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Awards

NEAAAT Earns Innovation Honors from the Canopy Project

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Congratulations to Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (NEAAAT)! The Elizabeth City public charter school and Coalition member school is one of 10 North Carolina public schools (including three charter schools) recently honored by the Canopy Project for innovation in education. Other honoree schools in North Carolina include lab and district schools.

About the Canopy Project

The Canopy Project is an initiative from the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Transcend Education. The 10 North Carolina schools are among 189 schools nationwide to make Canopy’s 2024 list and to be included in the project’s database.

NEAAAT students at work. Photo credit: Facebook, Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies.

  • Click here to go to Canopy’s searchable database and learn more about NEAAAT’s achievements.
  • View the portal guide.
  • Read more from EdNC or The 74.
Congratulations to NEAAAT CEO Andrew Harris and to the entire NEAAAT school community! We’re proud of you and your achievement.

Pine Lake Prep Student Wins Spectrum Scholar Award

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Ella Wilkinson, a senior at Pine Lake Prep, is a new recipient of the Spectrum High School Scholar Award. Ella plans to use the $1,000 award for college next year at Virginia Tech. A triple threat in sports (basketball, softball, and lacrosse), Ella hopes to study industrial design in college. Congratulations, Ella!

Spectrum describes Scholar Award eligibility this way:

Nominees must be high school seniors at public or private high schools in North Carolina. They must be involved in varsity athletics or have an excellent academic record, and be involved in extracurricular activities, such as band, newspaper, or yearbook, and be active in their local community, either through their school or volunteering on their own time.

Senator Vickie Sawyer presents PLP student Ella Wilkinson with the Spectrum High School Scholar Award. Photo/video credit: Spectrum News.

Here’s what Ella told Spectrum News, which featured her in a recent news story, about her future aspirations and plans:

I think every job needs to have a purpose, and so my purpose is helping others while incorporating other parts like the environment and just making sure that people are being able to get the products that they need … My friends would probably say I’m creative and definitely driven. I care a lot about what I do and like to do it well.

… When I leave Pine Lake, I hope that I can inspire others to kind of be able to do it… all sports, social life and getting good grades and focusing on school because that’s really important to me, and that’s what I have used to help me want to follow my dreams and creating my own sustainable products.

Pine Lake Prep is a public charter school (and Coalition member school) located in Mooresville, North Carolina. The school serves students in grades K-12, and is headed by Andrew Moceri, a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors.

North Carolina Award: Nominate Leaders in the Arts, Service or Science

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Did you know about the North Carolina Award? Established by the General Assembly more than 50 years ago, the North Carolina Award honors individuals who “have made significant contributions to the state and nation in the field of fine art, literature, public service, and science,” according to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which administers the award. It is the “highest civilian honor given by the state,” according to DNCR, and is conferred by the Governor. Past recipients include William Friday, Billy Graham, James Taylor, and Maya Angelou.

If you know of an individual you believe is deserving of this honor, please use this link to fill out a nomination form.

The application closes April 1.

Nine N.C. Charter Schools Win 2023 Purple Star Awards

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Nine North Carolina charter schools have won 2023 Purple Star Awards, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction announced yesterday. These awards, which recognize service to military-affiliated students and their families, went to 336 public charter and public district schools across the state. The Purple Star Award program began in 2019-20, so this its fourth year of operation. Congratulations to all of these public schools for their exemplary service to military families!

The charter schools winning 2023 Purple Star awards are:

  • Alpha Academy
  • Anderson Creek Academy
  • Northeast Academy for Aerospace & Advanced Technologies (NEAAAT)
  • North Carolina Cyber Academy
  • Pine Springs Preparatory Academy
  • The Academy of Moore County
  • Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy
  • Southern Wake Academy
  • Wayne Preparatory Academy

Of these nine charter schools, five are Coalition member schools (in bold).

Superintendent Catherine Truitt and Brigadier General Colin P. Tuley at a ceremony this week recognizing 2023 Purple Star Award winners. Photo credit: N.C. DPI.

In a Department of Public Instruction press release yesterday, State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said:

These Purple Star Awardees have gone beyond the standard call of duty to ensure their school and classroom environments accommodate military-connected students. Their dedication to these students allows them to be seen, heard, and valued in their new school and feel supported as they adjust to their new surroundings. The growth this program has seen in its few short years of existence is incredibly promising and something I am especially grateful for.

Here is how DPI summarized the requirements for the Purple Star Award:

Schools earning the Purple Star Award were required to have a staff member as a designated point of contact for military students and families, a designated central administration staff member supporting the point of contact in the school and also the provision of annual professional development addressing special considerations for military students and families. Purple Star schools also provide a dedicated page on their websites for military family resources or links to the district’s webpage with military family resources as well as a transition program to support inbound and outbound military students and families, along with a checklist for their use.

Click here to see the full list of 2023 Purple Star Award winners. Congratulations, Purple Star Award winners–and especially, to Coalition member schools!

A North Carolina charter student is named a 2021 Presidential Scholar

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A NC charter school student is a Presidential Scholar

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has announced the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars. Nationwide, 161 high school seniors will receive the award. Six recipients are public charter school students. One Presidential Scholar, Pratyush Seshadri, attends a North Carolina charter school: Raleigh Charter High School in Cary. Congratulations to Pratyush and Raleigh Charter High School!

Two other NC high school students are 2021 Presidential Scholars: Ijay  Narang, of Charlotte, from Ardrey Kell High School, and Nrithya P. Renganathan, of Cary, from The North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics.

About the Presidential Scholars Program

Selection criteria for this award are especially rigorous. As a result, the program recognizes the most outstanding students nationwide, in achievement and service. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education explains:

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Secretary Miguel Cardona expressed his congratulations:

“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

In a press release, Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt praised the NC recipients:

“They’ve all done amazing things during their time in school, and especially during a trying year for all North Carolinians, they continued to demonstrate excellence,” Truitt said. “They have much to be proud of, and they represent the best of North Carolina’s youth.”

Read a press release about the charter scholars from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools here.