Return to Headlines

April Board of Education Recognitions

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

Shady Brook Elementary School

Aleyna Castro Mier – Aleyna is affectionately known at Shady Brook as an outstanding 5th grade student.   Aleyna is very responsible and always completes her homework and classwork.  She takes her work seriously and loves to be challenged.  She participates in AIG, and enjoys healthy competition among her friends.  Her teachers describe her work as neat and organized.  Aleyna has been a student who is always dependable and trustworthy.  When seeing Aleyna around the school, it is obvious that she is friends with all and is a natural leader.  Her peers look up to her as a role model and staff values her inclusive ways.  She will be missed next year, as she transitions to Kannapolis Middle School.

Nathan Sierra Ballesteros – Shady Brook is so thankful to have had Nathan for the last 6 years!  Many staff members have seen Nathan grow from a kindergartner to the successful 5th grader he is today.  

As his teacher Ms. Abbott shares, “Although he might not say much, he is such a strong leader among his peers. He is dedicated to his work and strives to do his best every day. He is a valuable part of our class community and brings a smile to our faces each day. It is such an honor to have Nathan in the classroom.”  We are very proud of Nathan and the happiness he has given to teachers and students.  (Aunque puede que no diga mucho, él es un líder muy fuerte entre sus compañeros. El es dedicado con su trabajo y siempre se esfuerza por dar lo mejor de sí todos los días. Él es una parte valiosa de nuestra comunidad de clase y pone una sonrisa en nuestras caras todos los días. Es un gran honor tener a Nathan en el salón de clase.)

Donald and Kristy Bostic – Mr. and Mrs. Bostic have been working extremely hard to help build, reshape, and lead the Shady Brook PTO.  They are a dynamic duo who are visible at all events and are true cheerleaders for our staff.  Mr. and Mrs. Bostic helped to plan the first family dance at Shady Brook, where families were asked to donate books to the school.  Mr. Bostic often comes and has lunch with their 1st grade son Luke.  Mr. Bostic participates in our School Improvement Team and the Parent Advisory Committee.  

Shady Brook staff and administration are so thankful for their continued support and efforts to connect families to the school.

Judy Lucas – Ms. Judy Lucas is a proud grandparent of a 2nd grade student, Jay.  Ms. Lucas goes above and beyond to help with the needs of Shady Brook.  She has dedicated so much time to support teachers and students with fundraising or family events.  Ms. Lucas has helped to build the PTO to what it is today and is very reliable when it comes to meeting times and dates. Shady Brook just held their first family dance, which was a great success, thanks to Ms. Lucas.  At our monthly meetings Judy always has creative ideas to share about raising money or family involvement. 

We are so grateful for Ms. Lucas’s passion, time, and advocacy for Shady Brook Elementary School.

Jean Nowlin – Ms. Nowlin is not new to this recognition and Shady Brook is so proud to have her as a long term substitute this year.  Ms. Nowlin was willing to assist with a maternity leave position, which ultimately led to completing the school year.  Ms. Nowlin is a natural educator and has taken on 1st grade with grace.  She has structured her classroom into a community environment where the students are thriving.  Ms. Nowlin has learned the needs of each of her students and has consistently shown growth each quarter. As one of her team members states, “ Ms. Nowlin goes above and beyond her duties as a substitute teacher. Not only does she follow the lesson plans, but she also adds fun activities for the students to do daily. Her students are actively engaged in their learning and they are excited to see Ms. Nowlin. It is a joy to work with her each day.”

Rosalind Alexander-Smith – Ms. Smith came to Shady Brook over a year ago as an employee of CHA to assist with the demands of COVID.  Ms. Smith quickly became very loved and respected with staff and students.  In late Spring, Ms. Smith spoke with Ms. Doehle about becoming a Shady Brook Bulldog, permanently.   Rosalind had a love for children and was determined to educate young minds.  In August, Ms. Smith was approached to help teach 5th grade and she was thrilled with the opportunity.  Not ever having a true classroom of her own, Ms. Smith took on the monumental task of teaching 10-year-olds and has thrived ever since!  Her students are structured, educated and most importantly loved!  Her dedication is obvious to all, and her peers nominated her as Support Staff of the Year for 2022-2023!  Shady Brook is so grateful for Ms. Smith’s determination.

Sherry Ketner – Mrs. Ketner challenged herself by stepping into a teacher role in our self- contained autistic classroom working with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  Ms. Ketner has been so valuable over the years serving as a Teacher Assistant, but was eager to assist in a new role during a maternity leave.  

Ms. Ketner has built incredible relationships with her students and has stayed in constant communication with families.  She has maintained structure and routine for her students and has been so helpful when solving day-to-day problems.  It can be challenging to balance different schedules for individual students, but she has been fantastic.   Sherry is so respected by her peers that she was named Support Staff Member of the Year.  Her hard work, strong planning, and love of her classroom has given Sherry the confidence to complete her teaching licensure. 

Meredith Katz – Mrs. Katz absolutely loves her job as a STEM teacher at Shady Brook.  She is so enthusiastic about connecting all aspects of learning to real life.  The students enjoy experiencing hands-on learning through science, technology, engineering and math.  This year Mrs. Katz expanded STEM by helping to create lessons for CTE.  These lessons have given students opportunities to learn life skills.  Mrs. Katz is a continuous learner herself and has won numerous grants to benefit Shady Brook.  Her strong community relationships have helped to expand our outdoor learning space.  The passion and drive she has for teaching is ultimately what got her nominated as Teacher of the Year.  Mrs. Katz’s expertise, enthusiasm, and love of worms has made Shady Brook the best place to learn.

The Board was also pleased to recognize the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month, Matthew Minchew, music and chorus teacher at G. W. Carver Elementary School.

Matthew Minchew has been a part of the GWC family for nearly four years and, since joining the KCS, he has created so many lasting memories with students, staff, and families.  He has become a mentor with numerous students, started an after-school choir, and continues to help grow and expand GWC’s A+ program.

One of the people who nominated Mr. Minchew remarked on the way he advocates for students every day and makes sure they know that they can make a difference.  She said, “I’m so happy my daughter gets to experience a teacher who brings such passion to the classroom each day.”

We are fortunate to have you as a part of our KCS family, Mr. Minchew, and we are delighted to present you with the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month for April.  Congratulations, Matthew!

We would like to also congratulate the county and state award winners for Young Authors:

County Winners

  • Freya Parilla Greco, Grade 2 – Fred L. Wilson Elementary

  • Harper Dancy, Grade 4 – Fred L. Wilson Elementary

  • Giuliana Sapp, Grade 4 – Jackson Park Elementary

  • Malchiah Lewis, Grade 8 – Kannapolis Middle School

  • Fernanda Olvera-Olvera, Grade 8 – Kannapolis Middle School

  • Matthew Richardson, Grade 8 – Kannapolis Middle School

  • Olivia Kerns, Grade 9 – A. L. Brown High School

  • Oscar Candela, Grade 9 – A. L. Brown High School

  • Mason Hauss, Grade 9 – A. L. Brown High School
  • Jenniell Spencer, Grade 12 – A. L. Brown High School

  • Stacey Ybarra, Final Year – A. L. Brown High School

State Winners

  • Reagan Dancy, Grade 4 – Fred L. Wilson Elementary

  • Alexandria Brown, Grade 12 – A. L. Brown High School