Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Two University City development projects and a pioneering architect for University Place have received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters Commercial Real Estate Awards: Blu at Northline apartments, Corvian Community School’s high school and architect David Furman. The awards were announced on Nov. 1 at the business publication’s fifth annual event honoring commercial real-estate projects completed in the past year in the Charlotte region.   Blu at Northline Blu at Northline, the apartment community on North Tryon Street beside the I-85 entrance, won in the apartment development category for leading a development boom in this part of University City. The 377-unit apartment community was the first transit-oriented development along the 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension between uptown and UNC Charlotte, the Business Journal noted. MORE   Corvian Community School – High School Corvian Community School won in the Public/Civic/Community category for creating a building “for the next generation.” The 70,000-square-foot high school has many notable features besides classrooms, the Business Journal noted. These include innovation labs for robotics, a yoga and dance studio, a black-box theater and other learning and collaborative spaces. MORE   David Furman Architect David Furman received the Pillar Award for three decades of working helping to transform the landscape of center city Charlotte. At the start of his career, Furman designed three components of University Place: Lakeshore Village condominiums, Walden Court apartments and the original Countryside Montessori School. The Business Journal honored Furman for being “a pioneer and leader in creative, cool and funky real estate projects — primarily in the residential space but more recently in commercial and mixed-use deals in South End and uptown...
Mallard Creek High among ‘Best Urban Schools’ – Again

Mallard Creek High among ‘Best Urban Schools’ – Again

A national program on education excellence has named Mallard Creek High School one of “America’s Best Urban Schools” – again. “We selected your school because you demonstrated through multiple indicators (including a visit by an eight-person verification team) that your school is achieving impressive academic results for every demographic group you serve,” reads the announcement from the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Among 27 schools honored nationwide Just 27 schools nationwide out of hundreds of applicants earned the 2017 designation by the National Center for Urban School Transformation, operated by San Diego State University. Principal Kevin Garay received official word of the award last week and immediately shared the good news with faculty, staff and students. “There was a sense of pride when I announced it to the student body,” Garay said. Many people involved in winning application The award recognizes years of work by Mallard Creek High faculty and administrators in crafting the school’s learning environment, as well as efforts of more than 40 administrators, teachers, parents and students in completing the application. That included hosting a team of eight educators who visited Mallard Creek High once it was named a finalist. The visitors interviewed administrators and teachers, including several teachers chosen by the team at random. The visitors also interviewed parents and 15 students. When students heard the good news last week, Garay said, “There definitely was a sense of pride. A lot of teachers gave me feedback, too.” Winner in 2014, as well This is the second time that Mallard Creek High has been honored by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. The school...
Meet Toye Watson, our ‘Teacher of Excellence’!

Meet Toye Watson, our ‘Teacher of Excellence’!

On April 27, MeckEd will honor 20 exceptional teachers, including Toye Watson of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Toye has a unique bond to her students and their nearby Hidden Valley neighborhood: She grew up there, and loves it dearly. “My life is a positive reflection of what happens when ‘the village’ raises a child,” Toye says. Toye is the embodiment of MeckEd’s mission. The nonprofit group, backed by many of Charlotte’s biggest companies, seeks to ensure that CMS graduates have the skills and experiences to lead productive, useful lives. Toye graduated from West Mecklenburg High and received her education degree in 2011 from UNC Charlotte. “I think being nominated is an incredible honor that speaks to what happens when community members feel compelled to come back and transform and aid the community that reared them,” says Toye, a language arts teacher who has been at MLK for three years. An inspirational educator Her principal, Jennifer Lee Dean, praises Toye’s confidence in her children’s abilities. “She has more than a hope – she has a belief that all of our students can learn at high levels and succeed at anything they choose in life.  She was raised in our school community and knows that our students are destined for greatness in their community and beyond.” MeckEd Teachers of Excellence are chosen based on principal recommendations and several other criteria, including student academic growth, the teacher’s mastery of instructional best practices, and the teacher’s leadership in her or his school community. Toye has demonstrated all three, Dean says. “She takes time to truly know her students and has spent...
Fox Sports and friends help kids get ready for Race2Educate

