Valley Voice

November 2015

Valley Voice is published by Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy with all rights and privileges retained by Davidson County Schools

November Editor: Bradley Hill

Staff members: Ava Porter, Haley Pesqueira, Nathan Garrett, Savannah Watkins, Tyler Casey.

Sponsors: Ms Heather Jones, Mr. James Crawford

EXHIBITION 2015 The Valley Academy Red Carpet Event!

Exhibition offers an opportunity for parents, community and partners in education to visit our campus to hear student presentations and projects that exemplify the learning and accomplishments by the student body of Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy.

You are cordially invited to attend the Valley Academy Exhibition on Thursday, December 10th from 6pm till 8pm. Our campus is located at 2065 East Holly Grove Road in Lexington, NC 27292. Student ambassadors will answer questions and be available to guide you throughout our school.

Exhibition is our school's opportunity to showcase the learning and purpose behind project based learning (PBL). Our community most often sees only the end result of a students project missing the invisible hard work and learning that represents the critical thinking, teamwork, and growth to achieve the finished project. Exhibition will offer you opportunity to ask questions to the student about their learning process to achieve the end product.

On December 10th you can expect to see a range of projects including artwork that is created from mathematical equations, an environmental footprint of our school and ways to reduce energy usage, and the grand opening of our student managed school store to name a few.

We hope to see our many friends, family and community partners take advantage of this opportunity to witness what makes YVRCA a unique educational resource for Davidson County using innovative learning tools preparing our young citizens for future careers.

Faculty Spotlight

Ms. Murchison, a teacher of twenty one years, is a math one and two instructor at Valley Academy. After growing up with a passion of teaching, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an educator at Appalachian State University. Her goal as a teacher is “to help students learn how to be their best.” Asked how to describe her teaching in one way, she responded with “exciting”. She considers herself a “Disney addict” who enjoys creating pottery and jewelry. Ms. Murchison stated that one of the hardest things as a teacher is motivating students. “My proudest moment as a teacher is when students that struggle find out that they really can do math. They just have to think about it in a different way.”

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Student Spotlight

Mulan Phay has been brought under our spotlight for this month. Mulan actively pursues “ … sending positive atmospheres …” to those around her. She does this in different ways with her interest in fashion, modeling and photography; after growing up 16 years in Lexington, Mulan has realized that opportunities for her interests don’t come easy. This has given her a rare perspective on taking “ … the chance whenever you have it.”

Mulan is aware of what the world around her offers. Although Mulan has not chosen a career, like most of us, she is “ … on the search for identifying …” and securing her dreams. Mulan recognizes the importance of maintaining values in life; among many her prominent principles are dedication, sacrifice and integrity. Having a strong work ethic has given her the ability to complete any task given to her or her group, giving her the belief that having a strong work ethic is significant.

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Succesfull Fall 2015 Valley Academy EXPO

The Davidson County Career & Technical Education Department and area businesses hosted a Career Expo on Wednesday, November 4, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. on the Valley Academy campus. The Expo showcased higher education, specialized trade skills training, and career options in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing, Logistics, and Health Science Technology to over 200 eighth grade students currently enrolled in middle school programs of Technology, Engineering, and Design across Davidson County. A panel of YVRCA students answered questions from the visiting students about opportunities offered by Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy during this event.


November has been a month of many significant milestones for students attending Valley Career Academy. We are integrating hands-on learning module kits for Career Success and Entrepreneurship developed by Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina for selected spring semester classes. These modules have been furnished to our school courtesy of First Community Bank for the next three years. Our faculty learning coaches are assisted in their classes by local business professionals providing their real world experience and helping to deliver group exercises to students that teach/strengthen a variety of skills and behaviors critical to success in jobs, careers, and entrepreneurship.

Our school has also entered into a partnership with Lexington Medical Center, which is providing six internships beginning in spring 2016 for seniors pursuing careers related to health sciences. The Almost Home Group, located in Thomasville, is also offering job shadow and internship opportunities for those students expressing interest in exploring careers in health care services.

We will have additional announcements in December of formal internships and job shadow opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing/Logistics and IT/programming. We are exploring many other businesses interested in becoming partners with Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy.

