Side Academically & Intellectually Gifted Program

General Information

Man giving little girl a ball7th Annual Discovery Night
The Academically Intellectually Gifted K-2 Discovery program recently held its 7th annual Discovery Night of Science at Fascinate-U Children’s Museum in downtown Fayetteville. Over 200 second-grade Discovery students and their parents enjoyed this popular event. The K-2 Discovery department was the recipient of a Duke Energy Science Night award which included science station materials for activities such as catapults, circuits, build a bubble, Airzooka, garden in a glove, and parachutes. Other teacher created stations included magnets, balancing birds, sound bowl, stomp rockets, and cuica cups.

A highlight of the night was Science EdVentures presentation of  “Newton’s Laws” sponsored by the Arts Council of Fayetteville. Students were amazed by the science “magic” displayed through the experiments that explored the principles of physics.
In addition, many community resource people came to assist and provide valuable science lessons. Clark Park Nature Center provided an animal artifacts table and the Fascinate-U educators taught lessons on life science. Kapla Blocks provided a building station as well.  Other stations included the City of Fayetteville’s stormwater educator who made water cycle bracelets with the students and the Fayetteville State University Planetarium Director who provided an indepth look at space. The mascots from PWC and Kidsville News were also seen roaming the museum. PWC donated water and a few take-home goodies for each participant. High School volunteers from Reid Ross, South View, Westover, Gray’s Creek, Cape Fear, Seventy-First and Pine Forest were there to assist the second graders at every station. Discovery teachers, AIG teachers, community and high school volunteers and the museum staff all worked together to make this night fun and educational for all participants. The 2018 Discovery Night of Science was certainly a memorable event.  

People standing with award


Liberty Point’s recognition of Andrena Cooper
At the annual Awards Ceremony for the Liberty Point Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Andrena Cooper, AIG Teacher/Consultant Pine Forest Middle School, was recognized with a distinguished service award for her contributions to the Junior American Citizens Program(JAC). JAC teaches America’s schoolchildren the principals of democratic government, good citizenship, and appreciation of American heritage and history.  Students are able to compete in JAC contests by submitting posters, stamp designs, photo essay, short stories, poem and community service. Ms. Cooper has helped to increase student interest and involvement in this program.


Essay WinnersLiberty Point Chapter DAR Essay History Winners
A reception was held on February 15, 2018 to honor the winners of the American Essay History Winners for the Liberty Point Chapter of the DAR.  Congratulations to the following winners.
Rye Joy McCabe, 5th grade, Honeycutt Elementary School
Mason Autry, 6th grade, Mac Williams Middle School
Desmond Jordan, 7th grade, Westover Middle School
Emily Rogers, 8th grade, Mac Williams Middle School


DAR Essay WinnersColonel Robert Rowan Chapter of the DAR American Essay History Winners
A reception was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on February 13, 2018 for the winners of the American Essay History Winners for Colonel Robert Rowan Chapter of the DAR.  Congratulations to the following winners.
5th Grade – Mia Bella Gonzalez – Stoney Point Elementary School
6th Grade – James Bartlinski – New Century International Middle School
7th Grade – Kendal Rae Draughon – Max Abbott Middle School
8th Grade – Renton Alexander Plummer-Varga – New Century Middle School


Rubik's cubeLong Hill Elementary Rubik’s Cube Challenge
The 5th grade AIG students at Long Hill have been very engaged with their Rubik’s Cube Mosaic Challenge. They built their mosaic with 36 individual Rubik’s cubes which required teamwork and problem solving to get their success.  The students LOVED this activity and are getting ready to try a new one which is going to take grit and perseverance to complete!



Cumberland County Governor’s School Selections Announced

Congratulations to the 29 Academic nominees who have been selected by the CCS Superintendent’s Governor’s School selection committee and the 20 Performing Arts nominees selected at the school level. These students will compete for state selection to attend the prestigious five and a half-week summer residential program for gifted high school students. The program is administered by the Public Schools of NC, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division. Performing Arts students will audition in their areas in February. Academic and Performing nominees will receive notification of selections and non-selections in March.

