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Achievers & Accolades

New Hanover County Schools Announces Personnel Honors

By Jenny Callison, posted May 3, 2016
(Patricia Waddell)
In a series of news releases, New Hanover County Schools has announced achievements and honors for several of its teachers and administrators.

Patricia Waddell, principal of Howe Pre-K Center, has been named a 2016 Smart Start Children’s Champion for her “exceptional service” to young children and their families in New Hanover County. 

Waddell has been an educator for the past 42 years in New Hanover County, according to a release. For the last 15 years, she has worked with children ages three through five, with 12 of those years serving as the principal at Howe Pre-K. 

“We get the opportunity to introduce children to school and the beginning of their educational journey,” Waddell said in the release. “I believe that each and every child can be successful, and the key is to find the right way to reach and teach each child. There is no such thing as failure in our school.” 

Two are finalists for Virtual Public Schools award

Two New Hanover County Schools educators have been named among six finalists for the N.C. Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) E-Learning Advisor / E-Learning Coordinator  of the Year Award.  The two are Kristy Prokop (at left), at the Career Readiness Academy at Mosley; Isaac Bear Early College; and Lori Herring (at right), at Hoggard High School.

“This recognition appropriately reflects the endless hours these individuals have spent helping students succeed,” Wendy Kraft, NHCS supervisor of online learning and 2015 E-Learning Advisor of the Year, said in a news release.
 
NCVPS will announce this year’s E-Learning Advisor / E-Learning Coordinator of the Year this month.

The NCVPS E-Learning Advisor (ELA) and E-Learning Coordinator (ELC) award is to recognize an ELA or ELC whose innovative practices serve as a model for other schools or districts, the release stated.

School district’s special education department recognized as model

A study issued recently by the University of Massachusetts Boston has recognized the New Hanover County Schools’ Special Education Department as a best practices model with regard to the NHCS staff’s collaboration on post-secondary transition for students with disabilities.

The report is titled “Creating Productive Futures for Youth and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”

“During our visit to New Hanover County, we learned that the transition coordinator and the VR [Vocational Rehabilitation] counselors met to review the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] and then developed their local agreements to specifically outline roles and responsibilities of both parties. These individuals did not look at the MOU as a policy that is put on a shelf, but as a working document that can result in effective and efficient service delivery,” the report stated, and was quoted in a news release.

“Their approach to coordinated service delivery is a model for the entire state and should be promoted by the Council, DPI, and VR as a strategy for implementing the transition provisions within WIOA [Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act].” 

Larkins receives UNCW teacher recognition award

Katherine Larkins (at left), a sixth-grade science teacher at Murray Middle School, has been selected as the spring 2016 recipient of the University of North Carolina Wilmington Watson College of Education Roy E. Harkin Teacher Recognition Award, the school district announced in a news release. Larkins serves as the Murray site coordinator, working with UNCW interns and field placements as part of the university’s professional development system.

Larkins’ name will be inscribed on a plaque that will be displayed in the atrium of the university’s Watson College of Education. 

The Roy E. Harkin award, according to the release, is sponsored by Harkin’s family and friends in recognition of his commitment to partnerships with public schools and his appreciation for the contributions of public school educators to the preparation of prospective teachers. Harkin served as chair of UNCW’s Education Department from 1976 to 1979, and then as dean of the School of Education until 1991.

Division recognized for excellence in reporting

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the NHCS Finance Division, led by CFO Mary Hazel Small, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

The Certificate of Achievement is “the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” according to the announcement news release.

An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has also been given to the district’s director of finance, Rhonda Turner (at left), for preparing the award-winning CAFR.

NHCS public relations earns awards

NHCS’ Public Relations Division was recently honored with nine Blue Ribbon achievement awards in four different categories. The awards were presented during the N.C. School Public Relations Association’s annual Blue Ribbon Awards for Effective Communications celebration in Greensboro, according to a news release.
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