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ACADEMY N ove m b e r December




Marshall Hamilton 9th grade



roud parents, grandparents and friends, got their cameras and cell phones ready and took pictures and shot video on Dec. 1, when over 150 WPA students were inducted into the National Beta Club and the National Honor Society. The

Shawan Woodard WIlson Preparatory Academy Associate Director

special ceremony took place in the school gym. Mrs. Shawan Woodard, associate director of WPA, said the students who were inducted into the two clubs are being recognized for their excellent grades. “These will be students who have gotten all A’s and B’s or either all A’s and their grade point average (gpa)

is 3.0 or higher,” Shawan Woodard said. “The Beta Club and the National Honor Society are national organizations that are recognized all over the United States.” What happens is after the first nine weeks, the staff looks at students’ grades and come up with a list of students who are qualified for the two national organizations, Shawan Woodard said. “That night they received an official certificate and an official pin from the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. It is a big deal and we want to celebrate the students who are doing well.” Students can use this honor in the future, Shawan Woodard said.


“Students can put the fact they are in the Beta Club and the National Honor Society on their transcripts,” Shawan Woodard said. “When colleges look at them it could be they edge out the competition for a scholarship because of their membership in these clubs. We try to do these things to make Wilson Preparatory Academy stand out.” Shawan Woodard said they decided to do both ceremonies for both clubs together so parents would not have to come out twice. “We will be up against the Christmas holidays and there are lots of activities going on in the school,” Shawan Woodard explained. “ There are Christmas programs coming up

Zachary Smith 5th grade

and we don’t want to overwhelm parents and at the same time we want to make sure students and parents get to celebrate this special honor.” Phillip Rountree, middle and high school principal, told the students at the ceremony to encourage students who did not make the honor societies to be a part. “Look around and see who is not here, Rountree said. “And next time bring them along. We have room for all of you.”

Daryl M. Woodard, founder and executive director of WPA told the students he was proud to have so many students be honored for their hard work. “I am so proud of each and every one of you,” Daryl Woodard said. “And we have some of the best teachers right here at WPA to help you. And parents, we say thank you to you, too. It takes all of us to do this.”


e often tell children to be good, be respectful or act responsibly. And if you ask them, many will know the definition of the words from what we have told them. But WPA guidance counselor, Bonnie Buck, is showing students how to put those character traits into action. Mrs. Bonnie Buck said she knows students will get good grades and learn math, science and language arts, but her job is helping children study what good character is. “I have been going into the K-5 classrooms from the beginning of school and we are focusing in on a character trait of the month,” Buck explains. “For the month of October we focused on respect.” Buck said the lessons are tailored to the grade. She goes from kindergarten to the 5th grade. “We talked about the character trait respect,” Buck explains. “I try to do a lot of discussion, especially with the 4th and 5th graders. We talk about respect for peers, respect for the building, respect for elders and respect for themselves. If we tell children to be respectful I don’t think they know exactly what that means and I try to break that down.” We may say to a child “use

Character Club Of Respect Gavin Lalata Amelia Boykin Elijah Coppedge Oliver Green Ryan Clemmer Lauren Lin

STUDENTS LEARN MORE THAN THE MEANING OF CHARACTER your manners,” but there is a lot more to respectful than using manners, Buck said. “So we talk about respecting a flag or symbol. I talk about my culture, the Korean culture, and how respect is shown in different ways in different cultures.” Buck said she gives teachers a card that has to do with an animal. For example she gave them a Timber Wolf and talked about how the wolves show respect for each other. “And so I have these cards for each grade and I ask the teachers to pick two kids who have shown that character trait for the month.” The trait for November is responsibility. The card for this month has a bald eagle. Buck said she talked to the children about how bald eagles show responsibility in their way. Because Buck knows there is some positive competition to be recognized for having the character trait of the month, she also teaches the children how to accept another student getting the award. “I tell them they should be happy for their friends when they are chosen

