Angela Polk-Jones, who holds the UNCG record for most points in women’s basketball, made a few key points about the UNCG Middle College as she introduced four of the ninth-graders at last week’s Trustees meeting.
Polk-Jones, an educator for 20 years – and most recently an assistant principal at Aycock Middle before becoming the middle college principal – spoke of the support they’ve received as departments around campus have reached out to them.
The middle college’s focus is on health and wellness fields, she noted.
She reminded those in attendance that Dr. Tom Martinek had been working on this project for about 10 years. The middle college opened in August.
Each of the ninth-graders spoke a moment about their perspective on the middle college:
“I love the middle college. It’s opened up so many doors for me….”
“I want to be a dermatologist…It helps me get to where I want to be in life.”
“I want to be a microbiologist,” said one student, explaining that there is a lab in the school. She added, “It is good to try new things…”
A recent field trip to Cone Women’s Hospital opened students’ eyes – about what areas they may have a passion for, or what they will shy away from.
There are a wide variety of students. Polk-Jones spoke, on a personal note, about her not-so-promising background years ago. Her time at UNCG had helped put her where she is today, helping many others realize their potential.
Currently, 49 students are enrolled, all in ninth grade. With each passing year, an additional 50 will be added, until there are about 200 in grades 9-12.
She said they are developing “care teams” of 2-3 mentors for each student – one would be an adult employee on campus. Those interested in this mentoring program may contact 4-3662.
Also, the Middle College is collecting items and gift cards to make a better holiday season for 11 families. Those interested may contact the middle college as well.
By Mike Harris