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Franklin County Finance Team achieves another honor

Franklin County, NC May 25, 2017: For eighteen years, Franklin County’s Finance Department has been recognized nationally for their excellence in financial reporting. Once again, the team has achieved the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The Finance Department was recently notified by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) that its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was awarded the Certificate of Achievement.

The Certificate of Achievement is awarded by the GFOA of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

Attainment of the certificate of the achievement represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

For additional information, contact Franklin County Finance at (919) 496-3182 or visit www.franklincountync.us. The Finance Office is staffed by Interim Director Chuck Murray, Mattie May, Lisa Medlin, Tracy Stevenson and Samantha Sanchez.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

Franklin County Commissioners Fully Fund District Request

Louisburg, N. C. —  At their meeting on Monday, May 15th, 2017, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners agreed to fully fund Franklin County Schools’ 2017-18 current local budget request. The total request for more than $16.3 million dollars is a $1.1 million dollar increase over the District’s 2016-17 local funding allocation.

Throughout the year, Franklin County school officials have been working to offer competitive salaries for some of the most critical positions within the district. With increased pressure from charter schools and neighboring districts, competitive pay for principals and certified staff members is a top priority and, according to school leaders, this local funding increase will provide Franklin County Schools with more financial flexibility as they seek to increase student proficiency and school performance grades.

“This is a breath of fresh air amidst a difficult budget year,” says Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga. “We are incredibly grateful for this funding opportunity and we will continue to work diligently to provide the best education possible for our students.”

School Board Chair, Dr. Elizabeth S. Keith, said that the local allocation for the upcoming school year is the most generous she’s seen in more than 30 years of public education service in Franklin County.

“On behalf of the school board, we are truly appreciative of our Commissioner’s dedication to education in Franklin County,” she says, adding, “Our stewardship of these resources will be evident in the continued success of our schools.”

Franklin County Schools’ total locally allocated current expense budget for the 2017-18 school year is $17,056,554.00. The District’s capital outlay budget, which is also locally funded, remained the same at $1.4 million.

The school board is scheduled to approve a complete 2017-18 school budget at its annual year-end budget meeting on June 29th.

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Patrick Glace

Director of Communications

Franklin County Schools

Twins on their way from VGCC to prestigious universities

Twin brothers Paul Caroline and Peter Caroline of Louisburg began their higher education at Vance-Granville Community College and will soon continue that education at two of the nation’s top universities.

Both received full QuestBridge scholarships, Paul to the University of Pennsylvania and Peter to Stanford University. According to U.S. News & World Report, Stanford is the country’s most selective university, accepting only five percent of applicants, while Penn has the 14th lowest acceptance rate.

The brothers have attended VGCC for the last five years through the Franklin County Early College High School program, allowing them to simultaneously complete high school diplomas and college degrees, tuition-free. Each is graduating this month with both an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree from the community college.

Looking back on his experience, Paul said that his favorite classes at VGCC were his math, science and Spanish classes. “I enjoyed all of my science courses, because my instructors always related the information we discussed in class to applications in the real world,” he reflected. “After each lab or lecture, I looked at certain parts of daily life in a new light and tried to think of ways to make connections with what I learned. I often found myself running home and excitedly telling my parents things that I learned in class, like the fact that you can boil water without heat, or that green beans are actually fruits!”

Likewise, Peter most enjoyed science classes like Chemistry and Biology, along with American Literature. “They’re all some of the most difficult courses I’ve taken, but I feel they’ve helped me the most to learn and improve academically and personally,” he said. “Plus, they were fun; the experiments were levels beyond what I’d do on the high school campus. Meanwhile, the discussions in English about literature, history, and life in general made me think deeper about situations and information.”

When they were high school sophomores, the Carolines became aware of QuestBridge, a nonprofit organization that connects the nation’s brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education. They each received an email, inviting them to be involved in the program because of their strong academics. Peter recalled, “Here was this organization I had never heard of promising me free tuition to an Ivy League school; of course, I thought it was too good to be true or there was some catch. But I forwarded it to my mother, talked to my school counselor, and applied my senior year.”