Kriya Patel Shaan Patel Jaya Forbes Katelyn Brown Emory Skinner Colin Standifer Lily Phat Lauren Lasitter Caroline Page

Bonnie Buck Wilson Preparatory Academy Guidance Counselor

for demonstrating that character trait,” Buck said. Responsibility was broken down in four areas: self responsibility, responsibility at school, responsibility at home and responsibility for our environment. “I told them that there

Carson Manning Bailey Bumgarner Elijah Watson Dylan Skinner Anna Claire Maurice Elena Minter Ava Bennett Madelyn Fraigo Journey Forbes


are different aspects of responsibility that boils down to you making a decision,” Buck said. “You have to decide in your mind if you are going to be responsible or not.”

children in Japan who have different kinds of responsibilities in elementary school. “It is important to me that I incorporate in my lessons expanding their world to be a little bit bigger.”

Buck also showed the children a film about

Character Club of Responsibility Ashlyn Chambers Aria Collie Tabitha Strickland Morgan Smith Oliver Green Elijah Coppedge

Anna-Pearson Garrett Landon Lucas Demaya Davis Ciera Rhudy Ani Russo Enza Russo Eli Farris Ashdyn Clemmer Leila Bunn

Kelsey Bynum Bryson Bunn Mollie Blake Ashton Pittman Sierra Brodhage Coleton Ellington Kaitlyn Ullberg Lauren Page Joshua Bass




ilson Preparatory Academy kicked off the “WPA Wellness Program,” in October. WPA was awarded a $50,000 grant from The Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. The Wellness Program has three areas of focus: the 100 mile club, martial arts and nutrition awareness. The 100 mile club is headed by Miss

Sontrece Coley. “Students are given the challenge to walk 100 miles by the end of the school year,” Coley said. “It sounds like a lot, but it is not. Students are encouraged to walk at school on Mondays and on their own time. “ Just a mile a day would help students meet their goal, Coley said. Coley said students who show their commitment to the 100 Mile Club will get a pedometer and other nice surprises along the way.

Kai Thai Academy founder, Linton B. Holmes, will be teaching martial arts classes at WPA. “Martial arts is more than what they see in movies,” Holmes said. “It is a balance of health, wellness and discipline.” Those classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. David Koonce, the technology teacher, has put together a program so students can keep track of their exercise as well as what they eat. “There is a place to keep up with how many glasses of water

Shontrice Coley Faculty member and 100 Mile Coach Taylor Davenport Kindergarten

they drink, how many veggies they eat, if they chose fruit or a candy bar and so on,” Koonce said. “Students from the third grade on up will keep up with their Chromebooks. K through 2 have a handout where their families can help them keep track.”

is a way for students to become more aware of their nutrition and be healthier. “There are many exciting things going on here at WPA,” Woodard said. “Being in control of your health is something that will help students all the way through adulthood.”

Daryl Woodard said the Wellness Program



f your children or grandchildren are in elementary school at Wilson Preparatory Academy you may have already had conversations with elementary school principal Mrs. Beverly Woodard (And no, she is not related to founder and executive director Mr. Daryl Woodard.) Beverly Woodard had been a successful and dedicated elementary school principal in Wilson Public Schools. She retired in 2013. But she has came out of retirement to lead teachers from K - 8th grade. There is now a middle and high school principal and now she

leads K - 5th grades. Enthusiasm doesn’t wane as the semester reaches mid-fall early winter. Beverly Woodard said she is inspired as ever and very excited about the instruction teachers are giving and how students are growing and learning. “What excites me the most is that our K - 5 teachers are shooting for individualizing instruction for all children - We are seeing that in different ways in all subjects,” Beverly Woodard said. “It really is exciting to see teachers who know the data, know where the child is so that you can take that student where he or she needs to go.”


Beverly Woodard Wilson Preparatory Academy Principal K through 5th Grades

Not one who just sits behind a desk, Beverly Woodard observes classes to see first hand learning in progress. Recently while sitting in on a 4th grade mathematics class she was watching a teacher teach multiplication.

