This month we continued to celebrate Governor Morehead School’s 175 years of service by honoring our past and celebrating Black History Month. On February 27th our Food Service Director, Mr. Jonathan White, treated all our students, staff, and special guests to a fantastic meal and ceremony highlighted the historical perspective of the African American students who integrated from Garner Road to our current campus. Mr. Douglas David, an alumnus, was also one of the first African American students to integrate in the 1960s. His firsthand account served as a reminder of the hardships and injustices students of color had to endure. He encouraged GMS to continue our efforts to keep fighting for equality, especially through education no matter the disability, religion, ethnicity, or color of our skin. We then had a special singer, Ms. Shonny, who beautifully performed “Wade in the Water” as we learned about historically important African Americans who also had visual impairments such as Harriet Tubman.
This month our students were trained in the Say Something Anonymous Reporting App (SS-ARS) which is part of a statewide school safety program designed to prevent violence before it happens, offered by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise. As part of the school safety program, middle and high school students were trained to “say something” to an adult when he/she recognizes a threat to selves or others. Students then can report threats by using current strategies school staff have coached them to use, calling the Say Something crisis hotline, using the Say Something mobile tip app, or by going to the Say Something website.
Before the SS-ARS training students heard an inspirational speaker, Kia Owens talk about overcoming challenges and barriers he experienced as he coped with losing his sight. He encouraged the use of braille, assistive technology, and trying new things. He found comfort as a child, coping with vision loss, in the warmth of his blankets. Through hard work and determination, he accepted himself and his visual impairment to achieve amazing things in his life such as starting his non-profit “Kia’s Comforts” an initiative to give students warm blankets for comfort, and an encouraging message to accept who they are and overcome life’s barriers.
On February 19, twelve students participated in the Braille Challenge, an academic competition for students who are blind or visually impaired hosted by our community partner, the Eye Shine Foundation. Two students scored top score in their age category, earning them a braille smartwatch. If their showings are amongst the top 10 in the nation, they will be eligible to represent GMS and North Carolina at the National Braille Challenge finals in Los Angeles later this summer. Congratulations to these two Academic All-Stars!
Students also represented GMS at the annual Model UN at UNC. Students co-authored papers and spearheaded committees as they roleplayed delegates to the United Nations to simulate UN committees. This is a highly academically demanding event that takes practice and dedication. Congratulations to all our students, teachers, and chaperones and to the Governor Morehead Foundation for their support of this, and all our student activities.
Thank you for taking the time to celebrate all the successes happening at GMS.