VGCC Faculty and Staff members of the Year

— courtesy VGCC

VGCC honors Faculty and Staff Members of the Year with Glen Raven Awards

Vance-Granville Community College President Dr. Stelfanie Williams recently presented the college’s annual awards to a pair of outstanding VGCC employees. Science Department Chair/instructor Steve McGrady of Durham was chosen as the Faculty Member of the Year for 2017-18, while Kelly W. Glover of Oxford, the publications specialist in the VGCC Print Shop, was named Staff Member of the Year.

The honors are two of VGCC’s three Glen Raven Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Awards. Glen Raven, Inc., the manufacturer with a site in Norlina, is a longtime VGCC supporter and partner. In addition to sponsoring the annual stipends to recognize excellence among VGCC instructors and staff members, Glen Raven has endowed several scholarships for students.

McGrady and Glover are now eligible to be considered for the N.C. Community College System’s statewide R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching and BB&T Staff Person of the Year awards, respectively.

“Steve and Kelly consistently demonstrate excellence as they provide education and support services to students, their colleagues and the community,” President Williams said. “In their unique ways, they provide leadership for Vance-Granville with their expertise, positivity and dedication to our mission.”

VGCC’s 2017-18 award winners are, from left, Faculty Member of the Year Steve McGrady and Staff Member of the Year Kelly Glover. (VGCC photo)

Steve McGrady

Steve McGrady has been a full-time VGCC instructor since 1990 and leader of the Science department since 1992. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, and of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his master’s degree in biology. McGrady teaches courses in biology, chemistry and geology. Prior to joining the faculty at VGCC, he taught at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, N.C.

McGrady was the recipient of the VGCC President’s Leadership Award in 2006 after helping to lead a “Global Studies” initiative that took a group of faculty and students on an educational trip to Costa Rica. McGrady and now-retired instructor Button Brady coordinated the VGCC Science Camp for middle school students from its inception in 2011, and he has overseen the camp on his own for the last two summers. He served as co-chair of the VGCC Endowment Fund Faculty & Staff Drive from 2010 through 2012 and is a graduate of the VGCC Leadership Institute of 2005-06. McGrady has been involved in the college’s Male Mentoring program as a mentor and has served as chair of the college’s Academic Affairs Committee.

Kelly Glover

Kelly Glover has served since 2004 as VGCC’s publications specialist, a position in which she plans, designs and produces various printed materials for the college, from posters advertising classes to diplomas and certificates for students. Glover joined the college after working for The Daily Dispatch in Henderson for seven years, first as a reporter and later as community news editor. She is also a graduate of the college. After completing her Associate in Arts degree at VGCC in 1997, Glover continued her education at Meredith College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. She is also a graduate of both “Leadership Vance,” a program of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, and “Leadership Granville,” a program of the Granville County Chamber of Commerce. At VGCC, Glover has served as chair of the Special Events Committee for three years and has volunteered with numerous projects including the college’s participation in the annual UNC-TV fundraiser. She also served on an ad-hoc enrollment task force this year that succeeded in enrolling and serving a number of students.

Glover has the unique distinction of being the daughter of another VGCC award winner, 1990 Faculty Member of the Year James Wheeler, who is now retired.

–VGCC–

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.

VGCC announces free Small Business Summit with holiday focus

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has scheduled its sixth annual Small Business Summit for Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Lake Gaston Lions Club in Henrico. Entitled “Making the Holidays Pay Off,” the free event is designed to help local businesses plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season with innovative marketing practices.

CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor for the event. Local partners helping VGCC to organize the summit are the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

Business representatives and interested members of the community are invited to attend. Registration is now open at tinyurl.com/holiday-summit.

The day starts off with registration and networking with attendees and vendors at 8 a.m. The first hour-long seminar will be “Shop Local — Buy Local — Invest Local to Gain More Business for You and Your Area” at 8:30 a.m. Presenter Martin Brossman will help participants get the most out of a “Shop Local” program, including the use of social media.