Both were accepted into the program. They received free essay coaching and tips about applying to colleges. QuestBridge allowed them to apply early to 38 prestigious universities for a chance to receive a full, four-year scholarship. Each participating student ranks up to 12 universities. “If a school at the top of a student’s ranking list does not wish to award that student a scholarship, then the application would be sent to the next school on the list, and so on,” Paul explained. There was no guarantee that a student would be “matched” with a university on their list, he said. “There were over 14,000 applicants in the QuestBridge National College Match Program, and only about 700 received scholarships.”

Eventually, the long-awaited news came to both twins. “I remember I was on the VGCC campus when I found out,” Peter said. “In Franklin Campus Building 5, I was reading a book in the VNet room (where the most comfortable chairs are) and I got a text from Paul, saying: ‘I got into Penn :)’. So after that I rushed to the lab and checked my QuestBridge account and saw I got into Stanford. Both used the exact same three words to describe their feeling at the time: “I was ecstatic.”

While the brothers had been attracted to some of the same four-year schools, Penn was only on Paul’s list and Stanford only on Peter’s. Now, they will head off to universities on opposite ends of the country. “I think that these schools will be a perfect fit for each of us,” Paul said. He intends to study Molecular and Cell Biology at the Ivy League university.

“I have always liked science, because it can explain how things work,” he said. “I ultimately chose to study biomedical sciences after hearing about the advancements in the field in 2014 at a seminar in Washington, D.C., called the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. I began reading medical journals in my spare time and trying to make sense of them. After several weeks of reading journals and Googling words that I didn’t know, I was able to understand the material and make suggestions based on the conclusions I had drawn. I really liked this kind of research, because it delved into cell and molecular biology, which is aimed at understanding small processes related to living things.”

Paul said he was drawn to Ivy League schools, “because of their rich history and traditions, academic rigor, and strength in research. I was also intrigued by the idea of living in the city, because I had always lived in suburban and rural areas throughout my life. Since I am generally a quiet person, I think that going to Penn, which is known as the ‘Social Ivy,’ will help me develop socially.”

For his part, Peter has been “obsessed” with Stanford since his junior year. He plans to study Biology and Biomedical Science at the large California university. “There are a lot of people, but it’s greatly different from North Carolina,” he said. “I think I enjoy the sciences and cardiology so much because it offers real solutions to problems in the world. Specifically for cardiology, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country and it’s only going to progress without research and efficient policy. I think I can do my part to make a difference, so after school I would like to pursue a career in research and as a cardiovascular surgeon.”

High-achieving brothers might be expected to be quite competitive with one another. According to Paul, they are “competitive, although in a lighthearted sort of way.… We enjoy seeing each other’s achievements, which have always seemed to alternate from time to time. I think that this sort of supportive competitiveness has made us strive toward excellence. Instead of having a negative effect, it gives a sort of standard to maintain in all that we do.” Peter does not see them as focusing on competition. “We sometimes joke with each other about whose grade was higher or who did best in a certain class, but more than anything, we push each other to succeed together,” he said. “We both believe in each other’s abilities and are always learning from each other, so it’s more like we’re teammates than competitors.”

Both say that their family has always instilled in them the value of education. “Since elementary school, my parents have not only encouraged me to do well in school, but they have also searched different areas in order to ensure the quality of the schools that my brother and I attended,” Paul noted. Similarly, Peter recalled that family members encouraged them to be “leaders, not followers.”

The twins say that their community college experience has prepared them well for the next steps in their journeys. Both students have earned President’s List honors at VGCC, and Paul was VGCC’s recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award for 2017.

“The most important way that VGCC classes have prepared me for attending a four-year university involves expectations in the classroom, as well as the nature of assignments,” Paul said. “Once I had a feel for the rigor and expectations of VGCC classes, I was able to engage in a new level learning which goes beyond completing assignments, and begins to reach into the process of asking new questions, conducting new research, and having new discussions.”

Peter added, “Using VGCC and Early College as a means of getting through college quickly wasn’t why I enrolled. I came for the knowledge, experience, and relationships that would make me a stronger college student and better person. Vance-Granville has given me opportunities to succeed, ideas to challenge and cultivate, and knowledge in a variety of subjects. I think at Stanford, I will be a student that will definitely leave an impression on the school, and hopefully, my environment.”

