Archive for category NCSTEM

Students Explore Career Options as Davie County Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2017

careerday2017-01To celebrate Manufacturing Day 2017, several local businesses and Davie County manufacturers provided a unique opportunity for all eighth-grade students in Davie County.

Davie County participated in National Manufacturing Day for the first time this year through the collaborative efforts of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce, Davie County Schools, Davie County Economic Development, DCCC and the Davie business community.

On October 6th, students from Ellis and North Davie Middle Schools each toured two different locations including DEX Heavy Duty Parts, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Ingersoll Rand, Pro Refrigeration, DCCC – Davie Campus, WFBH-Davie Medical Center – Bermuda Run and the Davie Construction – Dragonfly House construction site.

South Davie students toured Ashley Furniture and met the company’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ron Wanek, on October 12th. Many of these students had attended Mocksville Elementary and written to Wanek asking him to locate his new manufacturing and distribution facility in Davie County. They got to experience the fruits of their labor first-hand.

Davie County Students Explore Career Options During Manufacturing Day 2017

Approximately 500 students and staff were exposed to the many outstanding career opportunities that exist here in the county. Business leaders provided informative tours including examples of how their employees use math, science, technology, and communication skills. Students were intrigued with the emphasis on safety, size of the facilities, variety of jobs including the educational requirements for the job, and the machinery used in the day-to-day operation of the businesses.  DCCC showcased its many educational programs through informational stations as well as tours of its mobile labs, a fire truck, and a tractor trailer used for the truck driving program.

careerday2017-02Hosted annually, Manufacturing Day is a national event executed at the local level and typically focuses on manufacturing careers. “We expanded the types of businesses students visited to better align the many opportunities available here in Davie. With a newly opened state-of-the-art medical facility in Bermuda Run, expansive career path offerings at DCCC and the opportunity for a comprehensive tour of an active construction site, our event was truly a “career exploration day” for our students,” said Carolyn McManamy, President of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.

“Middle school students are the next generation workforce and these tours are designed to expose them to career opportunities, show how their current and future curriculum ties to real- world careers and ignite interest in their future,” McManamy said. “During the tours, businesses showcased the scope of jobs available at their facilities and discussed the requisite higher education or skills training needed. For example, students who toured Davie Construction’s building site for the Dragonfly House learned about the many different functions needed to complete a project – from architecture and engineering to site supervision and actual building of the structure.”

“We have received such great feedback from our businesses as well as the students and teachers,” she said. “This is the first in a series of programs that will directly connect our students to our businesses. The next steps will involve developing a formal program where students of various ages are exposed to a broad variety of career paths and educational opportunities,” McManamy said. “Aligning business needs with curriculum will ensure Davie County has a ready and able workforce to meet the challenges of businesses today and in the future.”


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Davie High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) – Among the Best in North Carolina!

jbarnes-darlagoldfuss-intA four-year college degree is not the only pathway to a rewarding, high-paying career; just ask Janet Barnes and Darla Goldfuss.

As facilitators of Davie High’s Career and Technical Education (CTE)  program, it is their job to open the eyes of students to all of their career options.

Enrolling in CTE classes and courses of study is an excellent way to explore these other pathways.

“We are programmed to think that the more post-secondary education a student gets is better and that a four-year degree will ensure future employment, but that isn’t always the case,” said Barnes.

“There are technical programs that need students with strong math skills, like in the engineering fields. Students who get a two-year degree in computer-integrated manufacturing or electronics engineering have the opportunity for advancement and management positions.”

“And employers are fighting for them,” Goldfuss chimed in, “and are sometimes willing to pay for their education.”

“There are so many high flyers from community colleges who have incredibly successful careers, but there are a lot of students who think they have to get their 4-year degree in mechanical engineering to get those jobs,” Goldfuss explained. “There are so many other options. I wish we could broaden all students’ horizons.”

rsz_health_science_cte_davie_county_high_school_intExplore Career Options Tuition Free
“Sometimes kids don’t know what they want to do,” Goldfuss added. “Our classes, and the DCCC Career and College Promise program, where you aren’t paying tuition, are a great place for students to find out if a field is really for them.”

Goldfuss gave an example, ”We had a young lady who went all the way through the certified nursing program, but when I saw her at Harris Teeter after graduation, she was going to Liberty for communications. She found out tuition-free that nursing was not what she wanted to do.”

“This is a perfect time in life for students to find out what they like, before their parents spend all of that money on tuition or the student shoulders the financial responsibility and comes out with a mound of debt and no direction,” Goldfuss said.

CTE classes provide students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers, and Davie High has many options for students to explore. The expanded CTE facilities at the new high school allow more students to participate in the most popular programs and will provide enhanced learning opportunities as well as the ability to increase the number of CTE concentrations offered.

rsz_auto-tech-cte-intDavie CTE Ranked Among Best in the State of North Carolina
The school currently offers CTE courses in agriculture, business, health science, family and consumer science, marketing, technology, and trade and industry. Davie’s program is consistently ranked in the top 10 across the state.

Several of these areas of study also offer certifications. The certifications, such as the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) certification available to students who complete concentrations in carpentry, masonry, and core & sustainable construction, demonstrate a student’s skill level and makes them highly desirable to prospective employers.

