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News Education

Macon Middle School eighth grader, Lexi Kloeppel, won first place for the state of North Carolina at the Chemical Education Foundation's You Be The Chemist (YBTC) state science competition held in Charlotte, on Saturday, April 2.

She is the first North Carolina competitor to win the state competition three consecutive years. She will receive an all expense paid trip to Philadelphia, Pa. to represent the state of North Carolina at the national competition on June 20.

At the national competition she will be competing for more than $10,000 in prizes. Last year at nationals, Kloeppel was the third runner up and won $500 in addition to other prizes. The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge is a fun and innovative academic competition that engages 5th-8th grade students in the science of chemistry.

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Dr. Terry Stoops says that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does the word “education” appear. “The founders were very strongly opposed to the idea of the federal government having any involvement in education because they understood that if you are able to capture the hearts and minds of the children, that is the road to tyranny,” said Dr. Stoops.

Stoops, who was the invited speaker at last Saturday’s meeting of Macon County FreedomWorks, is the Director of Education Studies at the conservative John Locke Foundation, a North Carolina-based free market think-tank. FreedomWorks is a conservative, non-profit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. The promotion of school choice to increase parental control and competition in education has been a core issue of the organization since it was founded in the mid-1990s.

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Almost every year, students from Franklin High School’s Agricultural Education class travel hours across the state to participate in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) state landjudging contest which is held each year in a different location. This year, however, FHS was the host of the event for schools from around the state.

“It was a nice change,” said Devon Deal, FHS Agricultural Education teacher and FFA advisor. Deal also noted, however, that it took a lot of work by a lot of people to put on this year’s competition in Macon County.

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Like teachers around the nation, many teachers in Western North Carolina are frustrated with years of unfunded federal mandates that force them to teach to standardized tests and follow rigid curricula.

Last Thursday, a group of 18 teachers and teacher assistants from Macon County traveled to Tuscola High School in Asheville to attend a meeting with U.S. Congressman Heath Shuler (D). All together, more than 75 educators – teachers and administrators – showed up for the meeting to discuss education policy in general and the federal No Child Left Behind Act in particular.

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