Feature Stories

  • Unionville Elementary’s dual language program hailed for its success

    Dual language, which is instruction taught in both English and a second language, is thriving at Unionville Elementary School. It’s been so successful, it’s gotten the attention of legislators and the state superintendent. State Rep. Craig Horn and State Superintendent Mark Johnson visited the school after hearing about the success of its dual language program. They both toured the classrooms seeing first-hand the success of the program.

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  • UCPS Teacher of the Year Amanda Stinchcomb ‘epitome of great teacher'

    This year’s Union County Public Schools teacher of the year is known for her passion for teaching, her love of her students and considered by her colleagues to be the embodiment of a great teacher. Western Union Elementary teacher Amanda Stinchcomb was chosen as the 2017-18 UCPS Teacher of the Year during Thursday's (April 20, 2017) annual banquet.

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  • Math 24 challenge adds up to fast-paced excitement for UCPS middle school students

    An eighth grader from Porter Ridge Middle School, Dylan Beckham, walked away with the district championship title during the annual Union County Middle School Math 24 competition held at Piedmont Middle School on April 5.

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  • First UCPS Teacher of the Year reflects on changes in education over the past 42 years

    Union County Public Schools will name its 2017 Teacher of the Year Thursday in an annual event that has honored the top educators in the district for the past two decades. Twenty-three years ago, the newly formed Union County Public Schools crowned its very first Teacher of the Year – Barbara Coleman, a third-grade teacher at Wingate Elementary School. This is her story.

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  • Morehead-Cain recipient from Piedmont High has heart for service and compassion for others

    Four days before her 18th birthday, Piedmont High School senior Kayley Elizabeth Carpenter anxiously awaited news that would change her life forever. “I knew this was either going to be a really sad birthday or a really happy birthday,” she said.

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  • 28 UCPS students graduate as Men of Valor

    “Valor: having the strength of mind, spirit or attitude to face any obstacle or challenge with confidence.” These powerful words are proudly displayed on the backs of T-shirts worn by Men of Valor, comprised of UCPS students who participate in a six-week mentoring program.

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  • 2017-18 UCPS Teacher of the Year down to 10 finalists

    The 2017-18 Union County Public Schools Teacher of the Year will be named April 20. The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists who are listed in alphabetical order. (See inside)

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  • SRO of the year known for connecting with students

    Don’t look for School Resource Officer (Monroe Police) Lt. David Evatt in the office at his school. He is much more likely to be interacting with students at Central Academy of Technology and Arts. Evatt was named this year’s SRO of the Year Monday (April 3).

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  • Marisol Uribe, April Employee of the Month, gives back in variety of ways

    The Union County Public Schools’ April Employee of the Month, Marisol Uribe, not only does her job of assisting students in the Monroe High School’s ESL program, but she also contributes her talents in other areas of the school, as well.

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  • Books and Brackets literacy challenge makes the goal

    It’s not unusual to walk into Cuddy Arena at Wingate University and hear the roaring cheers of excitement filling the air, but Friday (March 31, 2017) that high energy came from 800 Union County Public Schools third graders.

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  • Union Elementary School is the Books and Brackets champion

    Union Elementary students were crowned the champions of the first annual Books and Brackets Reading Challenge after having read the most minutes. About 800 UCPS third graders, their teachers, administrators, sponsors, Board of Education members and Wingate athletes celebrated the approximately 26 million minutes read by the system’s approximately 3,000 third graders since the literacy challenge began Feb. 27.

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  • UCPS students get college-ready through high-level courses

    A group of Porter Ridge High School students in a Pharmacy Tech Class, part of the Career and Technical Education’s Health Science Program, are a prime example of UCPS graduates being better prepared for college and careers.

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  • Parkwood Middle Science stars raise the bar

    Parkwood Middle School’s Science Olympiad team continued to define excellence this past weekend (March 25) by taking home the first-place trophy at their regional Science Olympiad competition. Pictured at left, are our assistant coaches Rebekah Westneat, at left, and Sylvia Wendling.

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  • Final 4 schools announced in third round of Books and Brackets literacy countdown

    In the third round of the Books and Brackets Reading Challenge, four Union County Public Schools are headed to the finish line. The Final 4 schools are (in no particular order) Union, Indian Trail, Kensington and Rocky River elementary schools.

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  • Reading can be fun! Just ask a third grader

    “I like to read,” said Union Elementary third-grader Gabriel Williams (not pictured). “Sometimes when I read, I learn new stuff about things I didn’t even know about. If you don’t read, you probably won’t find out stuff, and you wouldn’t know things when somebody asks you something. So you should read to learn new things.”

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  • Hundreds of potential employees connect at UCPS spring Career Fair

    More than 200 job seekers turned out for the UCPS Spring Career Fair at Weddington High School Saturday, March 18. Principals and assistant principals were on hand from 38 UCPS elementary, middle and high schools, as well as nine UCPS departments.

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  • Elite Eight schools announced in second round of Books and Brackets literacy countdown

    In the second round of the Books and Brackets Reading Challenge, eight Union County Public Schools continue to run toward the finish line.

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  • Photo Gallery: Superintendent's Student Art Showcase

    Young Union County Public Schools artists gathered at Central Services Tuesday (March 14) for the Superintendent's Student Art Showcase. Student artwork will hang through the halls of Central Office, serving as a showcase for the talented elementary, middle and high school students throughout the county.

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  • PRMS students think Pi Day is ‘Sweet!’

    A very clever Porter Ridge Middle School teacher used an apple pie to help her students calculate PI in math class, in honor of the annual March 14 PI Day. Using delicious foods as part of math equations definitely wasn’t a problem for Tamala Vote’s seventh-grade students.

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  • High School seniors find their futures through Project Search

    “Preparing all students to succeed” isn’t just Union County Public Schools’ motto; it’s a rally call for educators. One example of meeting all students’ needs: providing students with significant disabilities the training and skills necessary to enter the workforce after high school graduation. Pictured at left is Alex Rotar.

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  • Sweet 16 schools announced in first Books and Brackets literacy countdown

    The minutes are in! Sixteen Union County Public Schools have taken the lead in the first annual Books and Brackets Reading Challenge.

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  • 43 years of service shines light of distinction on Shirley Bess

    Shirley Bess’ 43 years of distinguished service with the public school system in Union County has not only given her the opportunity to serve under seven superintendents, but it has brought her state recognition.

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  • Robert Nichols finds positive side of any problem

    Robert Nichols’ name is synonymous with the words team, family and selfless service. Nichols, who was chosen as the March recipient of the UCPS Employee of the Month, works as a Desktop Engineer at Central Academy of Technology and Art.

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  • UCPS is hiring, plan to attend spring career fair

    Teachers, bus drivers and administrators are just a few of the career opportunities available within Union County Public Schools. These opportunities can be explored during the Saturday, March 18, UCPS Spring Career Fair, to be held at Weddington High School, located at 4901 Monroe Weddington Road in Matthews. Doors will open at 10 am. The fair will continue until 2 pm.

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  • UCPS students say, ‘Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!’

    Union County Public Schools joined the nationwide effort to get every elementary school student to celebrate reading during a March 2 event called Read Across America, which coincided with the 113th birthday of Dr. Seuss.

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  • Atrocities of the Nazis recounted by Holocaust survivor

    About 400 Piedmont High School students sat in awed silence as Holocaust survivor Simon Berger described the day the Nazis took him, his mother, young brother and three sisters to work camps. It was the last time he ever saw them.

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  • Photo Gallery: UCPS holds Books and Brackets Reading Challenge kick-off

    The first annual Books and Brackets Reading Challenge kickoff was held at Sun Valley Elementary Thursday, Feb. 23, a chance for about 120 third graders to get a first-hand look at the competition.

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  • Photo Gallery: Centennial celebration brings community to Shiloh Elementary

    Shiloh Elementary School held a centennial celebration Saturday, Feb. 18, to commemorate its 100th birthday. Students, staff and the community turned out in droves to enjoy games, good food and show their support of this momentous anniversary.

