Sophie Rosenthal ’24 is a reporter and editor for all Elon News Network mediums. She previously served as the managing editor of The Pendulum, as well as chief copy editor, for Elon News Network. She is a journalism major with a minor in policy studies. Outside of ENN, Rosenthal serves as a writing center consultant at Elon’s Center for Writing Excellence. After graduation, Rosenthal hopes to become an enterprise reporter, pursuing long-form investigative stories. Click here to see Rosenthal’s best work: sophierosenthal.com
Alamance-Burlington School System Deputy Superintendent Lowell Rogers has been suspended with pay following recent charges of failure to report a crime against a juvenile, ABSS announced Feb. 20. ABSS Public Information Officer Les Atkins said the school district is cooperating fully with law enforcement and taking steps to address the charges. This comes just one day after chief financial officer Kim McVey left the school district amid a financial crisis and legislative investigation. Rogers had taken on the role of acting chief financial officer yesterday, Feb. 19.
Kim McVey left her position as chief financial officer for the Alamance-Burlington School System, according to a statement from Superintendent Dain Butler on Feb. 19. According to Butler’s statement, Deputy Superintendent Lowell Rogers will temporarily oversee finances until an interim can be hired. McVey’s departure from the school system comes about two weeks after State Sen. Amy Galey opened a legislative investigation into the district’s financial decisions. Galey requested the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations look into what the school board has declared to be a financial crisis.
The Alamance-Burlington School System discussed a revised financial reduction plan at a work session held Tuesday, Feb. 13, days after State Sen. Amy Galey requested an investigation into the school system’s finances. The investigation request comes after a year of financial hardship for the school system. In summer 2023, ABSS spent nearly $26 million on cleaning up 32 of its 36 schools after a mold outbreak. School board chair Sandy Ellington-Graves declared that the school district was in financial crisis in November 2023. At the end of January, superintendent Dain Butler announced a plan to lay off and reduce hours for over 50 employees.
Alamance County commissioners approved $250,000 of funding to delay potential Alamance-Burlington School System layoffs at their monthly meeting Feb. 5. ABSS announced potential layoffs and reduced hours for some employees in a statement on Feb. 2. Superintendent Dain Butler wrote in the statement that he is planning to propose his recommendations for a reduction in force to the Board of Education at a work session on Feb. 13. If it is approved, the reduction in force would affect over 50 people — including assistant principals, social workers, school nurses and more.
During this Winter Term, 11 Elon University political science and journalism students are traveling to South Carolina and New Hampshire to study the 2024 presidential primaries. Students spent the first half of the trip in Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina, where they focused primarily on the Democratic strategy in its upcoming primary Feb. 3 and attended President Joe Biden’s speech at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Jan. 8. Now, they are in Manchester, New Hampshire, where they are focusing primarily on the Republican primary Jan. 23.
Mold was found in 32 of the 36 Alamance-Burlington School System schools in August — prompting an expensive clean-up and delaying the school year two weeks. Of the schools that tested positive, toxigenic mold was identified in 16 of them. Months later, the school system is still lacking the resources to implement measures to prevent the mold from returning. On Dec. 4, ABSS board members requested $6.9 million for the districts remaining invoices for the mold remediation, among other requests for additional money. The county commissioners approved $5.2 million in funding — still not enough to cover the entire remediation cost.
The Alert Carolina system at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill reported police say there is an armed and dangerous individual on or near campus. UNC Alert Carolina sent an all-clear update at 2:11 p.m.
ABSS delayed the start of the 2023-24 academic year twice after finding mold in 26 of the system’s 38 schools. Now set to have students back in school Monday, Sept. 11 from the original Aug. 28 date, ABSS opened sites for students to pick up free lunches in an effort to provide some relief for students and parents who were counting on children being in school already. At a meeting Sept. 1, the Alamance County commissioners also reappropriated funds amounting to nearly $17 million to pay for mold remediation, cleaning air ducts and cleaning Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems.
