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Schools recognized for their STEAMA efforts

KENANSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA- May 10, 2019- At this week’s board of education meeting, three schools were recognized for their efforts in regards to implementation, connectivity to and sustainability of STEAMA throughout this year within their schools.  Nicole Murray and Christy Johnson summarized many of the teaching and learning opportunities that have taken place in the schools this year as each Duplin County School has made a commitment to the STEAMA initiative. STEAMA is the promise of Duplin County Schools (DCS) to provide pathways with purpose for every student who enters the DCS school system. Christy Johnson, Beginning Teacher Coordinator, stated “Since our district STEAMA kickoff began in July, the excitement and enthusiasm for teaching and learning has abounded across our district.  We began this year with a renewed passion for educating our students. Even though we faced many challenges since school began, STEAMA is alive and well across Duplin County Schools. It is now our pleasure to share with you just a few highlights from our STEAMA experiences that have taken place across our district this year:”

At BF Grady Elementary, STEAMA is about finding student passion and connecting students with individualized pathways.  STEAMA is about building the future for our students.  From solving real world problems within their school to an increased emphasis on arts education, students at BF Grady have embraced STEAMA.

Beulaville Elementary tells us, STEAMA has given us the ability to transform our school with hands on learning for every child, every class, every day. Students from kindergarten through 8th grade have the opportunity to participate in STEAMA labs and integrated classroom lessons.

Chinquapin Elementary School believes, As we continue to develop our vision, student choice will be paramount.  By its very nature, STEAMA learning experiences are more choice driven for students.  Eighth grade students at Chinquapin Elementary showcased these choices during a student-led STEAMA career fair this year.

At Duplin Early College High School, students have had the opportunity to experiment with everything propagating their own plants in the school’s greenhouse to engineering a desk to improve the student experience.  DECHS tells us, STEAMA Pathways with Purpose have provided us with a roadmap to our school’s mission.  With a focus on STEAMA education, staff and students enjoy teaching and learning.

Seniors at East Duplin High School had the opportunity to integrate poetry with choral music and investigate turning apples from the cafeteria into apple cider.  Students at East Duplin are not only thinking outside of the box, they are using STEAMA to create the box in the first place.

James Kenan High School believes in multiple pathways for students to achieve success.  This year, students have constructed a fish pond, designed barn quilts, and learned construction skills in building a house.

Kenansville Elementary School is a STEAMA school with a longstanding tradition of making sure our students experience educational opportunities to develop the whole child, every child, every day!  Students at Kenansville Elementary have expanded their exposure to the arts this year while continuing to learn through the Ag in the Classroom program.

North Duplin Elementary School tells us, tranquil transformation has occurred in every square foot of our physical space, in our hearts, and the persona of our stakeholders.  From the media center, to the classroom, and the gym, students at North Duplin Elementary are immersed in STEAMA daily.

North Duplin Jr/Sr High School has expanded its Makerspace offerings, provided students opportunities for community based learning, and engaged students in integrated STEAMA lessons throughout the year.  North Duplin Jr/Sr believes it is their duty to prepare their students with a pathway to be college and career ready by the time they graduate from high school.

Rose Hill Magnolia Elementary School has also fully embraced STEAMA teaching and learning.  Students have experienced expanded learning opportunities through integrated content. They also hosted their first STEAMA night this year, with great success.  Rose Hill Magnolia tells us, STEAMA has benefited our school in helping shift the mindset toward more experimentation to learn.

Wallace Elementary School is STEAMA strong and proud to see where this amazing opportunity will lead our students. From drama club, to the Makerspace, and community STEAMA day, Wallace Elementary students have experienced a wealth of STEAMA learning this year.

Wallace-Rose Hill High School’s students and staff agree that STEAMA is all about finding effective and relevant strategies for students to become successful in their chosen careers,  giving back to the community, and sharing it with others.  Ninth grade students at Wallace-Rose Hill High School completed integrated STEAMA projects this year in which they were asked to solve global problems.

Warsaw Elementary School has fully embraced STEAMA as well.  Students integrated STEAMA content as they participated in the Tiger Literacy Challenge that had them reading millions and millions of words.  At Warsaw Elementary School, STEAMA has given teachers and students the autonomy to engage in transformative and unique learning experiences.

Nicole Murray, Senior Administrator for STEAMA, Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Development, stated “what we’ve been able to share with you tonight is just a drop in the bucket of what our teachers and our students have experienced this year through STEAMA as they have truly tried to find their passions.  We are grateful to our Board for their support, for the STEAMA proclamation, and for believing in us that we can provide these pathways for our students. We are committed to moving forward so that these pathways for our students will become more concrete as they materialize over the years.”  

Mr. Reginald Kenan, Vice Chairman of the Board of Education recognized the top three schools, who were awarded STEAMA recognition based on the portfolios each school submitted, which determined each school’s connectivity and sustainability of STEAMA throughout this school year.  First place was awarded to B.F. Grady Elementary School, second place was awarded to Wallace Elementary School, and third place was awarded to North Duplin Elementary School.

During the awards presentation, each principal spoke on behalf of their schools.  Amy Wallace, Principal at B.F. Grady Elementary School stated, “at B.F. Grady, we appreciate the ongoing district level support and the flexibility to customize STEAMA efforts to meet the needs of our individual school.  At B.F. Grady, STEAMA days are the very best days. From STEAMA power hour to STEAMA family night, smiles are everywhere, but discipline problems cannot be found. Let’s continue to move full STEAMA ahead.”

Angelo Cavallero, Principal at Wallace Elementary School noted, “STEAMA has brought a new light to learning.  We have seen students who normally are timid, become more engaged and confident in their special talents and students are given the opportunity to be successful in multiple facets.  We see community partners in our classroom bringing in meaningful instruction and we see teachers finding new and innovative ways of learning for our students. We are confident that STEAMA will continue to provide pathways and success for all of our students in Duplin County Schools.”

Ann Hardy, Principal at North Duplin Elementary School (NDE) spoke about the different efforts at NDE to implement a school-wide culture for their STEAMA implementation.  “Literacy has been always been a big focus at NDE and we decided to devote a portion of our Media Center to promote our school-wide STEAMA efforts, which included books being purchased for each specific STEAMA category,” said Ms. Hardy.  Ms. Hardy also noted how proud she was of the PE department at NDE and how they have implemented simple machines, mathematics, technology, etc… within the PE curriculum. Ms. Hardy hopes they can continue to build upon those efforts in the future.

At the conclusion of the recognition portion of the meeting, Mr. Reginald Kenan stated “as a Board, we would like to thank all our principals, schools, STEAMA committee for their efforts as well as our business partners for their continued support over the years.”  

Tarla Smith, Chief of Staff for Innovation later noted, “STEAMA provides culturally inclusive opportunities that allow every single child to select personalized pathways maximizing their individual talents, skill sets, and interest.  Making relevant connections between curricular and technical instruction, supported by appropriate credential attainment opportunities and career guidance experiences through partnerships with business and industry, provide the framework for our students to be successful in their chosen careers.  Congratulations to our three recognized schools who have demonstrated excellence this year and to all schools who have worked diligently to embody districtwide STEAMA for all students.”