Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting Started ~ The First Week ~ Finding our Places

How exciting! Student arriving the first day at our new Watauga High School.
August 11, 2010
Fashion and trends come and go over the years. Teens are always in style!
Mrs. Stamey is a smiling welcome to students and parents at the morning arrival.
The shadows of summer past advance across the threshold and into the school year.
The commons is a lively space in the mornings as students gather and socialize awaiting first bell.
Lunches have been well received and the dining area seems to satisfy most student needs.
At the far end of the commons students gather awaiting the lunch bell to ring.
Teachers step up and volunteer to observe the hustle and bustle below. Whit and Susan catch up on morning thoughts from the upper deck.
The first week was mostly rainy. Even in the dark there were moments of light around our campus. I enjoyed seeing this low lying cloud beneath Howards Knob and concealing the morning hustle  and bustle of Boone below.
Finally on Friday the sun came out and our day began a bit brighter.
By the first Friday afternoon, even as the last letters were being posted on the press box, our first pep rally had begun.
and Pacers
Student body president and our mascot MC'd the Pep Rally.
Teachers and staff participated and assisted.
Uplifting to students
exciting to the crowds a pep rally recovers the tradition of ~~~~
Friday Night High School Football!
Let the game begin.
The first game of the new season on a new field in a new stadium at a new school.
That is NEWS!
The crowd was lively and the scoring was plenty. Here is a look north at our concessions stand.
The Pacers performed a creative routine saluting the new school construction process
and kicking off a grand opening night half time.
A record crowd of over 5,000 attended this first home game!
The stands were full on both sides of the field and the Jack Groce Stadium is officially "PIONEER GROUND"!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

On the Eve of our Opening~

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Halls ~

Well, it's the wrong time of year, but it was the night before opening the doors to the public and all through our school volunteers and staff were working late to make it shine.

Don Critcher, on the right, was our WCS project manager. He over saw the completion of the project and with Dennis Ray (not shown) coordinated the clean-up efforts.

Many volunteers pitched in and helped with cleaning. This dynamic duo, Bobbie Short and Deborah Miller, spent many hours into the wee night putting a sparkle in the effort on the eve of our opening. Thanks for volunteering!

I even caught Mike Kesterson actually working! Mike has been the on the job, four year construction manager for the entire complex. Just another day on the links for him! Thanks Mike!

Once again, the man who keeps it going like the energizer bunny, Ted Drum after our building with his maintenance crew. Everyone who knows Ted knows we are so fortunate to have a man of his spirit and energy moving us forward in our new "digs". Thanks Ted and Peggy and Clay and all your crew who I saw hard at work on the eve of opening day.

It is the time for a Gathering ~

It was a beautiful day,
a good time was had by all.

This was a gathering of dreamers, supporters, builders, students, parents, teachers, leaders, locals, dignataries, and good friends coming together to celebrate an accomplishment for the county and community.

And the band began to play. Thanks to Watauga Community Band for keeping our spirits high as we socialized and awaited the beginning of the ceremony. I'll share a few photos of friends, educators, and leaders in attendance this fine day.

This photo is a joy to me for it is the first time private cars have been streaming down our driveway and children, parents and guests arrive at our new school. BTW, our driveway and address are now
300 Go Pioneer Drive ~ Boone, NC 28607

In this photo a gathering of the technology movers and shakers for our new school. How nice to catch Lori, Laura, Patty, Lisa, Nancy, and Shannon, all smiles. Lori and Lisa use technology in digital imaging and music education. Laura and Nancy are our IT coordinators and support team. Patty has been a leader in technology in science education. Shannon was an originator and visionary in the design and planning of technology in our new school.

Old friends chatted it up and reflected on the leadership and progress made in our county that brought us to this point. Barbara and Mary, Jerry, Diane, and Susan have all been supportive of our efforts to build this new school.

Local leaders, Winston, Steve, Mary, Lee, and Cullie Tarleton await the opening.

Larry Jones and Winston catch up on the stories of the journey behind and ahead.

Billy Kennedy, US Senatorial candidate, was working the crowd this fine day. Billy and his family have been extremely supportive and active from the very beginning in the "New School Now, Children First" movement.

