About Us‎ > ‎District News‎ > ‎

Students place in archery competitions

posted May 24, 2018, 8:13 AM by Cheryl Shuffler

By Student News Ambassador Garrett Moore


Burke County Public Schools elementary students are aiming for the bullseye and hitting it. Natalie Bell, a fourth-grade student from Ray Childers Elementary School, recently achieved national champion status for her skills as an archer in Louisville, Kentucky. She earned membership on the 2018 Nation Archery in School Program All-American Academic Archery Team, was awarded plaques and medals, and received a $2,000 credit for Easton Archery merchandise. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in her bracket for scoring 293 out of 300 points at the national championships. Natalie has qualified for the upcoming 2018 NASP World Tournament and the 2018 Centershot Ministries World Tour. She will be participating in both events on June 8 and June 9.  


Ray Childers PE teacher Mike Steele praised Natalie and other archers. He said, “Multiple Burke County Public School archers from several elementary schools recently travelled to compete in two separate national archery tournaments located in Louisville, Kentucky. These tournaments include the 2018 Centershot Ministries National Tournament and the 2018 NASP Eastern National Tournament. All archers from BCPS performed outstandingly well at both highly competitive national tournaments and were extremely fortunate to do so due to their high levels of talent. The archers that were fortunate to proceed to the national tournaments were eligible to do so due to their scores from the 2017-18 NASP NC State Virtual Tournaments. Burke County Public Schools and Ray Childers Elementary School can now be honored that they possess a NASP National Champion.”


As a team, Ray Childers won the NC NASP State Championships, placed 39th out of 171 in Eastern Nationals and placed 7th out of 23 in the Centershot Ministries event. 


Maritza Cisneros, a fifth grader at George Hildebrand Elementary School, and Reed St. Louis, a fifth grader at Valdese Elementary, also were among those who competed in Louisville at the national championship, and both scored points placing them near the highest rankings in the nation. According to Meghan Armour-Steele, Martiza’s P.E. teacher, Maritza broke personal records by improving her scores at the nationals, which placed her ranking at the national level at 384 out of 1,652 elementary girls from across the nation.


Reed also scored big at the national level by achieving a national ranking of 611 out of 2014 elementary archers nationwide. Reed’s P.E. teacher, Jonathan Dameron said, “What I love about archery is seeing how it impacts the students’ confidence and self-esteem. You see it on their faces. The principles that are taught -- focus, teamwork, sportsmanship, safety, personal responsibility -- help lead to students success.” Dameron went on to explain that Reed not only focused on his success at school, but practiced at home for many hours as well.


Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “Mike Steele first offered archery at Salem about 10 years ago. He and his wife, Meghan Armour-Steele, have helped spread the program in our elementary schools by training other elementary P.E. teachers. This program is the perfect example where students can succeed individually and as a team.”