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“Olympic High School is a beacon for the district, the nation, and the world,” says Ann Clark

ASWC(May 2, 2015) CMS Superintendent Ann Clark shared her thoughts and ideas about the importance of community partnership and collaboration to over 90 attendees at an Alignment Southwest Charlotte gathering held Thursday, April 30, at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church.

Superintendent Clark was enthusiastic in her praise of the exemplary work being conducted in true collaboration between CMS schools in Steele Creek and the community under a commonly held "cradle to career" core value in helping area youth reach their human and economic potential. She said that the way the community has rallied around a group of schools is a model for other communities in Mecklenburg County.

Kim Odum, Principal at River Gate Elementary School addresses the group with two of her students

Alignment Southwest Charlotte co-founder Mike Realon of the Olympic Community of Schools says that the initiative is a coalition of Olympic High School, its feeder elementary and middle schools, area businesses, post-secondary schools, churches, nonprofits, government agencies, and neighborhood associations. The mission is to actively bring together community stakeholders so they can jointly identify common interests and organize collaborative efforts which help children, neighborhoods, and businesses reach their potential.

In contrast to the troubling events occurring in Baltimore this week that experts attribute in part to frustration with economic and educational opportunities, Alignment Southwest Charlotte demonstrates how all the key stakeholder groups in the community can come together to cultivate an environment of greater hope and prosperity for the constituents of Steele Creek, which has resulted in jobs, apprenticeships, paid internships, improved academic achievement, and a greater sense of collaboration, community, and connectivity.

Another Alignment Southwest Charlotte co-founder, Charles Wilkerson of Steele Creek Printing and the Arrowood Business Association, stressed how the schools, businesses, and community groups should work together in a coordinated effort and not place themselves in separate silos.

The list below is from a document distributed at the meeting that reflects activities conducted at the five small schools at Olympic during the 2015-2016 school year through the power of their community partners. CMS Superintendent Clark told attendees, "Your homework is to read this document ... this says it all!",


Strategic Partnerships between Olympic and the Community
2014-2015 School Year 


Student Internships (provided by Discovery Place, (Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, Discovery Place, Teen Health Connection, CMS-TV)) )
B3 Summer Camp
(Burroughs Wellcome, UNCC, American Chestnut Fund)
Job Shadows 
(Jackson Orthodontics, Steele Creek Animal Hospital)
Career Fair (Over 100 Volunteers from CHS, Novant, YMCA, Mecklenburg County, Premiere, etc.)
Field Trips (CMC Northeast, Carolinas Rehabilitation Hospital, CMPD Crime Lab, CM Courthouse)
Professional Development (Pfeiffer University)
College Shadowing & Career Programs (Cabarrus College & UNCC, Queens, J.C. Smith, and Pfeiffer Universities)
Lab Supplies (
Greiner Bio-One)
Career Academy of Health Sciences Advisory Board (Carolina Healthcare Systems, Pfeiffer University, America Red Cross, Premier Healthcare Alliance, NC Dept. of Social Service, CPCC, Novant)
Career Speakers (Society of HR Management, Duke University, FBI)
AVID Classes (Urban League of Charlotte)
Grant -- Tablets for Blogging Project for Carter (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Science Olympiad  (Arrowood Business Association)


