Student Recognized by Serviceman

January 16, 2014


Eighth grader, Joey Greco was surprised Thursday, January 16, when Air Force serviceman, Brian Maloney recognized him during the winter pep rally. Maloney, who was an assistant coach during the fall football season, presented Greco with a Wooden Eagle award for his hard work and dedication.

“I felt honored and really, really good because he took his time to make [the eagle award] for me and he was thinking about me,” said Greco. 

 Maloney, who also has a daughter at Clayton Middle, left to serve in South Korea. During the presentation, Maloney explained why he decided to honor Greco. 

“I will tell you what this kid has. When I told him to run the hill… he didn’t quit … He never quit. He never cut himself short. He said, ‘ you know what, I’m making a change,’” Maloney said of Greco. 

Maloney hopes the award will continue. 

“Pass it on and explain to [others] what it means. Dedication. Don’t quit. Everything you guys do from this point in your life, you earn it,” Maloney stated during the presentation in front of the student body. 

The award is a carved wooden eagle embedded with a 334th Fighting Eagles challenge coin that states “Once an eagle … always an eagle.”

“It was a big surprise. I didn’t know at all,” stated Greco. 


Clayton Middle
2009-2010 Championship Team

The 2009-2010 Clayton Middle boys basketball championship team was recognized on Thursday, January 16th. During halftime at the home basketball game against Riverwood Middle school, seven seniors were acknowledged for their hard work and dedication both on and off the court.
"They were more than just talented players, they were a very special team to coach. We wanted to do something special to recognize them for being such great players, a great team, and great young men." said head coach Misty Greene.
The former team was exceptional, securing the championship with a 13-0 winning record. According to Greene, the athletic staff wanted to honor their hard work and dedication to the middle school and basketball because they were talented, championship team that worked hard and were also fun to coach.
"They are all graduating and beginning a new part of their lives, but they will always be Eagles at heart," Angie Stephenson stated during the presentation.
Dylan Caldwell, Gary Clark, Chris Dixon, Dawson Medlin, Corey Poole, Jake Turner, and LJ Young were all present to receive a certificate, drawstring bag, t-shirt, water bottle and candy sculpture. Anton Watson was unable to attend.

Clayton Middle Celebrates Black History Month

Students at Clayton Middle honored inspirational Civil Rights leaders during the fourth annual Black History Month presentation on February 27th.Student ambassadors from all grades participated in the presentation, a skit in which students presented reports about various historical leaders, while acting as the leader. The school’s jazz band played prelude and transitional music as well as a featured song, “Day-O” by Harry Belafonte, who was one of the inspirational leaders highlighted during the performance.

“I participated because I wanted to learn more about why we celebrate Black History Month and Civil Rights leaders. I wanted to understand why they did what they did to make the world a better place,” stated seventh grade student, Aniyah Jordan, who presented about Nelson Mandela.

Led by teachers, Sharon McAdam, Keith Jacobs, and Sherrill Pugh, students prepared afterschool for three days a week beginning in January by researching inspirational leaders, writing the script, organizing the parts and rehearsing for the performance. “It is fulfilling to see the student’s talents being discovered. [The presentation] provides them with the opportunity to make themselves proud. In the process, they learn a lot from their history,” stated McAdam. The advisors enjoy working with students to facilitate learning from history.

“I volunteer to help students share the rich heritage of black history to the school community. Students learn about great contributions made to society as a whole from these black historical figures,” Jacobs said. Not only did students learn important skills, such as research and leadership, but they were able to share what they learned with the community. “School is a place for learning and the Black History Month presentation provides not just an opportunity for the students to learn, but also for the wider community to be a part of what the students are doing,” said McAdam.

Students were proud of the performance and the lessons they learned from participating. “It shows how strong, creative people will stand up for what’s right. We should be the same. We should learn from what they taught us,” said seventh grader Tonya Grooms, who participated in the Jazz band.

Holocaust Survivor Shares Story with Seventh Graders



Holocaust survivor, Esther Lederman, spoke to seventh grade students at Clayton Middle School on March 11th. As a teenager, Lederman ran away from a Polish ghetto in search of her friend, Ezjel Lederman, who was in hiding with his family during the Holocaust. She stayed in hiding for 22 months, evading the harsh punishment of the Nazis.

Lederman shared her story with seventh graders who are studying the Holocaust.

“Many students enjoyed hearing her speak. They were fascinated with the story of her life and how she survived the Holocaust,” stated Jackie Jones, a seventh grade Social Studies teacher at Clayton Middle, who organized the assembly.

Lederman’s story was more personal and relatable to students and students enjoyed the variation that her talk provided.

“It was nice to have an up close and personal presentation instead of reading about it in a history book. We actually had someone to talk to about it,” said seventh grader Taylor Allen.

Students felt that speaker was more interesting than studying about the Holocaust in the classroom.

“More people paid attention when she came rather than just reading it out of the book. When people read out of the book, they don’t really care,” stated seventh grader, Jessica Smith.

Teachers agreed that the speaker gave students a deeper understanding of the content they studied in the classroom.

“[Lederman] is a real life person who actually experienced all of the harshness and cruelty of the Holocaust and came out alive. This experience allowed students to see firsthand how to survive it and the outcome,” stated Jones.

Lederman’s speech gave students a personalized account of life outside of the Nazi controlled concentration camps.

“I learned that it wasn’t only hard for people in the concentration camps, but it was hard for the people outside of the camps to make a living too,” stated Sidney Buss, a seventh grader.

Students benefited from hearing about what life was like during World War II.

“[Lederman] stayed in a home and was in hiding instead of actually going to a[concentration] camp. I would expect her to be in a [concentration] camp because when I think of the holocaust I think of people going to [concentration] camps,” Allen said.

Social Studies teachers wanted students to gain a more rounded understanding of the Holocaust.

“[We wanted students to] have a better understanding of what discriminated groups went through during the holocaust and how some people were able to survive all this cruelty,” stated Jones.

Students had a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with a Holocaust survivor when Lederman answered questions after her speech.

“I liked when she came to the classroom to answer our own personal questions. It was a lot more fun than having to read about it out of a book,” stated Buss.

Lederman is a part of The North Carolina Holocaust Council.


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