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January Board of Education Recognitions

The Kannapolis Board of Education was proud to honor outstanding representatives from around the district at its January meeting. 

Shady Brook Elementary School

Jerold "JJ" Griggs: Jerold Griggs, or “JJ” as he is affectionately known as by everyone in the Shady Brook family, is an outstanding fifth grade student. He is the son of proud parents, Tiffany and Jerold Griggs Sr. His dad is a teacher at ALB.  

JJ is jovial and kind.  He strives to be a role model for others and is dedicated to helping his peers and the staff whenever possible.  With the support of his parents, JJ often supplies snacks for the entire class and is the least likely to complain.  His true passion is math and he is willing to explain to others, offering his assistance to help them make connections.  His teacher says, “We have a running joke in our class that JJ's job is the sanitizer screamer. He is the first student in the class daily so when everyone arrives he always screams out “SANITIZE” to keep them safe. He is proud to be a part of the Kannapolis City Schools family and exemplifies what it means to be a Shady Brook Bulldog!”


Joshua Toledo: Joshua Toledo is an outstanding bulldog. Joshua goes above and beyond to ensure all his peers are happy. He loves to attend music and ESL. Joshua especially demonstrates curiosity, creativity, and respect, all character traits that promoted by Shady Brook as part of students' social and emotional development. The Shady Brook family are so thankful to have Joshua!


Victoria Martinez: Victoria Martinez is a dynamic leader in our community who values overall wellness and is a strong advocate for social justice. She started Chakra Flow University, a yoga teacher training school, and she infuses her deep knowledge of physical fitness and nutrition into everything that she does. Victoria has volunteered at Shady Brook on three different occasions. She spent an entire day with the staff for professional development and led a seminar on self-care and its impact on job performance. She returned on two other occasions to lead groups of students through a body movement and emotion regulation class. We are so grateful for Victoria's passion for community service and her genuine commitment to our learning community.


Jean Nowlin: Shady Brook staff is so appreciative of Mrs. Nowlin and the care she provides for students when teachers are not able to be in the classroom. Students know that while in Ms. Nowlin’s care, she will listen to them and offer support. She is truly a treasure at Shady Brook. They feel blessed to have Mrs. Nowlin covering classrooms, especially during a time when substitutes are very limited in the building. Not only is a reliable and consistent substitute, she exudes kindness and cheer. Teachers find her to be self-sufficient and students absolutely love her in the classroom!


Ricky Burris: Ricky Burris, fondly referred to as “Mr. Rick,” has been with Kannapolis City Schools since 2011. In that time, he has made a huge impact in the department. Transportation Supervisor, Beryl Torrence says, "Mr. Rick keeps me on my toes and always makes sure that he understands what is expected of him and the students that he transports." Mr. Burris takes time to get to know each of his students by name. Just recently, he noticed that a student appeared to be struggling and wanted to make sure that the right people at the school were aware. When Ms. Doehle was asked to share about Mr. Burris she said immediately that ”he knows his kids". She went on to say that he is always pleasant and dependable.


Seth Brock and Todd Overcash: Todd Overcash is willing to do anything you ask him.  He goes above and beyond every day to maintain the needs of the building, the teachers, and students.  He interacts with the students and is a mentor to some children who want to learn the tasks of the school.  

Seth Brock is new to Shady Brook this year, and he fits right in with the Bulldog Family. He is willing to help in any way and if he does not know how to fix it, he will find someone who can. 

Seth and Todd are such an amazing addition to Shady Brook! They are always willing to help with whatever is needed at any time. They have helped clean up countless breakfast spills and other mishaps, which is much appreciated! Seth and Todd also help mentor the young men in the Shady Brook school building, offering encouragement, understanding and guidance, which has really made an impact on some of the students.  They both regularly check on students who struggle with behavior, academics, or simply communicating feelings. So many of students need extra love, support, understanding, and time.  Seth and Todd provide positive interactions with our students and are excellent role models!


Rachel Sontchi-Spry: Mrs. Spry is an overcomer, a problem-solver, an innovator, and a dynamic member of the 4th grade team at Shady Brook.  Her enthusiasm, love, and passion for teaching, and her students, is astonishing.

Mrs. Spry does not work or serve for awards or accolades, but simply to inspire and influence all those she meets. She has mastered the elusive art of being firm but fair; having rules yet maintaining relationships, and keenly remembering that, though she teaches numerous subject areas, she is really teaching “children” to whom she freely offers love, acceptance, and grace. 

While remaining current with the latest instructional strategies and technologies, she can still reach a troubled or struggling student with simple yet profound instincts and empathy, coupled with complete professionalism. Likewise, she can accelerate and challenge her brightest of students because of professional development experiences and innovations she has pursued and mastered. 

Mrs. Spry teaches her students to strive for excellence, to love learning, and to respect each other.  She reminds us all to be our best for our students, to wear a smile, to have faith, and to remember that the storms of life can often produce beautiful rainbows and new growth. 