“Peter and Paul Caroline are true scholars,” said Evelyn Hall, VGCC’s college liaison for Franklin County Early College High School. “These super-seniors bring inquisitive minds and add thoughtful reflection to every class they complete. Their commitment to achievement extends beyond the classroom to service as well. Paul tutors VGCC students in a number of academic areas, and Peter serves as a mentor for our FCECHS students. Always seeking excellence as their singular ideal and aim, Paul and Peter also bring positive energy to all around them. It has been a joy to witness their growth, and I look forward to hearing about many successful endeavors and discoveries in their futures.”

–VGCC–

VGCC and Epsom Fire Department partner to offer Ag Rescue training

Vance-Granville Community College recently partnered with the Epsom Fire Department in northern Franklin County to offer a training program designed to prepare local firefighters for specific emergency situations that may occur on farms.

The “Machinery & Agricultural Rescue” course was conducted in March, with instructor David Pease of the R.E.D.S. (Rescue Extrication Delivery Specialists) Team, a group he helped found to provide specialized training. Pease has over 40 years of experience in rescue and emergency medical services.

Some 35 firefighters participated in the class, representing not only the Epsom fire department but also the Vance County Rescue Squad, the Bearpond Fire Department, the Cokesbury Fire Department, the Oxford Fire Department and the Louisburg Fire Department.

Randy Owen, the college’s coordinator/instructor of Fire/Rescue Programs, said that training courses like this represent the college’s interest in meeting the particular needs of the four rural counties served by VGCC. He expressed his appreciation to the Henderson Fire Department and the Vance County Rescue Squad for supplying special equipment and personnel to help conduct the course.

VGCC Dean of Continuing Education Dale Fey added, “Because agriculture is an extremely important part of the heritage and the economy of our communities, the Continuing Education division has initiated numerous programs in recent years that relate to farming, such as NC REAL Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Heavy Equipment Operator training and this fire/rescue course.”

VGCC provides training for both beginning and experienced firefighters in all areas of firefighting procedures and equipment, including training for firefighter certification at levels I and II. For more information, contact Randy Owen at [email protected] or (252) 738-3448.

–VGCC–

Two FCS Elementary Schools Welcome New Principals

Louisburg, N. C. — On Monday evening, the Franklin County Board of Education named two new principals for the upcoming 2017 – 2018 school year. Caroline Linker has been selected as Principal of Youngsville Elementary School and Melissa Richardson has been named Principal of Franklinton Elementary School. Both will begin their new posts on July 1st.

Linker currently serves as the Assistant Principal of Bunn High School, where she has worked with the school’s administrative team to build a culture of trust and advocacy. Prior to working for Franklin County Schools, Linker worked as a School Director for Teach for America in Northampton County Public Schools and as a High School Math Teacher for Halifax County Schools. She also served as a Transition Team Leader for Teach for America throughout eastern North Carolina.

Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga is confident that Linker has what it takes to build upon the success of Youngsville Elementary School for years to come, saying he worked with her during his time at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and he’s been very impressed with her work this year at Bunn High School.

“Ms. Linker is a strong and ambitious instructional leader,” he says, adding “I’m confident that she will work together with the community, teachers, and students to continue to improve Youngsville Elementary as we tackle new challenges.”

Linker is a product of North Carolina State University’s prestigious Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA), where she graduated with a Master’s of School Administration. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Organizational Communication from NCSU. She received her Teaching Certificate in Secondary Mathematics from East Carolina University.

Linker looks forward to the new opportunity, saying “I can’t wait to begin building partnerships and positive working relationships with teachers, staff, students and community members as we work together to ensure that all students succeed.

“Our future is so bright and it will take us all working together to achieve our goals of high student achievement, a dynamic culture of high expectations, and a strong community in and outside of our school,” she added.

FES Welcomes a New Leader

Melissa Richardson currently works as the Principal of Hollister Elementary School in Halifax County. When she began working as the Principal of Hollister Elementary in 2013, the school was designated as low-performing by state officials. In just three years and under her leadership, Richardson has seen 44% growth in student achievement – a 33.5-point increase in the school’s proficiency composite – and the school has gone from an “F” designation on the North Carolina School Report Card to a “C.”

Richardson says she is excited to start her new journey with Franklin County Schools and she looks forward to the community’s support in providing a world-class education for her students.

“Together we will continue to develop an academic program that is challenging and rewarding for students, staff and community,” she says.

Superintendent Mubenga rests assured that Richardson’s experience at Hollister Elementary will prove to be a vital component in the success of Franklinton Elementary School, a school that’s been working its way out of low-performing status throughout the year.

“Our district staff has provided a tremendous amount of support to Franklinton Elementary this year, and I’m very excited to welcome Mrs. Richardson to the team so that we can maintain this momentum,” he said.

Prior to serving as Principal at Hollister Elementary, Richardson worked as an Assistant Principal, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Site Coordinator, and as an Elementary School Teacher in Halifax County Schools. In 2012, she also completed her Master’s of School Administration through North Carolina State University’s NELA Program and was recently recognized as Halifax County Schools’ Principal of the Year. Richardson holds her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Shaw University.

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Patrick Glace

Director of Communications

Franklin County Schools

H/V Chamber to host ribbon cutting for Cook Shack Catering

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ribbon Cutting at 10:00 am

Cook Shack Catering Company

3778 NC Hwy 39 S, Louisburg, NC 27549

Phone: (919) 497-0669

Web: www.cookshackcatering.com

Please be advised that a Ribbon Cutting will be held for Cook Shack Catering Company at their location in Louisburg on Monday, May 22nd at 10:00 a.m.  to celebrate their membership with the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.

Please join the Chamber Board and staff in this celebration to help support and formally welcome this new business into the Chamber.  The celebration is open for all to attend. 

Cook Shack Catering was established in 2004 by Austin Murray. Over the years, Cook Shack has grown to be “one of the area’s premier caterers”. They cater from the mountains of NC to the coast of NC. Cook Shack caters to events large and small and offer and have a wide variety of catering menu options.

For more information, please contact them at (919) 497-0669 or check them out on the web at www.cookshackcatering.com

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 www.wakeahec.org/hchome.htm or contact Heather Schafer at [email protected] or 919-350-0468.

 

–VGCC–

Franklin County Approves Incentives for Palziv North America Manufacturer to create 40 jobs and invest $5.7 million in Louisburg

Franklin County, N.C. – April 26, 2017: Franklin County welcomes the expansion of Palziv North America (Palziv) at 7966 NC 56 Highway in Louisburg. Palziv is a leading manufacturer of polyethylene foam-based products used in packaging, automotive, construction, orthopedic and the leisure industries.

Palziv is expanding its capacity with the relocation of its Canadian manufacturing division at its North American headquarters in Louisburg. This $5.7 million expansion will increase its production with new manufacturing lines.

Palziv North America’s Louisburg facility serves as the North American headquarters for Israel-based Palziv, Inc. The company is one of Franklin County’s largest employers with 157 full-time employees. This expansion will create 40 new jobs over the next four years in the advance manufacturing sector that include machine operators and technicians.

“Franklin County continues to offer an attractive location for advanced manufacturing industries to thrive,” stated Richie Duncan, Director of Franklin County Economic Development. “Palziv’s continued investment further demonstrates our strength in having a skilled workforce to meet the demands of industry within the Research Triangle region.”

Palziv’s Louisburg facility opened in 2010 and serves the company’s North American, South American and Canadian markets for chemically cross-linked foam. Palziv continues to experience tremendous growth over the past six years that has led to this expansion.

“We are excited to grow our manufacturing presence at our North American headquarters in Louisburg in Franklin County,” said Paul Robertson, Chief Operating Officer of Palziv North America. “Due to the growing demand for our products, this expansion will allow Palziv to serve our markets and meet the demands for new foam-based products in the future. We are grateful to Franklin County and the state of North Carolina for their support for our operation.”

