Morris Grove Students Tout Peace, Love And Painted Pumpkins

The third annual Morris Grove Pumpkin Auction offers gorgeous gourds for a great cause.

“Our fifth-grade art club has been working hard for the past three weeks hand-painting artificial pumpkins with all sorts of themes and designs,” says Becky Springer, the art teacher at Morris Grove Elementary.

The 25 decorated pumpkins range from traditional Halloween designs to movie themes, sports teams, fine art and the school’s unofficial motto, “Peace, Love and Geckos.”

The proceeds from the pumpkin auction will go to support the United Way.

“The first year we did it we raised about $500, and last year we raised almost $1,000,” says Springer.

Pumpkins go on display this Wednesday and bids will be accepted through next Tuesday. Any adult can make a bid, and bidders are encouraged to check on the progress of the auction throughout the week. Springer notes in the past some pumpkins have gone for as much as $95.

Amy Rickard Receives Highest Honors

Morris Grove Elementary’s Amy Rickard has been selected as North Carolina’s National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

The NAESP places prestigious honors on one elementary principal from each state and awards them with a two-day recognition ceremony in October of 2014 in Washington, D.C.

As last year’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Principal of the Year, Rickard has administrated Morris Grove from its opening day in 2007. Rickard and her staff have boosted the school to some of the highest EOG test scores in the state.

School district superintendent Tom Forcella calls Rickard a “superstar.”

“She is a tremendous school leader who is consistently focused on the success of her students and staff,” Forcella said.

Rickard has also been recognized as the 2014 Wells Fargo Regional Principal of the Year for the Piedmont-Triad/Central Region of North Carolina.

Amy Rickard Is CHCCS Principal Of The Year

CHAPEL HILL – Morris Grove Elementary’s Amy Rickard has been named the 2013 Principal of the Year for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools System.

Rickard says it was a shock when Superintendent Tom Forcella brought her flowers, along with the good news, during a weekly staff meeting.

“He arrived with other members of our District Cabinet and it was a complete surprise!” she says.

Rickard Surprised by Forcella

Rickard Surprised by Forcella

Rickard’s career in education began as a language arts teacher in Kannapolis City Schools. She then signed on with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in 1999 as an administrative intern. After serving as an assistant principal at McDougle Elementary and Rashkis Elementary, Rickard served as principal of Glenwood Elementary from 2004-2007.

When Morris Grove Elementary was opened in 2007, she was named as its first principal. Rickard says she’s proud of the school she and her staff have created.

“It was a real honor for me to open Morris Grove Elementary School,” Rickard says. “Planning a school from the ground up is a really unique experience, and to me an honor.”

Rickard earned her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She will now be entered into the Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year competition along with a principal from each district in the state. Following portfolio reviews and personal interviews, eight regional finalists will be named to participate in the state selection process.


Amy Rickard

Amy Rickard