In addition, seniors, who qualify as a concentrator, which means they have taken four classes in a pathway, have the opportunity to get an ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Credential. The credential certifies the essential skills for workplace success. Employers look for it from job candidates, whether they come directly from high school or through postsecondary paths because it is a valid predictor of job performance.

Goldfuss expects to test around 150 students this year and said that Davie students do well on the test. Two years ago, Davie was number three in the state for their WorkKeys results, and although fewer than 1% of people who take the nationwide test, usually adults,  get a platinum level credential, a student from Davie has gotten one each of the past three years.

rsz_tech-engineering-design-cte-intCTE Internships- Real World Experience & Work-Based Learning
Internships are available for juniors and seniors in all CTE areas. Internships help students connect what they are learning to the real world, and they provide key skills needed for getting a job after graduation. They are also a great way to explore career options and meet the people who work in them.

Davie High currently has interns at Fuller Welding, Gesipa, Harris Teeter, MAC Builders, Shore Fencing, and Southern Ties Boutique.

“Internships are where the rubber really meets the road,” Goldfuss said. “This is where the kids get out there and find out if what they thought would be so cool really is.”

“We are always looking for anyone who would give our students work-based learning experiences,” Barnes added. She is also grateful to the Mocksville Rotary Club for providing job shadowing opportunities for juniors in the program.

The school also sponsors a number of career and technical student organizations such as the National Technical Honor Society, DECA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), SkillsUSA , Technology Student Association (TSA), FCCLA, Future Educators Association (FEA), FFA, and HOSA. These organizations provide students with additional opportunities to explore their chosen field through leadership development, networking, and competitions.

CTE Students Engaged, Graduating, and Experiencing Success
Barnes noted that CTE involvement not only enhances students’ career options, it increases their educational engagement.

“More than 90% of students who enroll in career and technical education graduate because they have found something they are interested in and invested in,” she said. “The regular graduation rate across the nation is around 80%, so that is a huge difference.”  

Research studies agree. A study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute used data from Arkansas to explore whether students benefit from Career Technical Education (CTE) coursework – and, more specifically, from focused sequences of CTE courses aligned to certain industries. The study finds positive outcomes in graduation, postsecondary degree attainment, and salary for CTE concentrators. Key findings include:

  • Students with greater CTE exposure are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.
  • CTE students are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers. There was little evidence of “tracking.”
  • The more CTE courses students take, the better their education and labor market outcomes. Among other positive outcomes, CTE concentrators are more likely to graduate high school by 21 percentage points when compared to otherwise similar students.

Barnes and Goldfuss agree that the benefits of a career and technical education can be endless and they both love their jobs. “It’s great to open students’ eyes a little bit and to help them to find the pathway that will lead them to their best and most successful future.”

For more information about Davie County High School’s Career and Technical Education program, please email or or call the high school at 336.751.5905.


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Davie High Automotive Skills Training Program Awarded $10,000 Grant from Ingersoll Rand

In order to do a job right, you must have the right tools for the job. Ingersoll Rand is helping to make that possible for students in Davie County High School’s automotive program.

Ingersoll Rand, the Official Power Tools of NASCAR, has awarded Davie County High School with a $10,000 Real Tools for Schools grant for its automotive skills training program.  The $10,000 grant will help Davie County High School improve automotive classrooms and courses with updated equipment, supplies, instructor training and curricula.

Congratulations! Fortune Names Ingersoll Rand “Among World’s Most Admired Companies”
In addition to thanking Ingersoll Rand for their generous contribution to the success of Davie County students, please join us in congratulating Ingersoll Rand for placing in the Top 10 in Community Responsibility Category Among FORTUNE’s Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies.  

Stacey West, Summer Rogers, Doyle Nicholson, Seth James, Donna McNeil

Stacey West, Summer Rogers, Doyle Nicholson, Seth James, Donna McNeil

These students are the future of the automotive technology industry
Davie County High School’s automotive vocational  program received one of the first Real Tools for Schools grants because of the quality of its application, according to Jennifer Hutchins, communications manager for Ingersoll Rand. “Ingersoll Rand was excited to see the school’s plans to put the money to use to enhance the training of future automotive technicians,” she said. “Our goal is to provide funding for classroom and coursework improvements. We also want to build relationships with schools in close proximity to company sites and engage our employees to work with students on learning enrichment programs.  Working with automotive students in communities where we do business, and building and maintaining those relationships is important to Ingersoll Rand,” Hutchins added.

In addition to the grants, Ingersoll Rand Power Tools employees are partnering with participating high schools to deliver seminars, hands-on training and learning enrichment experiences for students enrolled in automotive technician programs.

“These students are the future of the automotive technology industry. Ingersoll Rand is proud to support technical education for students that prepares them for success and enhances job readiness,” says Donny Simmons, president of Ingersoll Rand Power Tools.

Ingersoll_Rand_Mocksville_Davie_CountyIngersoll Rand–400 Strong and 50 Years of Excellence in Mocksville
The Mocksville North Carolina plant, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in May 2015,  first opened in 1965 and began machining rotary components for air compressors. Throughout the years the Mocksville team has manufactured assemblies and components for a number of products within Ingersoll Rand’s product portfolio, including Centac™ and rotary assemblies.

