Our District Teacher of the Year A.J. Spiridigliozzi got quite a surprise in his 6th period class last week!
The folks from Coca-Cola Consolidated and Kroger came and presented "Mr. S" with a $1,000 gift card!
Coca-Cola Consolidated and Kroger have teamed up to honor Teachers of the Year in 7 school districts in Central Arkansas as part of their "Big Hearts, mini cans" program.
"Teachers invest in our community each day through their work," says Devin Dunnaway, Director of Retail Sales for Coca-Cola Consolidated, "Our Big Hearts, Mini Cans Program gives us the opportunity to invest back in them. We like to say that our cans might be mini, but our appreciation for our local educators is enormous."
Besides this fun surprise to Mr. S, the teachers of the year from our other 15 schools will also receive $500 to "refresh" their classrooms at an upcoming "Stars in Education" event.
The event will take place at the Clinton Presidential Center on November 10th and will celebrate 150 deserving local educators.
Guests will enjoy live music, a catered dinner, and a ceremony honoring teachers' work to support families throughout Central Arkansas.
THANK YOU to these generous community partners for investing in our teachers!
Congratulations to Carolyn Lewis Elementary School- winner of the 2018 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year- Best Community Collaborative Garden Award.
As the winner, they receive $500 to help with their farm-to-school efforts.
“School gardens bring agriculture, our state’s largest industry, to life for Arkansas students,” said Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “Congratulations to the 2018 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year awardees. We are honored to continue this program another year and support school garden initiatives across Arkansas. We appreciate the sponsorship provided by Farm Credit that makes this important program possible.”
The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit of Arkansas started the contest in 2014 to promote the importance of involving young people in the process of fresh food production and cultivation. Any Arkansas school, grades pre-K-12, with a working school garden during the 2017-2018 school year, or a startup proposal for the 2018-2019 school year was eligible to apply.
“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we believe it’s important to support local food system initiatives such as the Arkansas Grown School Garden Program,” said Farm Credit Midsouth President and CEO, James McJunkins, on behalf of the Farm Credit cooperatives of Arkansas. “Local food projects like this are a great way to educate the next generation and the public about food production and agriculture.”
CHS Senior Elizabeth Ablondi has been named a Commended Student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Ablondi, one of about 34,000 students nationwide to be recognized for her academic promise with this honor, placed among the top 50,000 scorers on the 2017 PSAT. More than 1.6 million students took the test.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizes these commended students in an effort to broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them in their pursuit of academic success.
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential...” says a National Merit Corporation Spokesman, “...these students are vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.”
Ablondi’s class schedule this year includes all Advanced Placement classes except for her athletic period. She is a member of the CHS Dance team.
Conway High School Principal Buck Bing says Ablondi is an outstanding representative of the Class of 2019.
“We are all extremely proud of the accomplishments of Ms. Elizabeth Anne Ablondi,” says Bing. “She takes her academic achievement very seriously, and is still committed to contributing and making the extracurricular activities she’s involved in one of the state’s best. Ms. Ablondi is one of those students who no matter the day or time is always seen with a smile on her face and exhibiting a great attitude and effort.”
Conway High School's Food and Nutrition Instructor will be bringing her students some new Food Safety curriculum this year, after being chosen for some prestigious training at the FDA in Washington D.C. this Summer.
Leslee Ann Tell, a teacher at Conway High School, was one of 32 teachers nationwide chosen to complete a food science training program developed and implemented in a partnership between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and Graduate School USA. The one-week program for middle and high school science teachers, as well as family and consumer science and health education teachers, took place in Washington this summer.
The training is part of the FDA/NSTA Professional Development Program in Food Science, a sustained effort to train U.S. teachers to use FDA’s curriculum in their classrooms nationwide.
The goal of the program is to educate teachers and students about critical food safety issues such as foodborne illnesses by exploring the science behind them.
Mrs. Tell says she will incorporate the training into all her Food Safety classes, as well as conducting workshops for her colleagues around the state.
The program arms teachers with a unique topic and curriculum with which to teach science.
Participants learn about nutrition, food allergies, cosmetics safety, and color additives from FDA experts.
Teachers also receive nutrition education material to help teach their students how to use the Nutrition Facts label to make better food choices.
“Many teenage students have jobs in the food service industry or have food preparation responsibilities at home,” said Louise Dickerson, FDA’s Project Manager for the Professional Development Program in Food Science. “This program will better educate them about the importance of handling food safely and why precautions must be taken. From FDA’s perspective, our professional development program for teachers is an effective way to support the goal of reducing the incidence of foodborne illness in this country.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food poisoning each year.
During the training, teacher participants learned firsthand about the development and spread of foodborne illnesses; the vulnerability of at-risk populations; and the science behind safe food handling, storage, and preparation. Teachers also learned how to better use the Nutrition Facts label to assess the nutritional value of foods. In addition, the teachers talked with scientists from FDA and conducted laboratory experiments to further increase their understanding of food science.
Among the topics covered, teachers investigated how a single bacteria cell can multiply to millions in just a few hours, and they observed how different temperatures (heating, room temperature, chilling, and freezing) affect the growth of bacteria. The teachers explored these concepts by putting their culinary skills to the test. After cooking hamburgers to various temperatures, the teachers tested them for bacteria and other organisms that cause disease.
The Conway Schools Mass Flu Clinic will be held on Wednesday October 17th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Conway High School Cafeteria. This is for Conway Public Schools' students and staff only.
Consents will be available that evening or if interested you can pick one up at your child’s school. If applicable, the consents will ask for insurance information so please have that available that evening.