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  • Shiloh Elementary School: 100 years of quality education

    Shiloh Elementary School will be hitting a milestone that sets them apart from many other schools across America. The school is celebrating its 100th birthday. This award-winning school has been providing a quality education for a century to thousands of Union County children.

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  • School bus drivers share their love for the job

    In recognition of Love the Bus Month (February), messages of school bus safety will resonate across America. This week (Feb. 13-17) is School Bus Drivers Appreciation Week. Schools, students, parents and the community at large will take this opportunity to show their gratitude to the bus drivers in their community.

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  • ‘Hidden Figures’ adds up to inspirational experience for UCPS students

    Teach by example. It’s a philosophy that’s as old as time itself. A group of about 60 UCPS middle and high school students learned some valuable lessons, courtesy of the big screen, by watching the examples set by three courageous African American women who worked for NASA in the 1960s.

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  • Mary Mical, February Employee of the Month, known for customer service

    The Union County Public Schools’ February Employee of the Month, Mary Mical, continuously seeks ways to improve her customer service.

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  • Board of Education honors educators for attaining National Board Certification

    Congratulations to 27 educators who have either received or renewed their National Board Certification, bringing the total of number of NBCT in UCPS to 286. One teacher, Catherine Hebert from Monroe High School, (pictured at left) received her national certification.

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  • UCPS announces Books and Brackets 2017

    Thousands of Union County Public Schools third graders are gearing up for March Madness with “Books and Brackets.” All 30 elementary schools will participate in a reading challenge Feb. 27 – March 31. For five weeks, students will record the number of minutes read while at school and at home.

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  • Piedmont High students use art to create unity

    Piedmont High School is doing its part to change the world, one student at a time through its school wide participation in the global project Inside Out. The message: self-acceptance and unity are important.

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  • Walter Bickett and East elementary schools expand academic options

    Walter Bickett and East elementary schools are expanding academic options for students. Rising kindergarteners who attend Walter Bickett and East elementary schools for the 2017-18 school year will have the option to enroll in a Spanish Language Immersion Program.

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  • Visiting high school students from China experience cultural, educational differences

    After attending classes at Marvin Ridge High School for several days and living with Union County host families, a group of visiting Chinese students have gained, not only a lot of memories and new friends, but some new customs to take home as well.

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  • UCPS 2017 Spelling Bee breaks record with 34 rounds

    “Can we just call it a tie?” asked Antioch Elementary fourth grader Daniel Wei after successfully completing 31 of the 34 total rounds of the 2017 UCPS Spelling Bee championship Tuesday, (Jan. 31).

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  • UCPS Communications Team awarded 15 Blue Ribbons

    The Union County Public Schools Communications Team won 15 Blue Ribbon Awards at Friday’s (Jan. 27) North Carolina School Public Relations Association’s annual recognition ceremony in Greensboro.

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  • History comes alive at Fairview Elementary School

    About 100 fourth-grade Fairview Elementary students breathed life into famous historical characters of the Civil War era during the school’s Wax Museum held Tuesday, Jan. 24.

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  • Mentor: One who cares enough to make a difference

    “Being a mentor is about walking beside someone, not standing over them and telling them what to do. A mentor has to listen,” said Ginger Walle of Heart For Monroe. “Being that person a student can talk to, call during school, after school or at night, is extremely valuable to students. Everyone needs to know that there is someone that has their back.”

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  • Kindergarten sets the stage for life-long learning

    Problem-solving, communication skills, independence, decision-making and socialization are just a few of the areas that kindergarten can strengthen in young students. Parents of kindergarten-age children can register their children between Feb. 6 - Feb. 10.

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  • Helping others is life lesson for Forest Hills High School students

    Whether organizing a 5-K color run, holding a food drive or raising money to buy books, students in one Forest Hills High School class are making a difference in Union County. Pictured, from left, are Berenice Galarza, Aniyah Blakeney, and Laura Jordan. Andrei Torres is standing.

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  • Sun Valley Middle School students give dream performance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    A small group of Sun Valley Middle school students received a standing ovation Friday, Jan. 13 following a touching performance about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I’m so proud of them,” said their teacher, Amelia Polk. “They gave it all they had, and they learned a lot about Dr. King, things they didn’t know.”

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  • Photo Gallery: Superintendent's Student Advisory Council meets

    Fifty high school students from across the county met with Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, sharing their ideas on ways to address the five trends that came from Dr. Houlihan’s Listening and Learning tour.

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  • January’s UCPS Employee of the Month recognized for exceptional performance

    The Union County Public Schools’ January Employee of the Month was recognized for her ability to step up and get the job done. Retta Threatt was honored at the Jan. 5 Board of Education meeting.

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  • Classroom sizes, charter school payments are top issues at BOE’s legislative breakfast

    Four North Carolina lawmakers heard first-hand some of the concerns facing Union County Public Schools during a legislative breakfast hosted by the Union County Board of Education Friday, Jan. 6.

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  • Superintendent Houlihan recognizes three principals for their leadership

    Good communication with parents is essential, and students are never too young to think about their futures: two philosophies that resulted in Walter Bickett Elementary principal Dr. Jamie Benfield, Porter Ridge High principal Dr. Bashawn Harris and Sun Valley Middle principal Vicki Merritt being recognized by Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan for their leadership.

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  • Winter storm warning puts freeze on all school, district activities

    A winter storm warning that threatens to bring at least three inches of snow to Union County this weekend has resulted in the cancellation of all weekend school and district activities.

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  • Charity begins at home for Poplin Elementary

    No one would think that a tree with no ornaments would be celebrated, but at Poplin Elementary School, that’s exactly what happened. The tree had been filled with paper snowflakes, each containing a holiday wish from a Poplin family member in need.

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  • Second graders make the holidays brighter for American soldiers

    Western Union Elementary School second graders have brought smiles and a little bit of home to American soldiers over the holiday season. Men and women in uniform received a very special holiday greeting from students, complete with a self-portrait and a brightly colored holiday letter.

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  • Marvin Ridge students shoot for global awareness

    It may look like any other fun holiday photo booth, but for students at Marvin Ridge High School, the activity has global impact. More than 150 high school students “said cheese” to help raise money for Walking for Water, a school club that hopes to bring awareness of water shortages around the world.

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  • Wingate Elementary students wrapped in holiday cheer

    It was hard to tell who was more excited, the middle school students who brought the presents or the elementary school students who received them. About 200 new coats were purchased on a voluntary basis by individual Cuthbertson Middle School students, wrapped and then brought to the school Thursday, Dec. 15. This is the second year CMS has partnered with Wingate for this project.

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  • Photo Gallery: Sun Valley Middle holds annual gingerbread house contest

    The annual Sun Valley Middle School Gingerbread House contest had 10 students vying for the first-place title this year. The winners were announced in the school’s media center on Friday, Dec. 16.

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  • Holidays around the world celebrated at Poplin Elementary

    The holidays are a time for traditions, but those traditions differ greatly depending on the culture and the country. Maria Ilona Darrigrande, a kindergarten Spanish immersion teacher at Poplin Elementary, wants her students to understand there are many holiday traditions around the world.

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  • Dr. Houlihan leads staff development session to share best practices on use of data

    Once a teacher, always a teacher, even when you wear a superintendent’s hat. Union County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan had an opportunity to dust off his classroom teacher skills and offer professional development to a group of about 60 educators during a staff meeting at Sun Valley Elementary School Wednesday, Dec. 14.

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  • Hour of Code teaches skills today for jobs of tomorrow

    Thousands of Union County Public Schools students joined millions across the world learning and manipulating blocks of computer code during last week’s Hour of Code, the largest learning event in history.

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  • Mid-year career fair helps to fill vacancies

    Union County Public Schools prides itself on hiring top-notch employees to fill job vacancies in and outside of the classroom. To help meet the growing need for educators and other school staff, UCPS held its first mid year career fair Friday, Dec. 9. At left are Forest Hills High School Principal Dr. Kevin Plue and assistant principal Kelly Blakney talking with a job candidate.

