Letter from Ann Clark to CMS employees

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The following is a note from Ann Clark, Chief Academic Officer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools:

Dear CMS employees,

As we move forward, we will no longer publish Friday Focus, Dr. Morrison's personal weekly communication with employees. But I want to continue the practice of celebrating individual students, schools and employees. We appreciate all that our employees do for students, as well as the achievements of students and schools. Each week I'll recognize some of the many successes that happen in CMS every day. Starting today, I'll send out A note from Ann to all employees each Friday afternoon to end the week on a positive note.

–Ann Clark

Nov. 7, 2014

Moving forward

One of our CMS music teachers has earned recognition from her colleagues around the region. Karen J. Guild, who is the orchestra director at Harding University and Mallard Creek high schools, has been chosen as the Western Regional Orchestra Teacher of the Year for the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA). She says, "I am humbled and honored to be recognized by my colleagues." Karen will receive her award on Nov. 9 at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem during the in-service conference of NCMEA.

Next week is National School Psychology Awareness Week. The theme this year is "Strive. Grow. THRIVE!" and the week is intended to put a spotlight on the engagement necessary to promote students' healthy learning and development. Natalie Moore, CMS school psychologist and president of the Metrolina Association of Psychologists in the Schools, says, "As a school psychologist, I use my knowledge of psychology and education every day to promote the kind of environments that kids need to face the problems of life. Facing problems is a part of growing!" She and our other school psychologists do the important work of teaching our students coping skills, how to express their emotions and good ways to manage stress and build resilience.

The Military & Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis honored our veterans today (Nov. 7). In collaboration with Time Warner Cable, the school participated in Bring A Vet to School Day, which began in 2007 as a way to recognize the contributions made by our service men and women. The national observance of Veterans Day is Nov. 11. The Military & Global Leadership Academy held an assembly in the morning to learn about Veterans Day and veterans. Scheduled guest speakers included Charlotte's city manager, Ron Carlee. The students also met with more than 30 visiting veterans to hear their stories and honor their service.

In closing this inaugural weekly communication with you, I want to acknowledge that this has been a difficult, sometimes painful, week for us. The Board of Education's Nov. 6 vote to accept the resignation of Dr. Heath Morrison should provide some closure, although we may continue to see media coverage of it for a while. This week also brought disappointing results for the proposed quarter-cent sales tax referendum that would have helped pay for a district-wide pay increase. Despite these challenges, I have been very proud this week of the way our employees kept their focus on the important work of educating children. Please know that I appreciate your dedication to our students and I respect the value of the work you do. We will move forward in the strategic direction set in Strategic Plan 2018 and continue to serve our students as well as we can, every day. Thank you for your courage and your fortitude in a tough week.