During the 2016-2017 school year, Chatham Charter has an intern from UNC Chapel Hill who is working with Student Support Specialist Jen Brannon in the areas of counseling and social work. Kate Palmer is completing a Master of Social Work and anticipates graduating in the spring of 2018. Working at Chatham Charter on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Palmer meets with individual students, facilitates small groups, and plans character-building curriculum for classroom settings.
In explaining the internship placement, Palmer said, “We go through a process of determining which area we would like to focus our internship experience. I was interested in working with students in a school setting.”
She noted that in the graduate program courses, she is studying techniques such as how to ask questions, being open-ended, and reflecting back what the student says.
“You are facilitating and letting them guide what they need to share with you and creating a safe space for them to share so they will feel comfortable,” she explained.
Palmer is supporting the work of Brannon who is tasked with helping meet the mental health and emotional needs of the nearly 550 students ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade at Chatham Charter. Brannon and Palmer support students within the learning environment to help them to be fully engaged and successful in their academic achievement.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot a based on what students need socially and academically. I’m learning how to work with students, families and teachers----not just the student, but recognizing they are part of a larger community. It has been beneficial to observe classrooms and see how students interact with their peers. A new group studying “mindfulness” has been helpful for me to participate with because the facilitator is from outside the school and I am able to observe her style. I have learned a lot about school policy as well. This K-12 school has given me the opportunity to work with different age groups because my background was primarily with elementary ages. I’ve seen how you need to shift your focus when working with students at different stages of development,” commented Palmer.
“Ms. Palmer has been a welcomed addition to our Student Services team. She comes prepared with the excellent education of the UNC School of Social Work and a genuine level of care and support of our students,” said Brannon.
“I really enjoy meeting one-on-one with students and setting goals with them. I try and work with them on developing ways to meet those goals step-by-step. I like doing research and what works best for students at different ages so the work in developing curriculum has been another of my favorite assignments,” said Palmer.
On Friday, November 11, the elementary and middle school Student Council at Chatham Charter School used their day off to sponsor a campus car wash for military veterans, law enforcement and firefighters.
With a crew of over 117 K-12 student, parent and staff volunteers the group was able to wash approximately 30 vehicles at three stations. The PTSA sold snacks, and Head of School Dr. John Eldridge helped end the event on a light note with a water adventure during which he was soaked with buckets of water.
One of the veterans who came told a staff member that from the time he began his military service until the day of the car wash, no one had ever expressed their thanks or done anything special for him.
“With everything that’s in the news right now, it was important for us to provide an example of how we feel about the groups involved and express our appreciation for what they do for our community and country each day. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year,” said teacher and Student Council adviser Mary Key.
See event photos here
On Wednesday morning, November 9, the high school at Chatham Charter School held a special event leading up to Veterans’ Day, which is Friday, November 11. For the second year, local military veterans came to discuss their military experiences and how skills they gained helped them later in private sector careers. Students in grades 9-12 rotated to hear multiple speakers.
The military veterans who came to speak came from many backgrounds. Members of the local American Legion Post 93 including Commander Jeff Cathcart, Bill Elder, and Bill Milholen. Siler City Mayor John Grimes, parent Pete Shoun, parent, American Legion member and school Board of Directors Vice President Bill Haiges, Chatham Charter math teacher Rob Root, and Roy Foushee, whose wife is on staff at the school, also spoke. Multiple staff from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Chris Cooper, Marcus Hart, Charles Gardner, Marcus Nolen and Mike Copeland, joined the speaking group as well. Chief Petty Officer (ret.) Brian Schmock was on campus as a science class guest.
The outdoor event concluded with an outdoor program recognizing the veterans and a special presentation by the Junior ROTC from Eastern Randolph High School under the leadership of Colonel Michael Williams. The honored guests then attended a reception hosted by the third grade class of Mary Key and Linda Valentine where they had the opportunity to visit with the students.
“Occasions like today’s remind us to recognize and remember, as a veteran once said that “all gave some and some gave all,” said senior Tyler Haiges, who plans to have a military career.
"In talking with the students afterward, they were really excited and impressed at the variety of backgrounds and careers they got to learn about from the veterans. After last year's event, the feedback they gave us was to hear from even more veterans so we added to the rotation this year. It's great to see our students value this experience so highly. We hope to expand the event to some lower grades next year," said Michelle Hayhurst, high school social studies teacher and event coordinator.
Our Student Council will be honoring our local service people with a free Veterans Day car wash on . This event will take place from on campus and is open for military veterans, law enforcement and firefighters in the area to express our appreciation.
The group need lots of students and families to volunteer as well. The volunteer sign-up is available here. Please contact Mrs. Key (email@example.com) if you have questions.
Chatham Charter DECA Club is happy to announce that we are bringing back the Holiday Bazaar! The Holiday Bazaar is a place where local vendors from surrounding areas can come and sell their products! We would like to invite EVERYONE to come out and showcase your merchandise! Santa will be making an appearance from 12-2pm so don't miss your opportunity to get a picture. No business is too small to participate. The Bazaar will take place on December 3rd, 2016 in the Chatham Charter Gym from 10-3! Please support your Chatham Charter DECA Club by buying a booth! Even if you do not set up a booth, it will be a great chance to get started on your holiday shopping!
The Junior Beta Club and High School S4A Club will hold a fall book drive to help create classroom libraries at Virginia Cross Elementary School where some Chatham Charter students are volunteering. Please bring new or gently used books to the car rider line or to various drop boxes around campus. We will be collecting books through Nov. 22.
See the Grades 10-12 Family Night Agenda here. This event is for students in grades 10-12 and their parents/guardians.