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  • Community steps up with new shoes for elementary students

    Thanks to the generosity of First Presbyterian Church in Monroe and JCPenney, about 100 students from Walter Bickett and East elementary schools will be stepping out in style over the holidays.

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  • Photo Gallery: Wolfe School holiday celebration

    Wolfe School staff and students enjoyed the sights and sounds of the holiday season Friday, Dec. 9, at school's annual celebration given courtesy of the Union County Public Schools Facilities Department. Money is raised for this event each year through the annual Ed Sweeney Memorial Golf tournament.

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  • Kensington’s Randy Hayes always willing to lend helping hand

    The second recipient of the Union County Public Schools Employee of the Month award is known for coming to the rescue at his school. Randy Hayes, lead custodian at Kensington Elementary School, was recognized at Tuesday’s, Dec. 6, Board of Education meeting with the December Employee of the Month (EOM) award.

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  • Board of Education members sworn in at December meeting

    Six Union County Public Schools board members were sworn in during the Dec. 6, 2016, board meeting held at Marvin Ridge High School. Newly elected members Candice Sturdivant (District 1), Matt Helms (District 2), Joseph Morreale (District 5), Kathy Heintel (District 6), Dennis Rape (At Large) and returning board member Christina Helms (At Large) were sworn in by Clerk of Court J.R. Rowell.

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  • Monroe High teacher embarks on new adventure in Malaysia

    Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country known for its beaches and rainforests. Home to about 30 million people, it is ruled by a constitutional monarchy, much like Britain. These facts may not hold much significance to the average Union County resident, but to Tyler Lee, a world history teacher at Monroe High School, they are important.

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  • Union County Public Schools is hiring teachers

    The district will hold a Career Fair on Friday, December 9, from 4 – 7 p.m. at Central Academy of Technology and Arts (600 Brewer Drive) in Monroe, NC. School administrators and support staff directors will be available to talk to prospective employees about positions in instructional and non-instructional areas.

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  • CATA’s winning play shares message of solidarity

    The clenched fist raised high in the air has historically been a symbol of solidarity, strength and resistance. For a group of theater students at Central Academy of Technology and Arts, it has become a symbol of unity to fight oppression.

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  • Community leaders wear educators’ hats for a day

    Business and education leaders joined forces over the past few days for the fifth annual BizEd Week, an opportunity that allows the community to go inside schools and witness first-hand the exciting things happening in Union County Public Schools.

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  • Parents learn valuable lessons at Forest Hills High

    About 80 parents, grandparents and other family members spent the morning reliving the high school experience at Forest Hills High School Tuesday, Nov. 15 during Bring Your Parent to School Day.

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  • Soldier used music to fight for troop morale

    When a soldier is deployed, he is armed with the weapons necessary to fight the battles at hand. Soldiers like United States Air Force SSgt. William Harris are armed with musical instruments because they are fighting for troop morale.

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  • UCPS staff powderpuff game sure to become tradition

    The first day of November was unforgettable for two UCPS high schools. It marked the first annual Union County Public Schools staff powderpuff game, which was held to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children. This exciting competition was between Weddington and Marvin Ridge high schools.

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  • Union County voters approve school bonds

    Union County voters approved a $54 million bond referendum for classroom additions, safety repairs, renovations and a new transportation facility. The school bond referendum passed with 70.69 percent of votes. This number is based on voting data (88 percent of precincts reporting) posted on the Union County Board of Elections website as of 9:10 p.m.

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  • UCPS mock elections offer real-world experience

    Students across Union County are learning about the importance of citizens casting their votes to fulfill their civic responsibility. Sun Valley Middle School eighth grade social studies teacher Jenny Kanagy, held a mock election in her classroom Monday (Nov. 7), a lesson that she hopes students will take with them for the future.

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  • Hopes and dreams soar at East Elementary School

    As 700 bright red balloons ascended slowly into the afternoon sky at East Elementary on Friday, Oct. 28, cheers and applause rose from more than 500 very exuberant elementary school students and their equally excited teachers. East Elementary Principal Denny Ferguson addressed the students just prior to the Hopes and Dreams balloon launch, explaining that it was a symbol of the commitment it would take to accomplish academic goals for this school year.

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  • Quick action by FHHS senior saves the life of middle school student

    When Forest Hills High School senior Xavier Huntley decided to forgo baseball practice because he wasn’t feeling well, he couldn’t have known that his decision would be one of the most important choices of his young life.

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  • Three UCPS principals recognized for their leadership

    UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan recognized three outstanding principals during the general principals meeting Thursday, Nov. 3, for their extraordinary leadership skills at their schools. This month’s recognitions honored Denny Ferguson of East Elementary School, Jennifer Deaton of Union Elementary School and Dr. Kim Andrews of Weddington High School, with a certificate of appreciation and a ball cap embossed with the Team UCPS.

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  • Houlihan urges student leaders to create change

    Fifty high school students met with Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan to talk about what’s working and where we can improve during the school year’s first Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council meeting.

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  • Shiloh’s Fatima Feliz helps her school to shine

    The first recipient of the Union County Public Schools Employee of the Month award is credited with helping to make her school an inviting place to visit. Fatima Feliz, who has served as a custodian at Shiloh Elementary School since February, was recognized at Tuesday’s, Nov. 1, Board of Education meeting with the first EOM award.

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  • Board of Education approves merit-based bonus plan

    At its Nov. 1 meeting, the Board of Education voted to award one-time merit based bonuses to eligible employees in December 2016. The merit-based bonus is pursuant to North Carolina Session Law 2016-94, section 36.1A and in accordance with the district’s outlined plan.

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  • History shows Union County citizens support school bonds

    Over the past 18 years, Union County voters have stepped up six times to meet the needs of its students. Union County Public Schools, the sixth largest school district in North Carolina, has witnessed enormous growth over the past two decades. To meet that growth, citizens passed six bond referendums totaling $501.7 million.

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  • Real Men Can Sing

    The auditorium at Porter Ridge High School resonated with the sound of about 100 young male voices Wednesday, Oct. 26. The students, who came from 10 UCPS middle and high schools, were participating in a daylong workshop in an annual event called Real Men Can Sing.

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  • Union Elementary receives National Title I Distinguished Schools Award

    Union Elementary has been named a 2016-17 National Title I Distinguished School. The school received the award at the North Carolina Association of Compensatory Educators Conference (NCACE) on Thursday, Oct. 27.

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  • Capital Improvement funds vs. bond dollars

    What is the difference between money that comes from a bond referendum and capital improvement funds? And what determines how projects are funded? The difference is often based on the frequency and size of the project. Piedmont High School, at left, is one of six UCPS schools slated for renovations and additions if the $54 million school bond referendum passes on Nov. 8.

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  • Dr. Jonathan Tyson is named 2016-17 Principal of the Year

    A product of Union County Public Schools, Dr. Tyson was chosen as this year’s top principal during Thursday’s (Oct. 13) Principal of the Year Luncheon held at the Professional Development Center on Brewer Drive. Vera Woolard of Marvin Ridge Middle School, was chosen as the 2016-17 Assistant Principal of the Year.

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  • Four principals recognized with Team UCPS award

    Each month, Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan recognizes principals for extraordinary leadership skills. Four Union County Public Schools principals were honored at the October General Principals’ Meeting held Thursday, October 13, 2016. Dr. Kim Fisenne of Central Academy of Technology and Arts was recognized for CATA being name a National Blue Ribbon School. The school was one of 329 schools nationally to receive the prestigious award.

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  • UCPS teachers are LIFTed higher by mini grants

    Union County Education Foundation (UCEF) has brought smiles to 22 Union County Public Schools teachers by surprising them with LIFT grants. Teachers can apply for the yearly LIFT (Leadership and Innovation Funding for Teachers) Grants, which award from $100 to $500 for technological advancements, classroom enhancements and educational programs.

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  • Larger cafeterias = fewer lunch periods = more instructional time

    If the $54 million bond referendum passes on Nov. 8, it will add 49 new classrooms to six Union County Public Schools, increasing student capacity in brick and mortar buildings, thus reducing the number of students who have classes in mobile units.

