Mountaineer Notes, February 8, 2017


Lila Azhari-Harris

Fifth grade literacy teacher, Lila Azhari-Harris, is using book groups to build a love of reading among her students.  Students are in pairs or groups up to four and they read various chapter books on their independent reading level.  Each student is responsible for keeping a book group folder and notebook where they document the strategies and skills that have been assigned to them to use such as text structures, story elements, vocabulary, and grammar.  Mrs. Azhari-Harris makes time to sit and read with groups to check understanding and fluency.  Students are always given choice in what they would like to read and many are on their fifth or sixth book already.


Niko Barton Artwork

MCHS art teacher Ashleigh Pugh recently held a Spring Art Festival competition.  The following are the winners out of many worthy submissions from high school students.  The winner’s art work will be used this April in the division wide Art Festival.

1st place: Niko Barton

2nd place: Kendall Powers

3rd place: Jerica Cropp








School Counselors Logo

Happy National Counseling Week!  This week is  sponsored by the American School Counselor Association. National School Counseling Week is celebrated each February to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems.  This special week honors school counselors for the important role they play in helping students examine their talents, strengths, abilities, and interests. Counselors work in professional partnerships with teachers and support personnel to provide an educational system where students can realize their true potential. As all educators focus their efforts on improving academic achievement for all students, it is important that we recognize school counselors for their continuing efforts in reducing barriers to learning and in providing the support necessary for all students to achieve at the highest level.  SPECIAL THANKS to our MC School Counselors!!

  • Karen Organ Lohr, Madison Primary School
  • Nicole Keys, Waverly Yowell Elementary School
  • Meg Early, Waverly Yowell Elementary School, Intern
  • Erin O’Leary, Wetsel Middle School
  • Corey Rudd, Wetsel Middle School
  • Hilary Stanton, Madison County High School
  • Celinda Bailey, Madison County High School
  • Jaylyn Stahl, Madison County High School & Germanna Community College

Student Government Students at General Assembly

Waverly Elementary School, Wetsel Middle School, and Madison County High School Student Government Representatives visited the General Assembly in Richmond on Monday.  It was a eye opening experience as students watched the session while the General Assembly voted on bills.  Students were treated to a tour from guide Betsy Allan who showed students the old house chamber, rotunda, and chamber room.  Mrs. Allan helped students understand freedoms and the Constitution.  Additionally, students were very interested in the Capital Classroom – the Senate and House Page Programs  – after speaking with several students who are current pages.   Special thanks to Waverly School Counselor Nicole Keys for arranging the visit.

Congratulations to Waverly Yowell Elementary School students and teachers for solving more than 1 million math facts using Reflex Math. Students answered 1,168,508 math problems since August 2016.

Congratulations to Isiah Smith on his signing a football scholarship to Fairmont State University on Monday.  Approximately 50 people were there to celebrate with Isiah and his family.

(l to r) Gary Wintersgill (HS Principal), Ira Smith (father), Isiah Smith, Phil Warren (AD), Stacey Smith (mother), Stuart Dean (Head Football Coach)

(l to r) Gary Wintersgill (HS Principal), Ira Smith (father), Isiah Smith, Phil Warren (AD), Stacey Smith (mother), Stuart Dean (Head Football Coach)


Claudia Gohn

The Swim team competed in the Region 2A East Championships and qualified 9 swimmers to the VHSL Group 2A Swim meet to be held in Christiansburg on February 15th. The following swimmers advanced to the State Meet:

  • Claudia Gohn – 1st in 200 Free (2:02.16) and 1st in 100 Fly (1:00.52)
  • Ben Dillon – 1st in 1m Dive
  • Boys 400 Free Relay (Ben Dillon, Luke Wintersgill, Dale McNamara, Grayson Wood) finished 6th (3:55.72)
  • Girls 400 Free Relay (Alaina Hall, Morgan Paramore, Rachel Utz, Claudia Gohn) finished 6th (4:27.33)
  • Boys 200 Medley Relay (Grayson Wood, Ben Dillon, Dale McNamara, Dalton Dodson) finished 7th (2:00.16)
  • Dale McNamara finished 7th in the 200 IM (2:27.43) and 8th in the 500 Free (6:08.53)
  • Alaina Hall finished 7th in the 50 Free (27.89)
  • Grayson Wood finished 7th in the 100 Breastroke (1:11.49)

Congratulations to Claudia Gohn for winning the Region Championship in the 200 Free and 100 Fly at the 2A East Region Championships on Saturday. Claudia also set a NEW REGION RECORD in the 200 Free in a time of 2:02.16.


Bull Run District Champions

Congratulations to the Boys Varsity Basketball team for clinching the Bull Run District Championship on Friday night with a thrilling 53-47 Overtime win at William Monroe. It is our first District Championship in Boys Basketball since the 2010 season.

The Wrestling Team hosted the Conference 35 Championship on Saturday and finished in 3rd place. Congratulations to Chase Ryder (126 lbs) and Zach Gibson (152 lbs) for winning the Conference Championship in their weight class. The following wrestlers will advance to the Region Championships on Friday and Saturday at Strasburg:

  • John Bartys (120 lbs) – 4th Place
  • Chase Ryder (126 lbs) – Conference Champion
  • Zach Waters (132 lbs) – 3rd Place
  • Zach Gibson (152 lbs) – Conference Champion
  • Dalton Dudley (160 lbs) – 2nd Place
  • Rodney Lewis (170 lbs) – 3rd Place
  • Jacob Clatterbuck (182 lbs) – 2nd Place
  • Chase Berry (195 lbs) – 3rd Place
  • Eric Cashman (220 lbs) – 2nd Place
  • Nick Pumphrey (285 lbs) – 3rd Place

7th grade science teacher, Katie Walker, had her students dissect owl pellets. Students were very excited to find bones of small animals and use a key to determine which animal the bones came from.

MCPS Forensics

MCPS Forensics

This past Saturday, February 4, the MCHS Forensics team traveled to Woodberry Forest to compete in the final VCFL qualifier of the season. The team took 2nd place overall, and the following students placed in their individual categories:

In Declamation:

  • Samuel Decowski, 2nd place
  • Maya Powell, 1st place

In Prose/Poetry:

  • Rebecca Young, 2nd place

In Dramatic Performance:

  • Steven Franklin, 2nd place

Duo Performance:

  • Caleb Mayer/Samuel Decowski, 3rd place

As of this last tournament, every member of the team has qualified for VCFL States(!!!) which will be held March 11 at Eastern View High School.

MPS Principal Mike Coiner and Director of Teaching and Learning Tina Weaver participated in a Title I virtual federal monitoring audit. Title I provides financial assistance to educational schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.Title I documents were reviewed for 2016-2017. The audit was very positive with no corrective actions.


Wetsel’s Project Global Team Working at Computers

Thursday, January 26, marked the first meeting of Wetsel’s Project:Global team for 2017. This group will be meeting after school in an attempt to connect with schools throughout the globe. This is largely a student-run group facilitated by Instructional Coach Jared Morris. In their first meeting the group selected their major roles within the team (historian, graphic designer, IT person, and treasurer). We look forward to new developments from this motivated group of middle school students.

Danelle Nutter

Danelle Nutter

Sounds of uproarious laughter and powerful learning reverberated around MPS Art Teacher Danelle Nutter’s classroom as she had students experimenting with sound using different size straws. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence at MPS.  Danelle is amping up the volume and excitement for learning on a daily basis with her awesome STEAM activities.  She does a phenomenal job of collaborating with teams to construct lessons that fit each grade level’s curriculum and bridge the gap between concrete and abstract understanding. It’s easy to see (and hear!) students LOVE what they’re learning in her class.

Congratulations to Joseph Phillips, Kathy Dyer, and Natalee Coates who represented Madison County at District XIII All-District Band on Saturday February 4. Students were selected by audition from 10 different school divisions. Natalee performed in the middle school band, and Joseph and Kathy performed in the top high school band!


Joseph Phillips, Kathy Dyer, and Natalee Coates

Are you ready for some football? Madison Primary School staff participated in an indoor tailgate party hosted by the Primary Strong Committee last Friday. You could find many showing support for their favorite team as a plethora of colors painted the hallways. While appetizers were being devoured, friendly bets were being made as to which team would take home the Lombardi Trophy. One lucky person’s name was drawn from the winning bucket for a “hail Mary” prize!!!


Smokey the Bear Poster Contest Winners: Lydia Navitsky, Mady Woodward, Jeremy Morris, and Bridgette Wolf

Students at Madison Primary School recently participated in the Smokey Bear poster contest, and prizes were announced at an assembly this past Friday.  Congratulations to our four winners Lydia Navitsky, Mady Woodward, Jeremy Morris, and Bridgette Wolf. Their artwork was fabulous, and all students enjoyed expressing their environmental awareness through art. Thanks go out to the Madison Garden Club for sponsoring this event each year, and to Danelle Nutter for her hard work organizing the event and collecting the artwork.

STEM Night.  Waverly hosted a STEM Night for students and families last week.  There were a variety of activities that allowed the children to create structures, use engineering, and tap problem solving skills.  Here were some of their challenges:

  • See who can build the tallest tower out of newspaper.
  • What structure can you make out of nothing but cups?
  • Can you make a boat out of nothing but tin foil?

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their evening and went from task to task the entire night.


  • All Month    Black History Month
  • All Month    Career and Technical Education Month
  • All Month     Love The Bus Month & Bus Driver Appreciation
  • February 5-11  National FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Week
  • February 6-10  National School Counseling Week
  • February 13-17   National FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Week
  • February 20-27  National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week

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