Mentoring Assistance & Persistence  (MAP)  Program (Ernst & Young Sponsor)
MAP Scholarships for Graduating Seniors (Ernst & Young)
Career Friday Classroom Speakers (Duke Energy, PWC, City of Charlotte, Carowinds, Society of HR Management, Siemens, Bosch Rexroth, Marriott Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Coca Cola, Frito Lay, etc.)
Apprenticeship 2000 (Siemens)
Apprenticeship Charlotte  (Siemens, Bosch Rexroth, Groninger)
Educator “Back to School” Banquet / Hospitality & Tourism Awareness Initiative (Hilton Hotels)     
White House Guest Chef/Culinary Project
(Olympic High School Foundation)
Catering Business Projects (Arrowood Business Association)
Lunch & Learn Interview Skills Project (Pricewaterhouse Coopers)
“The Fury” Rollercoaster  Marketing Project (Carowinds)
Financial Literacy Project (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business)
Educator Trip to Singapore
(UNC Center for International Understanding)
Educator Trip to Germany  (Goethe Institute, Siemens, Bosch, Deutsche Bank)
“Food Spark” Think Tank Project  (Queen City Forward)
Hospitality & Tourism Partner of the Year Banquet (Visit Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority)
Teacher Thank You Gift Cards (Visit Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority, Starbuck’s, Label, etc.)
Grant -- Tablets for English Team Teaching Pilot for Morriss/Shephard (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Literacy Project Tablets for Watkins (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Literacy Project for Martinson (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Culinary Entrepreneurship Project for Kapakos (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Marketing Project / Production Technology for Reeves  (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Literacy Project/Tablets for Watkins (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Nutritional Creativity Project for Winston (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- IT Talent Development for Middle Schools Realon (Arrowood Business Association) 
Grant -- IT Talent Development for High Schools Realon (Arrowood Business Association) 
World Affairs Council Charlotte Monthly Luncheons (WACC, UNC Charlotte)
DigiGirlz Summer IT Camp (Microsoft)
Youth Sparks IT Career Day (Microsoft)
Project Management Mentoring (Duke Energy)
Young Professional Ladies’ Night Out (Hilton Garden Airport Hotel, Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance)
Grooming for Greatness (Monique Stubbs-Hall, Hannah Shalom)
Charlotte Autumn “Food Fest” Internships  (Charlotte Chamber)
Financial literacy & College Planning (Get It Together Financial Advisors)
“Giving Back” Service Project  (Promising Pages)
Internships (Greenway Express Wash, Marriott Corporation, Hilton Hotels, Carowinds,  City of Charlotte, Mayors Youth Employment Program, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, Livingston & Haven, Hyde Park Partners, Siemens, Joerns Medical Beds, Society of HR Management, Siemens)
AoF Career Academy Scholarships (AXA Financial Advisors, McGladrey, CPCC)
Academy Graduation Luncheon (The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)
MAP Reedy Park Service Project (Ernst & Young)
Professional Development  (CPCC)
Career Academy Display Unit (Visit Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority)
Career Academy of Finance Advisory Board (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, Price Waterhouse, CPCC, McGladrey, AXA Financial Advisors, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Skool Aide, Coca-Cola Bottling, Time Warner Cable, The Vanias Group, Merryl Lynch, Founders Federal Credit Union, Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, Logo Gear)
Charlotte Career Discovery Day (Mayor’s Youth Employment Program)
Meredith College & NCSU Visit (OHS Foundation)
Field Trips (CPCC Advanced Technology Center, Marriott Hotels, )
Career Academy of Hospitality & Tourism  Advisory Board (Hilton Garden Inn –Airport, Visit Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority, Carowinds, Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance,  Marriott Courtyard-Billy Graham, Marriott Courtyard-Arrowood, Marriott Courtyard-Airport, Charlotte Area Hotel Association, Hilton Hotels, Johnson & Wales University, CPCC)
Culinary Competition Mentoring (Hilton Garden Inn, Art Institute)
Career Speed Networking  (Greenway Express Wash, Marriott Hotel Corporation, Hilton Hotels, Carowinds,  City of Charlotte, Microsoft, CPCC, Cotswold Psychology Associates, 80 different Olympic Business Partners)
Operation Santa Claus  (Falcon Metals, Doggett Concrete,  Avant Center for the Arts, Bob & Cherry Doster Designs, and 50 Olympic businesses partners brought Santa and Christmas to 1,000 impoverished CMS students)
IT Employment Initiative—Code2Hire (Red Ventures) 


Shark Tank MGE Engineering Design Competition (Livingston & Haven, CPCC, Bosch Rexroth)
Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Center (Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, Cosen Saws, MSG, Steele Creek Printing) 
VEX Robotics Competition (Arrowood Business Association Grant)
Solar Paneled Technology Charging Station (Livingston & Haven)
Advanced Manufacturing Promotional Film (Livingston & Haven)
Truck Donation – STEAM Project (Electric ZAP Truck)
Classroom Speakers (NC State, CPCC)
Women in STEM Career (NC State)
Big Picture Performance (Teen Health Connection)
Professional Development (CPCC)
Field Trips (Flextronics, UNCC  School of Engineering,  CPCC Advanced Technology Center, Rowan Cabarrus
Community College)

Career Academy of Engineering Advisory Board (Livingston & Haven, Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, Duke Energy, Piedmont natural Gas, PREP International, Aerotek, Pfaff, Apprenticeship 2000, CPCC, Apprenticeship Charlotte, Groninger, UNCC, EPIC, Charlotte Works, Joerns, Coca Cola Bottling)
Advanced Manufacturing Ad Hoc Curriculum Development Committee (Livingston & Haven, Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, Duke Energy,  Aerotek, Pfaff, Apprenticeship 2000, CPCC Advanced Technology Center, Apprenticeship Charlotte, Groninger,  Joern)
Best Collaboration Advanced Manufacturing Industry Award (Bosch Rexroth, Charlotte Business Journal, Centralina Economic Development Commission)
Advanced Manufacturing Student Leadership Award (Siemens Energy, Charlotte Business Journal, Centralina Economic Development Commission)
Internships (Mayor’s Youth Employment Program)
Apprenticeship 2000 (Siemens, Chiron, Pfaff, Blum)
Apprenticeship Charlotte  (Siemens, Bosch Rexroth, Groninger)
Habitat for Humanity House  (Habitat Charlotte, Wells Fargo, Barnhardt Foundation, Price Brothers Plumbing)
Sustainability in the 21st Century Initiative (Habitat for Humanity Charlotte)