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  • Voting early – What you need to know before the polls open

    Sandra Martin doesn’t vote on Election Day, but she never misses an opportunity to vote. Shorter lines and the convenience of voting on Saturdays have led Martin, a Union County Public Schools administrative assistant, and her husband, Scott, to vote early each year.

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  • Manufacturing jobs produce workable career options

    Union County Public Schools students, teachers and administrators were given a first-hand look at the employment opportunities available in Union County during the 2016 Union County Manufacturing Awareness Week.

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  • Fuel Up to Play 60 camp pairs Panthers with UCPS students

    Students at Stallings Elementary School have a little better understanding of the importance of fitness thanks to the Carolina Panthers. The entire student body benefited from a Fuel Up to Play 60 camp held at the school Tuesday (Oct. 4). It’s sponsored by the Carolina Panthers in partnership with the Southeast Dairy Association.

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  • Bond dollars would improve conditions for teachers, students

    Eric Miller, a math teacher at Porter Ridge High, is a “floater.” He spends a good bit of his time each day pushing a cart, loaded with his teaching materials, from one classroom to another. Miller is one of a number of Union County Public School teachers who “float” from one classroom to another throughout their day as there are not enough classrooms at their school. Pictured at left, Lynn Mitchell, a Sun Valley High School chorus teacher, who is also a "floater."

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  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts is named National Blue Ribbon School

    CATA is one of 329 schools recognized nationally for the 2016 award. Now in its 34th year, the U.S. Department of Education has recognized more than 8,000 schools nationally with this coveted award. Pictured, at left, are students in Sarah Henry's English class after they hear the news.

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  • Shiloh teacher named EC Teacher of Excellence

    Dee Hasty, an exceptional children’s teacher at Shiloh Elementary, has been named a 2016 Exceptional Children’s Teacher of Excellence. She was informed by EC Director Janie Webb during a staff meeting at her school Wednesday (Sept. 21).

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  • Marching bands wow crowds with precision, skill

    Few things can stir the soul like the rousing tunes of a marching band. Whether it’s the inspiration of patriotic music or the exhilaration of a contemporary song, when it’s performed by the synchronized precision of a high school marching band, magic happens. Pictured, at left, is Todd Ebert, the band director at Cuthbertson High School.

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  • Shiloh Elementary students salute local heroes

    Who runs toward danger while the rest of us run away? Firefighters, law enforcement officers and paramedics. Shiloh Elementary students took time Friday, Sept. 9, to thank these brave men and women for their service by providing lunch during an event called “Heroes Day.” At left, Monroe Fire Battalion Chief Andy Ross talks with a student.

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  • Photo gallery: Community welcomes Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan during ‘Meet and Greet’

    Business and community leaders welcomed Union County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan during a “Meet and Greet” held Wednesday, Sept. 14.

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  • Why is this bond needed? 80s-built transportation facility does not meet state standards

    The year is 1980. Jimmy Carter is the 39th president of the United States. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is released in theaters, while Pink Floyd, David Bowie and KC and The Sunshine Band are all the rage. In Union County, there are five high schools, five middle schools and 10 elementary schools, totaling about 12,000 students. This is also the year the then Union County Schools built the transportation garage.

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  • Donated school supplies are tools for student success

    Starting school without the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom can be a stumbling block for children. Thanks to the efforts of School Tools, a partnership between WSOC-TV, Classroom Central and Communities In Schools, hundreds of Union County Public Schools students, as well as students across 22 counties in North and South Carolina, will have the needed tools to be successful.

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  • Dr. Houlihan launches Listening and Learning Tour

    As part of his 90-day entry plan, Dr. Houlihan is launching a Listening and Learning Tour. Beginning Sept. 21, the Superintendent will hold a series of meetings throughout Union County to meet with employees and community members.

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  • Attendance is key to academic success

    The problem of chronic absences from school has become a national epidemic, affecting one in 10 children in America.

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  • Two UCPS principals recognized for their leadership

    Two Union County Public Schools principals were recognized for their leadership during the first general principals meeting of the new school year, held Thursday (Sept. 8). Pictured, at left, are, Monroe High School Principal Dr. Mike Harvey, New Town Elementary School Principal Catherine Perry and UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan.

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  • Support from schools keeps milestones from becoming stumbling blocks

    Entering elementary, middle and high schools are milestones in a student’s life. Moving up into higher grades and a different school, however, can cause anxiety for students and parents.

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  • UCPS releases accountability measures for 2015-16

    The state of North Carolina and Union County Public Schools released several accountability measures for the 2015-16 school year. Union County Public Schools continues to make gains and outperform the state average in reading and math. In 2016, the district earned its second highest four-year graduation cohort rate of 92.8%. The state’s four-year graduation rate is 85.8 percent.

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  • Superintendent: ‘UCPS has phenomenal start to school year’

    Piedmont Middle School sixth grader Karsyn Callahan sat quietly in her math class, happy that the first day of school had, thus far, gone very smoothly. When the new UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan, walked into her classroom to introduce himself, however, she admits that at first she was a little anxious about meeting him. Piedmont Middle was one of 10 schools Dr. Houlihan visited on the first day of school.

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  • Photo Gallery: Welcome back to school!

    Today marks the first day of school for students on the traditional calendar. We are excited to welcome staff and students back to school for the 2016-2017 academic year. A photo gallery has been created to capture the first day back in session. Have a great year!

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  • Educators excited about start to school year

    First-year teachers and seasoned educators alike have been working steadily this week making final preparations in their classrooms for the return of students Monday, Aug 29.

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  • Four houses at East Elementary build sense of belonging

    There are no dragons or castle walls at East Elementary, but there are four “houses” where students are assigned, very much like the students in Harry Potter’s school, Hogwarts. If you’re a fifth grader at East Elementary, you now belong to one of four “houses:” Team Beneficium (Latin for kindness); Team Cognitio (knowledge); Team Fortitudo (courage); or Team Gloria (ambition).

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  • Maintaining schools heats up during summer

    While students were enjoying those long summer days, hundreds of Union County Public Schools employees were hard at work preparing for the 2016-2017 school year. Pictured, at left, is maintenance grounds employee Justin Boyd cutting grass at a UCPS high school.

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  • VIF teachers immerse themselves in American culture

    Luis Agudelo and his wife, Monica Naranjo, both teachers in Colombia, South America, decided to take their love of teaching to the United States. Thanks to the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) program, they both arrived in Union County Friday (Aug. 5) with 15 other VIF teachers, all of whom have been assigned to one of 10 UCPS elementary schools.

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  • Photo Gallery: New hire orientation welcomes 250 teachers

    About 250 UCPS teachers attended the new hire orientation Wednesday, Aug. 10, hosted by the Human Resources Department. The event was held at CATA and the Professional Development Center, and featured a variety of breakout sessions, including the Beginning Teacher Support Program; Licensure Information; HR/ER Policies and Procedures; and Legal Updates.

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  • Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan outlines his vision for Union County Public Schools

    Teamwork: the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient. UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan is a firm believer in the concept.

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  • Marvin Ridge community rallies behind their rakes

    Parents, students and educators came in droves to the Marvin Ridge campus early Saturday morning, armed with rakes, shovels and hedge trimmers, to continue a five-year tradition of giving back to the middle and high schools.

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  • Union County Early College celebrates decade of success

    When Union County Early College opened its doors for students Thursday, Aug. 4, the school hit a milestone—10 years serving Union County Public Schools students.

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  • Summer camp turns video game vision into reality

    Dylan Hatley, a rising eighth grader at Piedmont Middle School, is designing software that will save the world – at least in the video game he’s creating. Dylan and about 17 other UCPS students from middle schools across the county spent the week (July 25-July 28) in a summer camp at Central Academy of Technology and Arts, learning software development and game design.

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  • Photo Gallery: UCPS welcomes our new Superintendent, Dr. Andrew Houlihan

    The Board of Education appointed Dr. Andrew Houlihan as superintendent of Union County Public Schools at a board meeting on July 26. UCPS administrators, elected officials, community members and staff attended the meeting and welcomed our new leader. We have provided a photo gallery of pictures from the board meeting and reception.