Tamera Stamey,WHS assistant principal and  leader enjoys a moment of brevity with Dennis Ray.

Returning superintendent Bobbie Short was full of enthusiasm and excitement for this event. She has been a steady on cheerleader for the new school from the conception. Other former superintendents Dick Jones and David Greene were also present at the ceremony.

Current Principal, Michael Wyant stands on the right of Jeff Link, assistant principal.

Previous Principal and educational leader Angela Quick was spotted in the gathering. Angela served on the original Core team and played a huge roll in conceptualizing and planning for the new WHS.

Former principal Gary Childers was in attendance. Gary's service in Watauga county is well respected. His  leadership early on got the ball rolling on this new school. In many ways it was his influence that called public attention to the need for a new school.

And spotted arriving in the crowd was Jack Groce, former assistant principal, athletic director, and leader in the Old WHS.

Cullie Tarleton strikes a forward looking pose!

The crowds swelled to the hundreds
and the Ceremony begins ~

WHS 2010 Dedication Ceremony

It is difficult to express the excitement stirred by a simple ribbon attached to the entrance of our school. On one side, held at bay, is the labor and effort of hundreds of citizens over many years of hard work. On the other side of the ribbon, a new beginning, our future awaits this ceremony to begin.

Opening comments were delivered by our WCS Superintendent Mary Hemric.

Lowell Younce, WCS Board of Education Chairman and new school advocate delivered a message of history and pride.  Mr. Younce spoke to the journey and vision that has brought us to this point over the many years of effort that we have made for our new school.
Perhaps more than anyone Mr. Younce carries the story of this long journey we have made. It is with much appreciation this writer thanks Mr. Younce for his service and is humbled by his acknowledgement of this blogspot.

Mr. Jim Deal, Chairman of the Watauga County Commissioners was our next speaker. Mr. Deal inspired us with a philosophical delivery of quotes on service and community.
Always a motivator, Mr. Deal has been a guiding force in the process of creating our new school. He holds great insight to the method and time and challenges a community faces when trying to better the future. An inspiring orator, Mr. Deal provided us all with powerful notions of community, service, and perseverance.

Making comments from the perspective of a student, teacher, and commissioner Mr. Billy Ralph Winkler reflected on being a freshman student at the old WHS. In fact the three previous speakers were all students in the first classes at the old WHS.
Governor Perdue takes delight in the humor of Mr. Winkler.
WHS Principal Michael Wyant spoke to the crowds about the Design for Change that has been built into the new school. Notions that were unimaginable prior to today are now expected to become the methods of the future as we move forward into a technologically and globally connected future in education.
Deborah Miller, School Board member, Core Team member, Education planning committee member, cheerleader, list maker, and detail specialist shared her insight and knowledge about the sustainability planning that went into the design of our new school.

Superintendent Hemric then took the stage and delivered comments on his vision for empowered instruction and learning.

Mr. Hemric then recognized officials from the Golden LEAF foundation for their contribution to our technology development.
Welcoming our keynote speaker, Dr. Hemric hands off the podium to our
Honorable Governor Bev Perdue.
Bev Perdue has been a leader in education in the politics of the state throughout all of her political years.
She spoke of the courage and vision necessary to look to the future in our schools and communities.
Simply stated, Bev expressed her belief that our new school is evidence that
Watauga County "Gets it"!
Now begun one of my most inspiring moments in the ceremony. Out going student body president Dylan Russell and current WHS student body president Jesse Nash excited the audience with their youthful charm and leadership. They brought the reason for the gathering into focus for us all with their smiles, spirit, and fresh enthusiasm.
Dylan spoke of our heritage and spirit and his dream of bringing the "spirit rock of old" to the new to keep us connected to our great past. Jesse and Dylan lead us in singing our school alma mater.

Watauga, Watauga,
Through our years we will earn
Our knowledge and abilities
Together we will learn.
Alma Mater of the Mountains
Thanks we sing to you
You have brought us many treasures
Useful learning, friendship true.

The ginormous scissors are handed over to the governor and students.
A proclamation is made.
and the gift to our future
is unwrapped and unveiled for evermore. Thus ends the ceremonial; now a new journey begins.
July 30, 2010