At the start of the 2023-24 school year, eight Elon University engineering students spent their time each day after classes and throughout the weekend working on a project in the Innovation Hall lab. What they’re building: a race car. Elon’s chapter of the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, or Phoenix Racing, is a student-run engineering team who are currently collaborating on building an electric Formula 1 race car. With the completed car, the club intends to compete against other universities in the collegiate electric division of FSAE.
For the first time this year, students had the choice to opt into Elon’s new gender inclusive housing program on the general housing form. According to the class of 2027 admissions profile, 12% of the class of 2027 identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ communities — the largest portion of a class at Elon to date. As a transgender woman, freshman Grace Luebbe applied for inclusive housing this past spring in order to ensure that she would be living in a safe environment. Before she stepped on campus as a student this fall, Luebbe said she felt welcomed and included.
The Alamance Burlington School System has delayed the first day of school a second time after finding mold in more than half of the system’s 38 schools, according to a press release Sept. 2. Schools are now scheduled to open on Monday, Sept. 11. The first day of the school year was originally planned for Aug. 28, but after mold was found in Andrews Elementary in July, ABSS began testing all 38 of its schools. Now, all schools have been tested and 26 are currently being cleaned.
For the first time, Elon University students living in the Station at Mill Point have to pay for a parking permit — which already began for the 2023-24 academic year. Previously, students were not required to pay anything. Now, Mill Point parking permits cost $160, and students will be permitted to park in Colonnades, Innovation Quad and Schar Center Hunt B lots in addition to their own. According to program assistant Marcia Dodson, campus police began ticketing cars without parking passes on Aug. 22 and ticket fines have increased from $50 to $100.
Elon University's common reading book committee chose “I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times” by Mónica Guzmán as its 31st common reading book. The committee is comprised of 17 faculty, staff and students who meet over a span of 15 to 18 months. According to Paula Patch, chair of the reading committee and English professor, “I Never Thought of It That Way” will spark meaningful conversation on campus and prepare incoming students for new perspectives.
The Burlington Police Department selects Burlington native Alan Balog as its next police chief. Balog has worked in law enforcement for 18 years. In his current role, he oversees patrol, criminal investigations and 911 dispatching. Throughout his career, he has served in supervisory roles within the patrol, criminal investigations and professional standards divisions. Balog is set to take over after current Police Chief Brian Long retires in June.
Elon University awarded 98 graduate students Masters degrees and oak samplings at the graduate commencement ceremony May 17. The ceremony was held in Alumni Gym and recognized graduates of Elon’s six graduate programs — including masters of science in accounting and in business analytics, master of business administration, masters of arts in interactive media and higher education and master of education. The commencement speaker was David Young, an Alamance County native and the CEO of a global education organization called Participate Learning based in Chapel Hill.
The Numen Lumen Senior Baccalaureate was held May 16 in the Alumni Gym. The ceremony included reflections and readings from seniors, music, prayer and a candlelight ceremony. Seniors were each given an oak sapling to symbolize their time and growth at Elon, as freshmen are given an acorn during New Student Convocation to begin their Elon experience.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department has Jason Todd Sauro, 45, of Myrtle Beach, in custody following a pedestrian crash that killed Elon University junior Jackson Yelle.
May 1 is decision day for high school seniors. According to Vice President of Enrollment Greg Zaiser, as of noon May 1, 1,700 students have enrolled in the class of 2027. Last year, 1,692 students enrolled in the class of 2026. Zaiser said Elon’s acceptance rate decreased from 74% to 67%.
Elon University junior Britt Mobley will be Student Government Association’s next student body president after winning 68.9% of the vote. This year, 1,825 students voted in the election, which is 29.9% of the student body.
The two candidates for student body president and two candidates for vice president of finance answered student questions at Elon’s Student Government Association executive candidate forum Wednesday night in The Oak House. Voting for SGA elections open March 27 at 8 a.m. and close March 28 at 5 p.m. Students can vote on PhoenixCONNECT.
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