Granville Chamber Looking for Leadership Granville Participants

Participants are requested for the upcoming Leadership Granville program, which will begin mid-September and end with graduation early-April 2018.  Individuals with a sincere and genuine interest in future service to the community and those who have demonstrated commitment by previous community activities are encouraged to apply.  Also, individuals interested in assuming leadership positions within their organization and/or community should apply.

The program consists of approximately twenty sessions, most of which are evening.  Session highlights include:  leadership assessment and development, personal and group dynamics, county history, city-county-state governments, education, the arts, agriculture, economics-industry-small business, health services and volunteer agencies, human services, community support, tourism, judiciary and law enforcement, visiting manufacturers, farm, industries, businesses, etc.

Sponsored by the Granville County Chamber of Commerce, Granville County Public Schools and Vance-Granville Community College, Leadership Granville offers citizens of Granville County the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the community and develop their leadership potential.  It offers new citizens an opportunity to become personally and professionally acquainted with county structure and life, which can benefit their present and future leadership.

Interested individuals should contact one of the Chamber’s office locations – 124 Hillsboro Street in Oxford/Wanda, 919.693.6125, [email protected]  or 1598 Highway #56, Butner/Toni Anne, 919.528.4994, [email protected].

Noted author salutes VGCC Adult Basic Skills graduates


Graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s Adult Basic Skills programs were encouraged to adopt a can-do attitude and keep learning at their commencement exercises on May 4. The honorees were among those students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

The principal commencement speaker was Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, an award-winning author and Duke University professor who spent part of his childhood in Oxford and now resides in Durham. Tyson recalled that although he now holds a doctoral degree, he did not usually enjoy school as a child.

“I slowly began to withdraw from school,” Tyson said. “I went less and less, and I found other things to do. I dropped out of high school as a junior. I became a construction laborer and then a cook.” But a young woman he was dating, who was in graduate school, told him that he would like college, arguing that it was quite different from high school. “I started at a community college, where I found intellectual excitement and I did well, and then I transferred to UNC-Greensboro,” Tyson said. “I loved college. It was a place where independent thought and passion were rewarded.”

Over time, Tyson discovered more and more educational opportunities that he did not know existed. He encouraged the graduates not to limit themselves but to keep striving for more. “You’re not stuck in some place that your past performance has put you,” Tyson told them. “You can’t let anybody stop you and put you in a box. Keep looking forward and figure it out. There’s a way to do it. It’s not as though, if you took a wrong turn at the beginning, somehow you’re stuck in that groove. You can navigate this, and you can end up doing what God put you here to do.”

The author said he was “thrilled” to witness this “proud and important moment” for the graduating students. “Your education will affect yourself, your children and people who are yet unborn, but it’s not just about advancing yourself, it’s about lifting up everybody,” Tyson said. “Each of us, day to day, doing our own bit, can change the world and have changed the world.”

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony was Spencer Bojan Boyd of Oxford. Boyd completed the Adult High School Diploma program online. A native of Serbia, he was adopted at the age of six by a family in Johnston County, who later moved to Granville County. He was born without a right leg and with a distorted left leg, which was later amputated. “Throughout my journey, my friends and family, particularly my mother, have stuck by my side, supporting me, saying ‘yes, you can,’” Boyd said.

He said his mother’s insistence pushed him forward, so that now, “I am an adult high school graduate – yes, I am. To be clear, I didn’t become a graduate solely on my mother’s belief that I could. I’m an adult high school graduate because Vance-Granville Community College also believes in ‘Yes, you can.’” He said the online program allowed him flexibility and time to focus.

“Through its resources, VGCC has helped me graduate high school and is in the process of helping me into college,” he said. “By extending my education beyond high school, I will be able to discover new doors and opportunities.” Boyd recently enrolled in the College Transfer program at VGCC. He plans to complete two years at the college and then continue his education at a four-year university to study orthotics and prosthetics to help other amputees. “I hope to encourage, support and take care of those who are less fortunate than myself,” Boyd said. “I hope to use the tools that Vance-Granville provided in the future and really get a hold of my purpose in life.”

