School board salutes student, staff honorees

Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Donna Gephart recognized Dakota Honeycutt for winning the 2015 Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics, a cost-free, state-funded program for academically talented North Carolina residents who have demonstrated interest in science and mathematics and aspire to a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

HAMLET — School officials honored more than 40 students, faculty and staff Tuesday night at the final board meeting before students and teachers go home for the summer.

Board members shared their comments about the year in general and their pride in all of the good things happening in Richmond County Schools.

Board member Bobbie Sue Ormsby summed up the past 30 days on a positive note.

“You know, I was thinking as we were sitting here that aren’t we fortunate in Richmond County Schools to be so entertained?” Ormsby said. “All the musicals here at the end of the year, in the busiest time of the year, and they were still able to see those through. I enjoyed going to the sports and the Richmond Senior High academic awards. It’s been a very good month and I’ve enjoyed it.”

Everyday Heroes from Monroe Avenue Elementary School Jenni Hall and Debbie Franklin received certificates and gift bags.

Student winners of state and national awards were honored as well.

The North Carolina Technology Student Association’s State Conference, attended by 13 Richmond Senior High students, yielded two students who qualified for nationals. Those students are Cody Mabe and Logan Kennedy. Other TSA students honored were Tate Hodges, Kristi Reep, Stephanie Crawford, Tyrell Camlin, Jordan Jones, Stephen Collins and Derek Wilderman.

Fifteen students from the county placed at the SKILLS Conference in Greensboro: Cody Mabe, Logan Kennedy, Stephen Collins, Jordan Jones, Danesha Alsbrook, Jylan Smith, Rogelio Reyes, Ayanha Cox, Devon Johnson, Miles Steele, Keassia McDonald, Shwanna Stelle, Diamond Stroman, Hydeia Blanchard and Dakota Honeycutt.

Six students from Rockingham Middle School made the 2015 North Carolina Middle School All-State Chorus: Jan’Nice Conrad, Kayleigh Fields, Ben Helms, Noah Jordan, Blake Joye and Laila Wall.

Carter Richardson, a Rockingham Middle School sixth-grader, will be spending part of the summer in Washington for the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.

The Duke University Talent Identification Program selected seventh-graders Lee Hayden and MacKenzie Spradlin. Seventh-grade students with strong intellectual abilities are invited to participate if they achieve a qualifying score at or above the 95th percentile on a recent grade-level test.

Upon enrollment, Duke TIP registers this select group to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exam. After participants take their test, Duke provides benefits to them throughout high school, including access to resources for gifted students.

The board also recognized Amanda Chriscoe, who will be dual-enrolled in the N.C. School of Science and Math. In order to be chosen, Chriscoe had to meet all of the same requirements as students who attend the prestigious school exclusively.

Richmond County’s Battle of the Books champions from the middle school division came from Rohanen Middle School: James Brooks, Maggie Cook, Robin Edwards, Letticia Ocampo and Tyree Ocampo. Mrs. Jackie Payne served as Rohanen’s Battle of the Books coach.

At the elementary level, Washington Street School took first place with its team of Telayah Covington, Angelina Hammonds, Carolina Mendez, Naaman Perakis, Cameron School, Sanajia Tillman and Jenycis Warren. Their team was coached by Breanna Long.

Ronald Tillman, who became the board’s newest member when he replaced Sen. Tom McInnis after he resigned his seat, spoke of his own involvement in end-of-year events in schools across the county.

“Being the newest board member, this has been an important month for me. I also attended the RSHS academic awards program and served as a judge for the senior boards. I just want to say thank you to the students and teachers, and especially to the staff. In whatever role you have in the school system, you are important, and I thank you for all your hard work and I know the board does, too.”

Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.