Banner-News 6-10-21

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Gaston County’s

The Banner News /

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Thursday, June 10, 2021 OUR MISSION:


Moms in Prayer International impacts children and schools worldwide for Christ c by gathering mothers to pray. News from a neighbor! Volume 87 • Issue 23

• Belmont • Cramerton • Lowell • McAdenville • Mount Holly • Stanley

• Working Moms • Homeschool Moms • College Praying Moms • Moms of Career Age Young Adults • Military Families • Moms Praying For Prodigals • Special Needs Praying Moms • Church Based Groups • Language Based Groups • Prison Based Groups

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Mt. Holly Sole Patrol is back up to speed By Alan Hodge

The Mt. Holly Parks and Rec. Sole Patrol senior citizens activity program is back up to its pre-Covid schedule and inviting previous, current, and prospective members to return for more fun and fraternity. The Sole Patrol is for folks 55 years and up. It meets at the Tuckaseegee Community Center in Tuckaseegee Park. Last week, the City of Mt. Holly lifted Covid restrictions for its facilities and that means Sole Patrol folks can show up Mondays-

Fridays 10am to 12:30pm just like they did before the pandemic. Masks and temperature checks are not required. Mt. Holly Parks and Rec. specialist Kent Womack talked about what the Sole Patrol has on tap physical activity-wise. “Participants can walk in the gym, or play cornhole, shuffleboard, or use the fitness center equipment,” he said. Parties and lunches were part of Sole Patrol action pre-pandemic and those will return, but not right

now. “We are working on bringing those back,” said Womack. Some Sole Patrol members have come trickling back. “We had eight the other day,” Womack said. “We want to get the number back to the forty or so that used to show up.” Last Tuesday saw long-time Sole Patrollers LaJean Wyatt, 89, and Betty Grotts, 85, meeting up at the Tuckaseegee Center. They each talked about what being in the Sole See SOLE PATROL, Page 10

Mt. Holly Parks and Rec. Sole Patrol members LaJean Wyatt (left) and Betty Grotts say they are glad the program is getting back to its pre-Covid activity level. Photo by Alan Hodge

Truist Bank serves as sponsor for Excellence in Education awards announcement

Gaston County Schools names ‘Of the Year’ winners for 2021-2022

Catholic News Herald story/photo

Record number of men graduate from St. Joseph College Seminary in North Belmont Andrew Templeton from Gastonia (second from left in photo) is among nine 2021 graduates of St. Joseph College Seminary – the largest graduating class since the

Diocese of Charlotte founded the program to cultivate potential priests from western North Carolina to serve across the diocese. Seven of the nine men

earned undergraduate degrees from the Benedictine-run Belmont Abbey College May 15. They join the ranks of nine other men who previously See SEMINARY, Page 4

Six employees received the most prestigious honors presented by Gaston County Schools during the 2021 Excellence in Education awards announcement. Truist Bank sponsored the program, which was held on Tuesday, June 1 at the new CaroMont Health Park, home of the Gastonia Honey Hunters baseball team. The ‘Of the Year’ winners, who were named during the 9:00 a.m. ceremony, include: Teacher of the Year: Staci Nezezon of Pinewood Elementary School; Principal of the Year: Tyler West of Pinewood Elementary School; Assistant Principal of the Year: Bridgette Best of Pleasant Ridge Elementary School; New Teacher of the Year: Maddison Szucs of Robinson Elementary School; Teacher Assistant of the


Year: Wanda Marlowe of Catawba Heights Elementary School; and Central Office Administrator of the Year: Brett Buchanan, director of Career and Technical Education, Academic Services Department. Here are the award recipients: Gaston County Teacher of the Year The 2021-2022 Gaston County Teacher of the Year is Staci Nezezon from Pinewood Elementary School. After working for six years as an English as a Second Language teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Nezezon joined Gaston County Schools in 2019 as a third grade teacher at Pinewood. She has served as Pinewood’s literacy teacher and taught virtual classes this year for second grade. Nezezon obtained a bachelor’s degree

in childhood education and a master’s degree in education – literacy specialist from the State University of New York at Buffalo. The finalists for Teacher of the Year included Savanna Abernathy, Bessemer City Central Elementary School; Natalie Childers, Gardner Park Elementary School; Bethany Hartley, Hunter Huss High School; and Casey Miller, Stanley Middle School. Gaston County Principal of the Year The 2021-2022 Gaston County Principal of the Year is Tyler West from Pinewood Elementary School. West joined Gaston County Schools in 2005 as a third grade teacher at Rankin Elementary School where she was nominated for Gaston County New Teacher of the Year in 2005-2006 and named the school’s Teacher See WINNERS, Page 5