Vance County Schools to host Opportunity Culture Fair

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

May 26, 2017

Vance County Schools will host an Opportunity Culture Fair on Tuesday, May 30, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Administrative Services Center to share information about the educational initiative with our school system and to seek multi-classroom leaders, extended impact teachers and reach associates (teacher assistants) from those who teach in grades K-8 now in our schools.

All elementary and middle school teachers and teacher assistants are urged to attend the Opportunity Culture Fair and learn more about this initiative. The event is open to all interested K-8 educators throughout our region.

Those who attend and visit each information table will be entered into a drawing for two teacher baskets.

To provide all students with excellent teaching and to help students close achievement gaps and leap ahead, our district is supporting schools’ efforts to build an Opportunity Culture for teachers and students. Opportunity Culture models enable schools to reach every student with excellent teachers and their teams consistently, while paying teachers more for their extra responsibilities and helping all educators to improve on the job and work collaboratively. All additional pay is funded with the reallocation of existing budgets.

Teams of administrators and teachers at each school choose and tailor their models. School teams that include teachers decide what reallocations to make to fund higher paid roles, how to design school schedules for collaboration at school, but also for helping peers achieve teaching excellence.

More information about this Public Impact program can be found online at

Dr. Anthony Jackson named recipient of 2017 Friday Medal

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

May 26, 2017

Dr. Anthony D. Jackson, superintendent of Vance County Schools, is a recipient of the 2017 Friday Medal awarded by the Friday Institute at N.C. State University for Educational Innovation.

Dr. Jackson has been selected to receive the award along with six other superintendents of rural North Carolina public school systems.

The Friday Medal recognizes the commitment of Bill and Ida Friday for educational excellence. Bill Friday was the long-time president of the University of North Carolina system and he and Mrs. Friday continued to be huge supporters of the university system and public education after his retirement from his prestigious state position.

Dr. Jackson and the other superintendents who have been selected as Friday Medal recipients are being honored for their commitment and leadership for technological innovations used daily in public school classrooms. The Friday Medal recognizes individuals for their significant, distinguished and enduring contributions to education through advocating innovation, advancing education and imparting inspiration. The award is given annually to selected individuals who embody the mission and spirit of the Friday Institute.

Dr. Jackson will be officially presented with the 2017 Friday Medal in a ceremony that will take place on November 15, 2017, at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in Raleigh.

Southern Vance’s Coach Ackles to hold basketball academy

The event will be June 19-21 at Southern Vance from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon each day.

Registration will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on June 19th at Southern Vance.

The cost is $60.00 per child and payment can be in the form of cash or check.

Campers should bring appropriate basketball clothing, a drink, a snack, a winning attitude, and a willingness to learn the game of basketball.

The academy is open to all boys and girls ages 9-17. Campers may not be high school graduates.


Joe Sharrow

Southern Vance High School Athletic Director

Local Elementary Schools kick-off Summer E-Reader Program

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2017

Vance County Schools held a kick-off event this afternoon for its new Summer E-Reader Program for five local elementary schools.

Superintendent Anthony Jackson led the celebratory kickoff which will place 80 new Nook electronic reading devices in the hands of identified students in grades 3-5 at Carver, New Hope, Pinkston Street, Clarke and E.O. Young Jr. elementary schools this summer.

The school system purchased the Nooks, which are capable of downloading a large number of books for students to read, from Barnes & Noble book stores after receiving a $2,000 literacy grant through the Vance County Public School Foundation. The grant funding originated from Duke Energy Progress. The school system provided matching funds for the grant to purchase the devices.

Tanya Evans of Duke Energy Progress, was on hand for the kick-off event, as were Archie Taylor, Jr., president of the Vance County Public School Foundation, and Bob Fleming, secretary of the Vance County Public School Foundation.

The students who are receiving the Nooks and their parents were on hand at the event. Each student was able to “walk the red carpet” to be presented with their device by Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Several educators from the school system joined school administrators in applauding the students as they walked the carpet and received their Nooks for their summer reading.

The Summer E-Reader Program event was coordinated by Jo Tyler, media specialist at Pinkston Street, Diane Averette, media specialist at Carver, and Teresa Baldwin, media specialist at New Hope. They will lead the summer reading efforts at their schools, as will Wendy Short at E.O. Young, and Tonia Davis at Clarke.

Regis visits VGCC to conduct training for Cosmetology students

The Cosmetology program at Vance-Granville Community College recently welcomed the Regis Corporation to conduct a free, one-day training session for students and instructors from all four of the college’s campuses. Regis Corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the beauty industry’s global leader in beauty salons and cosmetology education.

“I would like to thank Regis for the free training that they set up, the way they catered to the students, the modern updo styling techniques they showed them, and the way they included technology to make it fun for the students,” VGCC Cosmetology program head Tomeka Moss said. “Our Department Chair, Mr. Hargrove, even participated by attempting to complete a portion of one of the updos on a manikin to show how well the presenter delivered the information and how she made it easy for the students to follow.”

