, so please take this opportunity to apply.  
Governor Cooper and the NC Department of Information Technology are excited to announce that for the third year in a row, NC is participating in  Girls Go CyberStart , a free, online, cybersecurity competition for girls in high school grades 9-12. Students will compete against other students from around the country to earn scholarship money and prizes. They might even discover a new passion for computer science and cybersecurity!
Registration is now open  until January 31, 2020 with the first round of play beginning January 13, 2020.
Attached you will find an introductory letter that explains more about the competition, how to get students signed up, as well as materials on how to become an advisor.
Please forward this information on to parents, students, and after school groups. Around 600 students from our state competed last year earning $8,550 in cash prizes and scholarships and we hope we can count on your support to helping us reach 1,000 students signed up!
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