Cary Chamber Awards $27,000 to Western Wake Teachers

Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo courtesy of the Cary Chamber of Commerce.

Cary, NC – Here’s a good-news story: The Cary Chamber awarded $27,000 to school teachers in Western Wake County this week.

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General Shelton to Speak at Cary Academy Commencement

Cary, NC –  Cary Academy’s 2011 graduation of 103 students on May 22 will feature a very special speaker – Retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, former commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Read more

Cary Police Chief: This Job is “Cake”!

Photos courtesy of Wake Tech.

Cary, NC – Who could resist a photo of Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore decorating a cake under the stern tutelage of Chef Norma Miller? We couldn’t.

Chief Bazemore got a chance to do a little cake decorating (and cake judging) at Wake Tech’s Culinary Arts Showcase at the Raleigh Convention Center on April 12. She is a graduate of Wake Tech’s Criminal Justice Technology program and was asked to be a celebrity judge for a live two-hour cake decorating challenge at the Showcase. Read more

Cary Team Qualifies for Odyssey of the Mind Worlds, Needs Your Support

Cary, NC – An Odyssey of the Mind team from Penny Road Elementary in Cary is headed to the World Finals at the University of Maryland, May 27-30. But sending the team to the Worlds is not cheap.

You can support the development of young, creative minds in Cary by shopping for unique and unusual treasures at a Yard Sale Fundraiser on 4/30 in front of Penny Road Elementary School. Read more

Invasion of the Giant Cabbages

Story by Matt Young. Pictured above: Allison Hartman, NC’s 2010 Winner – Walnut Cove Elementary, Walnut Cove, NC

Cary, N.C. – I found this interesting, being a guy who likes kids, education ideas, gardening and…well…oddities. Read more

The Story of Read and Feed

Story by Mary Beth Phillips. Photos by Brooke Meyer.

Cary, NC – Several years ago, Jan Elmo was volunteering as a tutor at Northwoods Elementary when she had an epiphany that every child does not have the opportunity to develop a love of reading.

In October of 2007, after spending  months researching what she could do about the problem, Elmo quit her corporate job and purchased an RV Van to start Read and Feed at Penny Road Elementary in Cary. Read more

Education: Kingswood Elementary Wins National Honor

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Brooke Meyer.

Cary, NC- Congratulations to the students, teachers and parents of Kingswood Elementary School in Cary, recognized as a  National Title I Distinguished School by the National Title I Association. Kingswood is one of only two schools in North Carolina selected for this honor. Read more

Video: Science & Math are Cool, Kids

Cary, NC – For America to maintain a top quality workforce in the coming decades, science, technology and math education needs to be a priority.

Toward that end, 100 top U.S. CEOs have banded together to form ChangeTheEquation.org. In their own words, “Change the Equation aligns corporate efforts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to ensure that they add up to real, measurable growth in the achievement and STEM fluency of our nation’s young people.”

Part of the challenge is make those subjects attractive to the current generation of students. In the parlance of our children, growing up to be a scientist, mathematician or engineer has to be a “cool” career choice.

Change the Equation challenged its member companies to produce brief videos featuring an employee or group of employees who use math or science in exciting or unexpected ways. Many companies answered the call.

SAS won.

Congratulations to a Cary company and a flagship of the technology industry. Show this video to your kids.

Yes, Virginia, it’s cool to be a scientist, mathematician or engineer. In fact, it rocks.

You can also see this video on YouTube.
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Education coverage sponsored by Goodtree & Co, Inc.

History: Desegregating Cary

Author Peggy Van Scoyoc and Gwen Mattews at "Desegregating Cary" event

All photos by Brooke Meyer

Cary, NC – The turbulent Civil Rights Era was experienced right here in the Town of Cary, but many of us don’t know about it.

Real Life Stories

Peggy Van Scoyoc, Cary’s oral historian,  recently published a book titled “Desegregating Cary” to tell real life stories about people that lived through these times in Cary. In her book, Peggy records the oral histories of 43 people.

Five of those individuals spoke as part of a panel discussion on Monday, October 23 at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center.

Charlie Adams speaks of his father's commitment to desegregation

Charlie Adams is the son of Henry Adams, the original pharmacist and owner of the drugstore that later become Ashworth Pharmacy. Charlie remembers those times when his father was not popular in town.

Henry served on both the local Cary School Board and the Wake County School System’s board.

Henry knew in the early 1960’s that desegregation was coming and firmly believed in it. He thought  there should be a plan and it should begin with his own town. He became one of the chief architects of that plan.

At times friends shunned him and threats were made. Mr. Adams stuck to his beliefs and Cary became one of the first towns in North Carolina to institute such a plan  – and do so peacefully and voluntarily. One of Cary’s elementary schools,  Adams Elementary, is named so in his honor.

In 1963, Cary High School was the first formerly “all white” school to allow African-Americans to voluntarily enroll, and 6 girls did so. The plan went smoothly, and became a model for other schools in Wake County and then spread to other areas in North Carolina. Other areas in the south called upon Cary to help with their own plans. Imagine – Cary only had 5300 residents then and was a civil rights model for the country!

Other members of Monday night’s panel included several of those early students.

Lucille Evan Cotten was one of 6 students to integrate Cary High School in 1963

The Six Young Women Profiled

Lucille Evans Cotten and Gwen Matthews were two of those first six students. They spoke about what they endured as they attended Cary High School at a time when few wanted them there. Gwen later went on to become the first black woman to graduate from Meredith College in 1971.

Debrah Matthews Wright was one of the first black students at Swift Creek Elementary in 1965

Gwen’s younger sister, Deborah Matthews Wright was one of four black students to attend Swift Creek Elementary School in 1965. Deborah told of her bus rides with all ages riding the same bus – elementary schoolers along with high schoolers – and how she had to stand in the bus and endure ridicule on these rides for three years.

Carolyn Rogers was one of the first black school teachers in Cary in 1969.

Carolyn Rogers was one of three black teachers hired in 1969 to teach the predominantly white school children. She experienced an uphill battle not only with the students, but with the parents and faculty. There was a predominant  opinion that she was not qualified to teach the children.

The Raleigh City School System merged with the Wake County School System in 1976 to become the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) that we know today.

The evening was always inspiring and often emotional.

“History informs us of past mistakes from which we can learn without repeating them. It also inspires us and gives confidence and hope bred of victories already won.” – William Hastie