He concluded, “No matter what obstacle comes your way or how many hardships in life you face, you can turn the idea of ‘this is impossible; I can’t do this’ into ‘Yes, I can, and yes, I have!’ and the fact that I stand before you as a proud graduate is living proof. Mom, yes, I can. VGCC, yes, I can. Henderson, North Carolina, yes, I can. Serbia, yes, I can. The world, yes, I can.”

In welcoming remarks, VGCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine congratulated the graduates. “You saw an opportunity to improve your life through education, and you seized that opportunity,” she said. Ballentine urged them to continue their education and invited them to meet with college faculty and staff at the conclusion of the ceremony. “This could be the first of many commencement exercises for you,” she said.

Following Tyson’s address, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC, praised the graduates and applauded the Basic Skills faculty for preparing students to succeed. “Commencement, as you know, does not mean ‘an ending’ — it means ‘a beginning,’ and that is especially true for this occasion,” she told the graduates. As an extra incentive for graduates to begin their collegiate studies, Williams announced that each would receive a certificate worth free tuition and fees for one semester of courses in curriculum programs at VGCC, absorbing costs not covered by federal financial aid. “This certificate for tuition and fees is our way of saying ‘congratulations’ and ‘keep going,’” the president said.

After VGCC Adult Basic Skills department chair Greg Nash announced the candidates for graduation, Dr. Ballentine assisted President Williams in presenting diplomas.


Oxford Prep Teacher named recipient to Fulbright-Hays Program

Ms. Rita Ulrich has been named a recipient of the Fulbright-Hays program for the summer of 2017. She will be studying in Bulgaria. The Fulbright-Hays program to Bulgaria will focus on the nation’s relationship as part of the European Union, N.A.T.O. and the neighboring countries of Turkey and Russia. Over the four weeks, the program will highlight the role that globalization has played in Bulgaria’s development since joining with the E.U.  This study will include the impact that refugee migration into the country has had on the economy, culture, education, and demographics, as well as the results of the “brain drain” of Bulgarians who have left for better opportunities elsewhere.

Ms. Ulrich is the social studies teacher for 7th and 8th grade, as well as psychology teacher to advanced placement students at Oxford Prep. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a double bachelors in social science education and psychology. Ms. Ulrich also has a masters degree in international education from the University of Sydney, Australia. After teaching in both South Korea and China for four years, she returned to the United States two years ago to continue my teaching career at an American school. The reason she applied to the Fulbright-Hays program is to expand my knowledge of the changing dynamics of Eastern Europe, as well as educate myself in how the larger global issues are impacting Bulgaria and surrounding region. Ms. Ulrich states that “It is my goal that the Fulbright program will provide opportunities to connect with the people of Bulgaria who are living through the constant global change in the nation, bringing their varying and diverse experiences back to the classroom. Students who will be enrolled in my A.P. psychology class will then have a chance to analyze how the concepts they learn actually play out in the real world through individual stories and lesson based around these very topics.”

Two VGCC students awarded Mike Bradley memorial scholarships

Brady, a company that provides energy-efficient HVAC systems and comprehensive building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities across North Carolina, recently awarded the annual Mike Bradley Memorial Scholarships to Vance-Granville Community College students Michael Hall of Creedmoor and Cedric Rodebaugh of Franklinton.

Both students, who are studying Welding Technology at VGCC, received a $500 scholarship to help fund their education.

Established by the Association of Community College Facility Operations (ACCFO) in 2014, the Bradley Memorial Scholarship was named in honor of Mike Bradley by his long-time employer, Brady Services. Bradley served as an outspoken supporter of and advocate for ACCFO and was passionate about the North Carolina Community College System, as a graduate of Wake Technical Community College. He passed away suddenly in 2014 after working with Brady for more than 30 years. In his memory, Brady funds the scholarship to be given annually to students at one member college. This was the first year that VGCC has been selected as the recipient school.

