Northwood Middle School Student Wins 2018 County Spelling Bee
Smyth County Public Schools' 38th County Spelling Bee was held Feb. 6 at Northwood Middle School. The ten individual champions from each elementary and middle school competed for the County Spelling Bee Championship. Going eleven rounds and winning with the word tempestuous, Caroline Hayden (third from right in the photo) of Northwood Middle School became the 2018 Smyth County Spelling Bee champion. The alternate is Parker White of Oak Point Elementary School. Other school champions are: Atkins Elementary School: Travis Blouin; Chilhowie Elementary School: Olivia Gentry; Chilhowie Middle School: Cody Brogan; Marion Elementary School: Connor Barr; Marion Middle School: Shinji Leonard; Rich Valley Elementary School: Eli Williams; Saltville Elementary School: Lacey Crusenberry; and Sugar Grove Elementary School: Bryson Medley.
John Graham was this year's pronouncer. Judges were Lynn M. White, Nanine Woodward, and Sue Tilson. NMS Principal Mariann Blevins and the faculty and staff of her school hosted the Spelling Bee and provided refreshments for the spelling bee participants and their families.
Marion, Northwood Compete in Smyth County Computer Science Bowl
Students from Marion Senior High and Northwood High/Northwood Middle Schools competed in the first ever Smyth County Computer Science Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 2. The two teams competed in coding and robotics events. Northwood High/Northwood Middle won the coding event and Marion Senior High won the robotics event. NHS/NMS was the overall winner. The competition was funded with an after-school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The competition's goals were to encourage students to consider STEM careers and develop their computer science and problem solving skills. During the competition, they were given two hours to solve 10 coding problems. They also built their robots from scratch, using 3D-printed parts and the Arduino microcontroller platform. Pictured, l-r, are Ethan Surber, NMS; Matthew Hutton, NHS; Caleb Johnson, NMS; Tyler Widener, MSHS; Ethan Blevins, MSHS; Katelyn Collett, MSHS; Delaney Bumgarner, NMS; Ema Haga, NMS; and Vincent Gullion, MSHS.
The Computer Science Bowl will return in Spring 2018 with a cybersecurity event and a robotics event that will feature the competitors building a Segway clone.
Northwood Middle Team Excels in Regional Lego Robotics Tournament
The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center hosted the 9th annual Lego Robotics Tournament for Southwest Virginia on November 11, 2017. There were 30 teams that participated, 15 in Division I (8 to 11 year olds) and 15 in Division II (12 to 14). Each year Lego Robotics presents the teams with a real-world problem and the teams have to come up with an innovative solution, program a robot and complete robot missions centered around the problem, and work on the Core Values with their teammates and members of their community. This year the challenge was on the human water cycle. Northwood Middle School had a team of six, the Aquifer Irrigators, that participated in Division II of the tournament. They placed third in the robot challenge and won the Overall Judges Award for their project on alternative irrigation. Pictured left to right: Gus Vencill, Clayton Buchanan, Hannah Wilson, Ethan Surber, Gage Foran, and Reid Collins.
Northwood Middle School Wins County Beautification Award
Northwood Middle School is a winner of the 2017 Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County Beautification Award, for the work the school completed on a tiled garden area at the entrance of the school. Shown accepting the award on behalf of the school is NMS principal Mariann Blevins.
Smyth County Teacher of the Year Honored by Va. Dept. of Education
Smyth County teacher Chrystle Gates was among the eight finalists for the 2017-2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year. Ms. Gates, an elementary music teacher, is the Smyth County Teacher of the Year and the Region 7 Teacher of the Year. She and the other seven finalists for Virginia Teacher of the Year were honored at a reception held Sept. 18 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Governor Terry McAuliffe and other state officials were on hand to honor the eight finalists, pictured above. Ms. Gates is second from the right in the picture. Michelle Cottrell-Williams, fourth from the left, was named 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year. She will be Virginia's nominee for the 2018 National Teacher of the Year. "These teachers expect and inspire high achievement from their students," said Dr. Steven R. Staples, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction. "The example they set is an inspiration to the teaching profession. We are pleased to recognize them as representatives of the great teaching in classrooms across the Commonwealth." More details…
Smyth County Public Schools have launched the Strive for 5 campaign to reduce the number of students who are chronically absent. Details…
The Smyth County School Board set Aug. 9, 2018 as the first day of the 2018-2019 school year, when it adopted the 2018-2019 calendar at its Feb. 12th meeting. More details…
Marion Senior High School's forensics team finished second out of ten teams competing in the regional forensics meet on Feb. 3. Nine members advanced to the super-regional meet to be held March 3.
The team is coached by Todd Necessary.
Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam has declared February School Board Appreciation Month. His proclamation recognizes the efforts of the approximately 850 local school board members who set policy and provide leadership for Virginia's public school systems. The theme of this year's School Board Appreciation Month is Advancing Opportunities for All, which reflects the top priority of local school board members as they advocate for public education with local, state, and federal leaders on behalf of their students.
Smyth County has seven school board members, each of whom represents one of Smyth County's electoral districts: