08/21/14 — Open houses begin

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Open houses begin

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 21, 2014 1:46 PM

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Charles Grantham, along with Charles Grantham III, helps his son, ninth-grader Tahj Edwards, 15, find a class on his schedule at the Goldsboro High School open house on Wednesday night.

The new school year officially kicks off Monday for Wayne County Public Schools, but open house offers students the chance to find classes and to meet teachers.

Open houses were held at middle and high schools on Wednesday evening. Today from 5-7 p.m., elementary schools will have their turn.

Officials at Goldsboro High School said they were pleased with the turnout.

"I think it went great," Assistant Principal Jason Wray said this morning. "Every year it's getting bigger and bigger. More parents are getting involved, bringing out their kids.

"It's a very good start for the school year."

Open house is not only an opportunity for students to become more familiar with the school and receive class schedules, but can be most beneficial for parents, Wray said.

"I think it's always good for the teachers and the parents to look each other in the eyes and discuss what's going on in the classroom," he said.

Charles B. Aycock Principal Dr. Earl Moore said the kick-off helps build excitement for a new term.

"So far our enrollment has increased tremendously," he said. "We have approximately 140 more students than last year at this time."

The school continues to boast high student numbers. Last fall, 1,174 showed up on the first day and by Day 10, there were 1,205. The growth has prompted the school board to move forward on construction projects to add 20 classrooms and to renovate the cafeteria, slated to start later this year.

"We're excited about the students that are coming in," he said. "The staff is excited about the upcoming renovations. We're looking forward to the groundbreaking."

Eight new teachers have been hired, Moore said. There is also a brother and sister teaching at the school -- siblings Keith Woodard, a ninth-grade English teacher, who began in 2012, and Katelyn Woodard, earth science, joining the staff this year as an earth science teacher.

Chemistry teacher Brian Rada "sold everything and moved down here in two weeks" after being hired three years ago. Jobs in his home state of New York were not plentiful and he had sent out applications to North Carolina and South Carolina and Virginia before getting the call from CBA, he said.

Theresa McGee, a math teacher, is a veteran educator at the school, starting "Year 30," she said. The mother of two said it has also been nice having her youngest son, sophomore Ashton McGee, at the school.

Open house gives everyone a chance "to get the nerves out," said CBA alum and now teacher Jill Howell.

Especially the underclassmen.

Ninth-grader Neal West, accompanied by his father, Ricky West, was there to map out where his classes were.

He reserved judgment on his expectations about the upcoming year, but admitted if he gets a chance to play baseball with the Falcons, that would be OK.

Nicholas Wise, 14, will also be a freshman. New to the school and the district, his sport of choice would be golf, he said.

Three of Sheila Wolfe's children are at CBA this year -- her oldest, Jason Wolfe, transferred there to teach art, and her youngest daughters, twins Kimberlee and Katherine, are ninth-grade students.

The girls may share similar aspirations of becoming nurses, but don't follow the twin trend of dressing alike and their only common classes will be homeroom and science.

"I'm looking forward to more freedom," Kimberlee said about starting high school.

Seniors Madison Wildman, Gracie Parrott and Madison Thrailkill served as Aycock Ambassadors, providing assistance where needed. Being upperclassmen definitely has its perks, they said.

"It's going to be cool to be like the oldest people there," Miss Thrailkill said.