VGCC President appointed to major education commission

— courtesy VGCC

Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of Vance-Granville Community College, has been appointed to serve on the “My Future NC” Commission, a new statewide group focused on educational attainment.

My Future NC was recently created by the leaders of the North Carolina public education systems, including the president of the University of North Carolina, Margaret Spellings; the acting president of the North Carolina Community College System, Jennifer Haygood; and the state superintendent of public instruction, Mark Johnson. The Commission’s work is being underwritten by grants from The John M. Belk Endowment, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Goodnight Education Foundation. My Future NC brings together top leaders from education, business, non-profit organizations and state government.

The commission will study and discuss state education and training needs, identify obstacles to meeting those needs, and generate policy recommendations. President Spellings is the co-chair for the effort, along with Dale Jenkins, chief executive officer of Medical Mutual Holdings, and Andrea Smith, chief administrative officer of Bank of America.

Dr. Williams is one of two community college presidents on the panel, along with Dr. Jeff Cox of Wilkes Community College. Other members of the commission include corporate and non-profit foundation chief executives, a local school superintendent, a university chancellor, a legislator, and a pair of members of the clergy. Darryl Moss, the mayor of Creedmoor and a member of the VGCC Endowment Fund board, has also been appointed to the commission.

“We have two North Carolinas when it comes to education and opportunity — the affluent, well-educated population centers — and the small towns and rural communities that have been left out of the rising economic and educational tide that has lifted our state,” said President Spellings. “And North Carolina is one of only a few states without a comprehensive strategic plan from pre-K through post-secondary education. The goal of this effort is simple but by no means easy: to develop a multi-year education plan that recommends a robust attainment goal for the state and a broad-based agenda for a stronger and more competitive North Carolina. We can do better and we should do better—the future of our great state depends on it.”

The commission’s goal is to complete its work by the end of 2018.

“Higher education is an absolute imperative for the future of our state and our workforce,” said Andrea Smith, Bank of America CAO and My Future NC co-chair. “Two of every three new jobs now require some form of post-secondary education — whether that’s training credentials, an associate degree, a four-year degree or higher. This reality underscores how critical education is to career growth and how important it is to increasing economic mobility.”

“I am honored to join a distinguished group of North Carolina leaders who will bring our diverse perspectives to the challenges of strengthening and aligning our state’s excellent educational institutions so that all children and adults can succeed,” President Williams said. “I bring to this task my experience from VGCC, which reflects the entire education pipeline, with our two five-star child care centers as well as our partnerships with K-12 school systems, with the business community and with universities.”

Williams became the sixth president of VGCC in 2012. Since then, she has focused the college strategically on educational excellence, continuous improvement, employee and student engagement in college life, and institutional stewardship. During her tenure, the college has added seven curriculum degree programs, secured the largest grants in the college’s history, the second-largest private donor gift, and held six consecutive highest-yielding annual golf tournaments for scholarships. With a focus on student success, the institution has improved completion rates, graduating the largest classes ever in 2015 and 2016, and initiating a private donor-sponsored college promise program called the “VanGuarantee” in an effort to make college more accessible for students with the greatest financial need.

Prior to leading VGCC, Williams served as faculty and in several administrative capacities at other North Carolina community colleges. She also currently serves as adjunct faculty for the North Carolina State University College of Education. Williams holds dual baccalaureate degrees from Duke University, a graduate degree from Western Carolina University, and a doctorate from North Carolina State University. In 2014, she was awarded the I.E. Ready Distinguished Leadership Award by North Carolina State University.

For more information about My Future NC, visit www.myfuturenc.org.

–VGCC–

VGCC Advisory Committees hold annual meetings

— courtesy VGCC

Citizens from Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties came together at the Main Campus of Vance-Granville Community College on Oct. 24 as the college’s advisory committees held their annual meetings.

VGCC’s 36 advisory committees are made up of people from the communities served by the college who have worked in the fields for which the college offers training or who can provide certain insights or expertise. Committees advise not only curriculum and continuing education programs, but also VGCC’s South, Franklin and Warren campuses, the Small Business Center and other departments. Many committee members are VGCC alumni. Each fall, these committees meet on campus with the heads of the programs they advise.

At the Oct. 24 meetings, VGCC faculty and staff communicated with advisory committee members about new developments in academic programs, about how to tailor classes and training to meet employment needs, and about changes in the workplace. Committee members made suggestions on what the college should be doing to enhance or adapt instruction.

