Several teachers, students, substitutes honored during school board meeting

While the Stanly County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night was relatively short on substantive issues, such as committee reports, it did allow for several teachers and staff to be recognized for their achievements.

Three teachers were honored for recently winning Union Power Bright Ideas grants while another teacher was honored for receiving a similar Bright Ideas grant with Pee Dee Electric.

Shelly Vetter, a physical education teacher at Badin Elementary, won $1,412 for her “Beat Your Heart Out!” idea. The project is based off Cardio Drumming, where students will become drummers and beat along to positive, up-beat music while incorporating exercises to increase heart rate and muscle mass, she said. The school purchased 24 large exercise balls, 24 drum-n-store buckets, three ball racks and a speaker.

“The best part of this activity is making exercise fun and enjoyable for the students,” Vetter said. “Hopefully they will look back on this experience and realize that physical activity can be fun.”

Callie Thigpen of West Stanly Middle School won $958 for her Triple C (Colts’ Chicken Coop). The school has purchased two chicken coops and an incubator “so that we can see the whole cycle of the chicken,” she said.

Mary Barbee, also of West Stanly, won $860 for her Colts News-Vlogging and Videos project. As digital media coordinator, Barbee plans to purchase video equipment, which will allow students to create higher quality video content for competitions and for the school’s daily Colt News show.

“We hope that the new video equipment we receive will help us win more video competitions and bring more creative content to West Stanly Middle School,” Barbee said.

Tamara Furr, an exceptional children’s teacher at South Stanly High School, won $2,000 from Pee Dee Electric to purchase a laser engraver, which allows her students to engrave all kinds of material, including wood.

“This gives them on-the job skills as well as social skills and life skills,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis also mentioned that Barbee, in addition to her Bright Ideas grant, was the recipient of a North Carolina Go Outdoors $12,400 grant, in order to create outdoor classrooms at West Stanly.

Students from Barbee’s digital media class — known as the Crazy 8s — were recognized by the school board for taking second place out of all the middle schools in the state in the North Carolina School Board Association Middle School Video Contest last year. Their video was played during the meeting.

Stanly County Schools recognized two classified employees and two certified employees through the Stanly Star award program, which was recently implemented. For this month, staff at Aquadale Elementary and Albemarle High School were honored. They were Aquadale third grade teacher Anna Lashua and custodian Kenneth Spencer and Albemarle math teacher Christopher Vullo and long-time receptionist​ Brenda Watson.

The ESS Substitutes of the Month were Madison Carpenter, who has been working at East Albemarle Elementary, and Kathy Herrin, who has been working at West Stanly Middle. The Teacher Assistants of the Month were Breanne Storms at Central Elementary and Christina Adkins at Aquadale.

Jessica Palmer, a substitute teacher who works at Millingport Elementary, received a check for $500 as part of the Work & Win contest held last month.