Vance County Early College High School Applications

— courtesy Vance County Schools

Our Vance County Early College High School is now accepting applications from current eighth-grade students to attend the school for the 2018-2019 school year.

Students who attend Early College have the opportunity to complete their high school education and two years of college coursework at no cost to them.

The Early College is designed for diverse learners who want the opportunity to be enrolled in a relevant, rigorous and innovative course of secondary curriculum and a tuition free college course of study. All students are expected to receive their high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Science degree from Vance-Granville Community College.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year may be obtained at the school, located on the third floor of Building 2 on the campus of Vance-Granville Community College near Henderson, or on the school’s website.

Applications from rising ninth graders will be accepted until February 16, 2018.

Principal Debbie Hite and her staff also will be leading parent and student informational meetings over the next few weeks. More information on these meetings will be made available soon.

For further information, interested persons may contact the Early College High School by phone at 252-738-3580.

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


Vance Superintendent Received Medal for Technology Implementation

— courtesy Vance County Schools

Dr. Anthony Jackson, superintendent of Vance County Schools, received the prestigious Friday Medal during a ceremony at the Friday Institute on the Centennial Campus of N.C. State University in Raleigh on November 15.

Jackson, who has been the superintendent of local schools since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, was presented the award by Friday Institute officials in recognition of his outstanding leadership in implementing effective use of technology into teaching and learning each day in the classrooms of our 17 public schools.

The Friday Medal honors significant, distinguished and enduring contributions to education and beyond through advocating innovation, advancing education and imparting inspiration. In recognition of the commitment of Bill and Ida Friday to educational excellence, the College of Education’s William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation created The Friday Medal. This award is given annually to those who embody the mission and spirit of the Friday Institute.

In collaboration with the N.C. School Superintendents Association, the 2017 Friday Medal was presented to Jackson and six other superintendents. They each received a medal for their own accomplishments and as representatives of the many other dedicated and innovative rural superintendents who serve the students of North Carolina. All of the superintendents honored included:

Darrin Hartness – Davie County
Anthony Jackson – Vance County
Jeff McDaris – Transylvania County
Janet Mason – Rutherford County
Lynn Moody – Rowan Salisbury
Patrick Miller – Greene County
Robert Taylor – Bladen County

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 is an advertising client of WIZS.)

Backpacks Donated by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Nu Chi Omega chapter

— courtesy Vance County Schools

Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Nu Chi Omega chapter presented 150 new backpacks filled with school supplies to Superintendent Anthony Jackson for distribution to needy children in Vance County Schools.

The presentation was made on November 6, in the school system’s Administrative Services Center.

The “Backpack Initiative” is one of the initiatives established by the current international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Dr. Dorothy Buchanan Wilson. The sorority pledged to donate one million backpacks to schools in the United States and other countries from 2014-2018. It is set to reach that goal and surpass it.

Presenting the backpacks to Dr. Jackson in the accompanying photo are sorority members, from left, Patricia Williams, Vivian Bullock, Sarah Baskerville, Nakeshia Rolle and Carol Simmons.

American Education Week

— courtesy Vance County Schools

During November 13-17, the nation will observe American Education Week, a time to celebrate public education and the educators who make a difference every day in the lives of children.

We invite parents, community and business leaders, and elected officials to our 17 Vance County Public Schools, so that they can see the exciting learning that is taking place in our classrooms.
All visitors to our schools are to report to the office. They ideally can contact the principal and set up an appointment, but any school administrator will be glad to talk with them and take them around the school as time permits.

@VanceCoSchools Youth Empowerment Academy

— courtesy Vance County Schools — VCS Photo

Randall Q. Bullock, a Vance County native now living in New Jersey and mentoring young men, spoke to male students in the school system’s Youth Empowerment Academy on November 3.

Bullock talked with the six students, who are in the academy on long-term suspension from their middle schools, about their focus on the important things in life and about making good decisions.

He explained to the students that he moved to Vance County at an early age and attended school at New Hope Elementary, Eaton-Johnson Middle and the former Vance Senior High School, now Northern Vance. Bullock stressed to the students that he wanted to tell them his story to help them for their futures. He said he always loved playing football in school and continued playing football when he completed high school at Ravenscroft, a private school in Raleigh. After graduating from high school in 1984, he attended the University of Virginia where he played on the varsity football team.

“I enjoyed my time playing football,” he explained. “I was a wide receiver in college and I played, but I think back even now on what I could have done more at that time to improve and be better. Would it have made a difference in my future? Could I have actually played in the NFL?”

Bullock admitted he didn’t work as hard as he should have in college. After completing his time at Virginia, Bullock moved to New Jersey where his father lived.

He said he eventually realized he needed a plan for his life and that he needed to “look at the big picture.”

“That’s what I want you to do,” he told the students. “Look at the macro, your big picture for your life and where you want to go. You can also look at the micro, which is what you want to do for right now.”

He emphasized to the students that they need to make good decisions now and work to get back on track with their school work and their behavior.

“You are hurting your life resume,” he said. “You must get an education to be successful and you must stay out of trouble.”

Bullock talked with the students about Booker T. Washington, who transformed himself from a former slave to a successful businessman and is known today as one of the most influential African-Americans in our history. He also told the students the story of Ben Carson, a national leader among brain surgeons who ran for U.S. President in the 2016 election. Carson was raised in poverty by his mother, but with her always pushing him and his brother to do well in school and get a good education he overcame many obstacles and is a very success African-American today, Bullock added.

Bullock was brought to the academy by Dr. Ralphel Holloman, coordinator of the academy, to mentor the young male students. He plans to visit the students each month and continue to work with them as a positive, adult role model. Bullock said he is in Henderson about every three weeks visiting and assisting his mother who still lives here. He also plans to bring additional speakers with him when he visits with the students.