GEAR UP Matters

Wilkes County High Schools

January-February 2017

GEAR UP Happenings

WCC Invitation

On Feb. 27 WCC-Wilkes Campus will host a SKILLS competition. This is an opportunity for small groups (particularly 9th grade students) that may be interested in the technical applied science fields to come watch HS and college students from across the region compete. Hardin Kennedy is the main organizer of this event and encourages groups to come visit to watch the competitions.

Students begin competing at approximately 9:45 and are finished by noon. Lunch can be provided at an estimated cost of $5.00 per person. After lunch, awards are presented to the competitors at 1pm in the Walker Center.

This is the link of the contest descriptions at the National level: Not all of the contests will be available to watch at WCC on Feb. 27th as the contests will be finalized after the competitors submit applications (due onFeb.1).

Please let me know if there is any interest in attending and if so the approximate number of students. Thank you in advance,

Bekah Gardner

GEAR UP Coordinator

Wilkes Community College


East Wilkes High School

Where will the road take you?

East Wilkes High School recently dedicated a wall in their main building to inspire and encourage students to begin asking the question, "Where Will Your Road Take You?" The wall displays banners of universities and colleges throughout North Carolina along with information and photos of college life on these campuses.

Several college and career events and activities are planned in the spring semester for the East Wilkes students including a college fair in March.

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PowerLunch & Class Activities

North Wilkes High School

GU Tools for School Series at North High

Members of the North High GEAR UP Leadership Team, Anna Pardue, Lizz Mastrella, and Junior Miller, collaborated to host a series of SmartLunch sessions entitled: GEAR UP Tools for School. The series included refresher courses and exploration of Virtual Job Shadow and as well as a College Knowledge session. During the College Knowledge session, students were quizzed on college facts and used Virtual Job Shadow to research and create college banners. The banners will be part of a college bulletin board display in the high school cafeteria. As an added incentive, student participants received a pair of North High earbuds as they completed the SmartLunch series.

North High National Hour of Code Celebration!

In celebration of National Hour of Code week, Mrs. Tracy Walker encouraged students to try their hand at computer coding with games such as Star Wars, Minecraft, Frozen, Flappy Code, and many more. During smartlunch sessions, North High students joined tens of millions of students globally in the celebration.

There are an increasing number of businesses apart from the technology field that are relying on computer coding. It is no wonder that eight of the top twenty-five jobs for 2017 are technology related positions. A software engineer could easily find themselves marketable across the spectrum of careers. Fields as varied as Microsoft, hospitals, automotive plants, and cyber security all require computer coding. In 2016, over seven million job openings were in occupations that require programming and coding skills.

West Wilkes High School

West High Celebrates....Tech the Halls!

Each year as Christmas holidays approach, West Wilkes High School media coordinator Robin Rhodes and ITF Ramona Burkhart encourage teachers to toot their technology horns with a Tech the Halls contest.

Teachers and students use a holiday theme to decorate classroom doors in ways that show how they incorporate technology into instruction. Principal David Johnson and Asst. Principal Amanda Pruitt are the judges who decide which door best displays student and staff integration of technology. The winning teacher is awarded an extra planning period on the day and time of his/her choice. During this time in the media center, Robin and Ramona teach students how to utilize a web-based tool in any topic the teacher assigns. The decorated doors are fun, informational conversation-starters. Tech the Halls- fa la la la la, la la la la!

Robin Rhodes

West High Advice to Freshmen Video Series

Multimedia and Webpage Design classes at West High, under the direction of Jill Woodie, are creating a series of freshmen transition videos utilizing Adobe Premiere Pro, Audacity and Canva that can be used by West Middle and West High. Studies show that the transition to high school is a critical juncture for students. This transition is a time that students move from a smaller middle school to a larger and unfamiliar high school. A successful high school transition often leads to higher academic achievement and lower drop out rates.

J. Woodie

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West Wilkes is GEARING UP the Freshman Class for College!