Within the last six years, the plant has experienced tremendous growth as select assembly operations for Trane® and Thermo King® equipment were moved to the Mocksville plant.

Today, Mocksville employs a world-class workforce of more than 400 full-time associates dedicated to efficiency and quality. The Mocksville operation represents the enduring strength of Ingersoll Rand as a manufacturer and is known within the company for its excellent continuous improvement program, safety record and team spirit.

Learn More
The Ingersoll Rand Real Tools for Schools program is sponsored by the Ingersoll Rand Foundation and the company’s Power Tools business to enhance education for high-school students in automotive technology programs. For more information about the Real Tools For Schools grant visit


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Davie Community Foundation 5k Popsicle Run Makes Reader’s Digest “Best in America” Cover Story


Reader’s Digest Cover Story Features Davie Community Foundation SURF Board Popsicle 5k Run


The Davie Community Foundation’s Annual 5K “Popsicle” run is the inspiration for the cover of the July 2013 Reader’s Digest.

Reason Number 28:  “We Tell Cold Weather to Take a Hike.  The Popsicle 5K in Davie County, North Carolina, an annual fundraiser for local youth projects, lives up to its chilly name.  The race is held in February, and festivities include an ice-pop eating contest called the Brain Freeze Challenge.”

Empowering the Young People of Davie County
All proceeds from the Popsicle Run support youth-led projects in Davie County! Organized under the Davie Community Foundation, the SURF (Students Understanding Real Futures) Board is a youth grant making organization for high school aged youth in Davie County. Each year SURF hosts a fundraiser to raise money to grant out in the spring. The proceeds from the Popsicle Run empower young people by supporting their projects through grants from SURF.

The 2013 Popsicle 5K Run raised $4,000 for youth led projects
One of the youth projects funded by the Popsicle 5K for 2012 was the purchase of video editing equipment for the Davie County Young Filmmakers.  Enjoy the video below covering the 2013 5K Popsicle Run.  The video was produced by the Davie County Young Filmmakers.

Funding for Your Youth Led Project
Does your school club have a service project idea, but lack money to get it started? Are you involved in a church youth group that could use a grant to fund an outreach project? You may be eligible for funding from the S.U.R.F. Board Youth Grantmakers.

S.U.R.F. (Students Understanding Real Futures) Board Youth Grantmakers
The SURF Board Youth Grantmakers, organized under the Davie Community Foundation, are a group of 18 high school students who wish to better the lives of Davie County young people by raising money and awarding grants to support youth-led projects.

Projects selected for grant awards must:

• Address general issues that impact the youth of Davie County.
• Involve at least two youth in planning & carrying out the project.
• Have an adult ally (21 or older)

How to Apply for a Grant
Download the grant application or pick up an application from the Davie Community Foundation at 194 Wilkesboro Street in Mocksville. 

Davie Community Foundation
Davie County Students Raising Money & Awarding Grants
Second Annual “Popsicle 5K Run” This Weekend in Davie County
Popsicle 5K ~ $4,000 Rasied for Davie County Youth Led Projects!


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Sugar Valley Airport hosts aerospace education event in Davie County

Sugar Valley Airport ~ Serving the Community
Over twenty cadets and adult officers from Civil Air Patrol Squadrons in Winston-Salem, Statesville, Boone and South Charlotte camped out at Sugar Valley Airport Friday night, September 14th.  The purpose of the visit was to explore one of the pillars of CAP work: aerospace education.  As an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol is uniquely qualified to inspire our youth with aerospace education.

Classes were conducted regarding the building and preparation of rockets, as well as rocket history, and some of the math and science behind it all. The material covered the three stages of CAP’s rocketry program: Redstone, Titan and Saturn.  Kit rockets were prepared and each cadet launched his/her rocket Saturday morning.

The rockets, piercing the sky over 1000 feet over the airport floated to the ground using parachutes that deployed once the rocket reached its zenith. In the afternoon, after launching their rockets in the morning, each cadet received a certificate of completion regarding this aspect of CAP work. The certificates were presented by Lt. Col. James Williams, the NC Wing (State) Aerospace Education Officer of Salisbury.  Colonel Williams conducted most of the classes assisted by Lt. Col. Paul Twiddy from the South Charlotte Squadron.

The event was planned and organized by the cadets themselves with Cadet Lt. Obediah Fire of Winston-Salem leading the effort.

Winston Salem Squadron Lt. Leslieann Gourley, a Winston Salem squadron officer, commented: “The picturesque location, clean facilities and friendly volunteers make Sugar Valley Airport the perfect location for CAP activities.” Over 20 cadets and adult members camped out on the grounds.

Previously, the Winston Salem Squadron had conducted search and rescue training activities at Sugar Valley.  Lt. Col. Dan Wishnietsky also from the Winston-Salem Squadron stated: “This would not have been possible if it had not been for the great cooperation of the volunteers here at Sugar Valley. We hope to return for future activities.”

To find out more about how Sugar Valley Airport serves Davie County and communities across North Carolina please contact Thomas White, Manager of Sugar Valley Airport at 336-413-6800 or or visit them on the web at


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21st Century Learning ~ Davie County Schools Robotics Competition

Davie County STEM Education in collaboration with Wake Forest Baptist Health ~ On Friday, April 27th, from 4-7 pm, teams from all 6 Davie County elementary schools and all 3 middle schools will converge at Davie County High School for an afternoon and evening of friendly but fierce competition! Each team has been issued 10 logistics challenges with a hospital theme developed in collaboration with North Carolina Baptist Health to celebrate the building of a new hospital in the county.

