Cherrelle Lawrence

VGCC Names Lawrence Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently named Cherrelle Lawrence as its new Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development. In this role, Dean Lawrence will identify and develop corporate training and external professional development offerings for companies, local government agencies and civic organizations.

Lawrence will also serve as the lead administrator (Dean) for the VGCC Franklin Campus and work with Franklin Campus faculty and staff to ensure successful implementation of the mission of the satellite campus.

Vance-Granville Community College recently named Cherrelle Lawrence as its new Dean of Corporate Learning & Professional Development. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

Lawrence is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator & Trainer (GCDF) and has worked in Career Services & Employer Relations in higher education and the non-profit sector for over five years.

Lawrence most recently served as Assistant Director of Employer Relations at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. During her time there, she led the Undergraduate Business Program’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and fostered strong working relationships with over 200 companies across a variety of sectors.

Prior to working at UNC-Chapel Hill, Lawrence served on the TAACCCT & TechHire grant teams at VGCC, where she built relationships with local companies and directly engaged with VGCC students, staff and faculty.

“It has always been my vision and plan to grow in Higher Education, with a specific interest in Training & Development,” Dean Lawrence said. “I look forward to being able to share my expertise, learn from others and ultimately help cultivate our Workforce and Community Engagement Department.”

Lawrence holds a master’s in Business Administration from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s in Business Education & Marketing from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

“We are glad to welcome Cherrelle Lawrence back to VGCC in this new capacity, and we are excited about the leadership she will provide to help our area’s employers succeed through training and to continue the outstanding services and programs available at our Franklin Campus,” said Dr. Jerry Edmonds, VGCC’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement.

NC Governor Logo

Public Schools Now Able to Implement Plan A for Elementary Schools

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-Press Release, Office of Governor Roy Cooper

After several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, Governor Roy Cooper today announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5).

Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”

As the Governor announced in July, every district will continue to have the flexibility to select Plan A, B or C based on their unique needs. In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students. Read the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to learn more about the requirements under each plan.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen a sustained leveling or decrease of key metrics.

“Our trends show that we are on the right track. It’s up to all of us to protect our progress. Our individual actions like those 3 Ws will help keep our school doors open.,” said Secretary Cohen.

Dr. Cohen also explained that as schools have opened, the current science shows that younger children are less likely to become infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease or spread the virus.

“It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. “While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.”

“For the past six months, superintendents, principals, teachers and local BOE have worked diligently to care for the safety of our students and staff while educating our children. While we are anxious to return all students, we know that teachers, principals, and students need a gradual transition over the next three months. I ask our parents to remain patient, knowing that we are moving as quickly as is safely possible. And I ask our teachers to continue to assist our students by supporting this deliberate, thoughtful transition,” said Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is declining.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is declining.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is declining.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing

  • Access to testing has expanded. No-cost testing events are being deployed across the state and testing turnaround times have improved.

Tracing Capability

  • Contact tracers continue to be hired to bolster the efforts of local health departments. A new exposure notification app will be launched soon.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable
Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools to Begin Academic Year Fully Remote

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

The Franklin County Board of Education voted on July 27 to reopen the 2020-2021 school year under Plan C, therefore, all students will begin the year fully remote.

Students who have signed up for the Virtual Academy will have the option to remain on a remote learning plan once the district moves forward with a learning plan that calls for face-to-face instruction.

Students who wish to apply for the FCS Virtual Academy may do so by the deadline of Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

FCS students who have already applied do not need to resubmit their applications. FCS will contact each student and their families in the near future with details about the next steps in the process.

The Virtual Academy is accepting applications online via the following link:

Franklin County Schools

Franklin Co. Schools Offering Free Summer Meal Service

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools is offering a free summer meal service for students on Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Meals will be available for curbside pick up at Bunn High School, Franklinton Elementary School, Laurel Mill Elementary School, Louisburg High School and Youngsville Elementary School.

Breakfast and lunch for three days will be included at each pickup; please bring a large bag or box for meals.

FCS is now offering curbside pre-order for pick up on Mondays and Thursdays. Please contact the FCS Child Nutrition Services staff for more details (click here).

For more information, visit or


Enrollment Numbers Up for VGCC’s Summer Term

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Vance-Granville Community College has been working diligently to educate more students this summer. The hard work is paying off.

As of the beginning of the summer semester in late May, VGCC had 1,228 students enrolled in credit programs. That represents an estimated 11% increase compared to the beginning of the summer 2019 semester when enrollment stood at 1,101. The college is likewise experiencing an estimated 30% increase in the number of student hours completed, typically known as Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment.  

A significant source of enrollment for this summer is in both the college transfer and technical and trades credit program areas. VGCC also has a healthy number of special credit students from four-year universities taking classes. 

“We are pleased to see the trend for increased enrollment at VGCC continue into this summer semester,” VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais stated. “We are here to serve our community and are rising to the challenge of providing increased access to quality online learning during the pandemic. We look forward to offering more in-person instruction this fall as we help our community members pivot during this uncertain economy.”

“The college’s Student Engagement & Success team, faculty, marketing and many people have contributed to this effort. We are glad to see the college educating more students in the four-county area and the wider region. Our team is committed to being innovative and thinking about the best ways to provide quality instruction and support services to those who choose Vance-Granville. When students learn with us, they are ready for the workforce and/or success at a senior institution,” said Dr. Levy Brown, the college’s vice president of learning, student engagement and success. “Student access, retention, success and career preparation are embedded in our mindset, and it continues to show!”