ACCFO members are employed as maintenance directors, managers, supervisors, physical plant managers and foremen employed by North Carolina Community Colleges to oversee physical plant operations and buildings and grounds maintenance.

Representatives of Brady recently made a visit to VGCC’s Main Campus to meet the two scholarship recipients and hold a luncheon in their honor. The officials from the company included Brady Vice President of Direct Sales Brad Resler of Greensboro, Account Services Representative Lina Lindberg of Morrisville and Director of Business and Leadership Development Phil Kirk of Raleigh, who is also a former member of the State Board of Community Colleges.

“Brady is a North Carolina company, and one of our missions is to be supportive of our associates and our community,” Resler told college officials and the students at the luncheon. “We had a tragedy strike us about two and a half years ago, with the passing of one of our associates, Mike Bradley. Through this scholarship, we remember him and carry on his legacy in a way that gives back to our community colleges and helps grow the vocational trades in North Carolina.”

Resler added that the scholarship is important not only to the individual students who receive it but also to the company, because it allows them to “reinvest in the workforce of North Carolina, the purpose of the community colleges, and the skilled trades that Brady and other contractors across the state rely upon.”

He noted that nationwide, many more skilled technicians in areas such as HVAC and welding are retiring than are entering those professions. “It’s vitally important that we get qualified, hard-working folks like Michael and Cedric to make the choice to train for these careers, so we’re just thrilled to support what VGCC is doing to develop a knowledgeable workforce. Congratulations, Michael and Cedric, on being selected as the recipients. We look forward to seeing the great things that are ahead of you both!”

Hall, who was accompanied by his mother, Lynn, and Rodebaugh, who was joined by his wife, Tamara, expressed their appreciation to Brady and to the college. Both students have completed the first year of VGCC’s two-year Welding degree program. Hall is already employed in the welding field, at MGM Products in Kittrell.

“We feel very honored and fortunate to have you here to present these scholarships,” Rusty Pace, the head of the VGCC Welding program, said. “I love to see our students and industry come together, whether through employment or scholarships. Cedric and Michael are quickly becoming leaders as students in the Welding program. They are highly motivated, dedicated and set an excellent example for their classmates.”

  1. Keith Shearon, who oversees Welding and other programs as the Applied Technologies department chair at VGCC, added, “It’s always encouraging to have people in the community, especially employers, make an investment in our students.”

“The Mike Bradley Memorial Scholarship makes a significant difference in our community college system, and we are grateful to Brady and ACCFO for selecting a pair of outstanding Vance-Granville students as the recipients this year,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, VGCC’s president. “We can’t wait to see Michael’s and Cedric’s bright futures as they prepare for personal and professional success.”

About Brady

Brady is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, with locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and Wilmington. Founded in 1962 by Chairman Don Brady, the company remains a family owned enterprise, today employing over 420 associates. The company works with building owners, facility managers, developers, architects, engineers and contractors providing sustainable, comprehensive building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities. Brady provides customers with a diverse range of HVAC and building solutions including building automation, energy conservation, green design, performance contracts, access controls, security, mechanical systems, parts and supplies, as well as world-class technical support. Brady is a Trane franchise. For more information, visit

About Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College, one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System, is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, north of the Research Triangle. Established in 1969, VGCC today serves students at four campuses (one in each county of the service area) and online. The college offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as occupational certifications, continuing education, adult education, customized training for employers and the first two years of a four-year degree. For more information, visit


Henderson Students Dominate Inaugural Oxford Prep Graduation Marshal List

Marshals who will serve at the first Oxford Preparatory Commencement ceremony honoring the class of 2017 have been announced. Marshals are chosen from the sophomore and junior class. Students chosen from either class must have a weighted GPA above 4.25. The chief marshal will be chosen from the junior representatives and will be announced at the May 26th awards ceremony. Marshals for the 2016-2017 year are:

Layla Alashmli, junior from Henderson, NC

Megan Ayscue, junior from Oxford, NC

Alex Bare, sophomore from Creedmoor, NC

Andrew Crumpler, junior from Henderson, NC

Jason Corbett, sophomore from Henderson, NC

Andrew (Whitt) Daniel, junior from Henderson, NC

Zach Ellington, sophomore from Henderson, NC

Shawn Matthews, sophomore from Oxford, NC

Mira Patel, sophomore from Henderson, NC

Catherine Stallsmith, junior from Oxford, NC

Madeline Stallsmith, junior from Oxford, NC

Jackson Vaughan, junior from Henderson, NC

Jacinthia Wiliams, junior from Henderson, NC

Granville Chamber to host Women in Business Luncheon


Wednesday, May 24, 2017 ~ 12:00 noon

THORNDALE OAKS, 105 West Quailridge Road, Oxford

You are invited to lunch and an outstanding program by

Holly Boyd & Anna Cate Fleming

Fashion Blogger Anna Cate Collection

Lunch:  $15 Chamber members

$18 non-Chamber members

Reservations are REQUIRED by Monday, May 22nd

(Reservations not cancelled prior to May 23rd will be invoiced.)















Two VGCC campuses to host Mini-Medical School summer camps

High school students from throughout the region are invited to learn about health sciences and careers in medicine by participating in the 2017 “Mini-Medical School” Summer Camp, conducted by the Wake Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in partnership with Vance-Granville Community College.

The intensive, week-long day camp is being offered twice: June 12-16, at VGCC’s South Campus, located between Butner and Creedmoor, and July 24-28, at VGCC’s Franklin County Campus, just outside Louisburg. At either location, students will be on campus from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This will be VGCC’s fourth summer hosting a Mini-Medical School, which uses computational science (computer simulation) and hands-on activities to study key aspects of medicine. Topics include anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cardiology, epidemiology, medical genetics and genomics. Becky Brady, a registered nurse and chemical engineer, will serve as the lead instructor.

Participants will not only learn about training for careers in the medical field, but they will also have opportunities to become certified in CPR and Youth Mental Health First Aid (for students aged 16 and over) during the course of the camp.

Campers will be able to learn more about VGCC programs that prepare students for medical careers, including Histotechnology, Nursing, Medical Assisting, Radiography, Pharmacy Technology, Human Services Technology, Emergency Medical Services and Occupational Healthcare.

Wake AHEC serves nine counties in central North Carolina from its office in Raleigh: Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Person, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties. AHECs are located throughout North Carolina and are affiliated with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The mission of the statewide AHEC Program is to meet the state’s health and health workforce needs. NC AHEC provides educational programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina with a focus on underserved populations.

The registration fee for the camp is $200, which includes materials, CPR and Youth Mental Health

First Aid Certifications, catered lunches and snacks.

For more information and to register, visit or contact Heather Schafer at [email protected] or 919-350-0468.



VGCC nominates student for statewide leadership award

Francis Scotland, Jr., of Oxford, a student in the College Transfer program at Vance-Granville Community College, was recently the college’s nominee for the North Carolina Community College System’s Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award for 2017.

The award was established in 2004 in honor of Scott, who served as Governor of North Carolina from 1969-1973, and as President of the N.C. Community College System from 1983-1995. Each year, the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents bestows the honor on one community college student in recognition of his or her academic and leadership achievements.

Scotland was recognized for his leadership as a student ambassador and as an officer in the VGCC Student Government Association (SGA). He recalled being “hesitant” the first time he was offered a position of leadership at the college. “I was offered the position during my first year at VGCC by my former Chemistry teacher, Steve McGrady,” Scotland said. “He pulled me aside after class one day and told me how good my grades were and asked if I wanted to be a counselor for the VGCC summer science camp. I was both nervous and humbled that I was offered such a position. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to handle such a position, that I couldn’t live up to the expectation he had set for me. I not only took the position, but I have helped with the science camp for the past two years.” That experience led him to take advantage of other opportunities to serve at VGCC.