IT Summer Boot Camp (nonprofit Drive & NC Department of Commerce)
Internships (Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, Microsoft, Discovery Place)
Poetry Residency (Arts & Science Council)
FIRST Robotics (Bosch Rexroth)
FIRST Robotics Scholarship (FIRST Palmetto Region)
Apprenticeships (Siemens)
Best IT Industry Collaboration Award (Bosch Rexroth, IT-oLogy, Charlotte Chamber)
Field Trip (CPCC Advanced Manufacturing & STEM Career Technology Center)
Teacher Orientation Day (Microsoft)
“CPCC or Bust” Bus (CATS, MYEP, & CPCC)
Brotherhood Mentoring Program  (Judah Church)
Guest Speakers (BJ Murphy Digital Broadcasting Media, UNC Chapel Hill’s Henry Tseng))
Freshman Summit on Hunger (The Lunch Project)
Hip-Hop-Dance ( Knight Theater)
Job Shadowing (Charlotte Ballet)
Student Art Showcase ( Art Institute)
Jewelry Making Project (Betchler Museum)
Renaissance Women’s Leadership Tea (Whitni Wilson)
Job Shadowing & College visit (ECPI, UNCC, Shea Homes )
Gaming Club (UNCC College of Computing & Informatics)
Green Home Project  (Little Diversified Architectural Consulting)
Grant -- Photography Project for Legrone (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Water Study Project for Jones & Journigan  (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- Environmental Science Project for Jones & Journigan  (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- English Project for Hammersley (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Robotics Communications Project for Coon (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Dean Kamen National STEM Student Award  (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant -- IT Talent Development for Middle Schools Realon (Arrowood Business Association) 
Grant -- IT Talent Development for High Schools Realon (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant—MakerSpace Innovation Grant  (Charlotte Hornets)
Donations:        3D Printer (Arrowood Business Association)
                          Computers and Printers (Net Effects)
                          Sculpting Materials (Southwood)
                          Art Tools (OHS Foundation)


Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Center (Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, Cosen Saws, MSG, CPCC, Steele Creek Printing) 
Internships (Mayor’s Youth Employment Program)
Solar Paneled Technology Charging Station (Livingston & Haven)
Stock Manufacturing Material  (Southwood Sign Company)
Solar Paneled Technology Charging Station (Livingston & Haven)
Safety Glasses 
Advanced Manufacturing Promotional Film (Livingston & Haven)
IT  Youth Sparks Career Initiative (Microsoft)
2 Grants – VEX Robotics Competition for Ottofy (Arrowood Business Association)
Big Picture Performance (Teen Health Connection)
Professional Development (CPCC)
Field Trips (Groninger, Bosch Rexroth, UNCC Energy Producing Infrastructure Center, CPCC Advanced Technology Center & FAB Lab)


Educator Thank You Luncheon (Arrowood Business Association) 
Solar Paneled Technology Charging Station (Livingston & Haven)
Teacher Door Prizes/Thank You Luncheon (Approximately 50 Olympic Business Partners) 
Teacher, Student, and  Support (Olympic High School Foundation)
Skool Aide Career & College Readiness Program  (Olympic High School Foundation)
Teacher  iPad Stocking Stuffer Program (Olympic High School Foundation and Wells Fargo)
Olympic Author, Dan Fesperman, Book Signing/Journalism Career (Olympic High School Foundation)
Grant -- IT Talent Development for Middle Schools (Arrowood Business Association) 
Grant – IT Talent Development for High Schools (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – Media Center Technology / Coding Grant  (Arrowood Business Association)
Grant – 50 Calculator Bank (50) for all schools (Olympic High School Foundation)

If you would like to find out how you can participate, contact Mike Realon at 980-343-3800 Extension 4006163 or  michael.realon@cms.k12.nc.us ur use the Alignment SW Charlotte Contact page.

See also CMS leader: Steele Creek schools, businesses model for others by John Marks of the Lake Wylie Pilot.

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