Engaging Curriculum with Cutting Edge Science and Real World Relevance
Teams will program LEGO NXT robots to do such things as slide “kidney stones” off a human image in the operating room and then administer Lego “medicine” to the patient after surgery. Each challenge completed will earn the teams designated numbers of points as they compete head-to-head in a double elimination tournament. At the end of the evening, four teams, two from the elementary bracket and two from the middle school bracket, will emerge as champions and runners up. The top two of these teams will then compete for the Grand Champion trophy.

Students solve increasingly complex problems
The programming skills students develop through these sets of challenges are important and impressive. Learning the program language to make Lego NXT robots move and perform in the fashion students desire requires technical skills and the development of logical thought about the progression of logistics challenges.

At least as importantly, students develop sets of soft skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. They learn to budget time, prioritize the importance of completing one challenge versus another, work with their peers to negotiate who completes which task and when, and to work their way through increasingly complex problems one step at a time

Davie County Schools Teaching 21st Century Skills
The Davie County Robotics Skills Challenge Series was designed in order to provide a venue for students to program NXT robots on the spot in order to complete challenges utilizing a number of key skills.

In addition to an introduction to object based programming, Davie County students are learning soft skills such as problem solving, time management, critical thinking, strategic thinking, cooperative effort and teamwork, and establishing priorities.

Join Davie County students and share the thrills as students watch something they have created come to life in a robot at this free indoor event at Davie County High School from 4-7 pm on Friday, April, 27th..

Additional Resources:
Davie County STEM Education
Davie County Schools


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You Are Invited! HondaJet Presentation at Sugar Valley Airport in Davie County

HondaJet ~ Designed and Built in North Carolina!

Mark Your Calendar ~ Saturday, January 14th!
Sugar Valley Airport, located near the very center of Davie County will be hosting a presentation by HondaJet on Saturday, January 14th.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nick Newby, manager of eastern US sales for the new HondaJet in Greensboro will make a presentation about the new HondaJet aircraft and its impact on the economy of the area.

There will be coffee and snacks beginning at 9:00 AM with the HondaJet presentation from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM.

The HondaJet presentation will focus on the substantial impact on aviation of the HondaJet aircraft and the economic impact to the Piedmont Triad area and all of North Carolina.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
With a $120,000,000 investment in North Carolina, Honda has already hired 600 people and they will be hiring an additional 400 people!  Aircraft are being manufactured in Greensboro with engines built in Burlington, North Carolina.

Please Let Sugar Valley Airport Know You Are Coming
In order to ensure enough coffee, snacks and seating, please let Sugar Valley airport know you will be attending and how many folks you will have with you.   Sugar Valley Airport is located at 249 Gilbert Road, Mocksville, NC.  They can be reached via email sent to and via telephone at 336.998.3971.

Additional Resources:
Sugar Valley Airport
Davie County Economic Development Commission
Davie County Chamber of Commerce
Davie County Web portal


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$7.5 Million Gift Assures Continued Academic Leadership and Workforce Preparedness for Davidson and Davie Counties

DCCC, the Community College of Davidson and Davie Counties, received a $7.5 million gift from the late Christine Harris of Lexington.   The donation is by far the largest gift to the college and is one of the largest gifts in North Carolina community college history, according to Jenny Varner, executive director of the DCCC Foundation.

A Cause of Thanksgiving for Years to Come
“We pause today to serve up a very sincere thank you to the late Christine Harris, whose extraordinary gift will be cause for thanksgiving for years to come among thousands of students across Davidson and Davie counties who will benefit from her amazing generosity,” Rittling said at a meeting to announce the gift in late November. “We are humbled by her gift and committed to ensuring it will be put to excellent use.”

Christine Harris’ Interest in DCCC Spans more than 40 Years
Harris, who was 87 when she died in August, was born and lived in Davidson County.  Her husband, Charles Donovan “Dutchie” Harris, died in 2003. Their only son, Charles Young Harris, died in 1989.

Her interest in the college began during her son’s time as a DCCC student in the 1970s. He graduated with honors in 1975 with an associate in science degree and then also completed additional coursework at DCCC before pursuing a four-year degree. Harris was grateful to DCCC for providing her son the opportunity to achieve educational goals while he struggled with health issues that required him to stay close to home. The extent of her interest in DCCC, however, was not known until her death.

The Harris Family Legacy Spans Multiple Generations
The Harris name has been synonymous with the telephone industry in Lexington for more than 100 years. Lexcom Communications was founded in 1896 as Lexington Telephone Company by a group of local business leaders and was one of the city’s oldest independent companies when it was acquired by Windstream in 2010. William F. Harris, Christine Harris’ father-in-law, assumed leadership of the company in 1905. He was followed by his two sons.

The Harris family and the telephone company have been longtime supporters of DCCC through scholarship funds and other contributions.

“On behalf of the DCCC Foundation, I want to express gratitude to every donor who, like Christine Harris, has provided important opportunities to our students and our community,” said Barbara Leonard, president of the DCCC Foundation Board of Directors. “We could not do what we do without the support of thousands of donors who make DCCC the incredible place it is.”

