East Yancey Middle School Receives Redesignation as a North Carolina School to Watch

East Yancey Middle School’s Principal Angie Anglin was notified in January that East Yancey has received redesignation for the third time as a North Carolina School to Watch.   Since the first time East Yancey received School to Watch status in 2005, the school has been through the rigorous process of redesignation in 2008, 2011, and this 2014 school year, as receiving redesignation into this elite group of schools is not automatic after the initial status is granted.  Every three years, East Yancey must complete the extensive application which asks for a detailed analysis of the criteria set forth by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform which are:  Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Social Equity, and Organizational Structures and Supports.   Then the School to Watch Evaluation Team visits and spends time speaking with students and teachers, followed by an interview with the school’s administrative team. 

In describing its Schools to Watch program, the National Forum states, “It is not difficult to find middle-level schools that excel in one of the four areas of high performance. However, it is extremely difficult to find schools that excel in all four.  The truly high-performing middle-level school embodies the intersection of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structure.  Schools to Watch are on a sustained path of improvement, and can serve as models for other schools. The Schools to Watch criteria are deeply engrained in the culture of the school. To achieve this level of performance, Schools to Watch establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence. They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making. “

The high standards of the National Forum and its Schools to Watch program allow only a select few middle schools to achieve School to Watch status, exemplified by only one new NC School to Watch being chosen this year out of the many schools across North Carolina whom applied, and only three schools receiving redesignation as a School to Watch this year, including East Yancey.  Presently, there are thirty-six schools in North Carolina and only four hundred schools in the United States that have been granted School to Watch status.

Principal Anglin said of the award, “Of the numerous accolades that East Yancey has received, this is the one I am most proud of because after serving on the School to Watch visitation team after our initial induction in 2005, I know how high the standards are and how difficult it is to be chosen, but East Yancey continually excels in every area.  When asked during the recent interview with the Schools to Watch Visitation Team, what East Yancey has that makes it so successful in every area, my answer was: Its people.  My association with East Yancey began twenty-five years ago as a teacher at East Yancey, and one of the most important things that I learned from the two previous principals that I worked with is that it is important when hiring new faculty and staff to not only look for the best and brightest, but to look for the best “fit” for the school.  Everyone hired at East Yancey has a spark and passion for teaching middle school students.  They all have positive attitudes, and that translates to a positive atmosphere that can be felt when you walk in the building.  Everyone genuinely enjoys coming to work every day and working together to ensure the success of our students.  We all get excited when new ideas are brought to the table, and everyone pulls together to guarantee that our initiatives are successful.  It makes me proud to be the principal of a school where our teachers take their students’ learning personally, therefore their students’ success is their success.” 
East Yancey Middle School’s Faculty and Staff
Pictured left to right:  First row:  English Language Arts/EC Teacher-Margie Stebbeds, Interim English Language Arts/Science Teacher-Ginger Sharpe, Science Teacher-April Woody, Principal-Angie Anglin, Assistant Principal-Tamara Presnell, English Language Arts Teacher-Dawn Proffitt, Classroom Assistant-Pam Shaw, Media Coordinator-Beryl Carroll.  Second Row- English Language Arts Teacher-Lucy Lodge, English Language Arts Teacher-Erika Tyner, Math Teacher-Amy Flynn, Literacy/Technology Teacher-Cindy Tipton, Math/EC Teacher Mary Sapp, English Language Arts /Social Studies Teacher-Michelle Geouge, Interim (EY Retired) Math Teacher-Ron Powell.  Third Row-Math Teacher-Leslie Hilliard, Administrative Assistant-Cathy Griggs, Child Nutrition-Sheila Woody, Child Nutrition Manager-Jean Murphy, Child Nutrition-Lucy Dellinger, Child Nutrition-Jeanne Randolph, Career Technical Teacher-Wade Shehan.  Fourth Row-Social Studies/Physical Education Teacher-Aaron Young, Science/Math Teacher- Chris Brocci, Data Manager-Sonya Morgan, English Language Arts Teacher-Casey Davis, Math Teacher-Marshay Huskins, Math/Social Studies Teacher-Josh Matney, Guidance Counselor-Brad Carey.  Fifth Row-Physical Education Teacher-Tony Miller, School Resource Officer-Mike McCart, Physical Education Teacher-Jeremy Sink, Custodian-Salvador Malecio, Custodian-Mike Miller, Assistant Technology Facilitator-Wes Mckinney, AIG Teacher-Ric Cedegren.

Not Pictured-English Language Arts/Science Teacher-Naomi McKinney, Math/Physical Education Teacher-April Buchanan, Drama Teacher-Jenny Martin, Art Teacher-Keli Miller, Band Teacher-Christine English, Chorus Teacher-Roberta Whiteside, English Second Language Teacher-Heather Cline, Bus Drivers-Ray Briggs, Travis Briggs, and Lisa Honeycutt.

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