Meet Amanda Parfitt, WRAL’s teacher of the week. See the video by clicking HERE
[NOTE: This article originally appeared on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view its accompanying photographs.]
When I asked DPS principals to sign up for the “What’s Good Tour”, my calendar filled up quickly. September and October were nearly full within minutes, but the slot by August 24 remained blank. It was, after all, the first day of school, and it made sense that school leaders were wary of inviting in outsiders on such a sacred day.
But Tonya Williams at Sherwood Githens Middle School jumped at the chance, and after my visit to her building, I understand why.
Githens welcomed us from Forest View from the very beginning at orientation. A year later I still miss Mr. Tilley’s phone calls “Over and Out HOO RAH!” He is a great principal. A Duke graduate, former pro football player, and he has the personality to encourage the best out of every child and maintain order at a large school. Our daughter took Algebra I and Geometry in 7th and 8th grade, and clearly she was prepared, because last year as a freshman at Jordan, she took Honors Algebra II and made a 96! She is going to be taking Honors PreCalculus as a sophomore. In addition, she placed out of Spanish I at Jordan because of her preparation at Githens. She took Honors Spanish II and III as a freshman, earning A’s, and is in Honors Spanish IV as a sophomore. Thank you to all of the teachers, counselors and Mr. TIlley for doing such a great job at Githens! Over and Out HOO RAH!
As my oldest child made the transition from elementary school to middle school, we were apprehensive about both his transition and the character of the school he was moving to – Githens Middle School. We found both to be an excellent experience. His 6th grade teachers made every effort to move their kids to a middle school mentality – both for studies and personal/social interactions. The team model for his core studies was great to introduce the kids to middle school – they gradually interacted with more of the school but felt at home with their core teachers.
My two girls had great experiences at GMS. Strong academics, fabulous instruction in the arts (band and art), wonderful/caring principal, and a great sports program with the BEST COACHES in DPS. My older daughter was very well prepared for her freshman year at Jordan High School and I am sure that the younger one will begin her high school career just as well prepared. High school credit courses in math (Algebra 1 and Geometry) as well as in foreign language help keep kids on a strong academic path.