Dr. Mary Rittling, DCCC President

About DCCC
DCCC, the Community College of Davidson and Davie Counties, is a comprehensive community college that opened its doors in 1963.  DCCC provides quality educational programs and services to prepare people in Davidson and Davie counties for enhanced employment and educational opportunities.  These learning experiences create choices and enhance opportunities for education and employment, thereby improving the quality of life in Davidson and Davie counties.

Previous Articles Mentioning DCCC

DCCC Recognized as National Leader in Increasing College Completion Rates

Workforce Development Grant Brings Jobs, Helps Spur Aerospace Industry Growth and Opportunities in Davie County

Ingersoll Rand is Meeting the Workforce Development Challenges of a Global Economy in Davie County, North Carolina

DCCC Awarded $2.6 Million to Deliver High Skilled Training for High Wage Jobs

Visions of a Davie County Bio-Center

Additional Resources:
DCCC ~ The Community College of Davidson and Davie Counties
Lexington Dispatch: DCCC thankful for $7.5 Million Donation Gift
The Business Journal: DCCC Receives Largest Ever Gift
High Point Enterprise: Gift Fuels Future Growth, DCCC Officials Say


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DCCC Awarded $2.6 Million ~ Deliver High Skilled Training for High Wage Jobs!

DCCC, the Community College of Davidson and Davie Counties is one of the first community colleges in North Carolina to benefit from workforce development and training grants announced by the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Education.

Preparing a Highly Skilled Workforce for Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare and Bio-Tech Jobs
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) will expand DCCC’s capacity to provide workers with the skills and credentials they need in today’s advanced manufacturing economy. This multi-year federally-funded grant will help DCCC place more people in high-quality jobs in fields ranging from advanced manufacturing to healthcare to biotechnology.

Students Will Gain Real World Experience in Their Chosen Career Fields
According to DCCC President Dr. Mary Rittling, the grant will allow the College to identify ways to improve advanced manufacturing offerings and provide support staff for students in the programs. Business partnerships will be created so that students can gain experience in their chosen career fields.

“This grant will give us the opportunity to increase and provide the latest advanced technology in the field,” Dr. Rittling said.

Student, Worker and Employer Centered Training
Besides accelerating job training, the college will improve graduation rates, build new programs that meet industry needs and bolster online learning.  The training programs will be student-, worker- and employer-centered, rather than centered with an institution.


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Davie County’s Kenan Fellows: Denise Absher, Elizabeth Bustle, Marty Creech & Diane Ireland

Valerie B. Brown-Schild, Ph.D.

On Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at Bermuda Run Country Club in Davie County, the 2012 class of Kenan Fellows teachers gathered for an orientation and opportunity to meet their mentors. They were welcomed by Dr. Valerie Brown-Schild, Director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development.

Dr. Brown-Schild remarked, “We are proud to be able to honor this group of effective teacher leaders from this region as Kenan Fellows.  They are joining a distinguished group of outstanding educators from across North Carolina to positively impact other teachers, students, school districts and their communities.


Meet Your Davie County Class of 2012 Kenan Fellows

Denise Absher

Denise Absher, a teacher from the Davie County Early College High School will focus on “Teachers Training Teachers” with mentor Heather Mullins from the NC Department of Public Instruction.

Elizabeth Bustle

Davie County High School teacher, Elizabeth Bustle will focus on “STEM and Lean Manufacturing” with mentors Jerry Lakey and Lewis Anderson from the Ingersoll Rand “manufacturing center of excellence” in Mocksville.

Marty Creech

Marty Creech, a teacher at North Davie Middle School will focus on “Innovations in Healthcare” with mentors Allyson Komaschka and Anita Pulley from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Diane Ireland

Diane Ireland, a teacher at William R. Davie Elementary School will focus on “Logistics: More than Trucks and Trains” with mentors Dave Hauser and Kathleen Patterson from the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics.

Davie County Class of 2012 Kenan Fellows ~ Denise Absher, Elizabeth Bustle, Marty Creech & Dinae IrelandSummer Immersion, Curriculum Development, Conference Presentations ~ Learn, Do, Share!
Kenan Fellows spend five weeks in the summer with mentors from universities, innovative industries and professional educators and two weeks in a Summer Institute. Fellows work in labs, develop new research skills, engage in leadership workshops and build professional relationships with colleagues.

As their research progresses, they use the summer experience to create lessons that are adapted to the subjects they teach. Kenan Fellows bring this new, relevant information into classrooms at a level that is appropriate for their students.

They continue developing their projects in the fall and present their lessons at professional conferences throughout the next year to help improve teacher instruction and student learning across classrooms in NC.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional Davie County educators!

Additional Resources:
Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development


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Davie County Schools Collaborate with Industry ~ Energize STEM Curriculum With Cutting Edge Science

STEM UPDATE: Davie County is bringing engaging curriculum with cutting edge science & real world relevance into Davie County’s elementary, middle school, high school and early college classrooms!

Four Davie County teachers have been named to the Class of 2012 Kenan Fellows.
The Kenan Fellows Program energizes school curriculum and promotes teacher leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by pairing selected teachers with industry mentors.