“Holiday Event Planning for the Small Business Owner” follows at 9:45 a.m. with Lisa Gingue of Vino Oasi in Stem. Gingue will discuss planning events that attract holiday shoppers.

At 11 a.m., Brossman will present “Take Photos like a Pro to Get More Business with Your Social Media.” This session covers the basics of low-cost photography techniques to attract more customers with social media and web marketing.

The keynote presentation, from noon until 1 p.m., will be “Get Social! Grow Your Business!” with Kristen Baughman and Stacey Price Sprenz, both of Raleigh-based Tabletop Media Group. Baughman, the founder of the agency, and Sprenz, a photographer, will teach attendees how to take their social media to the next level using photos and videos. They will offer a few tips and tricks on how to promote participants’ businesses and unique holiday offerings to media outlets and social influencers in their community. Tabletop Media Group is a boutique agency serving clients in the food, beverage, agriculture and lifestyle industries.

Lunch will be provided free of charge to the first 100 registered participants by CenturyLink. For more information, contact VGCC Small Business Center Director Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or [email protected].

–VGCC–

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 Golden LEAF scholarships Spring/Summer 2017

— news release courtesy of VGCC

A group of students from Vance-Granville Community College recently received scholarships through the Golden LEAF Scholarship program for the North Carolina Community College System. The scholarship program, designed to help North Carolinians attend the state’s community colleges, is funded through a $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The scholarship can be used to assist with tuition, books, fees, supplies, transportation and childcare expenses related to attending classes during the 2016-17 academic year, and industry-recognized credential testing expenses that address skill gaps upon course completion. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need and reside in rural counties that are tobacco-dependent and/or economically distressed. Scholarships for both occupational (continuing education) and curriculum students are available during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

The VGCC students who were awarded Golden LEAF scholarships for the spring 2017 semester, the summer 2017 term, or both (with their respective programs of study), included:

Sally Alston of Louisburg (Associate in Arts);
Jennifer Bauduin of Louisburg (Associate in General Education – General Science);
Sonia Bishop of Stem (Computer Technology Integration – Networking and Security Technologies);
Gloria Chavis of Butner (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse);
Whitney Cox of Oxford (Radiography);
Taylor Crisp of Warrenton (Associate Degree Nursing);
Catherine Demming of Oxford (Criminal Justice);
Emory Gant-Hawkins of Henderson (Business Administration);
Latosha Hunt of Oxford (Business Administration);

Quiana Miller-Fisher of Henderson (Human Services Technology);
Nahu Palacios of Henderson (Associate in Arts);
Crystal Satterfield of Oxford (Associate Degree Nursing);
Kimberly Vargo of Oxford (Associate in Arts); and
Tiffany Williams of Henderson (Culinary Arts).

“The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to have awarded over 11,800 Golden LEAF Scholarships to help North Carolinians attend our state’s community colleges,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. “Our hope is that these scholarships will help build the talent, knowledge and skills of our current and future workforce, which are in demand by industry, especially in the rural areas of our state.”

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,346 grants totaling more than $591 million since its inception. For more information about the foundation, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684-8404.

Students interested in applying for a Golden LEAF Scholarship should contact the VGCC Financial Aid Office at (252) 738-3280.

–VGCC–

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. ”

Five VGCC Students Participate in Signing Ceremony for Apprenticeship Program

Five students from Vance-Granville Community College were among a dozen who committed to participate in the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP) at a signing ceremony in Wake Forest on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The students are now apprentices with eight industries in Granville, Franklin and Wake counties as they finish high school and earn their associate’s degrees at either VGCC or Wake Technical Community College. VGCC students Baylor Chapple and Sebastian Hughes, both of Louisburg, will be working at CaptiveAire in Youngsville, Xavier Durham of Warrenton with Dill Air Controls Products LLC in Oxford, and Zach Willey of Raleigh and Micah Peters of Youngsville with Revlon Inc. of Oxford.