“We used to call them in the old days, times tables,” Beverly Woodard smiled. “The teacher started with threes. She said to the class ‘if you need to take the test on threes, take it and bring it to me. Those who need to take the

fours take it and bring it to me.’” Beverly Woodard said the teacher went all the way through the nine times tables with the students. “Then she said to me, Continued on page 4



Beverly Woodard, I’d like for the ones who have completed all their multiplication to stand and let’s give them a round of applause,”Beverly Woodard recalls. “It was very cool. I actually watch children say ‘ can I go ahead and and take the nines while I am taking the eights now?’ They were excited. There was a feeling of competition but also a feeling of success.” Beverly Woodard said it made the students know that they are successful where they are, they will get to where they need to go in their own time and that it is okay. “Individualization is a good thing,” Mrs. B. Woodard said. But Beverly Woodard is not only the principal of the school, she has a daughter in the second grade at WPA. That gives her double duty. She offers this as an example of assessing her child’s progress at this time.. Beverly Woodard said she looks at the past two grade periods of her child and she looks at her child’s strengths and weaknesses. “I combine that with their agenda book,” Beverly Woodard explains. “Children from grades two through five will have agenda books. Kindergarten and first grade will have a folder that has send home on one side and send back to

school on the other side.” Beverly Woodard said the agendas and the folders have work samples. This method helps teachers decide what is best for their child, Woodard said. “I start with the report card and the agenda and I see what is due,” Woodard said. “Sometimes children will not tell parents what is due. It should be written in that agenda. There should be some kind of homework folder coming home. It will tell parents about the homework for that week. The teachers’ newsletters are another tool.” “All teachers are sending home weekly newsletters,” Beverly Woodard said.. “The email tells what the structures for the upcoming week. It tells parents if there are any field trips, standards of new learning, what special days are coming up.” For example, grades K through second grade had a character parade where they dressed like a book character they liked. Beverly Woodard said they were very creative. If the teacher is not sending a weekly newsletter, then Beverly Woodard urges parents to contact the teacher. She said it may be as simple as the teacher doesn’t have the correct email address.





r. Phillip Rountree, middle and high school principal, can be seen every day in the hallway as children change their classes. Mr. Rountree has also had a distinguished career as a principal. He said being visible at the school sends a message - do the right thing and get to class. “It is important for them to see me to know that I am there for them and to assist them getting to their next class as quickly as possible,” Rountree said. “That first 15 minutes and that last 15 minutes is so important. Students can’t afford to miss that. I often tell them that because everybody knows we should be there in the middle. But important instructions happens also in the very beginning and at the end. Rountree, a sports fan, said many times a person will think the last part of the game is a done deal because their favorite team is leading significantly. “But many times a game can be lost in that last few minutes,” Rountree reasons. “I’ve seen it happen many times when you think you can go home and there is no way to lose the game and the next day you realize your

Phillip Rountree Wilson Preparatory Academy Middle and High School Principal

team has lost. And it is just as important to be there the last minutes of classroom instruction as well as the beginning. Be there the whole time.” Rountree said middle school children can be very changeable. “They want to be adult like in first period and by third period they want to be a little kid,” Rountree said smiling. “That is why I want to be here with them when Ms. Woodard finishes with them. I get them to bridge the way from middle school to high school.” Rountree said he also loves what he is seeing done in the classrooms. He was particularly taken by a solar lesson he saw recently. “This lesson was really a good example of thinking outside the box,” Rountree said. “Students created solar panels. It was something simple like a shoebox and some

foil. The teacher had a thermometer and bought some hotdogs. They took their solar panels outside with hotdogs to see if the energy they created from the sun and their boxes could cook the hotdogs.” Rountree said the first period class went out when the sun was not as strong. By the end of the day during the last period the sun was a lot stronger, Rountree recounts. “In the sixth period class, one student’s hot dog had gotten up to 110 degrees. When they came back in they were saying to me, ‘Mr. Rountree, look at my hotdog - look at my hotdog.’ They could not eat them. Some had reached 85 degrees and others had gotten hotter. This was not a textbook lesson.” Rountree said the great thing about this Continued on page 6




