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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When you walk through the doors of Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, you immediately notice it.

Something they call the Atkins way.  

“There are things that we do here that not every school does,” said Scott Plaster, a teacher at Atkins. “We embrace diversity. We are inclusive. We are accepting and tolerant. And we also like to excel at what we do, and we like to achieve highly. When we compete, we like to win.”

And win they do.

The halls are filled with trophies on display and banners hung proudly. For five years in a row, the school has won the coveted North Carolina Scholastic Cup.

There are 16 academic competitions that make up the cup. They range from performance competitions to knowledge-based competitions.

For the last five years Atkins has won the cup, and this year they hope to win again.

“It is a bigger-than-just-you kind of thing,” said senior Marrianna Flores. “It’s a big team effort even though it’s just me doing it. It’s coming together as a school and doing this for Mr. Childers.”

Joe Childers was the principal and driving force behind everything at Atkins High School.

In December, he passed away unexpectedly.

Last month, the North Carolina Association of Scholastic Activities decided to rename the cup. Starting this year, it will be the Joe Childers Scholastic Cup.

“By putting his name on the cup, that holds him up as a leader and role model and should encourage people to find out more about what he’s done here at Atkins,” said Plaster. “So they can take some of those things back to their own schools.”

According to Plaster, at the school, “we want to make Joe proud in everything we do.”