Category Archives: School Board

How students are reacting to the new McGee Center

Andrew Elliot, Staff Writer

As you walk in the big glass doors, you enter the spacious lobby. On your left, you see students lifting weights as if they’re bodybuilders and above you see an occasional faculty member walking on the track. The new fitness center is up and running as it opened officially last Friday. Many students have taken advantage of the new classes and machines available for use; such as cycling classes, ellipticals and treadmills, the usual yoga classes, butts and guts, BODYCOMBAT, and more activities.

Photo Courtesy by Wingate University

The facilities are also a favorite of the new center. Such as the indoor track and multipurpose field, the racquetball courts, and basketball/volleyball courts. Many of the students are definitely enjoying the center.

The Weekly Triangle was able to get some interviews from a few students about the new gym. “I love it!” Said Amy Victoria, a freshman Elementary Ed major and music minor. “I took a cycle class and it was so much fun!” The cycling class is something new where you are able to ride stationary bikes and be part of simulated hill climbing, sprints, and races.

The McGee Center is also a great place for the athletes; according to Alanya Mosher, a freshman criminal justice major. “I think it’s great and definitely necessary for the athletes on-campus.” The other day, Alanya and her friends discovered the rowing machine, a machine that simulates rowing a boat in the water. “It’s murder,” said Alana, “ but I love it.”

The fitness center is also a faculty/staff friendly environment due to its space and convenience. The Triangle was able to catch up with Mr. Isaac Meadows, a reference and instruction librarian at the Ethel K. Smith Library. “I really like it. You can see that it’s very helpful to students and faculty,” said Mr. Meadows, “The equipment is nice, clean and everything is spread out. I feel that the gym makes fitness more of an important element on campus than it was before.”

The McGee Center is open from 6:30 am to 11:00pm Monday thru Thursday, 6:30am to 8:00pm on Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday, and 1pm to 11pm Sunday.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Technology benefits students in the classroom

Technology not just at home but in the classroom

Josh Dominguez, Staff Writer

This month’s Union County Public School Board meeting was hosted at Cuthbertson High School. Cuthbertson has made it a point to prove technology has been emphasized over the years in schools as a learning tool to help students.

Cuthbertson High School has taken the non-traditional approach to enhance the nature of classroom learning for their students with the addition of multiple technological uses.

Over time technology has been criticized for being used in the classroom as “taking the easy way out” Cuthbertson thinks differently from that. Classrooms in Cuthbertson High School are filled with smartboards, laptops, and a lot of digital learning.

Teaching students in a way that they can understand and connect to is an important area in which this particular high school takes pride in.

Some of the things that they use the technology for in class is very interactive. For example, if a student were to be struggling in understanding something the smartboard allows the teacher to highlight the words or section on the screen so that the student can visually see what is being explained.

In addition to the smartboard, the High School has a college feel to it, in that a lot of the classes have their own course website. This allows the students to be on their laptops in class to follow along with the power points or digital notes being explained.

Cuthbertson High School students made a brief video exhibiting the uses of the technology in the classroom. “Having our laptops in class give us the ability to not only see what is up on the board, but have it in front of us so that we can look over it if we did not understand it.” said a current student from Cuthbertson.

The school board praised Cuthbertson for being one of many high schools that have taken the education to the next level by incorporating technology in the classroom.

The UCPS school board is in the efforts of increasing the budget to help the cause of technology in the classroom. “With the potential of us increasing the budget we want to be able to get the best products for our students, being Apple products, and even more software options to provide to our students.”

The school board meets monthly and in these meetings an array of topics are discussed and the board members vote on certain topics, but also allow for local teachers to pitch their ideas about what is needed in the school system. Union County Public Schools is one of the best in the state and the board plans for it to keep growing.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

School bus driver shortage becomes problem in Union County

School Board Members set to discuss issues for parents and students in UCPS system. 

Sara Gunter, Staff Writer

Here in Union County there are over 10 public schools in the School System. This many schools means a high number of students, 31,000 to be exact. With that many schools and students comes a potential for problems.

At the monthly school board of education meeting commissioners sat down to discuss the many items that were of concern to the public.

Gary Sides, school board chairmen, voiced his concerns on a problem he noticed in the current school system. This problem being the school bus shortage.

