Together we learn, lead and serve
HONOR CODE PLEDGE: I recognize that attending LNC is a privilege, and, as a member of this community, I pledge to uphold and promote the pillars of honesty, integrity, respect and responsibility as outlined in the LNC honor code.
Second Quarter, 2020-2021


I hope this first issue of the Knights News finds you doing well and staying healthy. We are excited to welcome 15 new staff members to the LNC family this school year. They have quickly become part of our school community and I invite you to read more about each staff member in the “Meet the New LNC Staff” below.
Lake Norman Charter staff, students and parents have a long history of facing challenges head on and lifting each other up and this school year has proven no different.

As we near the end of the first semester of 2020-2021, I have never been more proud to be part of this LNC community that has demonstrated the ability to make the best of what has been an difficult situation. The commitment and effort shown by our students, the adaptability and commitment from our teachers along with the patience, support and unwavering trust in LNC shown by our parents has been inspirational. Together we will continue to navigate this extraordinary school year.


Global Diversity & Inclusion
As we near the end of 2020, we are excited to share our continued commitment to LNC’s Global Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Initiative.

Lake Norman Charter is committed to an environment that respects and values the experiences and strengths of a diverse and inclusive community of students, parents, staff and board of directors. Such differences include abilities/disabilities, race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, gender nonconformity, age, religion, language, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, political affiliation and more. We believe that cultivating an inclusive and equitable learning environment that is free of hostility, intimidation or marginalization of any groups creates shared understanding, awareness and the opportunity to contribute positively to our local and global communities.

To give students the best chance for success in our current fast-paced and increasingly integrated world, we must expose them to experiences and immerse them in situations that expand their awareness, appreciation and understanding of cultures, languages and traditions other than their own. Here’s what we are doing:

  • Facilitating teacher programming modules and workshops that create alignment and understanding of the LNC values of diversity and inclusion. All staff members receive this training.
  • Continuing to develop and deliver consistent, age-appropriate student programming solutions that promote open, respectful dialogue and cultivate an awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
  • Researching, prioritizing and adopting best practices that foster and support a diverse school-wide community. including our recruitment and hiring practices.

Our global diversity and inclusion team meets throughout the year to plan activities, discuss progress on school-wide goals and consult experts in the field in order to ensure that we are equipping our students with the skills and commitment needed to navigate a globally diverse world. Ongoing work varies from school to school, but includes: 

  • Monthly Drop Everything and Talk (DET) classroom discussions.
  • Teacher professional development workshops.
  • Curricular activities and special events that enhance awareness and acceptance of differences.
  • Celebrations of many different cultures and traditions. 

In these unique times, it is as important as ever to reach staff and students on a consistent basis in order to meet our goals. Activities include professional development for all new staff and diversity-related student activities and leadership opportunities. As always, we welcome feedback regarding this and our other strategic areas of focus. Please look for updates throughout the year about our GDI activities and progress.
We are thrilled that, through our families’ partnership, we have achieved four of our five Elevate goals: a brand new field and track; a remodeled middle school that improves security and expands instructional spaces; a more functional and better-looking campus drive; and a press box that is under construction. Together, our LNC Community has pledged over $1.3 million and has already contributed over $800,000! We plan to resume our fundraising efforts in 2021 to raise the funds needed to build the field house, the final element of the project. If you would like more information, please go to or contact Sara Lay at There is still time to make an end of year gift! Remember, LNC is a 501(c)3 organization, making your contributions tax deductible. If you are making an end of year gift via check and you need it to be deposited in 2020, please drop off the check to any of our three school offices by Friday, December 18, 2020.
Enhanced Campus Drive
Turfed Athletic Field and Rubber Track
Remodeled MS Office
Next week, we will install our Rise Together Appreciation Wall! This first phase of the project will feature 152 balloons with names of our current and former LNC ES students whose families helped build our new elementary school! We also recently completed our Rise Together Loved Ones Garden and our walkway of Rise Together bricks. If you are interested in finding out how to be included in any of these projects, please contact Sara Lay at There is still time to make an end of year gift! Remember, LNC is a 501(c)3 organization, making your contributions tax deductible. If you are making an end of year gift via check and you need it to be deposited in 2020, please drop off the check to any of our three school offices by Friday, December 18, 2020.