You can also register your child at the link below link if you register before October 3rd. Please print your form at the end of your registration and bring to the clinic.
Conway Athletic Director Steve Daniels has been recognized as the 2018 State of Arkansas Athletic Director of the Year.
Daniels, who is retiring this month after a 38-year career, has been Conway Schools’ Athletic Director for the last 8 years. Before that he served as an Assistant Principal at Conway High School West and coached football for 25 years.
Daniels also received the NIAAA 2018 State Award of Merit, an award presented annually by the individual state athletic director associations. This is the most prestigious award a state presents to an individual, for outstanding leadership and achievement in interscholastic athletic administration.
Conway Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry says Daniels is more than deserving of the awards.
“Coach Daniels is a great man who truly loves our Wampus Cat Nation. He has done exceptional work in making our athletic program the envy of others. We will definitely miss his strong leadership here in our district.”
Former Wampus Cats Head Coach Clint Ashcraft will follow in Daniels’ footsteps as the next Athletic Director.
“Coach Daniels has been a great boss, a great mentor, and a great friend to our coaches,” says Ashcraft. “I admire and respect the way he has handled his job as athletic director the past eight years. He is truly deserving of the honor of being the Athletic Director of the Year.”
Daniels will be presented with both awards at a luncheon on June 22nd.
The Conway High School Athletic Department has announced the formation of the Wampus Cat Sports Hall of Fame.
Each year, six inductees will be chosen, in a nod to the six legs of a Wampus Cat – four to run at the speed of light and two to fight with all its might.
Conway Athletic Director Clint Ashcraft says, “We think this will be a great way to honor some very deserving athletes and coaches, while helping raise awareness of Conway’s rich athletic history. We are looking forward to developing a hall of fame that provides a way to remember many deserving Wampus Cat legends.”
The process will begin with members of the Wampus Cat Booster Club voting on a list of possible inductees.
The board of the Wampus Cat Sports Hall of Fame will then use the results of the Booster Club balloting to pick the final class of inductees.
“We think that being able to vote on the hall of fame class each year will be yet another great benefit to members of our Booster Club,” Ashcraft added.
Booster Club voting will occur during the fall, with the first induction banquet to be held in the spring of 2019.
All proceeds raised from the Wampus Cat Sports Hall of Fame will be used to help support Conway athletics.
For information about joining the Wampus Cat Booster Club, email Beth Fluesmeier email@example.com.
Conway Public Schools has named Conway High School Theatre Teacher Anthony “AJ” Spiridigliozzi as its District Teacher of the Year for 2019.
Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry and CHS Principal Jason Lawrence surprised Spiridigliozzi Wednesday morning, walking into his introductory Stagecraft class with balloons and cookies.
“Mr. S,” as he is often called by his students, was given a round of applause by his class, as the recognition was announced.
“I’m completely in shock,” says Spiridigliozzi,” “The names that were on the list were all people who are incredible at what they do and I assumed one of them would get it because they are all well deserving.”
Principal Jason Lawrence says Spiridigliozzi, though humble, is more than deserving.
“Mr. Spiridigliozzi is set on 100 MPH all the time,” says Lawrence. “He’s a ‘kid-magnet’ who relates to students and gets the entire school and community involved. The work that he puts in to make the musical a success each year is amazing. He sees talent in all students and works to bring it out of them. He gives them opportunities to contribute to something ‘bigger’ and regardless of ability, he makes sure ALL can be a part. As a result, the productions are community events that are at a ‘professional level.’ Well-deserved recognition!!”
“AJ is a wonderful example of an energetic teacher who captures the attention and the hearts of his students,” says Dr. Greg Murry. “His work is phenomenal because of that energy. He connects to students because he ‘gets’ them. We are so proud that he will represent all of our teachers as our District Teacher of the Year next school year.”
Spiridigliozzi is finishing his 12th year of teaching at Conway High School. He teaches Theatre as well Stagecraft, a program he worked to create at CHS. He has previously taught Forensics, Debate, Drama, and Oral Communications at Conway High School and Conway Junior High School.
“Mr. S” also directs the very popular high school musical each year, which over the last several years has grown to include more than 150 students from all areas of interest, not just Theatre. This year’s musical production of “Good News” grossed the highest amount of sales of any production to date. He has also created partnerships with the Construction, Welding, East Lab, Art, and Athletics programs to create a true school-wide event in the musical.
Before being chosen at District Teacher of the Year, Spiridigliozzi was chosen to represent Conway High School as their Teacher of the Year.
Other Conway Schools’ Teachers of the Year are as follows:
Sallie Cone Preschool- Paris Broyles
Ida Burns Elementary- LeAnna Floyd
Woodrow Cummins Elementary- Stephanie Berkemeyer
Theodore Jones Elementary- Anna Schichtl
Carolyn Lewis Elementary- Keisha McDaniel
Florence Mattison Elementary- Marion Bailey
Julia Lee Moore Elementary- Bryan Cole
Ellen Smith Elementary- Kori Sisson
Jim Stone Elementary- Stephanie Lovelady
Marguerite Vann Elementary- Monica Garcia
Bob & Betty Courtway Middle School- Elise Hampton
Ruth Doyle Middle School- Natalie Lea
Ray & Phyllis Simon Middle School- Amy Ellenburg
Carl Stuart Middle School- Cher Masters
Conway Junior High- Jennifer Barnett
Spiridigliozzzi will now go on to represent Conway in the State Teacher of the Year competition this Summer.
Conway Public Schools News
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