Contact: Richie Duncan Economic Development Director Phone: (919) 554-1863 Fax: (919) 496-2683
228 Park Avenue Youngsville, NC 27596 www.franklinedc.com [email protected] @FrankliNCoEDC
FRANKLIN COUNTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 25, 2017 END

Palziv’s expansion will be facilitated, in part, by a local Franklin County cash grant incentive of $131,982 paid over a four-year period after taxes are paid and requirements are fulfilled. Palziv also has been recently awarded $40,000 from the Governor’s One North Carolina Fund as well as a customized training grant through the North Carolina Community College System. “This is a great day for Franklin County,” said Cedric Jones, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “We are excited to see Palziv’s continued growth in jobs and tax base for our citizens and county as it expands its manufacturing capacity.”

Franklin County was joined by numerous partners in supporting Palziv’s expansion. They include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Community College System.
About Palziv North America: Located in Louisburg, NC, Palziv North America (Palziv) is the North American headquarters for Israelibased Palziv, Inc. Palziv supplies the North American markets with chemical Cross-Linked bun (Vizion™) and chemical Cross-Linked roll (Fuzion™). These Cross-Linked foams are produced with the latest technological advancements and offer superior product performance. Visit www.palzivna.com for more information.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

Franklin County Schools Receives $192,000 Golden LEAF Technology Grant

 

Louisburg, N. C. – Earlier this month, Franklin County School officials received word that the district was awarded a $192,000 technology grant from the Golden LEAF foundation. The grant will build on the district’s current technology initiatives by providing additional Google Chromebooks, compact web-based laptops, for high school students during the 2017-18 school year.

At the County School Board’s April meeting, Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga commended Dr. Rhonda Schuhler, Associate Superintendent, and the team who worked on this project, saying that technology skills are a big part of the District’s strategic plan.

“In order to be competitive, our students need to have access to technology so that they can gain the skills they need to be successful in school and beyond,” Mubenga said, adding “Thank you to Dr. Schuhler and our team that worked diligently on this proposal – we’re excited to continue to work towards a one to one initiative in our district.”

The grant will allow the district to purchase 700 Lenovo Chromebooks and 28 Laptop Management Carts in total. Devices and carts will be distributed using a formula that takes each high school’s enrollment into consideration to ensure that devices are distributed equitably based on student population.

As the largest high school in the district, Franklinton High School will receive 11 management carts housing 308 devices. Bunn High School will receive 252 devices and nine management carts; Louisburg High School will receive 168 devices and six management carts. Franklin County Early College High School, which houses just 185 students, will receive 56 devices and two management carts.

According to Schuhler, even though the grant will be used to purchase devices, the project, which is entitled T3 – Technology, Teaching, and Transformation, is focused on student achievement.

“The scope and impact of the T3 project is directly focused on increasing student proficiency in core content areas, increasing digital skills and competencies, and creating more well-rounded, competitive students,” says Schuhler. “Our hope is to use this experience to better prepare for the implementation of a complete one to one initiative across the district,” she added.

Heavy Rain and Inflow of Stormwater into Sewer System Cause Wastewater Bypass

Youngsville, North Carolina April 25, 2017: Franklin County Public Utilities experienced a bypass of untreated wastewater at two separate locations, one in the Youngsville District and the other in the Franklinton District. The spills occurred after receiving heavy rainfall over the course of 56 hours. The main cause of both bypasses is attributable to the direct inflow of stormwater into the sewer collection system. The spill in the Youngsville District (sewer main off of Railroad St) is estimated to have released 20,000 gallons into an unnamed tributary of Richland Creek and in the Franklinton District (manhole at lift station off Chavis St) is estimated to have released 19,000 gallons.

Franklin County staff was notified of the spill by electronic monitoring equipment and appropriate staff responded to the incident. All operating equipment was found to be in working order but was unable to handle the inflow of stormwater.

As required by North Carolina State Law, the spill was reported to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality and is currently under review.

For additional information concerning this event, please contact Mike Bailes, Franklin County Public Utilities Interim Director at (919) 556-6177. Additional contact numbers can be obtained by visiting Franklin County’s website at www.franklincountync.us.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.