Ms. Cara Matocha
HS Teacher of the Year
Ms. Kathy O'Neil
LNC & MS Teacher of the Year
Ms. Alice Railton
ES Teacher of the Year
We are pleased to welcome our new staff members to Lake Norman Charter. As an introduction, we asked them to finish this phrase: "Teaching his year has been unprecedented, but I have been excited/inspired by..."
Stacey McClain (HS English)
"... the incredible talent and generosity of my colleagues here at LNC. They make me want to be my best--professionally and personally--every day."
Niahm Sinclair (HS World Languages)
"…. the students and their true desire to learn. Most years, we all tend to take for granted that getting an education is possible. This year, I've seen students learning because they really want to learn and I've so appreciated their positive attitudes."
Stephanie Zaino (HS EC)
"... the teamwork that has been displayed by all teachers as well as the diligence and persistence students are exhibiting when completing their school work."

Jill Thomas (HS School Office)
"... the students' 'rolling with the punches' - dealing with such a diverse learning experience and making it their own."

Taylor Elkins (HS Social Studies)
"... rejoining the LNC community after I did my student teaching here

Cindy Perrotta (MS Media Specialist)
"... the amazing students at LNC who are reading and thriving amid this pandemic. Our students rock!!"

Carl Bledsoe (7th grade ELA)
"... the persistence of the students in overcoming any obstacles they face, as well as the dedication and cooperation of the faculty and administration in finding solutions to the many challenges."
Alicia O'Neal (5th grade ELA & Social Studies)
"... my family and friends. I have been newly inspired by all of my colleagues and 5th grade students here at LNC. I am blessed to call this place home!"
James Walker (MS Spanish)
"... the amount of effort Dr. Graham, Mr. Bauer, the department leads and all leadership have put in to make this hybrid plan work out for us." 
Kara Rosenberg (6th grade ELA)
"….. the resilience of the students I have the honor to instruct."
LeighAnne Painter (6th grade EC)
"... the amazing 6th grade team of teachers with whom I am blessed to work with and the flexibility of our students with their ability to adjust with new education challenges."
Tyler Schroth (3rd grade)
"... still getting to connect with my students as often as I can and building meaningful/ impactful relationships with them. I have been inspired by my school and co-workers teaching their socks off and doing it all with smiles behind the masks." 
Korrine Belfield (Kindergarten)
"... all 20 of my students. This is their very first year in school, which of course isn’t like any other, but they come ready to learn and have the biggest smiles on their faces. They make this job the very best. "

Justin Wright (ES STEM)  
"... the children’s tenacity to learn. They are academic knowledge fighters. They aren’t going to let anything get in their way, or quench their thirst, for knowledge and understanding of the world around them."

Juliane Kautz (ES EC)
"... the students, parents and all of my co-workers. Everyone has been very welcoming. I love the sense of community."
Click here to learn a little more about each new member of our exceptional staff!
HS Knights athletes are back in action! Teams are playing with staggered starting dates:

Dates for the 7 regular sport seasons 2020-2021 (not including playoffs):
  • Volleyball and Cross Country - now through January 8
  • Swim - now through January 30 
  • Basketball and Cheerleading - now through February 19
  • Men’s Soccer, Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse - January 11 to March 12
  • Football and Cheerleading - February 8 to April 9 
  • Women’s and Men’s Golf, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Soccer, Softball - March 1 to April 30
  • Baseball, Women’s Tennis, Track & Field - April 12 to June 11
Due to the limited capacity of fans attending home and away sporting events, LNC has partnered with other schools in the South Fork Conference to offer a live streaming option. We are currently streaming volleyball and basketball at and we look forward to providing more sports as their seasons begin. We encourage students, parents and relatives to stay connected and support our LNC student athletes.

Go Knights!
Athletic Results
Read the Knights' game summaries.

Athletic Calendar
Click here to see the schedule of upcoming scheduled Knights' athletic events.