After serving as a senator in the SGA in 2015-2016, Scotland had to run what he described as “a friendly political campaign” to be elected by the student body to the office of parliamentarian in the spring of 2016. “Through campaigning, I met a lot of my peers who I’ve never had the opportunity to meet before the campaign,” he recalled. “SGA is the voice of the students; we coordinate and plan events for the student body as well as addressing any concerns a student may have.”

Scotland said one of his favorite leadership roles has been as the lead student ambassador. “I was given the opportunity to become a student ambassador in the spring of 2014; then I got promoted to lead ambassador in the fall of 2015,” he said. “As a lead ambassador, I am required to assign other ambassadors to professional and recruitment events that VGCC hosts. This position not only helped me with my time management skills but it also helped me with my overall management skills. Learning how to schedule people to work events in addition to working in a professional environment are life skills I will always carry with me.”

He added, “I didn’t want people to think I’m an overachiever for taking on several leadership titles. Instead, I want to be somebody who can be a role model for my peers. Taking on these leadership positions has given me life skills that are embedded in my life forever and can never be changed.  Being a leader is more than telling people what to do. It’s about active listening and addressing the concerns of others. Even though many people would call me a leader, I am equal part a follower. I believe one can only lead by following others.”

“Francis is one of our most dependable, dedicated and helpful student leaders, and we appreciate his excellent service to the VGCC Vanguards,” said Jermiel Hargrove, the college’s coordinator of student activities and athletics, who advises both the SGA and the ambassadors.

Scotland has excelled academically, as well. He was recently inducted into the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. He has already completed the requirements for both the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and will march at VGCC’s commencement exercises on May 12. Scotland will continue his higher education at a four-year university in the fall to study electrical engineering.


GCPS Passes Budget, Includes $2.78 million in Budget Cuts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

For Immediate Release

On Thursday, April 27, the Granville County Board of Education approved the budget for the 2017-2018 school year.  This year’s budget process was particularly difficult as the Board faced both increased costs and projected decreased revenues, which made necessary substantial cuts in personnel and program expenditures.  As a result, this budget includes more than $2.78 million dollars in total cuts from the previous year’s budget.

Specific areas where these cuts have been made include a reduction of the leadership positions in Central Services, including the elimination of two director positions and that of the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Operations, which will be made vacant by the retirement of Dr. Gillespie after July 1, 2017.  The following positions and job duties will be reorganized as a result of these changes:


Staff Member Current Position Title New Position Title and Responsibilities Effective July 1, 2017
Betty Crute Pre-K Coordinator Retired
Nancy Russell Principal, Creedmoor Elementary School Pre-K Coordinator
Ann Grey Newcomb Director of Professional Development Principal, Creedmoor Elementary School
Helen Lindsey Principal, CIL School Guidance Counselor
Calvin Timberlake Director of Innovative Services Principal, CIL

District Athletic Director

Driver’s Education Coordinator


Dr. Tonya Thomas Director of Middle Schools & AIG Director of Professional Development,

Student Services, &

AIG Services

Beth Cook Director of Testing & Accountability, The Arts Director of Testing & Accountability,

The Arts &

Community & Volunteer Coordinator


Dr. Lela Baldwin Director of Elementary Education,

Federal Programs &

Afterschool Programs

Director of Elementary Education,

Federal Programs,

Afterschool Programs &

McKinney-Vento Coordinator


Dr. Stan Winborne Director of High Schools, CTE & Public Information Officer Director of Secondary Schools (6-12),

Career and Technical Education &

Public Information Officer

Dr. Vanessa Wrenn Director of Instructional Technology Director of Instructional Technology &

District Webmaster

Russell Dixon Student Information Coordinator &

District Webmaster

Student Information Coordinator &

Student Transfer Coordinator



Additional cuts will be made in funding for Technology, Granville Online, teacher substitutes, and Central Services general expense items.  Projected reductions in student enrollment will also result in an accompanying reduction of the allotment for teacher assistants, teachers, custodians, guidance counselors, clerical positions and assistant principals.  No specific positions have been identified as the department of Human Resources will seek to accommodate these cuts through attrition first.