Leading the instruction was Michelle Roderick, a Raleigh-based artistic director for Regis. She applauded students on attending the training to increase their technical skills. Roderick and other experts from Regis spent the day demonstrating various techniques, which the students would then practice on manikins. “We are honored to be here and we thank the leadership at VGCC for hosting us,” Roderick said, adding, to the students: “I am moved by your passion for this industry, and I wish you the best on your journey.”

Recent VGCC Cosmetology graduate Maria Ordonez of Warrenton, who now works at Smart Styles in Henderson, said she enjoyed the event. “I learned more about Regis products that I could use with my clients,” Ordonez said, and she looked forward to trying them. She was intrigued that Regis instructors described them as healthier for hair than some other products.

VGCC offers diploma and certificate programs in Cosmetology, along with a Cosmetology Instructor certificate program. These curriculum programs provide competency-based knowledge, scientific/artistic principles and hands-on fundamentals associated with the cosmetology industry. Students develop their skills in a simulated salon environment at each campus, located in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties.

New students interested in Cosmetology can apply for admission now, online ( or on any VGCC campus. Orientation, advising and registration for summer and fall classes are currently ongoing. For more information, contact Tomeka Moss at (252) 738-3357.

NVHS inducts latest members of NTHS

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2017

Northern Vance High School students, who are outstanding academic achievers in their Career and Technical Education courses, were inducted into the school’s chapter of the National Technical Honor Society on May 24.

The student recognitions occurred during the school’s annual National Technical Honor Society Induction and Cording ceremony and reception. The event was held in the school’s media center.

They are shown in the first photo holding the framed certificates they received and include, seated from left, Alex Machado, Tobias Mosley, Erin Ramseur and Amber Reid. The remaining inductees are, standing from left, Shyanne Robertson, Kamiya Scott, Jodi Vaughan, Jaylen Webb and Alajhasha Williams. Christopher Stainback also was inducted, but could not attend the event.

Seniors at Northern Vance who have demonstrated high academic achievements throughout their high school careers in Career and Technical Education courses also received honorary cords to wear in their graduation ceremony. They are shown in the second photo and include, seated from left, Antavia Alexander, Jared Bennett, Don’Ye Burwell and Brooks Falkner. Others are, standing from left, Chontara Mason, Shadi Nagi, Courtney Parham, Deriana Scott, Imani Simmons and Jaylen Webb. Also honored, but unable to attend the event, were Caitlin Melvin and Penny Phan.

Southern Vance Hosts Annual Class Night for Seniors

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2017

Southern Vance High School administrators, faculty and staff members joined parents, additional family members and friends of seniors in the Class of 2017 in honoring the graduates’ achievements during their Class Night on May 23.

A total of 160 graduating seniors were honored.

The event was held in the school’s gymnasium and attended by hundreds who paid tribute to the soon-to-be high school graduates.

Over $3 million in scholarship funds were presented to the graduating seniors to use as they go on to attend four-year colleges and universities. Well over 70 percent of the seniors will go on to attend a college or university, community college or join the U.S. military.

The approximately 90-minute event featured seniors receiving accolades for their outstanding academics, school attendance, citizenship, community involvement and athletic talents.

Those seniors who make up the top 10 percent of the graduating class are Luis Amaya-Villa, Yasmene Clark, Dalton Elliott, Gavin Eutsler, Daniel Faulkner, Kenia Gomez-Jimenez, Cynthia Harrington, Kendall Harris, Brandon Lawrence, Antonia Loyd Jr., Angelica Montano, Vianey Nonato, Tyler Patrick, Jaslin Renteria, Heidy Reyes Morozumi, Yarelic Picaz and Autumn Wortham.

Vance County Schools seeking proctors

Vance County Schools are seeking volunteers to serve as proctors during year-end testing at our middle and high schools. Volunteers are needed each school day May 30-June 8, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. Interested volunteers may contact Terri Hedrick with Vance County Schools by email at [email protected] or by phone at 252-492-2127, extension 2100, to let her know what days you may be available. Thank you so much for your support of our schools!

Northern Vance hosts annual Class Night for Seniors

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release


Northern Vance High School hosted its annual Class Night for members of the Class of 2017 in the school’s gymnasium on May 18.


A total of 180 graduating seniors were honored during the event. They were recognized for their outstanding achievements during their four years of high school. The soon-to-be graduates were presented awards for their high academic achievements, community involvement, outstanding attendance and citizenship and athletic accomplishments.


Approximately $3 million in scholarship awards will be going to members of the graduating class who will go on to attend colleges and universities beginning in the fall.


Well over 70 percent of the Class of 2017 members at Northern Vance High will go on to further their education at a four-year college or university, at a community college or to serve in the U.S. military.


The top 10 percent of academic achievers in the Class of 2017 at Northern Vance include Megan Andrews, Jared Bennett, Brooks Falkner, Charlie Chiem, Tamiya Davis, Holly Hilliard, Sarah Howarth, Hannah Mason, Shadi Nagi, Connor Pendergrass, Michelle Pham, Penny Phan, Jo’el Royster, Deriana Scott, Nathaniel Stevenson, Turner Roberson, Imani Simmons, Bailey Shelton and Jeffery Zheng.

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.