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Weddington Middle celebrates its success as a top NC middle school

Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson, center, presents Weddington Middle School with a certificate of special recognition. Pictured, from left, are Julian Weinbrenner, 14; UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis; Jordan Mayfield, 13; Anderson; Taylor Alexander, 13; Middle School principal Steve Wray; Maria Sanchez, 13; and Megan Piet, 13.

Weddington Middle School students were the guests of honor at a school-wide celebration recently in light of their 2009 test scores ranking them as one of the top public middle school in North Carolina.
   
This Honor School of Excellence met 100 percent of its Adequate Yearly Progress targets and had 96 percent of its students at or above grade level. Weddington Middle School principal Steve Wray said this is the third highest score of all North Carolina middle schools, but the highest ranking of traditional middle schools.
   
The two middle schools with better test scores were: Davidson International Baccalaureate in Mecklenburg County and Brown Summit Middle School, a magnet school in Guilford County. Both schools have an average population of about 240 students. While Weddington Middle School has 1,035 students.
   
The ranking resulted from the school’s 2008-09 end of grade (EOG) test scores for sixth, seventh and eighth grade for math and reading and eighth grade science.
   
“I think it just shows that our students come to school prepared to learn, their parents send them here to get a good education, and the staff strives to do what is best for the students,” Wray said. “We’re blessed to have such good kids and staff members. I’m thankful every day that I work in this building because of the students and the staff.”
   
In recognition of the day, students were treated to celebratory cake in the cafeteria during lunch, while they watched a video made by eighth grader Megan Piet, 13, that chronicled thoughts from students and the community at large on the school’s success.
   
“I wanted to gather comments about how awesome the students at Weddington Middle are,” Piet said. “It was especially nice to hear the people at Central Office say how proud they are of us. I enjoyed getting out of the office and interviewing the superintendent and all the people at Central Office. They were all so nice.”
   
Parents came to share in the celebration, many volunteering to serve the celebratory cake as students came through the lunch line.
   
The middle school students were also allowed to pay $1 and go against the school’s dress code and wear blue jeans. The money collected was used for Haiti Relief.
   
In honor of the school’s accomplishment, Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson came and presented the school with a certificate of special recognition “for outstanding academic performance, for achieving the highest end-of-grade scores among North Carolina’s traditional middle schools.”
   
Wray said the school’s site based team came up with the idea for a school-wide celebration. “All too often we have these accomplishments and don’t celebrate them. So our Site Based Team felt very strongly that we should celebrate the successes of our staff and students this year.”
   
The school’s Media Coordinator and site base member Diane Minsker, who dreamed up the idea for the Feb. 18, 2010, celebration, said the school wanted to get the community involved because the school is part of the town of Weddington.
   
“All school have stakeholders,” Minsker said. “You’re not an isolated entity as a school. You have people in the community give and do for us and we wanted to reciprocate some how. We wanted to be a good member of our community, to share with them the glory of our accomplishment.”
   
Wray said he hopes the celebration told students that “hard work and dedication to their academics paid off and that we thank them for coming everyday and putting forth the effort.”
 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Mar 03, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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