hen anyone comes to Wilson Preparatory Academy, they will see a flurry of activity inside the classroom, in the gym, on the playground and now on the school grounds. You can’t help but see the new fencing with dirt being moved by huge construction equipment. Mr. Daryl Woodard, founder and executive director, said friends and family are seeing what will soon be a high school for the WPA family of staff, students and teachers. “One of the most exciting things about what is happening right now is the construction crew is finishing up on the infrastructure for our Phase II building. ,” Daryl Woodard said. “To see the curbing and guttering - plumbing and electrical

work that has to go underneath the building, preparing for when they pour the slab. It is just exciting.” Daryl Woodard said once that is finished onlookers will soon see the building go up in the air. “All of the contractors and the subcontractors and the people from the city of Wilson are working along with this so that we can have our kids in a state of the art facility,” Daryl Woodard said. Daryl Woodard said parents have have the comfort of knowing that their child will be able to attend WPA from kindergarten through 12th grade. “We are adding a grade each school year,” Daryl. Woodard explained. “This year we are K through 10h grade and next year we will be K through 11th


grade. The year after that all the way up to 12th grade.” Next year WPA will also be part of North Carolina Athletic Association Conference, so we will be able to play other schools, Mr. Woodard said. “Our goals are to bring home some state championships,” he said. “But we don’t want to be just known as an athletic school. We want to be known as an academic school. We don’t want our students to say they made varsity and they were good athletes but they are still in Wilson and unable to live a productive life. We want them to be able to go to UCLA, Yale, NC State, NC A&T or what ever the great school they chose. We want to equip them to be the best citizens they can be. ” Daryl Woodard

Daryl Woodard WIlson Preparatory Academy Founder and Executive Director

emphasized that WPA has never been a low performing school. “And if I have anything to do with it we will never be a low performing school,” he said. “We have some of the best teachers - I would put them up against any teachers anywhere. And parents are great and we have some of the best kids coming through this school. They have bought into the vision as we build character and have a good foundation in life.” Daryl Woodard said he just wants parents to continue to be supportive. “It is important that the

scholars understand what we are doing but parents are instrumental in making sure their kids excel academically,”Daryl Woodard said. “So we need parents to support what teachers are doing in the classroom and at home reinforcing what is happening in the classroom. We want children to ask questions if they have them. Just raise their hand and get an answer. Don’t be afraid to ask that question because the only dumb question is the question that was not asked.”



THANKFUL FOR Wilson Preparatory Academy realized that not everybody celebrates Thanksgiving. Some may have political reasons while others have religious reasons. However we all reflect on our progress through challenges and are thankful for where we are today. Some WPA teachers and students talk to us about what they are thankful for.

Tiffany Branch “I am thankful for an amazing school here at Wilson Prep Academy. If I could wish one wish for the world it would be for great peace in the world.“

Bridget Bryant

Elizabeth Logan

“I’m most thankful for this job. It is paying tuition. It is taking care of me. And it is a place I look forward to coming to every day. I love my job and I am thankful for that.”

“I am thankful to be up and walking and having a job that I enjoy. If I could have a dream to come true for the world I would wish for peace and to have everybody get along.”

Jaidan Payne

Ynique Dew

“I am thankful that I have a great family and great friends and a nice home to come home to. If I had a wish for the world it would be for everyone to have a happy home to go to.”

“I am thankful for life. Just waking up in the morning and having another day. If I could grant everybody in the world a special gift it would be to have a peaceful place to live - having shelter. And to have people who love them.”

