November 2022

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It’s been a long time since I stepped onto a high school football field, but that streak ended this past September when I visited Orange High School with our photographer, John Michael Simpson. We crossed the turf to where DeVante’ Pettiford, OHS class of 2011, was starting practice. He returned to his alma mater a few years ago, after playing for Virginia State University, to join the coaching staff. This year, he took the reins.

While John Michael snapped portraits of DeVante’ (see them on page 52), I had a moment to ask the players about the first-year head coach. Junior Derek Yanko says his favorite thing is “probably how passionate he is about us. He’s the only coach who has been at every single workout. Every game. You can just tell he cares.” Junior Jaylan Sorrells echoed the sentiment, noting “he’s always there [for us] and … mentors us.”

Similarly, Emily Giardina cheers on her fashion students in the classroom every week, earning herself the title of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ promising new teacher. “I have been sewing since I was 10 and am trying to go to college for fashion design,” says Carrboro High School junior Lois Stevens. “Having a teacher like Ms. G has made me even more excited to pursue my dreams, and Ms. G has made me more confident that I can actually achieve them.” Read more about Emily, now in her second year of teaching, on page 46.

These are just a few examples of how enthusiastic educators who believe in their students or players often make all the difference in a child’s life and can inspire greatness in them. For cover subject Pristine Onuoha, it was biology teacher Kimberly Manning who guided her down a science-focused path that led to her winning the national Genes in Space contest, which made the Morehead Observatory atop the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center a fitting location for that photo shoot. Read more of Pristine’s story on page 56.

If there’s someone who you’d like to see in next year’s Schools & Education issue, drop me a line. Much like the kids we spoke with for these stories, I’m always excited to learn more. – Jessica Stringer, editor


46 Creating a Passion for Fashion
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Promising Teacher of the Year brings fashion design into the classroom

48 Building Blocks
Students learned valuable trade skills during a pilot program this summer

52 Homecoming for Orange High
Devante’ Pettiford steps into the head coaching role at his alma mater

56 Reach for the Stars
One high schooler will see her contest-winning experiment launched into space

58 School of Thought
International Montessori School teachers and students settle into their new classroom space in Chapel Hill

60 Back to School
Both public and private school students in Orange County headed back to class in late August

62 Directory of Independent, Regional Boarding, Charter and Choice Schools


30 Back in the Swing of Things
Chapel Hill native Ben Griffin’s return to golf has been nothing short of momentous

76 Retro Reno
A busy family’s groovy remodel honors their home’s history


6 Letter from the Editor

10 About Town
Events not to miss

20 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

32 What We’re Eating
News from our restaurant community, plus a dish we love

34 Dining Guide


94 Churchill & Moye
96 Freedman & Hockaday


12 PlayMakers’ Open House
14 Business After Hours
15 Teacher Supply Store
16 A Celebration of the Community Service of Robert and Pearl Seymour

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