A coworker shared, “In my three years of teaching, I am very lucky to have worked with Rachel right by my side. Sharing a wall and many fourth graders with her has shown me how passionate, caring, and excellent she is with her students. She has helped me grow into the educator that I am today and I am so proud that she has been nominated by her peers at Shady brook. Not only have I gained an extremely helpful coworker, I have also found one of my very close friends in life. We love her so much and appreciate all she has done in our school!”


The Board was also pleased to recognize the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month, Rhonda Hiskey, Kindergarten Teacher from G.W. Carver Elementary School.

Rhonda Hiskey teaches kindergarten at G. W. Carver Elementary, and she is the kind of teacher that all parents dream of having as their child’s first teacher.  One of the parents that nominated her described it perfectly.  She said, “She is the best teacher.  She loves all of her students as if they were her own.  Even after they have moved on from her classroom, she always remembers them and checks in on them.”  Another parent describes Ms. Hiskey as a wonderful and caring teacher and shared the innovative ideas Ms. Hiskey has brought to the classroom to help students succeed.  A coworker shared that, “Even during remote learning, she was always there for her students, their families, and her colleagues.”

We love having Ms. Hiskey as part of our KCS family.  She makes us all extremely proud, and we are delighted that Hilbish Ford is honoring her excellence with the Hilbish Ford Outstanding Teacher Award for January. Congratulations!


ACTE Region 2 Administrator of the Year Finalist 2021-2022, Daryle Adams

Late last fall, Daryle Adams was named Regional CTE Administrator of the Year for Region 2 of the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), which includes eight southeastern states, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

In late November, Mr. Adams was recognized as the Region 2 Administrator of the Year finalist at the national ACTE Excellence Awards Gala.

Kannapolis City Schools is extremely fortunate to have someone as dedicated and innovative as Mr. Adams working to ensure teacher and student success.  His efforts to provide amazing opportunities in effective career and technical education programs make him so deserving of this national recognition.


A.L. Brown Cheerleading State Championship

Following the trying year of COVID, and Coach Busse assuming the head coach role in July, the late start posed hurdles for Wonders, just to prepare squads for the upcoming seasons. Varsity, with 13 returning seniors, was able to field a squad of 22 to start the year, but JV would take two tryouts to build numbers for a squad representative of the Wonders. Both of these squads worked tirelessly to support their school and community, cheering at not only football, but also volleyball, cross country track, and appearances at elementary schools. In 2018, the Wonders also jumped into the competitive arena of cheer and have found a way to balance this endeavor while maintaining it prime focus of supporting school, community, as they say, The “K”.

On December 4th, 2021 the Wonder Cheerleading Program traveled to Raleigh for the NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational Championship.

Participating in JV Game Day, Varsity Coed Game Day and Varsity Coed Traditional Routine divisions.

The JV took top honors in the JV Game Day division, securing their 3rd consecutive State Title. This is truly an example of the program’s growth over the past few years. These 18 girls had only been together for a total of 8 weeks prior to the competition and 15 of these girls had not cheered competitively before this season. This group shows the pride, determination, and commitment that is takes represent the Wonders.

The JV squad members are:

Ana Gonzales Flores, Dallas Mann, Darria McGuine, Shea Merrington, Tanashia Rorie, Ne’veah Kimble, Azariya Davis, Brynn Thompson, Za’liyah Hammonds, Breana Gaddy, Anyziah Harris, Makayla Wilkerson, Elena Kunselman, Aijanna Jordan, Uriyah Massey, Krystal McKiver, Keltsie Melendez, Taniyah Rice

While the JV squad was onstage collecting their top honors, the Varsity squad was on the mat performing their Game Day Routine, and then just 60 minutes later competed in the Tradition Routine division. The Wonders were the only school to compete in both divisions. Taking top honors in both divisions and the Varsity squad secured their 3rd consecutive State Title!   They had the top Coed score in the state and the second highest score of any division, missing Game Day Grand Champion by 2 tenths of a point. This varsity team has worked hard for their success, overcoming roster changes just 1 week prior to the Championship, and have 4 rookie Coed gentlemen powering the squad this year. This amazing group has not lost a competition in the State of North Carolina since 2019 when they won their first Championship.

The Varsity Coed squad member are:

Paige Gaskins, Caniece Hicks, Lexia Honeycutt, Isabella Iaulucci, Chloe Johnson, Niya Kerr, Anjelina Knight, Calvin Laliemthaxay, Rexi Lemelin, Chelsea Linton, Malaina Meeks, Maggie Pittmon, Ruby Rios, Cami Stegall, Riley Zimmermann, Cruz Hernandez, Zaire Harris Greir, Ashley Ruben, Molly Morton, Tia Griggs, Angel Esquivel, Marcus Ammerman, Tanner Adams, Emma Wesselman, Alice Hernandez Valera

Rexi Lemelin has also received All Region Honors and will move on to All State competition.

Both Squads were UCA Regional Champions and received bids to the National Cheerleading Championship. The Varsity squad will be running a series of fundraisers to help with costs as they head to Orlando Feb 10th, with hopes of bettering their top 10 finishes on their last trip in 2020.