November 2020

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The classrooms were empty; the hallways were quiet. But on that October day when photographer Cornell Watson and I stopped by Northside Elementary School, the cafeteria hummed with activity. Every table was lined with brown paper bags, resembling luminaries. Instead of containing a candle and sand, these bags provide hope in the form of school lunches for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students who need them most. This is the command center for Chartwells School Dining Services Director of Dining Liz Cartano and her crew of cafeteria workers, who made quick work of filling each bag with sandwiches, carrots and cookies. Since the pandemic started and the district moved to remote learning, the program has delivered more than 600,000 meals. 

That’s a staggering number. And it’s just one example of educators and students adjusting, making the best of this atypical time. Read more on page 62. 

Across town at Mary Scroggs Elementary School, fourth grade teacherEugenia Floyd was all smiles when we showed up to take her photo that same week (find it on page 71). I hadn’t seen Eugenia since I interviewed her six years ago for a story, but her infectiously positive attitude and wise words about giving your all each and every day – but knowing your limits – stuck with me: “You can only do all that you can. … If you keep asking yourself, what more can I do, you’re going to get a little frustrated, tired and burnt out.” Now in her eighth year of teaching, she was honored as the district’s teacher of the year and has more sage advice for families who are navigating through virtual learning (though I think it applies to just about everyone): “Be sure to amplify success when it occurs, as we all need this now more than ever.” – Jessica Stringer

FEATURES

56 Can You Dig It? 
Mountain bikers of all ages come together to build new trails in Chapel Hill 

62 ‘In Sync’ 
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools expands virtual music education offerings  

64 Open Your EcoEye
Four high school students create a recycling app  

66 Feed the Need
Liz Cartano and her team sprang into action when the pandemic started to ensure students were fed. They haven’t stopped. 

68 The Show Must Go On(line) 
Drama students adjust to the virtual stage 

70 You’ve Got Class
Tips for a successful school year from eight Chapel Hill educators 

74 School Guide  
Directory of independent, regional boarding and charter schools

90 Downtown Denizens
Convenience is key for these condo owners in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough 

DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS

6 Editor’s Letter 

8 About Town
Events not to miss 

14 Remembering Randall Kenan
When the prolific author and UNC professor passed, the Hillsborough Arts Council and fellow writers paid tribute to him during a live virtual presentation

16 Noted 
What we’ve heard around town …

20 Tuning In 
Chapel Hill native designs musical insight app

22 On Love and War and Writing
A Q&A with author Robert Huddleston about his new World War II historical fiction novella

26 The Best of Chatham 
Readers voted on their local favorites in categories ranging from best restaurant to best gift store

32 Dining Guide

33 Extra Helpings 
Tonya Council talks Thanksgiving memories and Mama Dip’s sweet potato pudding 

47 What We’re Eating 
Breadman’s Belgian waffle

55 The Music Makers 
‘Mipso’ infuses fresh energy into the band’s folksy Carolina roots 

88 Biz Briefs & Forecasting

110 Engagement 
Jaclyn Holland and Daniel Limbrick 

111 Weddings 
Alex Colaianni and Marshéle Carter 
Lauren Kilpatrick and Bradley Leeper 

PEOPLE & PLACES

10 Women of Achievement Luncheon 

11 And I Would Walk 200 Miles … 

12 Bike Loud 

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