March 2019 PD Day

RCSNC Professional Development Day
Posted on 03/15/2019
March 2019 PD Day



FOREST CITY, NC – On Monday, March 11, 2019, Rutherford County Schools (RCSNC) hosted a professional development (PD) day for teachers across the district. From technology tools to social support, teachers received training on a myriad of topics. Over 100 sessions were offered through the day at R-S Central High School (RSCHS), while additional specialized developmental opportunities were offered at various other locations. The district generally holds two professional development days annually, with the last being in October 2018.

PD day 1
Apple Representative Paul Tarantiles leads “Activating Learning with Keynote” to help teachers create more engaging lessons with Keynote via MacBooks and iPads

Several sessions at RSCHS were led by Apple representatives and RCSNC instructional technology facilitators (ITF) to offer additional support for teachers as they use MacBooks, iPads and other technology to create learning opportunities. Keynote, Garage Band, iMovie and other apps, as well as robotics, snap circuits and similar tools, were explored as part of these sessions. “Building Student Engagement with Google Maps” was a session led by ITF Priscilla Budzinski, to teach participants how to use Google Maps and to embed curriculum-specific content to create interactive lessons for students.


In addition to providing a number of instructional technology-based learning opportunities, RCSNC offered a breadth of student support PD activities. Addressing diverse student needs, de-escalation techniques and behavioral intervention are a small sampling of topics covered. In a session led by Dr. Jamie Powell, participants focused on the Community Resiliency Model and discussed methods for helping students build resiliency and manage anxiety. The district has also introduced a Youth Mental Health First Aid Training initiative and hosted part one of that series on Monday. The series will address common mental health issues among adolescents and provide methods for assisting those facing challenges or crisis.


Sessions provided at RSCHS addressed topics for all grade levels and all subject and service areas – exceptional children (EC), math, health and physical education, world languages, etc. While some sessions were required for teachers of certain subject areas, many of the sessions were self-chosen based on the teachers’ own professional development needs. Dylan McNeilly, an elementary EC teacher, said, “Our professional development days always present creative and innovative strategies that we can begin immediately implementing to enhance our students’ educational experience.”

  Off-campus sessions included pre-k trainings at the Carver Center, facility tours for Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers as well as a RCSNC Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA) day focused on community health with a specific focus on student nutrition and safety. CTE teachers toured both the WestRock manufacturing plant and the new Engineering Technology and Workforce Development Center at Isothermal Community College. Of touring local business and industry locations, Dr. Charlie Freeman, CTE director, said, “During facility tours, CTE teachers interact with industry leaders, managers, and company associates to learn more about local job opportunities, essential skills needed in today's workplace, and the companies that are part of Rutherford County's growing economy. Our CTE teachers can return to their classrooms and share information with students about local job opportunities and the expectations of the 21st century workplace.”

PD Day 2
Instructional Technology Facilitator Tara Mauney leads “Apple App Smashing,” demonstrating ways to integrate various apps to bring learning alive in everyday instruction

PD Day 3
East Rutherford Middle teacher Amy Wilkie, R-S Central High teacher Ben Bradley, No Kid Hungry representative Helen Roberts, R-S Central student Tristan Chavez, and 2019 NC Region 8 Teacher of the Year Caesar Campana engage in a “table talk” led by Chavez

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Rutherford County Schools (RCSNC) is the comprehensive public school system of Rutherford County, North Carolina. With eighteen schools and one prekindergarten center serving over 8,400 students, RCSNC is an innovative school district committed to preparing all students for college and career success. Through its Going GLOBAL initiative, RCSNC has embraced a one-to-one digital learning environment where all students from kindergarten through grade twelve have access to a personal technology device every day. Supported by a strong community with deep roots, RCSNC celebrates lasting partnerships with the Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation, the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation, and multiple other agencies and organizations. Learn more at

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