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Article Published: Jun. 9, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

WCS adopts four-day week June 13

Watauga County Schools will adopt a work week of four 10-hour days, Monday through Thursday, effective with the week of June 13 to 17 and continuing through the end of July.

The four-day week will apply to the central office and to maintenance and garage operations, as well as in-school offices. Exact starting and ending hours will vary slightly by location, but all offices will be open Monday through Thursday and closed all day on Fridays.

Parents are encouraged to call the school office or check the school's hours as posted on the school website if they plan to visit a school before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. All school websites can be accessed through the Watauga County Schools homepage at

A five-day week will resume in all schools and school offices Aug. 1.

Lowes Foods helps Bag Childhood Hunger

Throughout the month of June, Lowes Foods will be collecting donations for local food banks across North and South Carolina and Virginia.

Bag Childhood Hunger will take place from June 1 to 30 in all Lowes Foods locations. Donation bins will be placed in all stores, and monetary donations will also be accepted at the register.

During the summer months, donations to the food bank usually decline. Since school is not in session for more than one half of the year, there are many low-income children that have no access to free or reduced-price lunches at this time. Summer can be one of the most difficult times of the year for some families, and as the communities' needs grow, the food banks struggle to keep up with the demands.

"The need within our communities is greater than ever," Steve Hall, president of Lowes Foods, said. "Families that are turning to the food bank never imagined themselves suffering such hardship. Together we can meet those needs and help others get through difficult times."

Lowes Foods is providing several ways to donate when you visit the stores. There will be donation bins located in each store, and several items pre-bagged to make it easy to pick up and purchase. Premade bags can be purchased in all stores and include raisins, cereal, peanut butter and crackers for $6.79. Customers may also donate monetary funds in increments of $2 and $10.

Kraft Foods and Pepsi have also pledged to donate funds to the Bag Childhood Hunger Campaign. Lowes Foods has also partnered with Allegacy Federal Credit Union to collect donations. More information on the food drive can be found at

WHS graduates class of 2011

Watauga High School's class of 2011 concluded its 13 years of education in style Saturday, as almost 300 students donned cap and gown at the Holmes Convocation Center on the ASU campus.

Many of the graduates leave high school with a clear plan for the next step, with about 260 destined for higher education, roughly two dozen entering the workforce and several joining the military.

But no matter what the students' plans or where they end up, the advice they received was the same: Do it with the confidence of a person well prepared for the next stage.

"You must own your confidence, because a lack thereof will rob your courage, but too much confidence will breed complacency," superintendent Marty Hemric said.

The commencement exercises included speeches from senior class president Mary Ellis Bowler, student body president Jessie Nash, salutatorians Sam Littlejohn and Kevin Roberts, and valedictorian Ingrid Forsyth.

It also included a message from Hemric and Board of Education chairwoman Deborah Miller before the main attraction: the presentation of diplomas.

The Watauga High School band provided the traditional backdrop of "Pomp and Circumstance," as well as a featured piece by the senior band, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

Families and friends shared joyous hugs in the corridors with their graduates after the ceremony, and the no-longer-high school-students used one word repeatedly to describe their feelings: Excited.

Principal Michael Wyant concluded the ceremony Saturday with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson befitting the Pioneers of 2011: "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

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