His legs may have been a little too long for the first-grade chairs, but Wildcat hoops star Will Archambault managed just fine during what became a weekly session with a class at Community School of Davidson.
School Notes has news of “Mondays with Will,” plus followup on Saturday’s Bailey BBQ & Bows fundraiser, and notes about honors for McKinney Academy artists and Bailey band members. Plus, our calendar lists upcoming events, including auditions for the new Hough High band this week, and Beginner’s Day at Davidson Elementary next week.
MONDAYS WITH WILL THE WILDCAT
First graders in Debbie Thrasher’s class at Community School of Davidson had a good reason to look forward to the start of each school week this year. That’s because Mondays were the day Davidson College basketball standout Will Archambault came to class.
Mr. Archambault assisted with literacy time, which meant using “Twizzler” candy to shape letters (as well as mustaches), adding fancy illustrations to word books, using tweezers to pick out letters from ABC pasta and the like.
“Will was a fabulous ‘student teacher,’ tutor, mentor — he truly became one of the teachers whom the students really looked up to and respected,” said Ms. Thrasher. “I guess high-fives and ‘Way to go, dude!’ from our famous basketball player was way more cool than ‘Good work, sweetie!’ from the teacher!”
The class connection started in the fall when Mr. Archambault joined teammates Frank Ben-Eze and Bryant Barr to talk about college studies and career aspirations — and also show off dribbling and dunking skills. (See our Sept. 30 post, “Wildcat hoops.”) This was part of a unit on Athletes and Character Development. Afterwards, Mr. Archambault started weekly visits to fulfill a requirement for an education class at the college. Then he just kept coming to help out, focusing his energy on word study activities.
“He made each child feel important and smart,” Ms. Thrasher said, recalling in particular Will’s acknowledgment of one girl’s success at having the shortest paper airplane flight — which made her just like the Wright brothers, who started out with a famously short flight.
Mr. Archambault was fully welcomed into class life, which meant having his birthday added to the class chart and and getting an acrostic poem on Valentine’s Day.
As a senior at Davidson College, Mr. Archambault will graduate May 16, so his last day with the CSD kids was Monday, April 19. He received a basket of exam snacks and presented the students with Davidson Basketball t-shirts.
Ms. Thrasher reported that tears were shed over the loss of the class Wildcat and she has received numerous comments from parents about Mr. Archambault’s positive impact.
“This Monday, many students wore their T-shirts,” she said. “Just to remember Will!”
BANDS PLAY FOR BAILEY ORCHESTRA FUNDRAISER
Bailey Middle’s orchestra held the first of what it hopes will become an annual fundraiser Saturday at Bailey Road Park.
The rain held off for the event, dubbed “Bailey Bows & BBQ,” allowing a series of local groups to take the stage, while nearby kids enjoyed a bounce house and other family activities, including a fundraiser BBQ lunch.
Bailey Orchestra Director Bill Myers said the event will help raise money for band trips and music purchases. He noted that buying music for a single concert can cost as much as $500, a particular challenge in a time of severe cuts to school budgets.
“We’ve got to fund our own way now and this is how to do it – with great music and great musicians,” he said of the fundraiser.
Bands who played Saturday included: Davidson Express, Music & Arts All-Stars, the Lake Norman Big Band, Electric Arpeggio, and the Celtic Session.
MCKINNEY ARTISTS DISPLAY FLOWER POWER
A group of student from McKinney Academy were honored at an Earth Day Student Art Show Reception at the Energy Explorium in Huntersville Saturday.
The event celebrated nature-themed art. McKinney students focused on the still life techniques of Vincent Van Gogh, including his famous vases of daisies. The student art will remain on display at the Explorium throughout the summer.
McKinney Academy is a private elementary school on Armour Street in Davidson.
BAILEY BAND MEMBERS HONORED
Three Bailey Middle School Band students were selected for the CMS Middle School Honors Band: Jackson Michael, clarinet; Matthew Newman, alto saxophone; and Marc Augenreich, bass clarinet.
The students represent the top 100 middle school band students in CMS. The students performed on April 17 under the direction of Mr. Ron Payne, former CMS Band Director. The band earned a standing ovation at the end of the concert.
Friday morning, Bailey Band Director Ruth Petersen will be taking the 7th and 8th Grade Performing Band to Williamsburg, Virg., to perform in the Music in the Parks Festival at Busch Gardens. Band members have been raising money and preparing music all year in preparation for this trip.
- THURSDAY and SATURDAY, APRIL 29 and MAY 1- Audition sessions for the symphonic band at Hough High. This is for rising 10th and 11th graders. The auditions will be held at the Music and Arts Center in Huntersville at from 7-9 p.m. Thursday and from noon – 3 p.m. Saturday.
- MONDAY, MAY 3 - Annual parent meeting for Community School of Davidson. The day will feature two sessions, 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., both to be held at the Cove.
- THURSDAY, MAY 6 – Davidson Elementary School PTA will be hosting its annual Beginners’ Day for rising kindergartners and their families. Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m., and the program begins at 10 a.m. Parents will meet the kindergarten staff and attend a presentation given by the PTA and by the school administration. Prospective students will have the opportunity to participate in kindergarten classroom activities for about 30 minutes during the event. For more information about Beginners’ Day and kindergarten registration, please contact the school office at 980.343.3900.
- FRIDAY, MAY 7 – Drum major auditions for the Hough High marching band will be held from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Bailey Middle.
- SATURDAY, MAY 8 – Bailey Band Boosters will host “instrument selection day” for rising 6th graders. Stop by the school between 9 a.m. – noon, or between 1-3 p.m. that day to try out the different available instruments for new members of Bailey’s award-winning band program, led by Band Director Ruth Petersen.
- MAY 10-13 – EOG (End of Grade) testing period for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
- TUESDAY, MAY 11 – Inaugural meeting of the Athletic Booster Club for the new William A. Hough High, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Bailey Middle.
- THURSDAY, MAY 13 – Open house at McKinney Academy for prospective parents, 6:30 p.m. The private school on Armour Street serves grades K-5. See the school website for more information.