The PTO is excited they are able to offer their hot lunch program. Their vendor partners have been working very hard to support their efforts to provide a safe experience for our families. This fundraiser has brought in some welcome revenue to help further support our teachers and classrooms during this challenging time and the children have been excited to welcome back many of their favorite vendors and experience new offerings. As a reminder, here is the current vendor schedule by campus:
Elementary School
Monday - Mama's Pizza
Tuesday - Northstate BBQ
Thursday - Matt's Chicago
Friday - Chick-fil-A
Middle and High Schools
Monday - Northstate BBQ
Tuesday - Matt's Chicago
Thursday - Chick-fil-A
Friday - Mama's Pizza
This schedule was developed in partnership with our vendors based on their availability and our cohort schedule. We will continue to evaluate it throughout the school year.

Ordering for the next lunch period is open now and closes January 7. Lunches ordered now will be distributed January 21 through February 5. Place your order at For information and/or directions on how to set up an account or place your order, follow this link.

A few reminders:
  • This program is entirely run by volunteers and we are so appreciative of the partnership with families to support our efforts through serving. Please refer to the sign-up geniuses for current volunteer opportunities. 2021 opportunities will be coming soon. We would love to have you join us in serving! 
  • Please ensure you are ordering on the days that align with your student(s) in-person instruction days. We are unable to monitor this on our end or provide refunds for ordering errors. Also, ensure you are finalizing your orders by submitting payment by the deadline.
  • Many of our offerings are entree only (refer to the order form and item descriptions for details on menu options that include a side item). Make sure to pack side items to supplement your student's lunch if your selection does not include a side.

Thank you to the entire LNC family for your support in making the program a success this year. Dedicated teachers, staff and families are working together to make this possible and we appreciate everyone for their involvement.

PTO Lunch Committee
We encourage our LNC alumni to stay connected to former classmates and their alma mater by joining the LNCharter Alumni Facebook page and/or LinkedIn page. We use these sites to keep alumni posted on events of interest to them happening on our campus. We ask you to keep us up to date on what you are doing by filling out the student information google form.

The Annual Alumni Panel will still continue this year, but will be modified (much smaller panel) Zoom events in January. An interest form will be posted soon on the Alumni Facebook page to get panelists lined up for the event.
Congratulations to the Knights of Honor for the second quarter! These students were recognized by their teachers for displaying good character, exceptional effort, performing acts of service and demonstrating one of the four pillars of the LNC Honor Code.
High School
Second Quarter
Andrew Webster, Caroline Carr, Kimber Gandy and Nathaniel Jones, pictured with Principal Smith.
Middle School

October (not pictured): Anderson Walton, Emily Petrucci, Miah Garcia, Joanna Aruljeeva, Reece Long.

Ferah Devoe, Cooper Hayes, Ava Chiu, Olivia Haynes, Yasmeen Houissa, Amelia Buffington, Elias Washington, Isabella Rendon and Jack Matthews, pictured with Dr. Graham.
Elia Chen, Tyler Clark, Pearce Conklin, Maggie Gross, Kara Hyun, Gabriella Lopez, Alex Moon, Nirvigna Narayan, Shiv Patel, Diego Tabora, Jake Taylor and Braden Wilkie, pictured with Dr. Graham.
Elementary School
Dalton Stinson, Nahira Prussing, Graham Edwards, Logan Graham, and Kenzie Beard, pictured with Ms. Holland and Ms. Latza.
Brennan Flynn, Maxwell Harper, Beckett Felizzi, August Gregory, Cody Drouin, Isabelle Morris, and Juniper Newsome, pictured with Ms. Holland and Ms. Latza. Not pictured is Kishan Karthigeyan. 
Dylan Gardner, Hampton Hjortsberg, Gavin Dodson, Isabella Thomas, Brooke Michael, and Laine Webb, pictured with Ms. Holland and Ms. Latza.
Congratulations to Director Willets and the LNC theatrical team for their success in the 2020 North Carolina Theater Conference (NCTC) play festival. The team presented two productions: The Perfect Match and Carter & Green’s Family Reunion. Several LNC students received awards:

  • NCTC Exceptional Theatrical Achievement Award - Gabrielle Bernardo, for Stage/Digital Management in the production of “Carter & Green's Family Reunion”
  • NCTC Exceptional Theatrical Achievement Award - Ella Carruth, for Acting in the production of “Carter & Green's Family Reunion”
  • NCTC Exceptional Theatrical Achievement Award - Jackson Barber, for Design in the production of “The Perfect Match” 
  • NCTC Exceptional Theatrical Achievement Award - Cole Crawford, for Design in the production of “The Perfect Match”

Absences from School
A full day absence is defined as missing more than 50% of the day. A period absence is defined as missing more than 50% of any class period. For every absence, students must either: bring a note from home stating the student's name, date(s) of absence, reason for absence, and parent/guardian signature; email the school; or leave a message on the attendance voicemail. If a student is visiting a medical professional, they should bring a “Return to School” note from the doctor with them when they return to school.

