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Wake County school bonds supporters hold news conference today

You’ve probably seen plenty of media coverage today about Garner High School as supporters of the $810 million Wake County school bond issue held a news conference and tour of the school.

Phil Zachary, co-chairman of the Friends of Wake County, talked about how Wake was built on “yes” and cringing when he sees the vote no signs. Wake County school board chairman Keith Sutton talked about the need for new schools and Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Joe Bryan said the bonds were the best way to pay for the growth.

Garner High Principal Drew Cook gave a tour of the campus. I’ve gone into detail about the issues he’s raised in this prior blog post.

The Wake County Taxpayers Association will hold a dueling news conference against the bond issue on Wednesday.

Smith is new Garner AD; will leave football after 2012 season

Veteran Garner High football coach Nelson Smith is the new athletic director at the school and will step down from his football coaching duties after the 2012 season.

Garner High School's Drew Cook named finalist for North Carolina Principal of the Year

Congratulations to Garner High School Principal Drew Cook, who has been named one of the eight finalists for North Carolina Principal of the Year.

Cook was named the finalist for the state's north central region. A state selection committee will review the eight regional finalists with the winner being announced in Raleigh on April 5.

Cook, 37, has been at Garner High for much of his life. He was a student there. After college, he returned to the school in 1997 to become a teacher. He was promoted from assistant principal to principal in 2009.

Cook was named the Wake County school system's 2011 Principal of the Year in October. Click here for a story by Carla Turchetti that looks at his life as a hometown success story.

Wake County names 2011 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

Congratulations to Garner High School Principal Drew Cook for being named Wake County's 2011 Principal of the Year this evening.

Cook, who has only been a principal for 2 1/2 years, has won an award that some of his peers haven't attained after years of being a principal. He's credited for helping transform and revitalize Garner High.

Congratulations also to Syreeta Smith of North Forest Pines Elementary in Raleigh, who was named Wake's 2011 Assistant Principal of the Year.

Board adds nodes for consideration in 2011-12 reassignment plan

The Wake County school board expanded the potential scope of the 2011-12 student reassignment plan but still have a lot more to discuss.

As noted in today's article, the board agreed to add for consideration a number of moves not recommended for staff for next year. These are among a list of deferred moves that were brought up in the spring.

That includes the Middle Creek to Garner High moves advocated by board member John Tedesco. Board members took the approach that they'd rather send notice to parents they're considering the moves so as to get input over the next month.


Wake will send notices to parents if they're in the nodes added for consideration on Tuesday. But if you want to check now, click here to find out your node number to see if you're affected.

Staff looking at how to implement the new student assignment policy

Next year's Wake County student reassignment plan is a work in progress with everything approved by the old school board under review with new suggestions coming in all the time.

During Tuesday's work session, Laura Evans, senior director of growth and planning, laid out to the board an explanation of the assignments being considered and the direction they're leaning toward. It will help to have your copy of the handout present.

The ensuing discussion showed how the thinking has changed to reflect the new student assignment policy. Multiple times, Evans talked about bringing students home, having them attend their neighborhood schools and moving the least number possible for stability.

Garner High and other new principals

We've got new principals tonight at Garner High, Ligon Middle, Fuquay-Varina Elementary and West Lake Elementary.

Drew Cook was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Garner High. He replaces Mike Holton, who cited medical reasons for his departure.

Cook, who has worked as a teacher and AP at Garner High since 1997, will receive $97,167 a year,


Bio sheets now at end of post. 

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