“The Union County Public Schools Transportation Department currently operates 315 Regular Route School Buses. The buses are scheduled to run nearly 29,000 miles daily,” written on Union County Board Website.

Currently there are 16 vacancies and 8 drivers that are on family, medical leave of absence. This means there are 24 absences when it comes to school bus drivers in Union County.

Transportation Specialist for the Western Region of Union County Schools, Simone Sowell says, “these absences will be filled very soon. Our main priority is the students; we are taking the necessary steps in order to make sure each student is able to come to school in whatever means necessary.”

This means that the students are suffering in ways that the school board might not share. Jane Frankie, parent of a Union County Elementary School Student describes  how this is going to affect her student.

“My student has to get on the bus at 7:00 am over an hour early to get on the bus, she sits next to a student that has been on the bus since 6:30am. To me that’s ridiculous. There is a student that has been sitting on a bus for two hours before school starts in order to go to school.”

With growing concerns coming from parents, there are sure to be lots of comments and concerns prepared for the next meeting. The school board plans on discussing many problem and concerns in the upcoming meeting Nov. 1.


UCPS makes changes to mobile app

Union County Public Schools Launches New and Improved Mobile App

Kendall Sienon, Staff Writer

Union County, N.C. — Finally, connectivity has reached Union County Public Schools in the 21st century. The new and approved UCPS app is now available for students, parents, teachers, staff and administration and it’s FREE! This will allow users to stay connected and up to date on what’s going on with Union County Schools.

This new app has been updated to allow users to customize it by selecting the school(s) they would like to follow. There is a new Activity Stream feature that pulls all social media posts from all the schools. The News feature shows all the stories that are relevant through out the county.

Push notifications allow users to receive alerts on upcoming events or important announcements. This will most likely be most beneficial to parents and students because they won’t have to search through the app to get important information; it will show up right on their screen. But perhaps the best new feature is the Tip Line; this allows users to submit tips to the school or the district in categories such as bullying, kudos, safety, and other feedback.

Becky Swiger, Union County Public Schools Web Communications Coordinator, believes that the new app will “increase access to information because of its ease in functionality and quick access to materials”. The design resembles that of social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

When the app is downloaded and ready to open, the first thing it asks is to select what school(s) that one is interest in. The first page shows the top stories of the county. Other features are set up in an easy, organized fashion in icons that connect a user to exactly where they need to go. Some of these icons include the Calendar, Sports, Lunch Menus, Transportation, Parent Information, Directory, K12 Payment Center, the Tip Line, Settings and plenty other useful information.

Swiger is the administrator of the app and has the ability to customize the icons within the app, how they look, what they link to, how they are ordered, and what feeds are being pulled in. The app was coded and provided by Blackboard. Currently, there are 4,963 downloads.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Forest Hills Teacher Recognized by UCPS Board of Education

Teacher brings new ideas from Washington after receiving an award. 

Robert Gay, Staff Writer

Lauren Baucom, a science teacher at Forest Hills High School, addressed Union County Board of Education members last week during the monthly school board meeting on Oct. 4. Baucom, was present at the meeting to receive recognition from board members after being selected to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching (PAEMST).

She used this time to challenge board members to consider policy implementations that addressed ‘inequities in the classroom’ following her visit to Washington D.C. during the National Science Foundation Next Generation Forum.

“We know that not all schools are created equal and not all classes are created equal,” said Baucom. “I see that in my own classes when I have 36% Whites and 33% African-American enrolled in a mathematics course yet those numbers drastically change in my Advanced Placement Calculus when it becomes 68% White and 14% for both Latino and African-American. We have to ask ourselves why that is.”

She encouraged the board to consider the importance of active learning in the classroom, job ready computer science skills, and following a STEM education model that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

Board members seemed especially receptive to Baucom’s remarks at the meeting, which was held at Cuthbertson High School. “We want to thank you for putting our children first and bringing innovation and passion into the classroom,” said Melissa Merrell, UCPS Board of Education Member.

Baucom has been teaching math for eight years, three of which have been in the Union County School system. Last year, she served as the Forest Hills Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the UCPS Teacher of the Year.

Staff writer Gabe Kromah contributed to this story

Edited by: Sara Gunter