Fox Sports and friends help kids get ready for Race2Educate

Sixty students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School are getting lessons in speed and generosity, thanks to the good people at Fox Sports and their many friends. Those lessons and that generosity, in the form of paid entry fees and new tennis shoes for each child, will pay off on April 1, when students cross the finish line at the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run. About Race2Educate Race2Educate is an annual event to benefit children attending the four Governors Village public schools and, for the first time this year, students in four other nearby schools. Last year’s event drew several hundred participants and raised over $17,000 for the schools and for scholarships. Fox Sports stepped in this year, literally, thanks to Elizabeth Fulk. Fulk manages Fox Sports 1’s headquarters in University Research Park, and last fall she attended a meeting of University City Connect, an association of area businesses and groups including University City Partners that provides support to nearby public schools. People at the meeting shared inspiring stories about how businesses were giving time and resources to improve our schools, Fulk said. Later, she met with the group’s leader, Rob Rogers of Chick-fil-A University Place, to brainstorm ways Fox Sports might help, too. Run, learn, grow That brainstorming has grown into three separate efforts to help 60 students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School become more physically fit while training for the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run. Fulk and three Fox Sports employees – Amber Freeze, Chris Maner and Shawn Burger – now visit the school weekly to train and run with the students and teacher Nicole Nederik. Nederik also...
Many helpers in Morehead Academy tech lab makeover

Many helpers in Morehead Academy tech lab makeover

Creating a good place for our students to dream, innovate and learn takes many hands – including hands holding paint brushes, screw drivers, computer mice and checkbooks! Volunteers and local businesses recently used those tools and more to renovate a technology and innovation lab at Morehead STEM Academy. University City Partners helped coordinate the effort and, with IKEA, underwrite the cost of new furniture for the lab makeover. “The talent pipeline for IT is very important to University City, so we were able to align resources to support development of that talent pipeline,” said UCP’s executive director, Darlene Heater. The effort began last fall, with AI Design Group working with the school administrators and teachers to create a design that matched their aspirations, Heater said. UCP and IKEA provided funds for the classroom furniture. Volunteers from Chick-fil-A University Place and student mentoring group EmpowHERment spent a day assembling the furniture. DECA students came from nearby Vance High School to paint the classroom. Now, Morehead Academy students are in their new classroom and loving it. “I received a bunch of thank-you letters from the school mentioning how happy they are to have the new furniture in their classroom,” said Camilo Aviles, with IKEA. “I am so happy to see how exited they...
School Choice programs in University City

School Choice programs in University City

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools offers dozens of special educational programs at locations throughout Mecklenburg County, including UNC Charlotte and other University City locations. Students must apply and be accepted through a lottery system. Parents can apply through Feb. 14 for the general lottery. Here are details. CMS School Choice offers families a menu of magnet and theme-based programs and schools designed to meet a child’s unique interests, talents and learning styles. Choices range from health sciences, the arts, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship to languages, Montessori, global studies, leadership, public safety and more. Seats in CMS School Choice are assigned through a lottery open to all families who have students enrolled in CMS. Programs available in University City University City residents can apply to programs throughout University City plus north and northwest Mecklenburg County, as explained at the School Choice website. These programs are available at UNC Charlotte and other locations in University City proper: Grades K-5 – Language Immersion / Talent Development – Mallard Creek Elementary  website Grades K-5 – University City Computer Science Immersion School – website to come Grades K-8 – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – John Motley Morehead STEM Academy website High School – Early and Middle Colleges Charlotte Engineering Early College at UNC Charlotte website Charlotte Educator Early College at UNC Charlotte – opening fall 2017 website Cato Middle College at CPCC Cato Campus website   Lottery application deadline is Feb. 14 The deadline for applying to the first round of the lottery (the primary one for most students) is 10 pm Feb 14. You can learn much more about the many programs, the...