Superintendent Howard and Board Chair Dr. Tom Houlihan issued a joint statement, saying “This budget proposal is the result of conscientious steps taken by the Board and administration to provide human and material resources needed while at the same time reducing our dependence on fund balance.  For four years the school district has made significant budget cuts in an effort to be financially responsible, particularly with declining student enrollment and the fiscal limitations that are brought on by negative state and national budget changes.”

VGCC students inducted into honor society

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 75 students who were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students of two-year colleges, on April 18 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. VGCC students honored with induction into Phi Theta Kappa must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in associate degree curriculum programs and have completed at least 12 credit hours toward their degrees.

As advisors for VGCC’s PTK chapter, instructors Olu Ariyo, Isaac Talley and Maureen Walters conducted the ceremony. Walters, the head advisor, told the new inductees and their families and friends in attendance that since VGCC’s chapter of PTK, “Alpha Sigma Chi,” was chartered in 1991, more than 1,900 students have been selected for induction. She said that while scholarship is the first aim of PTK, the society also encourages fellowship, leadership development and service to others, and she noted that the letters Phi Theta Kappa stand for the Greek words for “Wisdom,” “Aspiration” and “Purity.”

Serving as guest speaker for the ceremony was Danny Wright of Henderson, a retired Vance County commissioner and the current chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the trustees, we salute you for your accomplishments and achievements,” Wright said. “The most important element of a democratic society is the education of its citizens. The greatest anti-poverty program this country has ever administered is a good education. The foundation for any nation to become a peaceful, ordered society is the education of its people. Each of you has demonstrated how much you value and how much you believe in education, so you are well on your way.” Education, he noted, does not, in and of itself, make students better people. “Life is a constant exercise in self-improvement,” Wright said, and the most important thing in life is the cultivation of relationships. “Technical competency alone is not enough to achieve career success,” he added, but rather, students must develop their interpersonal skills as well.

This year’s inductees into the Alpha Sigma Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa are:

From Franklin County

Rebekah Glasheen, Christopher Plumley, Charles Sawyer and Mya Wilson, all of Franklinton;

Madison Waddle of Kittrell;

Loganne Driver, Michael Gokee, Katelyn Jensen, Mark Meinhart, Katlyn Riley and Charmaine Sutton, all of Louisburg;

Hope Crute, Skylar Davenport, Jordan Dowdy, Lindsay Henry and Sydney Venezia, all of Youngsville.


From Granville County


Jordan  Ligon and Katie Weary, both of Bullock;

Debra Duncan of Butner;

Caitlyn Good, Carlos Matinote, June Matinote, Sara Reid, Martin Spencer and Hunter Thompson, all of Creedmoor;

Cedric Rodebaugh of Franklinton;

Cecilia   Barrenechea, Nicole Bowman, April Brogden, Larecia Bullock, Kristel Dehart, Timothy Farley, Keodric Grant, Aaron McNeill, Sharon Ray, Francis Scotland, Sydney Towers, Alana Towles, Johnathan Williamson and Ymani Yancey, all of Oxford;

Alex Jackson of Stem;

Kellyann Cook of Stovall.


From Vance County


Lauren  Beauchamp, Angela Burrell, Anthony Henderson, Victoria Inscoe, Jacquella Jones, Lindsey Perry, Katelynn Ray, Janet Rodriguez-Morales, Fatima Saleh, Melissa Simmons, April Thompson,

Bailee Tippett, Makala West and Shanetta Wright, all of Henderson;

Beverly Ellis, Renee Jackson, Leslie Leake and Allison Long, all of Kittrell.


From Warren County


Shima’a Hauter of Norlina;

Ellen Denning, Nubia Lockett, Amanda Miller, Raina Mills, Rowan Morris, Daniel O’Malley, Hannah Ortiz and Joshua Taylor, all of Warrenton.


From Wake County

David Jeanblanc and Charles Keith, both of Raleigh;

Kathryn Catlett of Zebulon.

From other counties

Joshua Jacobs of Durham;

Brian Stevenson of Gastonia;

Brianna Lynch of Hollister.