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New Salem Elementary School Receives NCASCD Lighthouse Award

Back row: Lori Cauthen, Director of Elementary Education, Principal Neil Hawkins, Dr. Mary Ellis, Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Front row: Mrs. Kerri Mosley, Guidance Counselor and Mrs. Marcie Baucom, NSES Teacher of the Year.

On Thursday, February 11, 2010, New Salem Elementary School was recognized for its innovation, leadership, and excellence in student achievement at the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development annual conference in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Five schools from across the state were selected from numerous applicants to receive the association’s prestigious Lighthouse Award. Each winning school received a plaque and a check for $500.

New Salem was recognized for it’s innovative after school club program, Education Extra. Through these clubs, students’ special interests are tapped. Club offerings include a cross-country running team (the Roadrunners), the Good News Club, an international club and chorus, an art club, a recycling club (the Green Team), and a drama club. Such clubs allow students to apply classroom knowledge to a variety of real-world applications.

In the area of excellence in student achievement, New Salem was recognized for its’ Knight’s Council program. As a means of encouraging students in Grades 3-5 to work to their highest academic potential, the New Salem Knight’s Council meets each six weeks to recognize students in the following areas: attendance in school, academic achievement (most improved and honor roll), conduct in class, completing homework assignments, and achievement of personal and /or academic six week goals. Students earn shields (points) for each area in which they are successful (up to six per grading period). Shields are traded in for recognition pins which students proudly display on their Knight’s Council lanyards provided by the school’s PTO. Recently, students who earned a minimum of twelve shields during the first semester were invited to participate on a reward trip to Kate’s Skate. An end-of-year trip to Medieval Times and Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC has been planned for students earning at least twenty shields by the end of the school year. According to Neil Hawkins, New Salem principal, “the Knight’s Council has been an amazing motivational tool for our students. My favorite part of the entire process is that students are encouraged to develop an understanding of goal setting at such a young age. Through support from classroom teachers and parents, students are challenged to set a personal and academic goal each six weeks. They revisit these goals at the end of the grading period and analyze if they met the goal. If not, they are challenged to examine why.”

New Salem Elementary, located in Marshville, has a strong history of academic excellence. This award highlights the fact that the school is achieving it’s mission of “preparing all students to achieve their highest potential in academic excellence in citizenship”. Hawkins states, “I am so proud of our school for being selected to receive the NCASCD Lighthouse award. New Salem is a community school which has dynamic educators, determined students, and is supported by a dedicated group of parents and community members.”

Written by: Neil Hawkins, Principal of New Salem Elementary
Posted: Feb 12, 2010 by Tracy Jones

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