McDowell High School

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MHS First in State Challenge: Named a Certified Site for Peer Group Connection

The Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) has recognized McDowell High School for two significant accomplishments this year for connecting peer groups. MHS is one of the first North Carolina high schools to receive Site Certification for Peer Group Connection (PGC), an evidence-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transition from middle to high school. This certification recognizes schools that implement PGC with fidelity and celebrates the commitment of a school community in supporting the social-emotional well-being and academic development of its students.
In addition, each year PGC student leaders have the opportunity to become Certified Peer Leaders. To be eligible for certification, students must complete all required training, earn no less than a "B" in the Peer Group Connection class and demonstrate high ethical standards by adhering to the Peer Group Connection Code of Ethics. This year, 35 students received the Certified Peer Leader designation.
Earlier this year, CSS invited partner schools to compete for prizes by showing how they are employing their students as leaders to engage families and serve their communities through the CSS Family and Community Impact Challenge, which MHS captured first place. 
Through PGC, McDowell High School engaged 117 students in a Service Day, during which they completed nine service projects in their local community. Projects included creating care packages for veterans and serving food at the Clinchfield United Methodist Church Soup Kitchen.
“McDowell High School is an amazing example of how a school can utilize a program like PGC to its greatest potential,” said Joyce Loveless, North Carolina Executive Director at the Center for Supportive Schools. “We are especially grateful to Edwin Spivey, Natalie Gouge, Jennifer Croymans, Jennifer Brooks, Tommy Cox, Glenda Glenn, Chip Cross, Kori Elliott, and Angie Allison for their dedication to tapping into the leadership potential of students to help McDowell High School become safer, and more supportive, engaging, and inspiring.”
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