Please contact Mr. James Crawford if you would like to learn more about an engineering-focused opportunity to attend a week long STEM summer camp in 2016 sponsored by the Society of American Engineers (SAME). This amazing team consists of military, prior military, and civilians operating a one week long STEM Camp at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC. The team is led by retired Admiral Joseph A Angell II, PE, CCM, DBIA, F.SAME.

PASSION PROJECT 2015 - Volunteer Panel Members Needed

The Passion Project is part of the English IV classwork where students explored two question:

What do you love to make or do?

What change do you wish to see in your world?

Each student identified a project that they would like to see implemented in their community. The project had few requirements: it had to relate to their passions, had to benefit their community somehow, and it had to be completed in the scope of one semester and with a budget of $1000. The students proposed ideas to a panel, received feedback, revised their ideas, and completed project research.

Preliminary presentations with panel feedback have now been completed, and students are now moving on to the final phase of competition where panels will choose one of the projects to be funded. The last step of the project is for students to deliver their final pitch on why their project is the best one to receive funding. We are seeking volunteers from our community partners in education to provide an informed and impartial review to help decide which Passion Project completed by Valley Academy seniors will be funded and implemented for the community in spring 2016.

To help the panel make these decisions, each student will have a project portfolio that showcases their work, their thinking, and their research. This portfolio will be reviewed by a panel, and then the students will make their final five-to-seven minute pitch. Panel members will receive guidelines for criteria used for judging that will include items such as the quality of research, feasibility of project goals, and preparedness of the student presenter.

If you are interested in participating as a panel member, please contact Mrs. Harrell at or call Mr. Crawford at 336-242-5841 by December 4th.

November HPMA Tour of Deere-Hitachi

Three Valley Academy students were invited to tour the Deere-Hitachi Manufacturing plant in Kernersville as guests of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. Hallie Nifong, Gigi Plascencia, and Jill Hutson, all interested in advanced manufacturing career pathways, attended the High Performance Manufacturing Association's (HPMA) networking dinner and toured this large equipment plant. Their innovative and adaptive moving assembly line utilizes Kanban parts supply (just in time) in a build to order process. The welding and plate processing center showcased high tech plasma cutters and robotic welding systems in addition to an automated paint line. Our three students spent an enjoyable evening and were able to see the career opportunities available with this excellent company in both advanced manufacturing and global logistics.
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October HPMA Tour Richard Childress Racing

By Hayden Hedrick, Aaron Moore and Justin Hatfield

In October, Hayden Hedrick, Justin Hatfield, and Aaron Moore were Valley Academy student guests courtesy of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce and attended a tour of the Richard Childress Racing complex. The tour provided career exposure with RCR staff explaining their high performance manufacturing facility and the many jobs required in meeting the team goals on a daily basis. Aaron Moore noted on how interesting it was to see the may steps and jobs required to achieve the goals. The hard work, dedication, and shared goals by every employee was evident as everyone in this company works as a team. As the tour progressed through the many buildings in the RCR complex there were many posters and pictures displayed along the halls and doorways, each with motivational quotes and reminders of their shared goals. Our students enjoyed this tour and would love to go back to learn so much more.

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The SCHOLAR LOCKER school store is open for business!

Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy’s new school store, known as the Scholar Locker, will hold its grand opening December 10th at the school’s Winter Exhibition! Winter Exhibition is a night where students will have the opportunity to showcase their creativity, talents, and learning experiences from the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year.

This semester is the first to offer an Entrepreneurship course, which inspired students to take their education to a whole new level by developing ideas for a project that would demonstrate their findings from class, the result being the kick-off of our new school store. Profit from the business will be used to help fund student activities such as Prom, clubs, and field trips.

Samples from the “Scholar Locker” inventory will be displayed, allowing potential consumers a chance to view the products created, and even purchase/order items on the spot. More details to come in upcoming publications. Come join us as the students bring their knowledge to life!

Coming in our December issue

We will add a student advice column in December. There will be a box placed in our cafeteria for students to place questions, comments, or ideas for future news articles of interest to our student body and partners in education.

We will also be changing the newsletter format to allow greater flexibility in creative design.