Union County Education Notes: Aug. 24

Kate Edwards, a three-year veteran teacher who is new to Union County Public Schools, works on a laptop during a three-day training orientation session for all new UCPS teachers.

Teachers get crash course before classes resume
Union County Public Schools got a bit of refresher, or in some cases new, training before getting ready to head back into the classroom on Monday.

The school system held a three-day training session on everything from classroom management techniques to technology training, according to a news release from the school system. The session served as a chance to catch teachers up to speed on all the advancements in the classroom, as well as get them back in the teaching mood after a summer off.

“It is a huge task to pull this off. The training is for teachers of everything from ROTC, exceptional children to social studies,” said Jimmie Quesinberry, director of professional growth and quality standards for the system, in the release. “It’s trying to provide everything they could possibly need in those three days to start the school year off right.”

Thousands of students will return to school on Monday, Aug. 27. The county’s year-round format schools already went back to class after the short summer break.

Kate Edwards, who has been a teacher for three years and now works at Parkwood High, said the session was much needed.

“It’s not overload, but it’s definitely been a lot of information,” she said. “It’s been really good because you start to see the expectations the school system has for you as an educator. We’ve been going over a lot of effective practices, different teaching methods and various things to use in the classroom to make it a more successful experience for each student.”

The school system also used the days leading up to summer as a chance to give teachers a crash course in advancements in technology and let them practice with the items they’ll have in the classroom to help students learn more efficiently.

The Camp Inspire workshop gave more than 100 elementary teachers the chance to discover new and innovative ways to integrate Promethean interactive whiteboard technology into their daily curriculum, according to Linda Helbig, who works with the system’s technology services, in a release. The boards work as an interactive display hooked up to a computer or projector. Many of the system’s elementary schools have these boards.

Some 200 middle and high school teachers got more training recently on the SMART interactive whiteboards they’ll be using this year. The boards allow for better feedback and interaction with students during lessons.

Wingate gets nursing degree

Wingate University recently announced a new bachelor of science in nursing degree.

This will be the program’s inaugural class, with 14 students, according to Dr. Dorothy Herron, who leads the program. “We hope for great things,” Herron said in a news release.

According to the release, registered nurse employment is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

Find more information on the program at the school’s website, www.wingate.edu.

Local student named to SAVE

Alexis VanKoughnett, a junior at Cuthbertson High School, is one of six studnets in the country named to the 2012-13 National SAVE Youth Advisory Board.

The group is a student-run, student-initiated public nonprofit violence prevention organization. The advisory board Alexis is now a member of allows students to develop their leadership skills through participation in training sessions, discussions of best practices for school violence prevention and the practice of educational activities for sharing with other SAVE students. They create goals for the year as well as a proactive plan to combat violence through three elements: crime prevention, conflict management and service projects.

Alexis hopes to go to college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and study psychology.

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