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  • Union County Board of Education names Superintendent

    The Union County Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection and appointment of Dr. Andrew Houlihan as the next Superintendent of Union County Public Schools. Dr. Houlihan was named at a special-called meeting July 26. His first official day will be Wednesday, Aug. 24.

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  • Boys and Girls Club builds skills for tomorrow’s leaders

    You don’t have to convince Monroe Middle School rising eighth grader Robert Smith that the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club is a great place to grow and learn. He’s been coming for three years. He says the benefit of the club is the impact it can have on students who may be choosing the wrong path. “They teach smart moves and how to make the right choices.”

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  • First day of year-round school rings in lots of excitement

    The first day of year-round school began Thursday, July 21, an exciting time for educators, parents and the approximately 3,500 students who attend school on the year-round calendar. Teachers and staff at Benton Heights, East, Shiloh, Walter Bickett elementary schools, Walter Bickett Education Center, and Wolfe School, which all operate on the year-round calendar, welcomed students to the 2016-17 school year.

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  • Summer reading camps create happy endings

    Rocky River Elementary third-graders Garrett Stack and Angelle Alsobrooks, (pictured at left) both say they see the value of attending the Union County Public Schools summer reading camp, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s fun, too.

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  • Governor Pat McCrory comes to UCPS to sign state budget with 4.7 percent pay increase for NC teachers

    Walter Bickett Elementary third-grade teacher Madison Gray works two jobs to pay the bills. With the pending 4.7 percent pay increase for teachers signed into law today (July 14, 2016) by Gov. Pat McCrory, that may change. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory came to Shiloh Elementary School in Union County to sign the state’s $22.3 billion budget, which brings the average teacher pay in North Carolina to about $50,000, and beginning teacher salary to $35,000.

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  • New UCPS Transportation Director named

    Marlon Watson has been named Director of Transportation for Union County Public Schools. He was appointed by the Board of Education in June.

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  • Board of Education approves personnel appointments

    The Union County Board of Education approved two personnel appointments and two transfers at its July 6 meeting. Jonathan Bowers, principal at Weddington High School, has been named Director of Student Services and Accountability. Tom Childers, principal at Walter Bickett Elementary, has been named principal at Antioch Elementary. Dr. Jamie Benfield, principal at Antioch Elementary, has been named principal at Walter Bickett Elementary.

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  • CATA graduate takes Broadway competition by storm

    How do you compete and win on a national stage on Broadway all the while, keeping stage fright from taking control? Amina Faye, a 2016 gradate of Central Academy of Technology and the Arts, feels her attitude helped keep her nerves at bay, allowing her to give an award-winning performance.

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  • UCPS projects approved for bond referendum

    The Board of County Commissioners approved a request from the Board of Education to place a bond referendum on the November ballot for Union County Public Schools. The BOCC agreed to a $53 million bond referendum for seven projects.

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  • Monroe High graduate becomes one of ‘the few, the proud’

    Ask anyone at Monroe High School and they’ll tell you 2016 graduate Micah Blake is an extraordinary young woman, a leader among her peers, with her sights set on making a career in the United States Marines. What makes this young woman even more remarkable is her ability to overcome life’s twists and turns that for the majority of her senior year, left her living on the kindness of friends.

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  • American dream realized by six Monroe High School 2016 graduates

    Coming to a new high school can be difficult for any teenager. When you add to the equation that most of the students in that school don’t speak your language, “difficult” is bumped up a notch. Six Monroe High School students faced these challenges head-on after moving to Union County from other countries, and graduated with the Class of 2016. Pictured at left, at right, is Sade Castillo from the Dominican Republic.

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  • 121 UCPS retirees honored for a total of 2,512 years of dedicated service

    Retirement is a milestone, something to look forward to after years of service in one’s chosen career. To celebrate the 121 employees retiring this year from Union County Public Schools, the district held its annual retiree luncheon at South Piedmont Community College. These employees take with them a combined 2,512 years of service, with an average of 20.8 years per employee. Joseph Heath, a math and PE teacher at Piedmont High School, is pictured with his principal, Dr. Jonathan Tyson.

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  • Parkwood graduating twins have identical bonds

    If you had a twin, would you want to be identical or fraternal? Four Parkwood High School graduates, two identical twins and two fraternal twins, walked across the stage Saturday, ending their high school careers and beginning life on a collegiate level. Just prior to graduation, Kendall and Kolin Plyler, 19, (fraternal twins), and Galen and Nick Beaver, 18, (identical twins) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of going through high school as a twin.

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  • Early College 2016 graduate has sights on US presidency

    Tai Huynh, a first-generation American, has very clear goals for his future. At 19, he’s already designing campaign materials for his bid for the presidency in 2036. He will turn 35 that year, which is the minimum age to be a US president.

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  • New administrators appointed at June 7 Board of Education Meeting

    The Union County Board of Education approved two personnel appointments and one transfer at its June 7 meeting. Sarah Starr, (top left) assistant principal at Hemby Bridge Elementary, has been named Principal at Marvin Elementary. Lynn Cole, (top right) principal at Marvin Elementary, was appointed to the position of Early Learning and Intervention Specialist in May. Carole Alley, (bottom left) assistant principal at Monroe High School, has been named principal at Parkwood High School. Dr. Stephanie McManus, (bottom right) principal at Parkwood High School, has been named Principal at the Union County Early College. Joe Delaney will serve as a consultant to the Instructional Technology and Operations departments.

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  • Leslie Boyd is named Chair of Board of Education

    The Union County Board of Education elected new officers at its June 7 meeting. Leslie Boyd was named chair and Michael Guzman was named vice chair of the Board of Education. John Collins, former chair of the Board of Education, resigned in May, creating a vacancy for the position.

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  • Michele Morris sworn in as interim UCPS superintendent

    Michele Morris, Union County Public School general counsel, was sworn in as interim superintendent during the Board of Education’s regular Tuesday (June 7, 2016) meeting.

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  • Poplin student and Cam Newton go all in on new TV show

    Caleb Garner, a fifth-grader from Poplin Elementary, might be signing autographs when school starts next year, after staring in an episode on Nickelodeon with Panther quarterback Cam Newton.

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  • UCPS seniors register today to vote for tomorrow's leaders

    Voter apathy continues to be a problem in the United States, an issue that the League of Women Voters hopes to eliminate among students in the Union County Public Schools.

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  • 2016 UCPS Graduation Photo Gallery

    Graduation season is here! We are capturing moments from various ceremonies across the district. The photo gallery will be updated as graduations take place.

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  • Jodi Robinson wins the 2016 VIF Global Educator Award

    This has been an outstanding year so far for Jodi Robinson, a third-grade teacher at Unionville Elementary School. She is one of only five educators in the world to win the 2016 VIF Global Educator Award. She was also named the 2016 UCPS Teacher of the Year in May.

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  • Value of teacher assistants recognized at Union County NCATA banquet

    The value of teacher assistants in the classroom was a key focus during the 24th annual banquet of the Union County Chapter of the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants (NCATA), held May 19 at SPCC. The chapter also awarded Cuthbertson High School 2015 graduates Megan Pounds (Appalachian University) and Kenneth Winslow (NC State) each a $800 scholarship.

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  • Senior parade returns MHS 2016 graduates to the halls where it all began

    The sounds of hundreds of elementary and middle school students cheering and applauding brought smiles and some tears to many of Monroe High School’s 2016 graduating seniors Monday. After they donned their caps and gowns, they walked proudly through the halls where, for many, it all began.

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  • Indian Trail Elementary’s Lighthouse status makes them a beacon of leadership

    Moments after the fire alarm sounded at Indian Trail Elementary, about 700 children exited the building calmly and orderly walking onto the front lawn, a result of years of fire drills. Once they walked outside, however, students saw something that made them realize that this wasn’t just a run-of-the mill fire drill.

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  • Steady stream of job hopefuls attend UCPS career fair

    More than 300 job seekers poured into the Union County Public Schools Career Fair Wednesday, resumé in hand, hoping to match their skills to a job opening within the school system.

