Gray Stone adds greenhouses, band program as new year starts

Gray Stone Day School welcomed back students for the 2023-2024 school year on Tuesday.

Open House for all middle school students was held on Monday.

Pollyanne Rhodes will serve as the new middle school principal. Rhodes received her bachelor of arts in physical education from Lenoir-Rhyne College and her master’s of school administration from North Carolina State University.

A veteran teacher with 28 years of teaching experience, Rhodes looks forward to working with faculty to create meaningful and stimulating instruction to improve student achievement, growth and success.

Gray Stone is excited to announce the implementation of a new after-school band program led by retired music director Frank Poolos.

The new program will be offered to both middle and high school students.

In addition, Gray Stone welcomes its first school resource officer. Deputy Michael Morien began on Aug. 8 greeting students on the first day of school.

Morien previously served with the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Department and has been with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office for more than a year.

Jeff Walter returns as the high school principal.

Back to School Night for all high school students is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Several new offerings for high school students include “Knight Time,” which will be available on Thursday and Friday afternoons for students to meet with teachers for additional support, attend club meetings, work on special group projects and other after school opportunities.

Enhancements made to the science curriculum for both schools include the addition of two greenhouses and raised beds for plantings to provide real-life learning experiences.

“Both of our leaders bring fresh ideas toward education while continuing to uphold the culture that makes Gray Stone a school of excellence,” Gray Stone Chief Administrative Office Helen Nance said. “We are so excited about the addition of new staff along with the expansion to our school offerings. It is going to be a wonderful year.”