Working through Wake Tech, the signees and the other companies were: Spencer Downing, Accu-Fab Inc. of Raleigh; Ben Elkins and Rhett Keaton, Bühler Aeroglide Corp. of Cary; Daniel Benson, Schmalz Inc. of Raleigh; Brennan Burns and Reily Rhoades, Schunk Intec Inc. of Morrisville; and Nathaniel “Nate” Corl, Superior Tooling of Wake Forest.

Parents of the apprentices and employers from the participating industries joined the students on stage for the signing ceremony as each made a commitment to follow the program. 

“We are grateful to NCTAP for providing the leadership to foster the collaboration between public and private partners that makes this effort successful,” VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams shared with the students, their parents, industry representatives and guests at the dinner and ceremony in the Wake Forest Renaissance Center.

“Apprenticeship is a proven strategy to close the skills gap and meet the workforce needs of industries while at the same time making education more affordable for promising young students,” Dr. Williams added. “To our apprentices, the benefits of this wonderful program are nothing short of life-changing, and that’s why we are so excited to be an educational partner for NCTAP.”

“To our new apprentices, I want to extend congratulations and a warm Vanguard welcome, on behalf of Vance-Granville,” Dr. Williams added. “You are truly ‘Vanguards,’ because you are leaders and pioneers, and you will lead the way for many more apprentices in the future. You will also develop into leaders for your industries.”

NCTAP is a partnership that seeks to provide new opportunities for local students and to prepare a skilled workforce. Typically starting in the junior year of high school, NCTAP is a four-year program that leads to a student obtaining an associate degree at the community college and paid, on-the-job training at the participating employer. Eligible students’ tuition is covered by a waiver from the state of North Carolina. After they graduate from high school, students in the program will be employed full-time by the company.

“Apprenticeships are not exactly what people think they are,” said Marc Bertoncino of Bühler Aeroglide, chairman of NCTAP and master of ceremonies for the event. “This is a very beneficial program for the companies. This is a very beneficial program for young people starting their careers.”

Dr. Stephen Scott, president of Wake Tech, cited the importance of apprenticeships, internships and cooperative education in “bridging the skills gap,” adding, “Parents, we want to tell you that your kids are going to have a job for the next couple of years. They are going to graduate from either Wake Tech or Vance-Granville Community College. And they will have a good paying job and zero debt when they come out (of college). They will have the opportunity to further their education even beyond where this program takes them. So that is a win-win for everyone in this room.”

Bertoncino praised N.C. Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, for his help in getting legislation changed to boost the apprenticeship program. Whereas companies previously had to pay the state to have an apprentice, Barefoot helped enact legislation that now has the state providing reimbursement for tuition.

“There are apprenticeship programs across the state of North Carolina, but this particular group (NCTAP) has played a really important part in where apprenticeships are today,” Barefoot said. “This continued growth and expansion reaching into new communities will ensure that NCTAP remains the model apprenticeship program for the State of North Carolina.” He added, “Apprenticeships are the key to a successful future for the manufacturing industry of our state.”

Also speaking were Kathryn Castelloes, apprenticeship director for the N.C. Department of Commerce, and Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones. Robbie Earnhardt, owner of Wake Forest-based Superior Tooling and former chairman of the apprenticeship program, was recognized by Bertoncino for his vision, leadership and passion in guiding and promoting NCTAP. In attendance also were representatives of the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC.

Representing VGCC’s NCTAP participating industries were Chris Clough and Cindy Walsh of CaptiveAire, Stephen Tsotsoros and Vanessia Alvarado of Dill Air Controls, Sean Anderson and Pat McKinney of Revlon, and Shaler Chewning of Glen Raven in Norlina. The latest industry to join NCTAP, Glen Raven will be taking its first interns in the coming year. Also present from the VGCC TechHire program were Ken Wilson, project manager, and Tiffani Polk, academic and career coach.

All schools participating in NCTAP can send students to the educational partner institution that best meets the needs of the industrial partner, Wilson said.