VGCC advisory committee meetings included this gathering of the Human Services Technology Program Advisory Committee on Oct. 24 in a classroom on the college’s Main Campus. Those present included, seated clockwise from left, Yvonne Faison of Franklin County Schools, VGCC academic and career coach/counselor Veta Pierce-Cappetta, Human Services program head Tracy Wallace, Kathryn Thompson of the Vance County Department of Social Services, Human Services instructor Sharon O’Geary and student representative Larecia Bullock of Oxford. (VGCC photo)

Students in VGCC’s Culinary Arts program prepared a reception in the Civic Center, preceding the meetings. The menu had an “international” theme and included heavy hors d’oeuvres like Beef Bourgogne, Tandoori Chicken, antipasti and orzo Greek pasta salad, along with assorted desserts representing Italian, Greek, Indian and Latin American traditions.

In remarks during the reception, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC, expressed the college’s gratitude to the advisory committee members for their service and their support. “Your input is crucial to ensuring that our college’s programs and services remain relevant to our community and to our workforce, and that we have prepared our students well to enter into their professions and to continue their higher education,” President Williams told the attendees.

–VGCC–

(VGCC is an advertising client of WIZS.)

Oxford Prep School Enrollment Expansion

— courtesy Oxford Prep

Oxford Preparatory School Readies for 2017/2018 Enrollment and 6th Grade Expansion

Applications for new 6th – 12th grade student enrollments for the 2018 – 2019 school year will be available at oxfordprep.org and available in the school office when Open Enrollment begins on Monday, November 6th. Oxford Preparatory School (OPS) is an independent and tuition-free public charter school that is designed to mold students into future leaders through completion of a rigorous curriculum while focusing on community service and developing an appreciation of the arts. OPS offers a college preparatory curriculum, a variety of competitive middle school and varsity athletic teams, and is located in a permanent facility at 6041 Landis Rd. in Oxford.

To be considered for a potential lottery, all applications must be turned in to the office or postmarked by Friday, February 2, 2018. If more applications are received than available seats in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade a blind public lottery will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018. All students choosing to attend OPS will need to confirm enrollment by completing and sending in an enrollment packet by Friday, March 16, 2018. After February 2, applications will continue to be accepted, and processed in the order they are received.

Oxford Preparatory School invites families of prospective students to learn more about the unique offerings of the school. The first of three information sessions will be held on Tuesday 11/7 at 6:00. Afterwards, tours will be conducted that will allow the opportunity to meet faculty. In addition, prospective students are invited to spend time visiting the school on select Shadow Days so they can experience our unique school program firsthand. Visiting students accompany OPS student guides through their classes during a four-hour visit. It’s a chance to meet the staff and the students and to get a snapshot view of our engaging college preparatory classes. The first of three shadow days will take place on Tuesday 11/7 from 8:30 – 12:30. Please call the Oxford Preparatory School office at (919)690-0360, or email our Office Manager, Kate Reetz at [email protected] to make an appointment.

 

Granville Board of Ed Work Session

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will meet in a Board Work Session on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. at Granville Early College High 1552 South Campus Dr., Creedmoor, North Carolina.  The Board will also meet in Closed Session for Personnel/Attorney Client Privilege.  The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be held on November 6, 2017.

Oxford Prep’s Gillis and Simmons headed to HOBY Leadership Seminar

Congratulations to Oxford Preparatory School sophomores Danny Gillis and Ian Simmons for their selection to represent the Griffins at the 2018 HOBY Leadership Seminar. Danny is the son of Kay and Peter Gillis from Wake Forest, NC.  Ian, son of Candace and Demmarcus Simmons, is from Henderson, NC.  The two young leaders were selected by the teaching staff of OPS based upon their critical thinking skills, creative approach to problem solving, sensitivity to the needs of others, courage to speak out, willingness to respectfully challenge the status quo and an interest in serving the community.

Since 1958, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization has provided transformative leadership development training that positively impacts the lives of students across the United States. In North Carolina, sophomores from across the state will spend 4 days on the campus of NC State University where they will be engaged in a fun, life-changing experience while they cultivate leadership skills that will serve them long into the future.

VGCC Trustees adopt budget for 2017-2018

The Vance-Granville Community College Board of Trustees adopted a budget of $32,324,089 for the new fiscal year at its bi-monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 18, on the college’s Main Campus.

The trustees approved VGCC’s budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 on a recommendation from the Budget Committee of the board, chaired by Trustee Abdul Sm Rasheed.

On the Current Expense side of the budget, $19,552,255 comes from the State of North Carolina, $2,578,292 from the four counties served by the college, and $9,652,832 from institutional funds. In the Capital Outlay budget, $35,649 comes from the State, $502,442 from the counties, and $2,619 from institutional funds.