Notes for ES students may be emailed or given to the child's teacher and to Ms. Sue Scott ( ) in the main office. At the MS, these notes are to be dropped off in the main office in the morning or emailed to Ms. Jennifer Wolfe ( At the HS, these notes are to be dropped off in the main office in the morning or emailed to Ms. Jill Thomas (
It will be the responsibility of administration to determine if the absence is excused or unexcused.
2021-2022 Lottery for Siblings is Open
The LNC lottery is open for applications through January 31, 2021. If you have a child who is NOT currently enrolled but who would like to attend LNC in grades K-12 next school year (2021-2022), please fill out an electronic application here.

The link to apply can also be found on the LNC website at Because you have a student who currently attends our school, your new application would qualify for "sibling preference." If you have any questions about the lottery process, please email Ms. Scott, ES Registrar, at
Varsity Jackets
Has your student earned a varsity letter? If so, are they interested in a varsity jacket? (Yes, varsity jackets still exist!) Check out this link. If you are interested, contact Jason Cline, our Balfour representative at or at 803-798-5134.
LNC Family Directory
You can use the LNC Family Directory to find out who is in your neighborhood, who is involved in the same activities as your student, organize play dates, birthday parties, carpool and more. Click this link to access the directory or create an account and provide as much information as you'd like in the secure directory.
Employment Opportunities Close to Home
LNC is always seeking outstanding, qualified and diverse individuals should we have opportunities. Many do not realize that even though we are a charter school, we DO participate in the state retirement plan! If you know of anyone who matches the caliber of an LNC teacher or staff member, please direct them to our website!
Teachers Earning Degrees
Congratulations to the teachers who earned masters degrees in 2020!. We are so proud of these teachers for completing the coursework to improve their teaching skills and learn new strategies for educating our children.
Katherine Tedder - Appalachian
Stephanie Zaino - Western Carolina
Shelly DiVito, Tressa Eccher, Heather Glover - UNCC
Anna Moore, Michele Boes, Jordan Walker - UNCC
Cindy Perrotta - UNC Greensboro
HS Spirit Week
HS students and staff celebrated Spirit Week with PJ day, jersey day and ugly sweater day. Way to go showing LNC spirit!
MS Spelling Bee
First Round
The first round of the MS spelling bee was held on Wednesday, December 9, producing 3 winners in each grade. These students competed in the final round on December 16 to name a school-wide winner!
5th grade winners: Siddharth Vishnuvajhala, Rachael Husak, Sidd Senthil
6th grade winners: Devin Slade, Claire Wilson, Tanvi Prabhu
7th grade winners: Claire Fogarty, Danielle Simmons, Kendall Chestnut
8th grade winners: Carson Patch, Nirvigna Narayan, James Haas
Final Round December 16 marked the final round of the Scripps Spelling Bee at Lake Norman Charter where we crowned a school-wide winner. Fifth grader Siddharth Senthil won the school-wide bee! Siddharth competed against 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade finalists and spelled the champion word, coagulate, correctly to win the competition.
Thank you to all participants. Siddharth will go on to compete in the regional spelling bee held sometime in January.
Ms. Smith's Article
Ms. Melissa Smith's article, "The Power of Teaching Contemporary Poetry" was published in the December 10, 2020 edition of K-12, a resource for other educators.

Ms. Smith's new book, Teach Living Poets, is available for preorder now at This is her second published book and she is now working on her third, which is scheduled for publication in 2022. Congratulations, Ms. Smith!
Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House
If you've been collecting pop tabs from sodas and other cans, please have your student bring them into the school office. MS teacher, Ms. Thomas, and her helpers will gather them together and deliver them to the Ronald McDonald House to help them help families.
Builders' Club Toy Collection and 8th Grade Feather the Turkey
The Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen was blown away by our incredibly generous students! The Builders' Club gathered and delivered the toys as well as $53 collected by 8th grade students through their Feather the Turkey project.
Way to go Knights - keep spreading kindness by learning, leading and serving!

