School Notes: May 11

Providence student named National Merit Scholar

One Matthews-Mint Hill area student is part of a second group of winners for this year’s National Merit Scholarships and was awarded the National Merit $2,500 scholarship.

Michelle Fogarty from Providence High School was chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program and was judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies, according to a news release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Independence students finalists for Blumey Awards

Students at Independence High School were nominated for awards in the inaugural Blumey Awards, sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts and Wells Fargo.

The school performed the musical “Grease” in the new program, which is patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards and will give out trophies for Best Actor and Actress among several others.

In Matthews and Mint Hill, Independence High is the only school participating in the competition.

Each musical was viewed and evaluated by a panel of three judges from the Charlotte-theater community. The judges awarded points according to detailed guidelines, nominating six finalists each for 13 different categories of awards.

Independence High is nominated for the following awards:
• Best Featured Performer: Marissa Plondke as Patty
• Best Choreography Execution

Final awards will be given at the May 20 awards ceremony at the Belk Theater. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $45 and are available online at or by calling 704-372-1000.

Matthews student wins Oratorical contest

One Matthews student took top honors at Optimist International’s North Carolina West District Oratorical Competition Saturday, May 5.

Nicole Adams, who was sponsored by the Matthews-Mint Hill Optimist Club, was one of three high school and middle school students who advanced to the district competition from a field of more than 400 students throughout western North Carolina.

The competition is the longest, continuously running youth program of Optimist International. Nicole received a $2,500 scholarship for winning first place.

She is the daughter of Rich and Yolanda Adams.

Local teachers honored

Several Matthews and Mint Hill teachers were recently announced as 2012 MeckEd Teachers of Excellence.

MeckEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for better public education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will recognize and honor 40 outstanding CMS teachers who have mastered instructional practices and are leaders in their school and professional communities. Teachers were chosen for the award after being nominated by their principals.

A ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 16 at the Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St., and will feature a presentation of awards by CMS leaders and local elected officials. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with programs and awards from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The following Matthews and Mint Hill teachers will be honored:
• Butler High: Joanna Schimizzi
• Crown Point Elementary: Amber Wagner
• Mint Hill Middle: Angie Blankenship
• Providence High: the late Paul Jackson

SAFE College Funding to host street fair

SAFE College Funding, an organization created to help parents and students get the facts they need to make informed decisions about college, will host Sandblast!, a family-friendly street fair May 19, a Saturday.

The event, which will benefit The Sandbox, a non-profit organization providing emotional and financial support for those suffering from life-altering illnesses, will include food, arts and crafts, vendors, live music, an oversized sandbox and kid-friendly inflatables.

The fair will take place in SAFE College Funding’s parking lot, 1110 Sam Newell Road, in Matthews. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds from vendor fees and donations at the event will benefit The Sandbox.

Bain Elementary wins state Fire Bowl competition

The Bain Elementary Life Safety Bowl team recently won first place in the North Carolina State Fire Bowl Competition, in April, at the Charles Mack Citizens Center in Mooresville.

The competition, which is a quiz contest designed to educate students about fire and life safety, recognizes teams of fourth- and fifth-grade students.

The Bain Elementary team went undefeated in the state competition, receiving trophies, 10-year fire alarms and a $1,000 check for their school.

The team consisted of Gray Fandel, Peyton Gates, Nate Joseph, Alec Pearson and Grace DeSeve. Kim DeSeve and Jennifer Dalesandro coached the team.

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