RootEd-WNC Stories

The RootEd-WNC Fellowship program is a partnership between Appalachian GEAR UP and Constructive Learning Design that connects students and educators in western North Carolina with community partners to address and solve local challenges. Through solving local challenges, students develop creative problem solving skills that will serve them well beyond high school, while also learning academic content. During the RootEd-WNC Fellowship, teachers design and deliver powerful learning experiences using Challenge-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning frameworks, and work with their students and community partners to document these experiences and tell stories about them. We are very proud to share the work of our first cohort of RootEd-WNC Fellows below!

Fellow Projects – 2019 – 2020

Mountains to Sea

Water is life. Students from Mountain Heritage High School investigated local water quality issues and partnered with community stakeholders to address these issues.

Fellows: Tressa Hartsell, Cindy King

Read the Story

Dive Into Marshall Memories

Students from Madison Early College High School are partnering with the town of Marshall, NC to reimagine and redesign an abandoned public pool and park site.

Fellows: Linda Ammons, Eric Blackman, Doug Cutshall, Erin Long, Eben Reigle, Leslie Schoof, Oshen Wallin, Scott Whitney, Julie Young

Read the Story

Supreme Court Justice League

Students from Ashe Early College explored the question: How can we use the timeless medium of superhero comic books to communicate the influence of landmark Supreme Court precedents on modern court cases and controversial issues?

Fellow: Hannah Betsch

Read the Story

Physics Wonderland and More

Students at Mountain Heritage High School learned about electricity through the creation, and hosting, of a holiday electricity museum exhibit. Students also worked on the Be the Good and STEM Academy projects.

Fellow: Cindy King

Read the Story

What's Your Story?

A major component of high school is figuring out who you are and where you are going. Students from Ashe High School used storytelling to understand their identities.

Fellow: Sarah Beckworth

Read the Story

Save the Planet: Recycling Team

Waste is becoming a major problem in our world. Students at Ashe Early College explored recycling practices in their community and school, and created a recycling plan for their school.

Fellows: Alice Everette and Brian Armstrong

Read the Story

What Can We Do For You, Mr. Zaloo?

Students at Ashe Early College partnered with Zaloo’s Canoes to help the business improve by applying their math skills.

Fellow: James Ashley

Read the Story

Bodily Impact

Students at Ashe High School had to identify activities or events that could negatively impact bodily systems, and then design a solution for solving the problem. 

Fellow: Jennifer Miller

Read the Story

Clean Hands and More

Students at Ashe Early College engaged in a series of nano-challenges. In the Clean Hands project, students had to identify solutions for not spreading germs at their school.

Fellow: Brian Armstrong

Read the Story

What's Your Story?: Family History

Students at Ashe High School  explored their family histories in order to understand the role of immigrants in American History and in Ashe County.

Fellow: Marty McKenzie

Read the Story

2020 – 2021 Cohort

If you are a high school teacher in WNC who is interested in connecting your students to local community challenges  please contact Jay Korreck at to learn more about becoming a 2020 – 2021 RootEd-WNC Fellow. 

Jay Korreck

Coach and Owner