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  • Healy receives the Administrator to Watch Award

    Dr. Laurel Healy has been selected by the North Carolina Middle School Association for the state Central Office Administrator to Watch Award.

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  • Cathy NeSmith, Dr. Anne Radke named top EOP professionals

    Cathy NeSmith, an administrative assistant in Auxiliary Services, has been named Union County Educational Office Professional of the Year, while Dr. Anne Radke, the principal at East Union Middle, has been chosen as the Union County EOP Administrator of the Year.

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  • Stronger leaders emerge from UCPS Management Academy

    “Leaders aren’t born; they’re made, just like anything else, through hard work.” Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Clarke relayed these words, spoken by famous football coach Vince Lombardi, to the graduates of the Union County Public Schools inaugural Supervisory Management Academy. Clarke, pictured at left, presents a certificate of completion to UCPS Facilities Manager Maurice Brown.

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  • Rea View Elementary teacher named Hometown Hero

    Congratulations to Kristine Barberio, a fourth-grade teacher at Rea View Elementary, who has been named the Union County Public Schools Hometown Hero for May. Principal Jennifer Hoover, Assistant Principal Emily Culberson and Chris Blettenberg from Charles G. Monnett and Associates surprised Barberio in her classroom on May 6.

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  • Students salute teachers for lifelong lessons beyond the classroom

    Fairview Elementary School fifth-grader Spencer Thomas didn’t understand why she had such difficulty reading. When she looked at the pages of her book, the words simply made no sense. Spencer didn’t want people to know about her problem, but she couldn’t keep the problem from her teacher, Donna Thomas (no relation).

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  • Two MRHS coaches selected as 2015 Coaches of the Year

    Two Marvin Ridge High School coaches have recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations as the 2015 coaches of the year. Coaches Melissa King-Pierce and Cameron Starr were presented with their awards at a recent North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Spring Board of Directors meetings in Chapel Hill.

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  • Parkwood Middle Science Olympiad Team means business

    When Parkwood Middle’s Science Olympiad Team went to its first regional competition, team members thought of it as a learning experience. What it turned out to be, however, was an amazing victory and a chance to move up to the state competition.

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  • Generous giving by UCPS employees will touch many lives

    With the total giving dollars reaching close to $200,000, the United Way recognized Union County Public Schools Thursday (May 5) as the organization with the highest employee donations.

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  • Some things never change: Stuka’s love of teaching remains constant

    Maureen Stuka, a fifth-grade teacher at Waxhaw Elementary, is a ball of energy wrapped in a small, but powerful package. Her high expectations for herself spill over to her students who seem to love her as much as she loves them. She teaches from the heart and soul.

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  • VIP reading buddies part of the village at East Elementary

    “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” This African proverb could have been used to describe the scene at East Elementary School Thursday (April 28) as members of the community came forward to help kindergarteners read.

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  • What’s buzzing at Sardis Elementary?

    Did you know that honey is the only food that never expires? This interesting fact was part of some hands-on learning at Sardis Elementary School last week, part of Bee Care Educational Outreach offered by Bayer Crop Science in Raleigh.

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  • Unionville Elementary teacher is 2016-17 UCPS Teacher of the Year

    Jodi Robinson, a third-grade teacher at Unionville Elementary, was chosen as the 2016-17 UCPS Teacher of the Year during Thursday's (April 21, 2016) Teacher of the Year Banquet. In addition, she will receive a one-year lease of a car, courtesy of Union County KIA, a Keffer Automotive Company.

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  • Charlotte Hornets help bring the love of reading to Union Elementary

    The air sizzled with excitement as students at Union Elementary clapped and cheered while their teachers danced with Charlotte Hornets arena host Fly-Ty and Hornet’s mascot Hugo. The excitement came when Charlotte Hornets Book Bus rolled up to the school Thursday (April 21).

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  • Porter Ridge High teacher is April ‘Hometown Hero’

    As Jennie Yearick moved through a math lesson on April 12, her classroom door opened and Principal Dr. Bashawn Harris entered the room with three guests. With a puzzled look on her face, she soon learned that she had been named the Union County Public Schools Hometown Hero for April.

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  • Success of UC Virtual linked to one-on-one time with teachers

    UC Virtual, Union County Public Schools’ online learning program, has just completed its largest enrollment since it began in 2013. The program, with seven full-time teachers and three adjuncts, currently offers 35 courses, which includes everything from honors and advanced placement courses, to Spanish and art appreciation.

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  • UCPS Teacher of the Year selection down to 10 finalists

    The 2016-17 Union County Public Schools Teacher of the Year will be named April 21. A five-person district committee individually reviewed and scored portfolios from the 53 school-level teachers of the year, choosing the top 20 candidates as semi-finalists. A different committee then performed individual interviews of those 20 semi-finalists, further narrowing the search to 10 finalists.

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  • SRO of the year believes building a rapport with students is vital

    Visibility, involvement and building a rapport with students seem to be the secrets to being a great school resource officer. It’s these characteristics that helped Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Yohance Prince become the 2016 UCPS School Resource Officer of the Year. Prince is the SRO at Forest Hills High School.

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  • Clean Energy Academy powers dreams of a better tomorrow

    Dalton Mangum, a 15-year-old sophomore at Parkwood High School, has been interested in the field of alternative energy for as long as he can remember. Dalton and his team are almost finished with their solar panel, a project in his Clean Energy Systems class, the first in a series of classes offered in the school’s Clean Energy Technology Academy.

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  • Photo Gallery: UCPS honors 21 educators for National Board Certification

    Congratulations to the 21 Union County Public Schools educators who have either received or renewed their National Board Certification. The Union County Board of Education recognized these outstanding individuals during its April 5 meeting at Porter Ridge Middle.

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  • Students’ enthusiasm drives Weddington Middle School's robotics team

    Weddington Middle School seventh-grade teacher Scott Bass has only one problem with the students in his robotics classes. At the end of the day, they don’t want to leave when the bell rings.

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  • Cuthbertson High teacher wins Hometown Hero Award

    Alissa Hammersmith of Cuthbertson High is the Union County Public Schools Hometown Hero for March. Principal Dr. Kim Schroeder, school administrators and Mr. Hammersmith surprised the science teacher with the award March 16.

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  • Porter Ridge senior takes leadership skills to Merchant Marine Academy

    Getting a call on her cell phone from a Washington, DC, area code sent Porter Ridge High School senior Alyssa Stoltz’ heart racing. She had been waiting for weeks to find out if she would receive the coveted appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

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  • Board of Education names interim, deputy superintendent

    The Union County Board of Education met this morning to discuss the Superintendent Search process. The Board voted on a number of items including naming an interim superintendent and interim deputy superintendent.

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  • UCPS students work toward their futures at job fair

    Elizabeth Sanchez wants a career in the military. Danial McAfee wants to work outdoors, possibly in landscaping. Katie Orzehowski hopes to work in some form of counseling. These UCPS seniors came one step closer to those careers yesterday at the Union County Job Fair held this year at the Union County Agriculture Center.

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  • Photo gallery: Hemby Bridge students bring history to life

    Hemby Bridge Elementary fourth graders took a step back in time recently, when they brought historical figures back to life in a grade-level Wax Museum. Rachel Varda, a fourth-grade teacher, said students' only criterion was to choose someone who had positively impacted the world.

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  • Community shelter touched by fourth graders’ Love Project

    Fourth graders at Porter Ridge Elementary are doing more than just studying about poverty and homelessness; they’re lending a hand to those in need.

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  • Marvin Ridge High swimmer is named Student Athlete of the Month

    Caroline Hauder of Marvin Ridge High is the February Student Athlete of the Month. Through a program sponsored by the Bank of North Carolina, Caroline earned $250 for her school’s athletic department.

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  • UCPS students splash into summer camp fun

    Want to sail down a three-story water slide, go to a planetarium and see a laser show, touch a live shark or pet a giraffe? These are a few of the activities that Union County Public Schools students might enjoy this summer when they attend the UCPS 2016 summer camp.

