On Tuesday, December 4, nine CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) students visited the Raleigh Police Department's Special Operations Facility. The Special Operations Facility houses all specialty units for the police department, including the bomb squad, SWAT, K-9, and motorcycle unit, as well as performing other administrative functions.
Students were treated to two presentations and Q&A sessions. Captain J.A. Taylor and Detective J.T. Heinrich of the Hazardous Devices Unit (aka "the bomb squad") presented on two robots used to handle and contain potentially-explosive materials, discussed suspicious package handling and x-ray techniques, and demonstrated a variety of personal protective gear used on the job.
Lieutenant S.M. Gunter of the Selective Enforcement Unit (aka SWAT) offered an in-depth look at how SWAT officers train and provided a hands-on demonstration of how specialty equipment--like battering rams--are used in the field.
In both instances, students got a chance to interact with a variety of protective gear and tools of the trade. Altogether, this opportunity offered students a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of high-stakes crisis and emergency response careers.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains students to prepare for emergencies in their communities. CERT students also help with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.
During the November professional development week, eighth-grade Language Arts teachers Laura Price and Meredith Stewart presented at the National Council of English Teachers Convention in Houston, Texas. Price and Stewart's presentation focused on the new end of year Language Arts project, the American Vision Film Narrative, which they created with eighth-grade history teacher David Snively.
This project is a culmination of a year-long focus of the essential question, "What is America?," and involves connections to Language Arts and History, interviews with extended community members, and creation of a metaphor to explain each student's personal vision of and for America. Price and Stewart shared examples of student films—such as that created by ninth-grader Folu Ogundipe whose work is shared below—that celebrated the diversity of the country and the ways in which the country has not fully achieved students' visions for it.
In continuing with our recent tradition of alumni speakers delivering the address, Holly May ('05) has been selected as our 2019 commencement speaker.
Mrs. May is an accomplished Silicon Valley tech executive. She is on the executive team of Datavant (a start-up in San Francisco that connects health data to improve patient outcomes), where she is Head of People & Operations. Prior to joining Datavant, she led business operations at Elementum (a platform for supply chain management) and previously was a strategy consultant at Health Advances. After Cary Academy, Holly earned a degree in History of Science from Harvard where she built programs that taught students leadership skills. She also holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. During her days on campus at Cary Academy, she was heavily involved in the National Honor Society, Student Council, Women's Soccer, and Women's Field Hockey. She grew up in Pittsboro, NC.
Holly and her husband Travis May ('05) remain connected to family in the Triangle. She is looking forward to returning to Cary Academy and connecting with the Class of 2019.