If your MS student wants to know what Builders' Club is about, watch this video.
MS Parents: Homework Help is Here for Your At-home Student
The Support Squad is available to help distance and hybrid learners on their at-home days. If your student gets “stuck” on a question or concept while working at home, the Support Squad is open and staffed by Ms. Jones, ELA; Ms. Garges, Math; and Ms. Cannon, Science and Social Studies. The Support Squad is easily accessible through the app on your student's iPad that looks like this.
MS Parents: Virtual Technical Help for Your Student
If students encounter technology issues while they are working at home, they can easily access the Virtual Help Desk from their iPad. They should not be sidelined while at home because they are having a tech problem. The app looks like this:
Honor Roll
Congratulations to the students on the LNC Honor Roll for the first quarter, 2020-2021.
School Sponsorships
Do you own a small consumer-based business? Are you an insurance agent or realtor? Do you work for a corporation that offers consumer products or services? You can promote your business while supporting LNC. Check out our sponsorship opportunities!
Science Olympiad
The Science Olympiad team (grades 6-9) had its first competition of the season, participating in a statewide invitational that included NC's strongest programs. LNC performed well despite the challenges of the new virtual format. Congratulations to the following students who placed in the top 10 in their events:

  • Varsity Fossils (Sam Harper & Ryan Robinson) - 2nd
  • Varsity Mystery Architecture (Owen Crawford) - 3rd
  • Varsity Crime Busters (Sam Byrd & Anika Mohapatra) - 4th
  • Varsity Reach for the Stars (Advika Arun & Owen Crawford) - 5th
  • JV Water Quality (Alisha Varshney & Baiyin Ji) - 5th
  • Varsity Heredity (Sam Byrd & Advika Arun) - 6th
  • Varsity Mousetrap Vehicle (Ella Crawford) - 6th
  • Varsity Water Quality (Nikitha Gogineni & Nidhi Khargonkar) - 6th
  • Varsity Fast Facts (Sirisha Viswanadha & Ella Crawford) - 6th
  • JV Write It Do It (Hitee Kakarla & Zaarah Nayab) - 6th
  • Varsity Picture This (Nikitha Gogineni, Nidhi Khargonkar & Aditi Varshney) - 8th
  • Varsity Road Scholar (Anika Mohapatra & Sam Harper) - 8th
  • JV Codebusters (Amelia Varghese & Baiyin Ji) - 8th
  • JV Fast Facts (Tanvi Prabhu) - 8th
  • Varsity Food Science (Sam Harper & Aditi Varshney) - 9th

Congratulations for a great job to the entire team! Science Olympiad's next competition is the Mecklenburg Regional in February 2021.
ES Spirit Week
ES students and staff dressed as their favorite book characters and super heroes to show their LNC spirit.
MS Spirit Week
MS students and staff showed off their LNC spirit by wearing their Halloween and neon gear.
Welcome to Our Newest Knights
Sarah Joplin and her husband Aaron welcomed Henry Edward Joplin on August 28.
Also joining the Knights family is Tanner Flinn Brannock, son of Alison and Michael Brannock. Tanner arrived on September 19.

Congratulations to the Joplin and Brannock families!
Congratulations to Leslie McFarland (HS Teacher) for saying yes to Michael Porter (HS Counselor)!
And Heather Glover (1st grade) on her engagement to Cameron Rose!
LNC Staff Say "I Do"
Two of our own got hitched over the summer: Nikki Phelix (ES 3rd grade TA and Knights Kids Coordinator) and Mark Steele (HS EC Teacher).

Congratulations Mark and Nikki Steele!
Also congratulations to 6th grade EC teacher Leigh Anne Painter on her summer wedding. We welcome Leigh Anne's new husband John to the LNC family!
LNC in Pictures
Follow this link to see how our students continue to learn at LNC in these unprecedented circumstances.
LNC Calendar
Click here to see upcoming events on the school calendar.
Lake Norman Charter