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QTL for IT Educators > News > Article Summaries > Current Article

Students at School of the Year enjoy distinction

May 2004

This is test time for most high school students, but for Lisa Sloan's class at North Pitt High School, May 25 was a chance to bask in the glow of a national honor. They had a pizza party complete with special guests (county administrators and a local TV station) and a plaque naming them ExplorNet's IT School of the Year.

First-year Computer Engineering teacher Lisa Sloan was notified earlier this month that her school had won the honor (click here to read more about the award and the winning nomination). Today an ExplorNet representative brought them the plaque and official congratulations, and administrators joined in.

North Pitt High School students flanked by principal Robin Dailey (left) and teacher Lisa Sloan (far right).

Sloan had high praise for the 11 students who made up North Pitt's first Computer Engineering class ever. "I thank you for your interest," she said, "and for doing what I asked without complaining -- too much. Thank you for making this something I look forward to every day."

The success is particularly impressive because eight of the 11 students who signed up for Sloan's Computer Engineering class had grade point averages below 2.0 -- in other words, less than a "C" average. But interest in technology turned that around. In December, every single student scored 85 or above on the countywide midterms.

"I'm very proud of the students," Sloan says. 'They've all done well. This is a very difficult subject, and they've done excellent."

Senior Terrell Parker is one of the students who started the program last fall. "I new some things, but not as much as I do now," he says. "Until I came into the class I never opened a computer to look inside. And it is cool!" Parker plans to major in computer engineering at North Carolina A&T this fall.

Fellow senior Tim Long also has big plans. He says he's going into the Navy and hopes to study computer engineering. "I want to starat my own business when I get out," he says. "Be my own boss. An entrepreneur."

But his plans don't stop there. "I want to make my own computers. I want to be a manufacturer."

Pitt County Career & Technical Education Director Nancy Spainhour says the information technology programs the county's schools are implementing with support from ExplorNet are fueling big dreams for students who would not otherwise have considered these career options.

"These are showcase programs," she says of the programs in six Pitt County schools -- North Pitt, Ayden-Grifton, J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley, South Central Pitt, and Farmville Central. "They're high-level and high-tech."

Sloan attended ExplorNet's Computer Engineering training in Raleigh last summer. Principal Robin Dailey noted that Sloan has another distinction -- National Board Certification, which she earned last year.

Sloan says this honor means a lot because it meant something to her students. "I think it finally hit them today," she says, "that they had really accomplished something to be proud of."

ExplorNet, Computer Warehouse of North Carolina and Element K provided prizes.


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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