CCS Academic Nominees

Benjamyn Elliott (CFHS)
Naomi Castle (JBHS)
Jessica Jones (JBHS)
Hannah Harwick (PFHS)
Ashely Simon (SVHS)

Shannon Jerrick (SFHS)
Erykah Florence (PFHS)
Davion Melvin (DBHS)
Emily Coltharp (JBHS)
Nicholas Quinn (GCHS)
Madison Allen (CPHS)
Cameron Incze (PFHS)
Julia Terry (MHCHS)
Christopher Lyn (RRCHS)

Natural Science
Ana Cui (JBHS)
Satya Munugoti (TSHS)
Kendall Lowe (CIECHS)
Abby Heitkamp (JBHS)
Sarah Ursery (JBHS)
Malia Colden (PFHS)
Maddison Foley (PFHS)
Joshua Dimmick (PFHS)

Social Science
Dev Sashidhar (TSHS)
Lauren Santangelo (TSHS)
Pearl Young (TSHS )
April Montgomery (WOHS)
Kayden Antonson (EESHS)
Adelina Solis (DBHS)
Josephine Samuelian(MHCHS)

CCS Performing Arts Nominees

Brynn Nunez (TSHS)
Alexis Breitenfeld (TSHS)
HannahTatman (TSHS)
Alana Siebert (PFHS)
Adrian Santillan (MHCHS)

Choral Music
Theodore Schwamm (GCHS)

Colby Herringdine (CPHS)
Lily Szwejbka (TSHS)

Instrumental Music
Bernard Flerage (PFHS)
Rachel Edwards (PFHS)
Naasir Smalls (SFHS)
Layne Lewis (CFHS)
Katarina Holecek (JBHS)
Nigel Goins (JBHS)
Nina Lin (JBHS)
Anna Jang (JBHS)
Daniel Sansbury (PFHS)
Abigail Hughes (MHCHS)

Laura Voytko (PFHS)
Samantha Eason (TSHS)

Thank you for all of the hard work!


Image of Carrie Childers AIG

Carrie Childers

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) announced today that Carrie Childers has received a 2017 Gifted Coordinator Award. Ms. Childers is an Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Coordinator with Cumberland County (NC) Schools, and she was selected because of her continuing support of all gifted and talented students in her district.
NAGC will recognize Ms. Childers at the NAGC 64th Annual Convention (NAGC17) in Charlotte, NC, November 9-12, 2017.
“NAGC is committed to providing opportunities and resources to better understand and serve all gifted and talented children,” said M. René Islas, NAGC Executive Director. “The awards program shines a light on those who are making a difference in supporting gifted children as they reach to achieve their personal best.”
The Gifted Coordinator Award is presented annually to an administrator who has made significant contributions to gifted children in their school district. This includes developing gifted programs, identification protocols, or ongoing professional development on the needs of gifted children, as well as advocacy within the district for gifted education and gifted children.
“Carrie Childers is an amazing example of a leader who models a love of learning and excellence for her staff and for other leaders in the field of gifted education,” said Sneha Shah-Coltrane, Director of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  “Her efforts to strengthen programming for gifted learners through continuous research and involving others in advocacy efforts have been exemplary and noteworthy.” “It is humbling to be recognized for my work in gifted education through this national award,” said Ms. Childers. “Gifted students won’t be ‘fine on their own’, so we must continue our journey of cultivating and nurturing their academic and intellectual needs as well as educating parents, teachers, and administrators regarding gifted education. The future of our nation depends on it.”The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research.  CONTACT:  Cathleen Healy,


Image of a student smiling on books

The Cumberland County School system is committed to the academic success of all students. Its mission states that all schools will be safe and caring and that student achievement will continually increase with no differences among subgroups.

In keeping with the mission of Cumberland County Schools, the Board of Education adopts the following North Carolina definition of giftedness:

Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others or their age, experience, or environment; academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields. Academically or intellectually gifted students require differentiated services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular education program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavor.

Cumberland County Schools is dedicated to providing gifted and potentially gifted students the opportunity to become independent learners and decision makers who recognize their potential and responsibilities in a changing global society. The school system is committed to providing a rigorous and innovative instructional program that fosters the highest level of excellence and recognizes the right of each student to receive intellectual challenge appropriate for his/her capabilities.

Image of children holding booksThe school system believes that within the general population of students, there exists a group of students who have some or all of the following characteristics:

• Form a diverse group and therefore, must be identified using a variety of gifted performance indicators.
• Have the potential to learn at a faster rate in their areas of giftedness and share the ability to think with more complexity and abstraction than other children of their same age, experience, and environment, and, therefore, require differentiated curriculum and instruction.
• Have different learning and social needs and require that part of the educational experiences be spent with others who are similar to them in order to establish cognitive relationships and to facilitate their academic and social growth.
• Require teachers who are professionally prepared to differentiate by expanding and extending the goals and objectives of the NC Standard Course of Study.

The Cumberland County School system believes that gifted learners have special intellectual, social, and emotional needs that require an enriched educational environment designed to develop superior thinking skills with curriculum that offers greater complexity, more depth, and a faster pace. Our school system is dedicated to providing differentiated instructional services for students from a variety of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. These services are designed to foster self-directed, life-long learning by encouraging exploration, inquiry, in-depth study, and reflective thinking.

Published by Nancy Donaldson on June 28, 2018

Cumberland County Schools
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