News 03/23/17

Fire and Public Safety Academy holds special training session for Youth Empowerment Academy

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2017

Francis Brown, Fire and Public Safety Academy instructor, hosted a special training session for students in the school system’s Youth Empowerment Academy on March 22.

Brown was assisted by several of his academy students in demonstrating how to properly use a fire extinguisher. He also shared with the middle school students basic fire safety practices and CPR techniques.

Local Small Business Summit to be held April 6th at Warren County Armory

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has announced the complete lineup of presenters for the fifth Small Business Summit, which will be held Thursday, April 6, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the Warren County Armory Civic Center in Warrenton.

The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center are partnering with the college to organize the event, which has the theme, “Driving Your Business: Staying Ahead of the Curves.” CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor. Other co-sponsors are Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer, The Daily Dispatch, The Warren Record, WARR 1520 AM and WIZS 1450 AM.

The summit kicks off at 11 a.m. with an interactive session entitled “Google – Get Your Business on the Map,” led by Craig Hahn, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County. Participants are encouraged to set up a free Google/Gmail account prior to this workshop, if they do not already have one. Hahn will help local businesses “claim” their listings on the leading search engine, which will help their customers find up-to-date information. He will also review free tools that Google has available for increased visibility.

During lunch, the keynote address will be presented by Tammy Crowley-Deloatch, a nationally certified personal trainer and president of New Day Fitness in Roanoke Rapids. Her discussion is entitled “Put Your Dreams to the Test,” in which she describes a dream as “an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” She will ask participants a series of key questions that provide a powerful learning process that greatly increases the likelihood of success in achieving their dreams.

The afternoon features a pair of interactive sessions led by Chisa Pennix-Brown, CEO of Lady Bizness, based in Greensboro. Pennix-Brown has 15 years of experience in business coaching, community outreach, and social media insight. Her most recent accomplishment is becoming the author of “The 90 Day Focus: Your Action Plan for Success.”

In the first seminar, “Business Apps Made Easy” (1-3 p.m.), Pennix-Brown will teach participants how they can save time and money using mobile apps that help with marketing, syncing calendars, saving content, and creating multiple posts on their social media accounts. Attendees are encouraged to bring their iPhone or Android phones or tablets along with their logins and passwords for existing social media accounts.

The second seminar is “Facebook Made Easy” (3-5 p.m.), in which participants will learn how to use Facebook pages to brand their businesses and engage customers. Pennix-Brown will cover how to start a page from scratch; how to schedule messages that save time; how to automate their marketing and keep people on their page; and apps that integrate to make their businesses stand out.

The purpose of the Small Business Summit is to engage, empower and enrich participants to help make their small businesses more successful through innovative marketing practices. “We welcome all aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profit leaders to participate in this inspirational, educational and motivational experience with us,” said Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.

All sessions during the summit are free of charge. Lunch will be provided free of charge to the first 100 registered participants by CenturyLink. After that point, lunch is $10.

For more information, contact VGCC Small Business Center Director Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or [email protected].


Henderson Middle School Nationally Recognized for Creative “Pi Day” celebration

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2017

Geraldo Banaag and his math students at Henderson Middle School have been recognized nationally for their celebration of National Pi Day on March 14.

Lisa Wise of Imagine Nation, the organization which organized Pi Day activities in schools across the United States, recognized Banaag and his efforts at HMS. The HMS celebration was the only one recognized at a school in North Carolina for Pi Day!

Wise stated, “We asked classrooms all across Imagine Nation to share their Pi Day celebrations and we were not disappointed!”

Banaag created a weeklong celebration for his math students. Activities included a Quiz Bee where groups of students answered math problems and math trivia. A pie-eating relay that entailed eating a piece of pie while going through obstacles and solving math problems and puzzles. A Pi memorization contest and a math art contest.

Banaag and his students have won a $50 pizza prize for their outstanding efforts.

Tickets for VGCC Dinner Theater now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for Vance-Granville Community College’s production of “The Glass Menagerie,” its fifth annual Dinner Theater event. The classic American drama that first launched playwright Tennessee Williams to fame will be preceded by a delicious meal on the evenings of Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, starting at 6 p.m., in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. The event once again involves the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments.

Tickets are $30 per seat and may be purchased online at

Audience members are able to choose the table and specific seats they want, at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

First staged in Chicago in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is a “memory play” (narrated by one of the characters, recalling his experiences) and is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. In 1945, the play premiered on Broadway, winning the prestigious New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best American play of the year. “The Glass Menagerie” has been adapted for television twice and as a Hollywood feature film twice. It has been revived for the Broadway stage numerous times, including a current production starring Sally Field. A drama of great tenderness, charm and beauty, “The Glass Menagerie” has become one of the most famous and acclaimed plays of the modern theatre.