4 Davie County Teachers  and Their Mentors
Davie County High School teacher, Elizabeth Bustle will focus on “STEM and Lean Manufacturing” with mentors Jerry Lakey and Lewis Anderson from the Ingersoll Rand “manufacturing center of excellence” in Mocksville.

Marty Creech, a teacher at North Davie Middle School will focus on “Innovations in Healthcare” with mentors Allyson Komaschka and Anita Pulley from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Diane Ireland, a teacher at William R. Davie Elementary School will focus on “Logistics: More than Trucks and Trains” with mentors Dave Hauser and Kathleen Patterson from the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics.

Denise Absher, a teacher from the Davie County Early College High School will focus on “Teachers Training Teachers” with mentor Heather Mullins from the NC Department of Public Instruction.

Engaging Curriculum with Cutting Edge Science & Real World Relevance
Precision manufacturing, health care and logistics are all engines of economic growth that will provide jobs and opportunities in Davie County as the North Carolina economy continues transitioning from furniture, textiles and tobacco to high tech.

The industry mentors will help open the door to the “real enterprise” of scientific research for K-12 teachers and students. The Mentors provides support for the Kenan Fellows throughout the fellowship, sharing insight into his or her work through discussion, collaboration and observation, and consulting on the development of the Fellow‟s curriculum project.

The curriculum project is a joint effort between the Fellow and Mentor. The Mentor provides up-to-date scientific expertise and knowledge based on his or her research and the project profile. The Fellow ensures that the project is age appropriate, educationally sound and supports the NC Standard Course of Study. Together, the team works to produce new lessons that are relevant and engaging, and that bring the excitement of cutting-edge science into the classroom.

The Mentor will become familiar with the teacher‟s work by visiting the classroom to present or co-teach, and will participate in Fireside Chats and other Fellowship events. Participation in the program provides Mentors with the opportunity to contribute to the depth and relevance of instruction at the K-12 level.

The Kenan Fellows Program is an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science, and is generously supported by funding from business, government, foundations, research grants, and individual partners.  The mission of the Kenan Fellows Program is to enhance curriculum relevance for the benefit of all students; engage teachers, business, and universities through unique professional collaboration; and promote growth opportunities for teachers and the teaching profession.

The Davie County 2012 Kenan Fellows are being sponsored by Ingersoll Rand, The Mebane Foundation, Wake Forest University Baptist Health and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Additional Resources:
Davie County STEM Education ~ Leading The Way
Kenan Fellows Program

The Mebane Charitable Foundation
Ingersoll Rand
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Davie County Schools


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Davie County STEM Education Update

Davie-County-STEM-LogoDr. Linda Bost, Assistant Superintendant of Davie County Schools delivered an update on the Davie County STEM Education Initiative during the quarterly Davie County Economic Development meeting held on Friday, January 22nd.

Presentation Highlights:

Dr. Bost explained that we need to integrate STEM disciplines across all areas of study and that team-based, real world problem-solving that leverages all of the knowledge of a diverse team of students with access to unlimited digital resources is the essence of what we will achieve in Davie County.  This approach integrates STEM disciplines across all areas of study and produces  21st century renaissance citizens (see, autodidactic polymath).

Dr. Bost asserted that we must continue making fundamental changes to the way we deliver instruction and that we can no longer rely on 19th and 20th century methods and environments to educate 21st century students.

The Davie County STEM Education initiative continues to make progress and is receiving regional and national recognition. This began with the selection of Davie County as one of 3 areas in North Carolina selected to be a NC STEM Collaborative Community.  The progress we have made to date has made Davie County a model for STEM Community Collaborative.

Several university departments of education have contacted us asking if they can send student teachers to Davie County because of what Davie County can do for them that other counties are not able to do.

AAF LogoDavie County STEM Team members were invited to participate in the national STEM school design workshop in Washington DC. Teams from Texas, New York, Ohio, Washington and California were on hand for a design charrette workshop focused on the new high school planned for Davie County.  Being selected as the focus of this workshop was a prestigious honor for Davie County and reflects national recognition of the success of our community efforts.

This Washington DC Design Workshop was sponsored by the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Members of the American Architectural Foundation were so impressed with what we are doing in Davie County that they are preparing to travel here to continue the collaboration.

State-Wide Event Scheduled for February
The Davie County STEM TEAM has been asked to present its successes and challenges to the North Carolina “Joining our Businesses and Schools” (JOBS) Commission which is headed by North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton.   This presentation is scheduled for February.  Davie County is also represented on the NC STEM advisory board to the JOBS Commission.

State-Wide Event Scheduled for March
The Davie County STEM Team has been asked by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to host a state-wide webinar for all North Carolina school districts in March.  The subject of the webinar will be “Creating 21st Century Teachers for 21st Century Students.”  The web-based seminar (webinar) will utilize Davie County Schools’ state of the art digital training network to reach every school district in the state.

The Chief of Instructional Technology for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is coming to Davie County next week to see how he can help with the Davie County STEM Education Initiative.

ISTE LogoInternational Event Scheduled for June
Members of the Davie County Design Team have been asked to present at the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference held in Denver, CO in June.  This presentation will highlight Davie County’s vision, accomplishments and plans for a national and international audience.

No Accident
In closing, Dr. Bost recognized that what is happening in Davie County, and the recognition that we have earned across the state and the nation is no accident but is rather the result of hard work and positive results achieved over time.