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  • Student teachers from China impressed with Kensington's immersion program

    Students at Kensington Elementary School became the teachers recently when four student teachers from China came to observe how American students learn. The student teachers were from Zhijiang College within Zhejiang University of Science and Technology in Shaoxing/Hangzhou, China.

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  • Photo Gallery: Marvin Elementary holds Chinese New Year parade

    The halls at Marvin Elementary School were filled with brightly colored lanterns, large paper dragons and beautiful costumes during a recent school-wide global teach-in day that focused on the school’s Mandarin Immersion Program.

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  • Photo Gallery: UCPS students enjoy Read Across America Day 2016

    Union County Public Schools participated in the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, an annual motivation and awareness program that asks children to celebrate reading on March 2, which coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The following photos are from activities at Sun Valley and Antioch Elementary Schools, and Parkwood Middle School. Students from Sun Valley Middle and High School traveled to SVES to read to students.

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  • Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis announces retirement

    After nearly 38 years of service to public education and Union County Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Mary B. Ellis has announced plans to retire June 1, 2016. Ellis has served as UCPS superintendent since 2012. “It has been an honor to serve as Superintendent of Union County Public Schools,” Ellis said. “This is an outstanding school system and I am proud to say that I was educated in Union County and have worked as a teacher and administrative leader in this district.”

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  • Buster the Bus makes school bus safety lessons fun

    Teaching school bus safety isn’t a new concept in public school education, but when a talking mini school bus named Buster rolled into the media center Thursday (Feb. 25) at Indian Trail Elementary School, students sat up and took notice.

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  • Photo Gallery: NC legislators and candidates spend time in UCPS classrooms

    The Union County Board of Education is hosting a Teacher for a Day Program for North Carolina legislators and candidates. Special guests are visiting schools February 15 – 26, to witness what it is like to be a North Carolina educator. The North Carolina School Boards Association encouraged school districts to invite legislators and those running for office to tour schools and experience life as a teacher.

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  • Black History Month offers lessons for many students that last a lifetime

    “It doesn’t matter about our skin color. It just matters that we're human beings. … Never judge anybody from the outside.” Kaleb Jones, (pictured at left) an 11-year-old student at Shiloh Elementary School, was one of about 550 elementary school students who were treated to special guest readers in the school’s annual African American Read-in. Obviously, the lessons learned during Black History Month aren’t forgotten.

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  • Western Union Elementary students share their hearts with wounded veterans

    Scissors in hand, second-grader Allen Padgett carefully trims the red paper heart for the very special card he’s making. This isn’t just any Valentine’s Day card. It has to be perfect because it’s going to his big sister in Korea.

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  • New hand signals improve communication between bus driver and students

    Fanonola Sturdivant, a six-year-veteran bus driver in the Monroe cluster, holds her hand up, palm facing the students waiting at their bus stop, warning them to wait before crossing the street.

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  • Schools, students take time to show bus drivers they “love the bus”

    Have you hugged your bus driver lately? If you’re an elementary student, chances are you have, especially this week, which is designated Love the Bus Week.

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  • Wesley Chapel Elementary teacher wins January Hometown Hero award

    Ms. Michele Rigney had a puzzled look on her face when her principal and assistant principal walked into her classroom unexpectedly the morning of February 1. She had no idea that she was about to be named the Union County Public Schools Hometown Hero for January.

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  • UCPS Communications Office wins 15 state Blue Ribbon awards

    The Union County Public Schools Communications Office took home the gold recently when it received 15 North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) awards of excellence.

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  • Winter break gives 2016 Spelling Bee winner leg up in competition

    Royce Joseph, a seventh grader from Weddington Middle School, credits the days off from school over winter break, the snow day and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in helping him prepare for the 2016 Spelling Bee competition. Apparently it paid off as he took home the winning trophy Thursday, (Jan. 28).

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  • City of Monroe honors ‘historic’ MHS football team

    In mid December, the Monroe High School Redhawks brought home a lot more than just a 2AA state football championship. They showed the world that they could “leave no doubt.”

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  • What parents need to know about kindergarten registration

    Kindergarten registration for Union County Public Schools will run Feb. 8-12. Parents should register their child at the elementary school located in their attendance area. To enroll in kindergarten in North Carolina, eligible children must have reached their fifth birthday on or before Aug. 31 (of the year of entrance).

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  • Two UCPS educators learn global lessons in Ecuador

    Ask Forest Hills Principal Dr. Kevin Plue or his civics and world history teacher Jennifer Whitley, what makes Ecuador unique and be prepared for a global lesson.

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  • A song is worth $5,000 at Weddington Elementary

    A group of elementary school students can boast that they’ve starred in a music video that won their school $5,000. It all began when Girl Scout leader Natasha Patel heard that Michael and Son, a company that specializes in plumbing repair and plumbing appliance installation, held a jingle contest to advertise their company, and they opened the contest to area schools.

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  • UCPS educators recognized for outstanding work in the classroom

    Three Union County Public Schools educators were recognized recently for outstanding work in their respective classrooms. Those educators were Todd Ebert (Cuthbertson High Band Program); Larry Robinson (Theatre Academy at Central Academy of Technology and Arts; and Lisa Schilling (UCPS AIG Teacher of the Year).

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  • UCPS is recognized for increasing access to AP course work

    The College Board honored UCPS for its achievements in Advanced Placement (AP) course work. UCPS was recognized at the State Board of Education meeting for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. UCPS was one of two North Carolina school districts to earn a place on the AP District Honor Roll.

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  • Parkwood tennis player is named Student Athlete of the Month

    The Bank of North Carolina Student Athlete of the Month is Meredith Little of Parkwood High. During a presentation in December, Meredith was presented with a $250 check for her school’s athletic department. Meredith is a senior with a passion for tennis. She has been a star on the Parkwood tennis team for four years. She has lettered each year as a varsity player in both 3A and 2A conferences.

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  • Basden named interim Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services

    The Union County Board of Education approved a personnel appointment at its January 5 meeting. Sam Basden was named interim Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services effective January 6. Basden has worked in Union County Public Schools since 2007 and has served as Director of Secondary Support Services since 2014.

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  • Weddington Middle continues long tradition of giving

    For as long as school counselor Juliene Cook can remember, Weddington Middle School has held a “loose-change drive” to collect money to give to those less fortunate.

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  • Fairview Elementary student recipient of American Doll House

    Building dollhouses for deserving children is a work of heart for Piedmont High School Resource Officer David Ludlow. When tragic circumstances brought two young children to Union County, he knew who the next recipients would be.

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  • Santa's sleigh arrives at Wolfe School

    It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the students opening the presents or the approximately 100 men and women from the UCPS Maintenance Department who bought the gifts.

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  • Wesley Chapel PTO brings holiday cheer to East Elementary

    Thanks to the generosity of parents at Wesley Chapel Elementary, hundreds of East Elementary students will have warm hands and ears at the bus stop on cold winter mornings.

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  • Cuthbertson Middle students make season brighter for two sister schools

    Santa hat pulled snugly atop her head, a warm smile on her face, Charlotte Reccardi, a sixth grader from Cuthbertson Middle School, picks up the matching blue gloves that go with the blue winter jacket she has given Noah, a kindergarten student at Wingate Elementary School.

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  • UCPS students join millions in global Hour of Coding

    After dragging and dropping the last block of code into the line of instructions on her ThinkPad, Caroline Souza, a third grader at Wesley Chapel Elementary School, sat holding her breath. Caroline threw her hands above her head in triumph, jumped up from her seat, and announced, “I did it!” when that code made her animated character do exactly as she asked. This scene was repeated through out the morning in Kim Mayfield’s third-grade class at Wesley Chapel Elementary during the Hour of Coding.

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  • Marshville and Shiloh elementary schools win $25,000 for technology

    Belk announced the winners of its 2015 Belk Bowl Innovation Lab contest, which gives local schools the opportunity to remodel their current media center to create a welcoming, innovative learning space and improve reading efforts.