At the county level, Vance County is contributing $1,151,597 to the current operating funds; Granville, $752,184; Franklin, $369,168; and Warren, $225,625, with an additional $79,718 coming from institutional funds. Among capital improvement funds from the counties, Vance is contributing $41,220; Granville, $28,740; Franklin, $20,000; and Warren, $6,000. The county capital improvement funds also include one-time funding of $304,831 and a Main Campus fund balance of $101,651.

The 2017-2018 budget is allocated as follows: institutional support: $5,195,362; curriculum instruction: $10,001,433; continuing education: $2,690,176; academic support: $1,299,114; student support: $2,074,683; plant operations and maintenance: $2,015,066; proprietary/other: $2,499,903; student aid: $5,215,433; capital outlay, excluding capital improvements: $792,209; and capital improvement projects: $540,710.

Among institutional budget highlights, Steve Graham, VGCC’s vice president of finance and operations, noted that 47 VanGuarantee Scholarships were awarded in the total amount of $50,514 to qualified students during the 2016-2017 academic year, with a similar amount budgeted for the new year. The VanGuarantee program was made possible by a bequest from the estate of Wilbert Edwards of Oxford, with the aim of ensuring that every student residing in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, who wants to earn a college degree, will be able to do so. This scholarship program guarantees that student financial need, that is unmet by federal financial aid and other support, will be covered.

In other action:

  • The board’s Building Committee noted that the roof replacement project for Building 6 on Main Campus has been completed, and repairs to the parking lots at South Campus are done. The committee is preparing for future projects, including exterior masonry repairs and renovations and the replacement of heating and air systems and fire alarm systems at the Main Campus, and renovation of the Welding Technology lab at Franklin Campus, among various other capital needs.
  • The Curriculum Committee, chaired by Trustee Barbara Cates Harris, presented new appointments to the Advisory Committees for college programs for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Trustee L. Opie Frazier, Jr., chair of the board’s Investment Committee, reported the college’s investments have grown by 7 percent since the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Trustee Sara Wester, chair of the board’s Personnel Committee, provided an informational report on new employees, retirements, resignations and changes in positions.
  • In her report to the board, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, VGCC’s president, highlighted recent accomplishments and opportunities at the college.

Presiding over the meeting was Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright.

The Board of Trustees will hold its next regular meeting on Nov. 20 at the Main Campus.

Boys and Girls Club Welcomes New Members

Vance County

Please join our Vance family in welcoming Mr. Qundarious Freeman back for the 2017-2018 school year. Qundarious has been a member for almost a year now. Though the start of his membership was rocky he has truly become a member that recognizes and accepts positive change.

Granville County

We are so excited to welcome a ton of new members this school year, including Jayla!

Jayla is a spunky 4th grader that has really been enjoying her first couple weeks at the club. She stated that she was most excited to start Boys & Girls Club so that she can make new friends. Jayla has made made some great friendships already, but her favorite thing so far is joining cooking club! She loves cooking at home & is looking forward to learning more in the kitchen!

Warren County

Terrance Wiggins is a club member at the Mariam Boyd Extension of the Warren Unit! He is an exceptional young man, always willing to help other club members and staff. Very respectful and a model club member! He enjoys playing basketball and computer time at the club! He’s a great joy to be around and admired by his peers. He’s excited about finishing up his Elementary journey and heading to the middle school next year.

Franklin County

Meet Georgia! She is a 1st grader who is attending our Franklin Unit for the first time this year! Some of Georgia’s favorite things to do at The Boys & Girls Club is play dodgeball and compete in Hula Hoop competitions! Georgia has already made some new friends at the club and enjoys playing with Trinity and Jesus.

She is most excited about having fun with her friends, doing science experiments and reading all of the books in our library!!

Halifax County

Please welcome Amura Minggic. This is her first year at the Boys and Girls Club of North Central North Carolina, Halifax Unit! Amura is a tomboy who loves learning!  Her favorite subject in school is math.  Amura also loves to read!  Her favorite thing about the club is all the FUN she has at the club.  Amura is always willing to help out however she might be needed;  from helping others with homework to helping staff with projects!  Amura is extremely excited about the upcoming school year!!!

Granville County Schools names Principal of the Year

On the morning of Thursday, September 14, Superintendent Alisa McLean and senior staff made a surprise visit to Granville Early College High School.  It was a secret visit of sorts, except for the fact that all of the students and staff knew about the occasion, except one.  An unwitting participant, Principal Jackie Harris had been summoned to her office to have a meeting with Dr. McLean.  Meanwhile, students and staff gathered in the hallway, preparing to surprise their school’s leader.  With an abrupt knock at the door, Ms. Harris was told to quickly respond to an important incident.  Her administrative instincts flung her into action, where she was then promptly startled and surprised by a throng of her students and teachers – all congratulating her for being named the Granville County Public Schools 2017 Principal of the Year!