Highlights of Achievements in Davie County

  • Through the Mebane Challenge, our local leaders committed to providing classroom technology and teacher training.  Davie County has installed interactive classroom technology in 110% of our classrooms (all classrooms plus media centers, labs, conference centers, etc.).  Davie County visited SmartBoard headquarters in Calgary and met with the CEO to establish and on-going collaboration.
  • Davie County, through the generosity and support of the Mebane Charitable Foundation, has created the Mebane Masters, an innovative program designed for teachers to deliver in-house teacher staff development training at their schools while earning their masters degrees.
  • Davie County has created powerful opportunities for student teachers and we provide leading edge student teacher experience that is recognized as leading edge by teacher colleges across the nation.
  • Davie County has built a state-of –the-art teacher staff development center.
  • Davie County teachers are creating entire courses in digital format which include textbooks, class work, homework and assessments.
  • The Davie County School System has actively solicited and formed partnerships with everyone willing to provide assistance in helping us achieve our vision for a 21st century education.
  • As a result of the Davie County STEM Community Collaborative meeting on September 28th, 2009, Davie County formed a diverse, committed Davie County STEM Design Team who have collectively envisioned, written and submitted the Davie County Educational Innovation Design Plan to NC STEM and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation based on input from our community.

Who is Responsible for This Hard Work and Success?

  • Allen Mebane:  Davie County was “kick-started” by the powerful vision, tireless energy and personal commitment of Allen Mebane.  This vision, energy and commitment continues to be made available through the generous support of the Mebane Charitable Foundation.
  • The Davie County School Board has provided long term invaluable support and continues to provide support every step of the way as Davie County moves toward the digital future of learning and instruction.
  • The County Commissioners in Davie County have been extremely supportive and they are in many ways directly responsible for much of the innovation and technology that is in place throughout Davie County Schools.
  • Elected officials from the State of North Carolina continue to work hard for our teachers, students, parents and communities.  The JOBS Commission was created by the state legislature in Raleigh.  Dr. Bost expressed appreciation on behalf of the entire Davie County School System to North Carolina State Representative Julia Howard for her tireless support and effective results in the area of public education.
  • Last but not least, and perhaps most important of all, is the support of the community that is served by the Davie County School System.  Without the support of our teachers, administrators, parents and students, none of this would be possible.   Only with the continued support and feedback from the community at large will all of this be sustainable for the long term.

Additional Resources:


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Mebane Charitable Foundation

Davie County Web Portal

North Carolina “Joining Our Businesses and Schools” (JOBS) Commission

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

American Architectural Foundation

Autodidactic polymath



Participate on the New Web Site For Davie County STEM Education

Davie-County-STEM-LogoThank you, Davie County! Over 425 members of our community attended the Davie County STEM Education Community Collaborative on September 28, 2009.  This was just the beginning of a community-wide cooperative effort.

Help build on the momentum ~ Let’s continue to pull together as a community to improve STEM education in our schools and to better prepare our students for college, work, and life in the 21st century.

Staying involved more important AND easier than ever ~ In order to continue demonstrating the energy, strength and commitment of our community, and to leverage this engagement for long term action, a set of online community collaboration tools has been launched that make it easy for you to stay involved.

  1. Tell your friends and co-workers about the Davie County STEM web site at
  2. Visit the Davie County STEM web site frequently and stay up to date on our  STEM education initiative.
  3. Join in the conversation by adding your comments to articles on
  4. Add your vote to the reader surveys and polls we will present periodically [see the sidebar on and add your vote to the current poll].
  5. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  6. Send email to with your thoughts, comments, suggestions and ideas. We act on every message we receive.

What have we accomplished together and why should you stay involved?

Legislative action ~ Lawmakers in Raleigh and Governor Bev Perdue have recognized the importance our efforts to improve STEM education and are supporting those efforts through legislative action.  The Joining Our Business & Schools (JOBS) Commission bill was passed by the House & Senate almost unanimously and has been signed into law.  This law empowers the Davie County STEM community in 4 ways:

  1. Davie County will be able to directly suggest areas for “innovation waivers” from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to implement our innovation plans.
  2. Davie County can directly recommend policy and investments in next year’s session.
  3. The JOBS Commission will meet in our communities and also serve as an advisory panel for our efforts.
  4. Davie County may consider cooperating in innovation with other STEM communities.

Dr. John D. McConnell, M.D,

Important relationships forged ~ The commitment demonstrated by Davie County parents, teachers, students and business and community leaders has helped to forge important relationships with leaders in the region, the state and the nation.

Perhaps this was stated best by Dr. John D. McConnell, M.D., the Chief Executive Officer of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center:

“There is a compelling business case for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to engage and promote science and math education in Davie County.  With this community partnership with NCSTEM, generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a partnership with our Medical Center, Davie County can be successful, and no doubt will be successful, in preparing our students for a very bright future in this region.”

View a video of Dr. McConnell’s Speech.

As North Carolina competes for “Race to the Top” funds and pursues additional public/private partnerships, Davie County needs to continue building on our track record of having all-hands-on-deck for education!



Over 400 Attend Davie County STEM Community Collaborative!