Savannah Hendrix, a senior at West High, is GEARING UP the freshman class for college! Miss Hendrix, under the direction of Mrs. Susuan Pasch, designed a GEAR UP tile to be displayed at West High as a visual reminder of the importance of early preparation for post-secondary education.

Susan Pasch

Wilkes Central High School

Manufacturing Careers Fair

Two hundred and twenty-one freshman spent time at the Manufacturers Career Fair learning from different businesses and careers associated with manufacturing on Monday, December 5 at the first Wilkes Central Career Fair. Nine manufacturers from Alexander, Wilkes, and Surry were represented which included Allura, Craftmaster Furniture, Gardner Glass Products, Meadows Mills, LuRay Textiles, Weyerhauser, Schneider Mills, Tyson, and Anchor Coffee Company. Representatives from Wilkes Community College were also in attendance to talk to the students.

Upperclassmen were also given the opportunity to visit and talk with the representatives during their Smart Lunch.

A special thank you to Heather Hahn, Jill Masten-Byers, Teresa Duncan, Savannah Snow, and Amber Falise for their hard work and dedication to make the first "Wilkes Central Career Fair" a success.

Hospitality and Services Careers Fair

Two hundred and sixteen freshman spent time at the second Wilkes Central Career Fair learning from different businesses and careers associated with hospitality and services on Monday, December 12. Thirteen different businesses and organizations represented a wide variety of hospitality and services careers. NC State Highway Patrol,Wilkes County Health Department, A Greener World Recycling/Carolina Realty, Wells Fargo, Artistic Academy, Wilkes Communications, Studio 68, Erin Anderson Design, Magistrates' Office, Communities in Schools, Wilkes Regional Medical Center, David's Car Care, and Lowe's Companies were all in attendance along with representatives from WilkesCommunity College.

Upperclassmen were also given the opportunity to visit and talk with the representatives during their Smart Lunch.

A special thank you to Heather Hahn, Jill Masten-Byers, Teresa Duncan, Savannah Snow, Susan Bley, and Amber Falise for their hard work and dedication to make the second "Wilkes Central Career Fair" a success.


College Spotlight

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Whether you are highlighting a college of the week on social media and school webpages, featuring colleges on morning announcements, creating a college going culture in your classroom or generating a college options newsletter for parents, we hope this collection of college videos will be a useful tool.

Link below

January- Career Focus

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GEAR UP Resouce Website

The GEAR UP 101 Resource website is a powerful tool, specifically designed to help educators easily design and deploy successful middle and high school GEAR UP programming. Educators can choose programming by topic, participant grade-level, duration and more.

To check out the website click on the GEAR UP 101 Resources tab below.

All Middle & high school virtual job shadow accounts should be working.

All Wilkes County Schools Middle & High School Counselors & Teachers should be able to use their accounts. If you are unable to log in, please email me at .

All teachers have administrative Virtual Job Shadow right for their school.

Teacher Login: your school email address

Teacher Password: email user name



Student Login: Student ID/Lunch #

Password: jobshadow

Example: 863018


Please encourage 6th-9th grade students to use as a resource for homework help both at school and at home. Students are able to have access to a tutor within minutes. These sessions are quality controlled, and students have access to a tutor who has at least a 4 year degree in the field in which they tutor. site would also make a great resource to place on your teacher webpage for students to access.

If a student cannot log in to the website, please email the student's name, school email address, grade, and lunch number to

If a group of students cannot log into the website please email the grade level and school. access form for 6th-9th grade teachers

It's a great time to remind students of this great resource they have available to them to get homework help. As a reminder, teachers who want to introduce this to their entire class and have the class log on all at the same time, we now have that option. Just make sure you fill out the request form PRIOR to having a class log on.

Below is a visual reminder of how students log in. Please review how to use with students.

GEAR UP ASU Resources Link

Jody's January Schedule

Tathel's January Schedule