Ms. Harris is a veteran educator with more than 26 years of experience, having worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal.  She received her undergraduate degree from NCCU and her Master’s degree from NC State University.  During her tenure as principal of Granville Early College, the school has consistently set the bar high on state testing criteria.  Currently student performance ranks the school letter grade as an “A”, with more than 95% of the students graduating on time.

School districts from across the state choose a Principal of the Year.  Principals nominate their colleagues for the honor, and a committee then makes the final decision.  District POYs then go on to compete at the regional level, where the winner progresses on to the state level, and eventually the national competition.

When asked why colleagues nominated her for this honor, Principal Harris responded, “Probably because they know how much I love my students and staff.  We truly are a team.  Nothing makes me prouder to see our students walk across the stage at graduation.  It’s a journey that we travel together, and one that I absolutely love.”

VGCC invites community to Manufacturing Day

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Manufacturing Day” celebration on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 8:30 to 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Job seekers and students are invited to attend and to learn more about manufacturing and related careers.

Local manufacturers and equipment vendors will provide demonstrations and information highlighting their products and their employment opportunities. Attendees will learn about career options in the region’s industries and the technical skills required to succeed in such careers.

Participants are set to include Altec of Creedmoor, Boise Cascade of Roxboro, Glen Raven of Norlina, Mars Petcare of Henderson, CertainTeed of Oxford and Carolina Sunrock of Butner, among others.

Representatives of VGCC technical programs, including those that provide education and training related to advanced manufacturing, will also be on hand. These include curriculum programs in Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology, Automotive Systems Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology and Welding Technology. VGCC’s Admissions and Financial Aid departments will also have representatives there. Attendees will also be able to learn about the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), a four-year program that leads to a student obtaining an associate degree at a community college and paid, on-the-job training at a participating employer.

Event organizers hope to develop a pipeline of highly trained and skilled employees. “VGCC and industry partners are working together to address the skills gap, connect with future generations, and educate them about the outstanding opportunities that manufacturing careers can provide,” said Ken Wilson, project manager for the TechHire grant at VGCC, which supports advanced manufacturing training and information technology training.

The VGCC event is one of many across the country celebrating National Manufacturing Day (also known as “MFG Day”). The annual observance was established by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

For more information, contact VGCC Academic & Career Coach Tiffani Polk at [email protected] or (252) 738-3291.

GCPS Continues Significant Proficiency Gains and Academic Growth

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 11, the Granville County Board of Education received a special report on the student achievement results from the 2016-2017 school year.  During this presentation, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Myrick presented a series of graphs and charts providing comprehensive data on how the students performed on state tests.  The presentation focused on GCPS test score averages over the past three years compared to state and surrounding district averages.  Dr. Myrick also shared information about academic growth measures for each school, and school letter grades as assigned by the state.

Data from his presentation revealed an increase in proficiency in 14 of 18 tested areas, with 18 of 19 schools having met or exceeded academic growth.  These significant gains in growth and proficiency across grade levels and content areas contribute to a multi-year positive trend for student achievement.

The scores for our district were generally higher than those of Vance, Warren and Person counties, and slightly lower or comparable to those for Franklin County.  All five districts in our region were at or below the overall state average in all areas.

In the second set of data, Dr. Myrick displayed the following chart showing how GCPS schools letter grades compared to those of local charter schools:

Letter grades for schools in our district improved compared to the previous year, with no schools reporting an F, fewer schools reporting as a D, and more schools reporting as a B.

School Board Chairman Dr. Thomas Houlihan commented on this set of data, saying, “Three year trends sho tremendous growth over time.  It’s very exciting to see this type of progress.  We do want to celebrate, but we don’t want to forget the work that remains.  We also don’t want to forget the hard work and dedication of all of our talented teachers.”

School letter grades are determined by a state-mandated formula that uses proficiency and growth on a variety of test scores to assign a letter grade.  More information about how school letter grades are calculated can be found here:

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/reporting/spgbckgrndpack15.pdf

Vice Chairman Leonard Peace, Sr. offered his remarks, saying “We are definitely headed in the right direction.  The teachers certainly deserve all of the credit for their hard work.”

Superintendent Dr. McLean thanked Dr. Myrick for his work in this area, and summarized the presentation with these remarks, “While I can take no credit for these remarkable gains, I am excited that there is established, consistent momentum for our district.  If we are to achieve our goals of double digit improvements and 90 percent across the board, then we must use these fine results to help launch us forward. ”