The Davie County NCSTEM Community Collaborative kick-off on Monday, September 28th was a dynamic, high energy event attended by over 400 engaged Davie County citizens. Dynamic speakers challenged community leaders, parents, teachers and students to collaborate on developing innovative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century in STEM education.

lcolbourneLarry Colbourne, President of the Mebane Charitable Foundation was the master of ceremonies for this kick-off event.  During his opening remarks, Mr. Colbourne established a context for the activities of the evening:  “We are here to engage, ask questions, and to be part of the vision for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in our public school system.”  Video of Mr. Colbourne’s opening remarks and of our 2 keynote speakers have been posted to your Davie County YouTube channel at

a_atalaThe first keynote speaker was Dr. Anthony Atala, M.D., a pioneer of regenerative medicine, a practicing surgeon, and the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Dr. Atala leads a group of scientists who were the first in the world to successfully implant a laboratory grown organ into a human.  His work was recognized as the number one science story of the year in the field of medicine by Discover Magazine.  Dr. Atala presented a compelling story about the relevance of STEM education for the future of Davie County’s student population.

mcconnelThe next keynote speaker was Dr. John D. McConnell, M.D., the Chief Executive Officer of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.  In addition to his role as CEO, Dr. McConnell is a practicing urologist, a noted researcher in the field of prostate disease, an engaging teacher, and a successful administrator.  In his role as CEO, Dr. McConnell is a master collaborator.

Dr. McConnell declared that “There is a compelling business case for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to engage and promote science and math education in Davie County.  With this community partnership with NCSTEM, generous support from the Gates Foundation, and a partnership with our Medical Center, Davie County can be successful, and no doubt will be successful, in preparing our students for a very bright future in this region.”

After the keynote events, attendees broke out into 6 separate working groups where community members worked together to describe the Davie County community vision for STEM education.  Davie County citizens were highly engaged and discussions were thoughtful… and thought provoking.   This community-based participation, collaboration and “visioning” is critical to the long term sustainability of the STEM education initiative in Davie County.

This was a great kick-off for a long term community collaborative effort and was entirely consistent with the theme for the evening;  “Collaborate, Innovate, Educate.”

Look for more updates soon on the Davie County NCSTEM initiative.  In the meantime, additional video footage from the kick-off event will continue to be posted on YOUR Davie County YouTube Channel.

We welcome your comments (see below).



Davie STEM Project Kicks Off September 28

Davie County STEM Meeting Invitation
Community Invited to Join in Designing Education for the Future!

The Davie community has a unique opportunity to plan the educational program for our students for the future.

Davie County is one of three communities in North Carolina selected to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in public schools. Davie was chosen by the NC STEM Community Collaborative, a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MCNC, an independent, non-profit organization that improves learning and collaboration in education.

Monday, September 28th

The community is invited to attend the kickoff of the Davie STEM project at 6 p.m. Monday, September 28 at Cornerstone Christian Church on Hwy 801 North. The Cornerstone Church men’s group will provide supper beginning at 5:15 p.m. and a laptop computer will be given away.

“It is a true honor for Davie County to have been chosen as one of the first three communities in North Carolina to participate in this important initiative,” said Beth Dirks, county manager.

“The kickoff is an opportunity for residents of Davie County to share their hopes and dreams for the future—for our students, for our economy and for our community,” said Terry Renegar, chairman of the school board.

Special Guest Speakers

John McConnell, MD, the Chief Executive Officer of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and Anthony Atala, MD, a nationally-acclaimed leader in regenerative medicine from Wake Forest Baptist, will speak at the event.

After their remarks, the audience will divide into three groups to discuss needs for science, technology, engineering and math education in Davie County schools.

The Beginning of a Major Effort

“This is the beginning of a major effort to involve the community in designing the educational program our students need for a successful future,” said Larry Colbourne, president of the Mebane Foundation, which is leading the planning effort. “By working together, we will achieve the best results for the education of our children,” he added.

Local partners are Davie County, Davie County Schools, Davie County Economic Development Commission and Davidson County Community College.

Everyone is Welcome

The kickoff and the meal are free and everyone is welcome. “We believe that the involvement of parents, educators and businesses is essential for our success,” Colbourne said.

The planning is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Davie’s plan could be considered by several funding partners of the NC STEM Collaborative, and there is the possibility for support from external partners to help with the implementation of the plan.

“One of the key factors is participation by the community, so we encourage parents and educators to attend the kickoff and stay involved in helping our program to prepare students for their future,” added Colbourne.

“It is essential to educate our children for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “We must connect education to the economy. A strong education will ensure a strong economy for the residents of Davie County.”

Davie County Recognized for Innovation

Davie County was chosen because of the innovation and local partnerships in education, said Karl Rectanus, executive director of the NS STEM Community Collaborative. The Mebane Foundation has awarded grants of more than $4 million in the past five years to fund programs in Davie County Schools.

Davie County offers innovative programs in technology and teacher staff development, the citizens and local government raised more than $1.5 million during the Mebane Challenge and then an additional $1 million was contributed by the County Commissioners.

Lenoir County in eastern North Carolina and the Fayetteville region are the other areas chosen to participate in the STEM program. “We are starting with these three communities and will build our program until we impact all 100 counties in the State,” Rectanus added.

For more information about the Davie kickoff, call the Mebane Foundation at 936-0041.


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