Mary Dell Williamson

“Like I’m sure everyone else has expressed, I am so thankful for my family. Every day I realize more and more how special my parents, brothers, sister, husband, sons, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, etc are to me. My family is huge and I love our family gatherings where everyone is talking and laughing. I have the best memories. I am also thankful for my friends. Like my family, they are always there for me in the good times and the bad. I have the best friends in the world, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I could go on and on for what I’m thankful for such as my church, the ocean, sunsets, coffee, my coworkers, our dog, but the list is too long. One last thing that I do want to mention is how the teachers at WPA are so very thankful for our students and parents. We love you and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!”


FOR THE FUTURE Continued from page 4

lesson was that it allowed the student who was not an A/B student to feel as good about his hotdog as the student who got straight A’s. If a student is trying to grow and feels good about his project that helps his confidence,

Rountree said. “When that student goes back inside the classroom and hits the books, he or she sees they can hold their own with those who are in their group.” Rountree said that having students in with their


peers of all levels is great for all of the students and resembles what will happen in the adult world. Rountree said grouping is not as easy for middle school children as it is for high school children. But he said once the students are known to their teachers, middle school students can learn to perform in group settings as well.

Zahir Perry “I am thankful for Wilson Preparatory Academy. They have offered us a much better school than we could have ever gone to. I am thankful for life itself. If I could make one wish for the world it would be to wish for everyone in every country to have food and shelter.”

“Our teachers use researched based strategies to pull out the best in each student,” Rountree said. “I understand because I am a visual learner. That helped the visual learners when they went outside instead of just staying in the classroom to learn only from a book.”

took the pre-ACT test,” Rountree said proudly. “And I dare say our students know they can do this. When it is time for them to take the test they will not be shaky. They will know what to do and how to do it. And they will get calls from college. They will be successful.”

Rountree said they are preparing students to be competitive. “Every child in the tenth grade



t has happened to almost every parent. It is almost time to go to bed and your child has not studied for a test the next morning. Or a project is due tomorrow. Somehow your beautiful child never mentioned that important assignment or test. So you try to help your young one cram for the test (like you did in high school and college).

A recent study at UCLA indicates that cramming for a test may not be the best option. Professor of psychiatry Andrew J. Fuligni says sacrificing sleep to study may not help the student get a better grade. “Regardless of how much a student generally studies each day, if that

student sacrifices sleep time in order to study more than usual, he or she is likely to have more academic problems, not less, on the following day,” the study states. Here are some tips that may help for the future.

STUDY TIME Pick a particular place in your house just for studying and doing homework. Researchers say that area should not have distractions, if possible. That area should also have the tools necessary for completing assignments for example writing tools, glue, paper, a computer, scissors, or anything that would be specifically for studying and homework.

PLANNING It is an old saying, but prior planning prevents


poor performance. So, help your student to manage their time. Researchers suggest you get a calendar and each week look at what is due for a seven day period ahead. Write down all activities after school activities and social events. It should also include what assignments are due. The teachers’ newsletter from your child’s teacher will help know what is due. This will also help with giving your child a chance to plan time to study for assignments and tests. Allow for breaks. Researchers say that for children in grade 1 students should get five minutes of break after 15 minutes of concentration.

tailor their study time to best reflect how they learn best. Your child’s teacher may be helpful in finding how your child learns best. Your child will imitate your behavior so if you put learning as a priority then they will as well. Pretest your child before the big day. Congratulate your child for doing well.

MODEL STUDYING Come up with tricks and ways to prevent procrastinating. Helping your scholar may mean reading over their notes with them, making up a quiz before the big test, making flashcards, or even getting a buddy or a group of his or her peers to study with.

YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING STYLE Discover your child’s learning style and then



TIGERS! The boys and girls Tigers basketball teams are fighting hard to win, win, win! See the complete schedule of games on the Wilson Preparatory Academy website Come out and support the Tigers!

EDITORIAL STAFF Writer Janet Conner-Knox


Designer Robert Oden

Photographer Sherrod Knox


Wilson Preparatory Academy Tiger Tracks November-December  

Wilson Preparatory Academy Mission: Wilson Preparatory Academy will provide every student with a quality and relevant education that will pr...