DPS school one of America’s best

The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) has named R.N. Harris Integrated Arts/Core Knowledge Magnet School one of 27 winners of the 2017 America’s Best Urban Schools Award.

R.N. Harris will also be one of 14 schools competing for a Gold Award at the 2017 America’s Best Urban Schools Symposium in May.

The school was recognized for academic excellence based on curricular rigor, instructional effectiveness, relational quality and continuous improvement efforts. NCUST will fly Principal Carolyn Pugh and a colleague to the symposium in Nashville to give a presentation about the school’s keys to success.

Following a site visit by NCUST, R.N. Harris was confirmed as winning at least a Silver Award in the Best Urban Schools program. Four of the 14 Silver Award schools will be named Gold Award recipients. The Gold winners will be named at the symposium May 16.

R.N. Harris Integrated Arts/Core Knowledge Magnet School teaches reading, writing, math, science and history skills through exciting, comprehensive units based on the Core Knowledge curriculum developed by E.D. Hirsch and fused with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

The school participates in the A+ Schools Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.

The National Center for Urban School Transformation is located within the College of Education at San Diego State University. Its mission is to help urban school districts and their partners transform urban schools into places where all students achieve academic proficiency, evidence a love of learning, and graduate well prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the workplace, and their community.

Teacher wins award

Durham Public Schools adapted physical education teacher Lara Brickhouse was named the Southern District Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE).

As the Southern District winner, Brickhouse represents 13 states from Virginia to Texas and is being recognized for outstanding teaching performance at all school levels and the ability to motivate youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.

Brickhouse works with students at Little River School, E.K. Powe, Hope Valley, Bethesda and Eno Valley elementary schools, Lucas and Lowe’s Grove middle schools and Northern and Riverside high schools.

Brickhouse is one of three teachers who will now vie for the distinguished honor of National Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

She has been recognized as the NCAAHPERD-SM APE Teacher of the Year and is heavily involved in the organization as a convention presenter.

Brickhouse received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education and APE from East Carolina University.

Junior Leadership recruitment for 2017-2018 class

Junior Leadership of Durham is now recruiting for its 2017-18 class. Class No. 15 will begin in September with approximately 30 selected students.

There is no charge to the student but as a non-profit organization, Junior Leadership Durham Inc. appreciates donations from individuals and community businesses.

Ninth-grade students attending Durham public, private, charter, or home schools are encouraged to submit an application. Student applications are due March 31 and can be downloaded from the Junior Leadership Durham website

Questions can be directed to Robin Odom at 919-477-4913.

Woodmen of America speech contest

Durham Public Schools held its first district-wide Modern Woodmen of America school speech contest last week.

Seven middle schools participated, with Layke Jones, a seventh-grader at Lucas Middle School taking first place.

Iris Henry from Lakewood Montessori Middle placed second and Mulubrhan Kidanu from Durham School of the Arts placed third.

Students had to write a three- to five-minute speech using their own thoughts and words on the topic: “What does it mean to be a hero?”

They were then scored on how they organized their speech – the theme and subject’s adherence to the requirements and the structure, content, logic, and color of the presentation.

They also received points for their voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures and poise.

The Modern Woodmen of America School Speech Contest has been available to students for more than 60 years.

Today the contest is an important event in many schools across the nation with nearly 100,000 students competing last year.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645