The story focuses on Amanda Wingfield, a “faded Southern belle” who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to eat dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura.

The cast is set to feature Brittney Patterson of Henderson as Amanda Wingfield; Ben Taylor of Franklinton as Tom Wingfield; Samantha Hines of Henderson as Laura Wingfield; and Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount as Jim O’Conner.

Members of the crew include Chadstity Copeland of Henderson (Assistant to the Director/Stage Manager), Allison Hines of Henderson (Assistant Stage Manager/Props), Jamie McGinn of Wake Forest (Costumes/Assistant for Props), Camden Jones of Henderson (Lighting/Sound operator), Lauren Elliott of Oxford (Head of Props) and Mya Hargrove and Evan O’Geary, both of Henderson (Hair and Make-up).

All are current students at the college, except for Elliott, an alumna and VGCC staff member. Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.


Northern Vance students visit E.M. Rollins to help younger counterparts

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2017

Northern Vance High School students visited on March 22 with students and teachers at E.M. Rollins Elementary School to lend a helping hand with reading, math and even recess.

The high school students are positive role models for their younger counterparts.

The Northern Vance students went in to all classrooms at E.M. Rollins, with the exception of the pre-kindergarten classes. They read books with the elementary students, talked about their favorite types of books and worked with them on math practice sheets, among other activities.

The special day was a partnership effort by administrators and teachers from the two schools. Many of the Northern Vance students attended E.M. Rollins during their elementary years in school.

Some of the students are shown in the accompanying photos as they work with the elementary children.


Networking is the Name of the Game at the Chamber’s Quarterly Membership Networking Luncheon


Thursday, April 13

We invite you, your guests and any other business leaders who are interested in helping their business grow to come out and join us for the Chamber’s Networking luncheon.  Meet other business professionals and exchange information and ideas.

This Quarterly Membership Networking luncheon is sponsored by Benchmark Community Bank and will be featuring keynote speaker Dr. Stelfanie Williams, President, Vance-Granville Community College.  This will be a unique opportunity to find out how the college meets the needs of the business community in its strengths and weaknesses; economic development and a strong education system go hand in hand – without it our community will not attract businesses; VGCC arms our citizens with the education and experience they need to be successful in today’s workplace. A strong educational foundation opens doors for our citizens, adds value to our local economies and enriches our community. Vance-Granville Community College is one of Vance County’s most valuable resources.  Their business center is designed to serve the educational and training needs of the business community, with an emphasis on small business.

Bring plenty of business cards and get ready to make lots of new connections at our Chamber Networking Luncheon.  Our quarterly Membership Networking Luncheon is designed to facilitate conversations and connection among Chamber members.  Attendees at the luncheon will be able to strengthen business relationships, hear topical speakers and enjoy a delicious meal.  The luncheon is all about business and building relationships!

Annette Roberson said, “It’s also an excellent opportunity to showcase your business, promote your products, and find that next business partner or unexpected supplier for your business needs.  Sponsor one of our luncheons!  Exhibiting at this Member Networking Luncheon is just one way that you can connect with lots of members in one place.”

For more information, please contact Annette Roberson at [email protected] or call 252-438-8414.

News 03/22/17

Jennifer Woodlief Named Maria Parham Employee of the Month

Maria Parham Health has announced Jennifer Woodlief, HR Specialist in the Human Resources Department, as Employee of the Month for February. Jennifer has been employed at Maria Parham Health for almost 11 months and is already an example of an exceptional employee. Jennifer has lived in Vance County since she was eight years old and still calls this her home. Jennifer is married and she and her husband, Joe, have three children; Hunter and Madison who are nine and Bryson who is eight. After high school, Jennifer earned her Associates Degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. . When she is not working, Jennifer enjoys watching her children play sports, photography, camping, hunting, fishing and painting.

Here’s what those who nominated Jenifer had to say about her:

“Jennifer always exemplifies exceptional customer service. Even when the HR department is super busy and a lot of people need many things from her, she is always nice, polite and courteous to everyone.”

“Jennifer is always willing to help any other department and is an exceptional team player.”

Words of wisdom from Jennifer:

“Always find the good in everything, every situation and every one.”

Thank you Jennifer for all you do for our hospital.

STEM Early High School Applications Due Next Thursday

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 21, 2017

The deadline for completed applications for students to enroll in the STEM Early High School for the 2017-2018 school year is Thursday, March 30.

Current Vance County Schools students who want to apply should submit their completed applications to their school counselors by Wednesday, March 29.

Other students should submit their completed applications by March 30 to the STEM Early High School on the campus of Northern Vance High School on Warrenton Road or the school system’s Administrative Services Center on Graham Avenue in Henderson.

No late applications will be accepted.