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.

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.

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.


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.

Vance County Schools to host Healthcare Info Session

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2017

The Vance County Schools Family Resource Center, located in our Administrative Services Center on Graham Avenue in Henderson, will host a Healthcare Information Session from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22. A registered dietitian, eye doctor and dentist will be on hand to share information with parents. The dietitian will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The eye doctor and dentist will be available from 1 to 5 p.m. All parents are invited to attend this free information session

Southern Vance Names Darry Ragland as Head Football Coach

When Southern Vance High School’s new head football coach takes the sidelines this fall, it will be a familiar face for Raider fans.

Southern Vance has announced that their new head football coach will be Darry Ragland. The announcement serves as a homecoming of sorts for the Raiders as Ragland previously served as an assistant coach at Southern Vance for 14 seasons from 1999 to 2012. He coached wide receivers and was the offensive coordinator under former head coaches Mark Perry and David Jennings. Ragland was also offensive coordinator under outgoing head coach Lewis Young in 2012 before leaving to become the Assistant Head Coach at Northern Vance from 2013-2016.

Ragland served as offensive coordinator for the Raiders in 2006 when Southern Vance lost in the NCHSAA 2AA State Championship game to Shelby, 27-24. He specializes in a variety of offensive systems and will bring a new look to the Raiders this fall.

“We took our time and did our due diligence while searching for our next head football coach.” Athletic Director Joe Sharrow said of the coaching search. “ We ultimately believed that bringing Coach Ragland home to a place that he loves and is familiar with is what we needed at this time. He knows our kids, he knows our school, and I am confident that he knows what it takes to be successful here.”

Ragland will replace Lewis Young, who resigned in November after finishing his career with a 14-43 record. This will be Ragland’s first opportunity as a head coach and he has prioritized returning the Raiders to the type of success that was achieved while he was an assistant coach at Southern Vance.

“Southern Vance has a strong football tradition that I am proud to have been a part of and would like to bring back,” said Ragland in a statement. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to come home and lead the Raiders back to what we once were. I would like to thank (Principal) Rey Horner and (Athletic Director) Joe Sharrow for the trust they have bestowed upon me. Those two have created an incredibly supportive atmosphere here that I am excited to be a part of.”

Southern Vance will open the 2017 football season at home against Bartlett Yancey High School.

Arts Alive! Coming to McGregor Hall later this month

Vance County Schools

For Immediate Release

March 7, 2017


The Arts Alive! talent showcase for Vance County Schools is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at McGregor Hall.

The 90-minute show will feature almost 100 performers who are students in Vance County Schools.

Student art work also will be on display from 4 to 7 p.m. at McGregor Hall.

Admission to the art work display is free. Tickets for the showcase are $5 each and will be on sale at McGregor Hall beginning at 3 p.m. on March 25.

Seating for the showcase is limited and will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Arts Alive! is sponsored by the Vance County Public School Foundation.

Vance County Schools Plan Open Houses

Vance County Schools pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs opened registration and applications January 1, 2017.

We invite parents to visit our schools on the following dates.


Aycock Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

Carver Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

Clarke Elementary – Thursday, March 16

Dabney Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

E.M. Rollins Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

E.O. Young Jr. Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

L.B. Yancey Elementary – Tuesday, March 14

New Hope Elementary – Thursday, March 16

Pinkston Street Elementary – Tuesday,  March 14

Zeb Vance Elementary – Tuesday, March 14


School sites will be open between 1 and 6 p.m. for registration on these days.

Anyone may register their children on Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Vance County Schools Administrative Services Center at 1724 Graham Avenue in Henderson.

Pre-kindergarten students must be 4 years old on or before August 31, 2017, and kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2017.

Applications also are available online at


Please bring to registration:

  • Proof of child’s age (birth certificate, medical record, baptismal record)
  • Immunization record
  • Proof of Social Security number (Social Security card, official records)
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, rental lease or mortgage statement)
  • Proof of income (paycheck stub, tax forms)

SVHS Students Earn National Certifications

Seven masonry students at Southern Vance High School have earned two national certifications that make them eligible for employment upon their graduation.

Ben Arrington is the students’ masonry teacher at Southern Vance.

All of the students met the standards required for certification in both the Core Curriculum and Green Environment areas through the National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER).

The students are shown in the photo holding their certificates and are joined by Arrington, far left, and Southern Vance Principal Rey Horner, far right. The students include, from left, Chelsea Galindo, Christopher Stevenson, Jackson Royster, Jose Gonzalez, Sherrod Carter and Tyler Bondurant. One more student earning certification, Aaliyah Rahming, was unavailable for the photo.

Vance County Schools Empowerment Academy Students create local garden

Administrators and students at the Vance County Schools Empowerment Academy have created a garden outside of the facility’s main entrance with funding from a special grant program.

The grant funding, totaling about $170, came from the Karma for Cara Foundation which funds youth volunteer projects.

Brian Schlessinger, a teacher at the Empowerment Academy, led efforts to apply for the grant and create the garden. He worked with his students and administrators at the academy to seek the grant funding and follow through on building the garden that is beside the facility’s main entrance.

The garden was completed by early February after students and their teachers worked to prepare the soil, install landscaping timbers for borders for the garden and had soil brought in to fill the space. They then worked to plant tulip bulbs, two evergreen shrubs and a cedar tree in the garden. Schlessinger and students are shown in the first two photos as they work on the garden.

Antavius Turner, a seventh grader who was attending the Empowerment Academy and is now a student at Eaton-Johnson Middle School, was one of the students involved in the project. Turner is shown with Schlessinger in the third photo as they work online to complete paperwork for the grant funding.

“Building the garden was a really good experience,” Turner said. “All of us in the academy worked together to get it done. We wanted to give the area outside the building life and make it look nice. We really like how it turned out and I think the project helped to show when you give us another chance we can do good things.”

The four female students and 10 male students who attend the Empowerment Academy are all on long-term suspension from their home schools because of behavior issues. Girls attend classes at the academy in the mornings and the boys attend their classes in the afternoons each day. Schlessinger and other teachers, along with Dr. Ralphel Holloman, coordinator of the academy, work with the students in online course work as well as teacher led math and language arts classes on a daily basis. Turner spent the first semester of this school year in the Empowerment Academy. He was able to return to Eaton-Johnson for the beginning of the second semester in late January after he completed necessary course work and met attendance and behavior requirements.

“All of the Empowerment students pitched in to help with the garden project,” Schlessinger said. “It made them feel good to have a role in creating it. We hope to do more with the garden at a later time and continue to improve the appearance of the areas outside of the building.”

Schlessinger pointed out that the funding from the Karma for Cara Foundation was a perfect fit for the academy’s project. The foundation was established in memory of Cara Becker, who lived in Maryland and at the age of 21 was diagnosed with leukemia. She battled the disease for four months, but died of complications from her treatments in December of 2012. Her family has carried on her legacy through the foundation. Becker throughout most of her short life was involved in volunteer work and community service. She had a special interest in helping children who were experiencing tough times and promoted community involvement with those her age and beyond. The foundation regularly awards small grants for community projects involving youth groups and also recognizes the efforts