Piedmont is special because of the teachers and students here. This post is a glimpse at some of the great work and activities on campus recently. From our principal Mrs. Barone judging student written newspapers for Individuals and Societies, to Mrs. Delaney creating and facilitating relationships with students that will help them in their academics and social emotional growth, to Ms. Newburger organizing an author talk field trip, to Leadership class hosting international visitors, to each of the grade levels assigning interesting projects like Elements of science in 6th, Culture Cluster in 7th, and Created Equal in 8th, to the fabulous work that students do, both in class, as community service, and as extracurricular fun, there's always something educational, entertaining, and enlightening happening at Piedmont!
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Making is at the core of Piedmont's culture WE MAKE SO MUCH, IT'S HARD TO HYPERLINK IT ALL!
Every day is #GlobalMakerDay at Piedmont! Well, maybe not EVERY day, but it IS extremely rare to walk the halls of Piedmont and not see students planning or building something across the curriculum and at all grade levels. Students are even making and creating during standardized test times, the time usually known as the least creative of the year.
Making is a given in our interdisciplinary passion projects, in Ms. Newburger's excellent Library Makerspace, in clubs, and in encore classes like Art, Band, Drama and Orchestra, but what makes me love Piedmont so much is how common it is in our core classes as well!
Consider Mr. O'Neill this week alone, from spears to swans his students were making. Props to him and all to the Individuals and Societies teachers whose students recently built their own tools when studying the stone age. They then created marketing campaigns for the tools and sold them to classmates.
The Social Studies classroom making tradition continues in the upper grades as students design build earthquake resistant structures and make period costumes living history exhibits, industrial revolution inventions (yet more industrial revolution), civil rights museums, (another Civil Rights museum) etc.
Teachers model making at Piedmont. Mr. Egnot models this by transforming his classroom into a war zone of WW1 trenches and the media center yearly through his maker skills and Ms. Frilot transforms her classroom to a poetry cafe with soft lighting, colors, and seating.
In World Language and Language Arts classes, students write songs for the Harlem Renaissance, compile playists and record their own podcasts, design and build whirligigs (both with wood, and with minecraft redstone)and recreate setting layouts and film their own movies based on their novel studies. They make culture clusters that make manifest their own poems.
In Math, students make large and small designs for the famous Scale Model Project. They also create their own board games and of course there's the yearly giant Prism-palooza!
In Science, they design their best protective egg case then test it out by catapulting the egg using a homemade catapult.
What does this culture of making lead to? It leads to kids who think creatively and make for special occasions and for no reason at all! They spend their free time building and making everything from towers to ASMR videos.
Stay tuned for more as we celebrate active learning and creating today and every day at #PiedmontIB. Send me your photos and videos if I don't happen by!
This morning our TV studio hosted guests from a Hollywood studio and one was a Piedmont graduate! Bryce Cracknell said it was great to be back with the familiar faces from his days at Piedmont IB. He came to speak to the students and staff about the docuseries he and his coworker are filming with Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Steve James. They are touring the country screening episodes in cities across the US. They stopped in Charlotte for tonight's screening of Episode 8 at The Bank of America building.
The docuseries is called America to Me and is coming of age show that follows a real life school year of students in an Oak Park High School. The show is humorous and fun but also examines racial disparities and other deep issues. The accompanying website gives more infomration and offers training how to have these conversations about race. These are important conversations nationwide but especially where social mobility is lowest. We commend our alum for doing this work and are proud that he said we were a shining example of doing diversity right.
Way to go, Piedmont and Way to go, Bryce! Check the website out here:
We are proud of all our alumni! Come visit and let us know what you're up to like these folks:
Alumni Interview about the value of her time at Piedmont (video)
Piedmont Alum in the NCAA Tournament (NCAA)
piedmontpd.weebly.com/celebrating-piedmont/another-distinguished-alum ( Anthropologist Field Work Abroad)
piedmontpd.weebly.com/celebrating-piedmont/piedmont-alum-featured-in-new-york-times-video (Lawyer featured in NYT)
If you know someone to add to this growing list, please add a link in the comments below!
What can you be when you leave Piedmont IB? You can be whatever you want! You can get a great education like my old students who are right now cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, a Princeton molecular Biology PhD student, a student at Harvard Law School, and U Penn Social Justice grad student working on prison reform.
You can be like Piedmont alum Sonja Gantt and become a News Anchor and Philanthropist. You can be like my old student Mark McHugh, and become principal of McClintock Middle here in CMS. You can travel the world and then become a yogurt maker. or become a world famous kayaker, adventure rescuer and exec at US National Whitewater Center https://creativemornings.com/talks/cooper-lambla
Don't try to become famous or rich. Find what you want to do and do it.
You can rescue and save animals like my old student Lia, You can start your own bilingual law firm like my old student Meghan. You can be a great mom to a bunch of kids like my old student Sanovia.
My old students have lived in every inhabited continent on the face of the earth, have become lawyers and bankers, nurses and entrepreneurs , moms and dads, doctors at John's Hopkins, teachers , lead singers, professional artists , full-time actors, organic farmers, international rights advocates, molecular biologists and business people.
A filmmaker in LA
A senior product manager at Amazon
A coca cola excecutive in Atlanta
An advocate to make Charlotte and CMS better
A first round NFL draft pick
An Immigration lawyer
An anthropologist who does field research in Brazil
A DNA Scientist
What will YOU do?
Piedmont is here to help you form and achieve your dreams. My old students have been presenters at SXSW, been named North Carolina's Student teacher of the year, become professors at Davidson College, worked at Google, become professional extreme Kayakers, taken the Trans Siberian Railway by themselves across Asia and the Gobi Desert, travelled the world, won Public Relations Awards , are published authors, and NPR foreign correspondents currently reporting from Moscow. Piedmont Students are helicoptering down sides of mountains hanging by a string to rescue stranded people.
- Ms. Gurthie
Celebrating Piedmont : a blog of Happy Happenings
"Celebrating Piedmont" logs only a small fraction of the learning magic the teachers of CMS' Piedmont Middle School, an IB World School. create daily. In that sense, it is authored by all the staff and students of Piedmont. It is curated by Ms. Gurthie who can be reached at the icons above. She'll be happy to brag about Piedmont's teachers and students any chance she gets! Please note this blog has only just begun and we have so much to show off! Come back again soon!