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Obama shoots air cannon in White House

President Barack Obama invited a broad spectrum of established and budding scientists to the White House for a science fair, including some people with North Carolina ties.

When one of the student presenters -- an eighth-grader from Arizona named Joey -- displayed his air cannon, the president couldn't resist learning more.

And when the president learned the air cannon could fire marshmallows up to 176 feet, he talks Joey into firing the cannon. Indoors. In the White House.

The rest, as they say, is presidential history -- and a potential Secret Service headache.

Green Hope, Gibbons win state Wachovia Cups

Cardinal Gibbons (3-A) and Green Hope (4-A) defended their state Wachovia Cup titles this year. The Wachovia Cup is given to the school with the best overall postseason success among all athletic programs.

Carrboro (2-A) and N.C. School of Science and Math (1-A) each finished second in their classifications, while Wakefield was third among 4-A schools.

Leesville trio makes all-state soccer

Leesville Road, Ravenscroft and Cardinal Gibbons each land three players on the soccer coaches' all-state team.

Help Science and Math set a world record with March 5 food drive

From correspondent Elizabeth Shestak

With so much amazing food to choose from in Durham, we can forget that lots of North Carolinians face hunger every day - 1 in 7, to be exact. The need has gone up in the last few years, and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is trying to help.

The school is attempting to set a Guinness world record by collecting 550,000 pounds of non-perishable food on March 5. This will help the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina feed the 500,000 people in the state who aren't getting adequate nutrition on their own (that's like feeding the number of people who can sit in Carter Finley Football Stadium eight times a day!)

Here's how you can help NCSSM meet this goal, put Durham on the global map of do-gooderness, and feed a lot of folks:

-    Donate food – You can bring food before March 5 to certain sites, such as Brogden Middle School. Or contributedirectly at the school on March 5th. (Partners will bring the food to NCSSM later in the day.)

-    Donate online – Visit and make a secure online donation. For every dollar you donate we can purchase 2.5 pounds of food.

-    Transport food – Serve as a collection site for food donations or pick up non-perishable food from partner sites the day of the event.

-    Become a sponsor – Several giving levels and benefits packages are available. Contact Sue Anne Lewis at 919-416-2814 or for additional information about benefits such as your name listed on the official Food Drive T-shirt, sponsorship promotion on the Food Drive website, a shout out on Facebook, etc.

Durham native gets NCSSM post

This story line writes itself.

The new chancellor at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics is J. Todd Roberts, a Durham native whose roots at that school run to before it even existed.
Roberts, 46, was born at the former Watts Hospital, where NCSSM is now located.

"Dr. Roberts was pre-ordained to get this job," joked UNC President Erskine Bowles.
Roberts was named Friday by the UNC system's Board of Governors, which oversees the public residential high school for top performing 11th and 12 graders from around the state.

He will earn $210,000 annually and begins work in December.

Roberts has a bachelor's degree from Duke and master's and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from UNC-Chapel Hill.

In moving to Durham, Roberts will trade one college town for another. He is currently the superintendent of schools in Ann Arbor, MI.

As news of his departure trickled out in Ann Arbor, Roberts won praise for the work he's done there.

NCSSM's Boarman has a new job

Gerald Boarman, who announced earlier this week his plans to retire as chancellor at the N.C. School of Science and Math, has a new job lined up.

Boarman, whose resignation from NCSSM is effective July 31, takes over this summer as the head of the Bullis School, a private school in Potomac, MD.

The Maryland school is a college preparatory day school for grades 3 to 12 just outside Washington D.C. It announced Boarman's hiring in this press release.

“We look to Jerry first and foremost as an educational leader who will sustain and enhance our excellent academic program, and his entire career attests to his ability to fulfill that role,” Ken Thompson, chair of the Bullis School. board of trustees, said in the release. “We also anticipate that he will provide tremendous assistance to our ongoing capital campaign, and to the continued improvement of our science and technology facilities.”

Boarman surprised many in Durham with his decision to step down after a decade at the helm of the elite, residential high school for academically gifted students. The school's enrollment swelled under his leadership, though questions also arose over administrators he hired and pay he received.


Food-record drive asks neighborhoods' pitch-in

Students at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics are facing a challenge in March.

“We are going for a Guinness world record for the largest food drive in 24 hours at a single location by a non-charitable organization," said coordinator Sue Anne Lewis.

Lewis, a student advisor, pitched the project to the InterNeighborhood Council Tuesday night.

"We need to spread the word because that's one of the things that's going to either make or break us," she said.

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