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  • Parkwood High junior is named Student Athlete of the Month

    Timothy Leckrone, a junior at Parkwood High, has been named the Bank of North Carolina athlete of the month for November. In honor of Timothy’s recognition, the school received a $250 check for the its athletic department during a short presentation on Nov. 24.

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  • Making good choices today essential for a successful tomorrow

    Inspiration comes in many different forms, shapes and sizes. For students at South Providence, inspiration came from two retired professional wrestlers who shared their personal stories of tragedy and success. Both Lex Luger (wrestler 1986–2001) and Nikita Koloff (wrestler 1984-1993) faced life-altering challenges, yet overcame them and successfully moved forward in their lives.

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  • PRMS students take Disney's Lion King Jr. on the road

    The Musical Theatre Department at Porter Ridge Middle School will present Disney’s The Lion King Jr. in the Porter Ridge High School auditorium at 9:30 a.m. and at noon on Dec. 2nd for students at Poplin, Stallings, Hemby Bridge and Porter Ridge Elementary schools. The musical will then be performed for the general public on Dec. 3rd and Dec. 4th at 7:00 p.m. Admission at these evening performances will be $3 for students and $5 for adults.

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  • Education Foundation brings community into the classroom in variety of ways

    The third week of November was abuzz with activities for the Union County Education Foundation, the culmination of a yearlong effort that not only set the stage for the coming year, but also showcased the foundation’s mission of promoting educators.

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  • Virtual field trip brings social studies alive for Hemby Bridge third graders

    With today’s technology, students can take a virtual field trip, visiting just about anyone they wish. Third-graders at Hemby Bridge Elementary School visited elected officials in Stallings recently, an opportunity for teachers to bring social studies alive.

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  • Weddington Middle teacher is November ‘Hometown Hero’

    Nicole Schroedel, a math teacher at Weddington Middle has been named the November Hometown Hero for Union County Public Schools. During a surprise presentation with Principal Marcus Leake and administrators on Nov. 9, Schroedel was awarded a certificate and a $250 check for classroom supplies from Charles G. Monett III and Associates.

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  • Sardis students are getting creative with Makerspaces thanks to LIFT grant

    When students walk into the media center at Sardis Elementary, they have the opportunity to let their creative juices flow thanks to a special section of the library called “makerspaces.” Blaire Austin, the first recipient of a LIFT grant, said the funding would enhance her school’s media center, and help accomplish her goal of providing more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences at her school.

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  • UCPS educators recognized as best of the best

    Five Union County Public Schools educators have risen to the top as being the best of the best in their respective fields. The following synopses highlight the accomplishments of Lauren Baucom, a math teacher at Forest Hills High; Rebekah Fuerst, an eighth-grade science teacher from Parkwood Middle; Donna Podgorny, the UCPS World Language Instructional Content Facilitator; Larry Robinson, drama teacher at Central Academy of Technology & Arts; and Sherry Robinson (no relation), a school nurse at Weddington High School.

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  • Former PRHS graduate crowned Miss North Carolina--USA

    Many little girls dream about wearing a crown and being chosen as the fairest in the land. That fantasy became a reality for Allie Dunn, a 2013 Porter Ridge High School graduate when she was named Miss North Carolina-USA.

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  • Students ‘Mix It Up’ to help fight bullying, make new friends

    The concept is simple: talk to people you don’t normally talk to. The impact of this simple act, however, can be profound. Approximately 1,400 students at Porter Ridge Middle School participated in a national anti-bullying effort called Mix It Up at Lunch Day Tuesday (Oct. 27).

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  • Weddington High student is Bank of NC athlete of the month

    Weddington senior Keith Duncan has been named the Bank of North Carolina athlete of the month for October. In honor of Keith’s recognition, the school received a $250 check for the its athletic department during a short presentation on Oct. 23.

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  • Union Elementary Exceptional Children’s teacher honored with 2015 Teacher of Excellence award

    Sarah Rynne, an Exceptional Children’s (EC) teacher at Union Elementary, has earned the 2015 Teacher of Excellence award from the Union County Public School’s Exceptional Children’s Department. Rynne serves students with disabilities in a behavior-focused, specialized setting at Union Elementary.

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  • CHS Rock Band records on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

    CHS has been chosen as one of six schools nationwide by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) to win in the second annual “What Makes Music Education Great in My School” video contest. Winning got students a two-day residency with the NAMM Foundation and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

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  • October ‘Hometown Hero’ named at Shiloh Elementary

    The look on Terri Brown’s face was priceless when her principal and 9 of her colleagues made an unexpected visit to her classroom on Oct.16. Brown, a second-grade teacher at Shiloh Elementary, was named the October Hometown Hero for Union County Public Schools.

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  • 20 Union Elementary teachers each surprised with $50 gift cards

    Thanks to a $50 gift card from the Teacher Rewards program, fifth-grade Union Elementary teacher M’lissa Cianes can see an idea come to life – Flashlight Friday. To help offset the estimated $1,000 a year teachers spend out of their own pockets for classroom supplies, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club representatives surprised 20 teachers at Union Elementary with a total of $1,000 in gift cards Wednesday, (Oct, 7).

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  • Welcome to our new website!

    Union County Public Schools is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website. The school system developed its website with parents, staff, students and community members in mind. UCPS recognizes that communication is a key component to its operation. The district and all school websites have been updated with a modern design and technology to improve communication.

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  • 49 UCPS schools recognized for global education

    Union County Public Schools is considered a leader throughout North Carolina for its focus on global education. For the past six years, the UCPS Global Schools Program has encouraged educators to bring global education into the classroom.

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  • Piedmont Middle students honor local officers

    Piedmont Middle seventh graders decided to show local law enforcement officers that they care and appreciate their hard work. With the help and direction of their teacher, Lesa Goodman, a seventh-grade communication skills teacher at Piedmont Middle, about 325 letters were sent out, written by the entire Piedmont Middle seventh-grade class.

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  • Scott Spencer named Principal of the Year, Brian Davis named Assistant Principal of the Year

    Shiloh Elementary Principal Scott Spencer and Parkwood Middle Assistant Principal Brian Davis have been chosen as UCPS' top administrators.

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  • Porter Ridge High student is Bank of NC athlete of the month

    Bank of North Carolina awarded its first student athlete award to Sarah Welch of Porter Ridge High on Friday, Sept. 25. In honor of Sarah’s recognition, the school received a $250 check for its athletic department.

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  • Manufacturing careers offer solid choice for graduates

    A handful of Union County Public Schools guidance counselors and career development coordinators (CDC) spent Thursday touring local manufacturers in an attempt to be better informed and better able to advise students about manufacturing jobs in Union County.

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  • Piedmont High student receives escort of a lifetime

    A sea of yellow shirts, bandanas and face-painted 10th graders and their teachers flooded the sidewalks and entrance at Piedmont High School on Sept. 15, as shouts and cheers greeted the arrival of Greg Floyd, a sophomore battling Leukemia. Greg was brought to school by Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey, accompanied by a convoy motorcycles driven by volunteers and area law enforcement. This unprecedented and memorable event was made possible by the non-profit organization Hometown Heroes.

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  • Benton Heights kindergarten students honor 9-11 victims

    Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts kindergarten students got a unique perspective on commemorating the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack on America today by planting three butterfly bushes in their honor. The commemoration ceremony was organized by Benton Heights kindergarten teachers Beverly Garcia, Brittany Ackerman, Dawn McCourt, Jonica Wortha, Kristen Weaver and Megan McCarver.

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  • 1,500 American flags wave at Sun Valley Middle to honor 9-11

    Most of the students at Sun Valley Middle School weren’t even born on Sept. 11, 2001. There were 2,996 people who lost their lives during the attacks when two planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, one plane hit the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

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  • Kensington teacher is first Hometown Hero of new school year

    Tammy Rollins of Kensington Elementary was named the September Hometown Hero for Union County Public Schools. She is the first winner for the 2015-16 school year. Rollins, a third-grade teacher, was recognized during a surprise presentation on Sept. 15 in her classroom. She received a $250 check for classroom supplies from Charles G. Monett III and Associates. Her class will also receive a pizza party.

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