Leni Fragakis Publishes Unit in IRA Journal
Leni Fragakis, M.Ed. K-6 (literacy concentration) graduate, collaborated with Dr. Debbie Linville over the past 17 months to develop a literacy-based instructional unit that has been published by “the” premiere literacy organization (International Reading Association). This instructional unit is part of a new line entitled Bridges – bridging research and practice for high engagement and rich student learning. Miss Fragakis and Dr. Linville have been invited to present the product at the IRA conference in New Orleans in May 2014.
Miss Fragakis has a BA in K-6 and a M.Ed. in grades K-6 with a focus in literacy from High Point University. She is a licensed Reading Specialist (K–12), Special Education General Curriculum teacher (K–12), and Elementary Education teacher (K–6) in North Carolina. She is currently a third-grade teacher at The Arts Based School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Ms. Fragakis has a passion for integrating literacy experiences and the arts into all curriculum areas. Along with attending numerous international-, national-, and state-level conferences, she has co-presented at conferences for organizations such as North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators, North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and North Carolina Council for the Social Studies.
Graduate Students Featured in STEM News
High Point University School of Education graduate students, Catherine Hadley and Katie Ethridge, were recently featured STEM News, a newsletter for STEM teachers across the nation. Both of the students are in the 5th year M.Ed. in Elementary Education (K-6) with a focus on STEM education.
The students were asked to comment on the need for STEM education at the early learning levels. Highlights from their writing indicate that they see a focus on the tested subjects of reading and math to the detriment of students as they fail to see important connections that carry over into perceptions about science and science related careers.
Teachers in the STEM focused concentration gain the knowledge and expertise to provide their students with real world connections and meaningful and engaging lessons that include engineering challenges, use of probe wear, and basic computer programming with simple iPad apps.
April Thompson Named Assistant Principal of the Year
Thompson has been an assistant principal at Reidsville High since 2012. Thompson has 9 years in education and has served as a GEAR UP coordinator and an assistant principal in Asheboro City Schools.
Thompson received her Bachelors in Physical Education from Greensboro College, a Masters in Human Resource Development from Clemson University and a Master of School Administration from High Point University.
Ms. Gina Spencer Honored for Title I Reward School
The School of Education is pleased to announce that Ms. Gina Spencer, principal of Pickett Elementary School in Lexington has received word that her school has been recognized as one of the 2013-2014 Title I Reward Schools.
A Reward School is a Title I School that, based on recent student performance data, has been identified as being among the highest 10% of all Title I schools in the areas of most improved in student performance and/or highest performance of students for all subgroups assessed.
Title I is the largest federal program for schools. It is aimed at assisting students who are at-risk academically based on the overall percentage of low-income children in attendance, generally based on those eligible for the free and reduced lunch program.
Gina Spencer received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education in is 2003 from High Point University. She earned her masters degree in Educational Leadership from High Point University in 2005.
Also receiving the distinction of Title I Reward School for 2013-2014 is Montlieu Academy of Technology, a Guilford County School who has had a three-year iPad partnership with the School of Education.
Graduate Takes Service Learning to Schools
In the 2012-13 school year, Chris Terzigni and his fourth grade students at Archer Elementary in Greensboro started a project to finish the Boston Marathon for all the runners who weren’t able to Terzigni Thermometerfinish the race before the tragic explosions occurred.
Terzigni is a graduate of HPU’s fifth-year education master’s program. He graduated from HPU with his undergraduate degree in 2012, immediately began teaching and completed his master’s in elementary education at HPU in May 2013.
“It all started because of the students,” says Terzigni. “Every Monday we would read the newspaper and the kids would choose a story to discuss. They wanted to talk about the marathon and had a lot of questions.” Terzigni says the story got the students interested and involved. When they found out that more than 4,400 runners, Terzigni, who had trained for months for this race, had to stop just 1.4 miles from the finish line, they couldn’t believe it. ”Then one student said, ‘Why don’t we finish it for them?’”
Despite the busy school year and End of Grade exams approaching, Terzigni used the students’ interest as an opportunity for learning. The students used math to figure out how many miles they would have to walk or run to finish the race for the runners who weren’t able to cross the finish line. His students agreed to invite other classes and schools to help out. Terzigni then reached out to other local teachers who he met while studying at HPU. I made such amazing connections with people while I was at HPU; I knew exactly who to reach out to in order to make this happen.” Terzigni knew that service learning is more than just doing something; students also had to learn the meaning behind it. To promote the project, his fourth grade students created their own website; marketed the project through emails and power point presentations; researched the Boston Marathon and marathons in general; and compiled data to make sure they reached their goal by using spread sheets and graphs.
“It was amazing to see how quickly they absorbed the information,” says Terzigni. “They just learn skills and concepts faster when they are engaged in a project that they are interested in.” By the end of the year, the students completed more than enough miles to finish the marathon for all of the runners. To celebrate, a Greensboro man who had to stop running at the marathon came to class and thanked the students for their support. The school district also honored the class by presenting a special award for service; and the students were featured on five different news stations. ”They were rock stars,” says Terzigni. “They couldn’t contain their excitement, but they were also practicing their speaking and listening skills.” To top it all off, Archer Elementary created a new position for Terzigni, a technology teacher. Next year he will teach grades K-5 computer and technology skills every week. He’s also been named the new Service Learning Coordinator for the school.
“I’ll work with the teachers to help create lessons like this one,” explains Terzigni. “We’ll find projects that get the kids excited, that will help them learn and that will allow them to make a difference in their community.” All lessons he learned at High Point University.”
Education Graduate Receives Position with NASA Space Camp
HIGH POINT, N.C., July 12, 2013 – High Point University education graduate Katie DeAngelo is spending her summer training current teachers through the Educator Academy Program at NASA’s Space Camp.
As a teacher crew trainer, DeAngelo conducts professional development activities and guides teachers through various workshops designed to re-energize, excite and help teachers incorporate more math, science and technology across the curriculum.
DeAngelo attended one of NASA’s workshops earlier this summer along with a group of HPU education graduate students. The NASA instructors were so impressed with DeAngelo that they offered her the job.
“After being challenged through my courses at HPU, I felt comfortable challenging myself with this job opportunity,” says DeAngleo. “I learned leadership and team building skills from the School of Education that will be key to my success, and the success of my teams, throughout the summer.”
DeAngelo will return to HPU in the fall as a graduate student in the Masters of Education, Elementary STEM program.