Students are encouraged to apply and register for Fall 2020 now.

Established in 1969, VGCC offers more than 40 credit programs, in which students work toward certificates, diplomas and degrees. Area residents and businesses can also take advantage of a variety of continuing education/job training opportunities, as well as the High School Equivalency and Adult High School Diploma programs. High school students can get a step ahead by starting their college education early with VGCC courses.

The college has four campuses – one each in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties – and offers online programs, as well. The new “Vanguard Flex” program is offering flexible, hybrid schedules in the evenings and weekends on the Franklin Campus in Louisburg, to accommodate schedules for adult learners. 

For more information about the college, visit

Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools Online Enrollment System Open for 2020-21

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools’ online enrollment system is currently open and accepting registrations for Kindergarten, new students and transfers for the 2020-2021 school year.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to complete registration online at

Jerry Edmonds

Town Talk 04/07/20: Edmonds, VGCC Focus on ‘Hire Education’


Jerry E. Edmonds, III, vice president of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at Vance-Granville Community College, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Serving in this new position since the fall, Edmonds supports economic development for the region and oversees training programs that respond to community needs and prepare students for workforce success.

In addition, Edmonds leads the development of VGCC partnerships with businesses and government agencies and coordinates outreach and marketing.

“The position of workforce and community engagement is a relatively new combination of functions,” Edmonds said. “Our president, Dr. Rachel Desmarais, was certainly futuristic in her assessment that community engagement would be more and more a part of our community college function.”

Workforce development is what has been traditionally referred to as continuing education, Edmonds explained, and includes public safety, short term healthcare courses such as CNA and phlebotomy, and the college’s new truck driver training, among other programs.

The VGCC Small Business Center also falls under the Workforce and Community Engagement umbrella and has become more visible to the public and business community in recent weeks with the economic repercussions of COVID-19 closures.

Sheri Jones, director of the Small Business Center, appeared on WIZS Town Talk last week to discuss her work with local businesses during the health crisis, which has included assistance with small business loan information.

Along with the Small Business Center, VGCC offers customized training programs specific to the local area. Edmonds admitted that not everyone in the community has been aware of these services in the past, a task that he sees as part of his and his team’s role in marketing the college.

“Marketing is an area that we really have to do a little better job as a community college system in getting the word out about the great programs and great work that we do on a daily basis,” Edmonds stated.

Echoing a sentiment shared by Desmarais in previous WIZS interviews, Edmonds said the system is doing just that by focusing on workforce development with individual community colleges training residents for local employment opportunities.

“The NC Community College System has recently embarked upon a marketing campaign with the tagline that North Carolina community colleges are all about ‘Hire Education’ to use a play-on-words’ of ‘higher education,’” said Edmonds. “At the end of the day, all of our programs, be they on the continuing education side or be they on the curriculum side, seek to give students a living wage employment.”

To hear the interview with Edmonds in its entirety, go to and click on Town Talk.

Franklin County Schools

Franklin Co. Schools Home-Based Assignments, Wi-Fi Access Available April 6

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

On Monday, April 6, 2020, Franklin County Schools will issue new student assignments and begin providing enhanced Wi-Fi access at certain school locations.

The home-based, academic assignments will cover a two-week period. They will be available online, as well as in paper packets for elementary and middle-school students who do not have Internet access. High school students will receive additional guidance from their school principals concerning their assignments and pick-up options.

Paper packets for elementary and middle school students must be picked up between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday, April 6. They will be available at the following locations only, which are the same as FCS’ current meal pickup sites:

  • Bunn High School
  • Franklinton Elementary School
  • Laurel Mill Elementary School
  • Louisburg High School
  • Youngsville Elementary School

Also on Monday, April 6, FCS is adding drive-in, Wi-Fi access at five schools for students and staff only who do not have Internet access at home. Students, staff, their families and guests are required to stay in their vehicles and park in specific areas to access the enhanced, Wi-Fi signals. School Resource Officers will be on site to monitor and provide directions.

Wi-Fi access will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:

  • Bunn Middle School (front drop off)
  • Edward Best Elementary School (back lot/bus drop off)
  • Long Mill Elementary School (bus lot)
  • Louisburg Elementary School (bus lot)
  • Royal Elementary School (bus lot)
Franklin County Schools

Franklin Co. Schools: New Meal Pickup Location Starts Friday at LMES

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-Press Release, Franklin County Schools

All Franklin County Schools are closed due to the Coronavirus through at least Friday, March 27, 2020. However, we are making every effort to ensure that nutrition services are available and convenient. To fulfill this mission, FCS will add an additional meal pickup location beginning Friday, March 20 at Laurel Mill Elementary School.

Meal packages are currently available Monday through Friday for pickup between 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. FCS’ School Nutrition Department is providing free “to-go” meal packages in a drive-through format for students in need.

The meal packages include breakfast, lunch and a snack.

The meals are available at Bunn High School, Louisburg High School, Franklinton Elementary School and Youngsville Elementary School now, and additionally at Laurel Mill Elementary School beginning Friday.

Thank you and stay well!

Franklin County Schools

Franklin Co. Schools Releases Schedule for Homework, Meal Pickups

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools is closed due to the Coronavirus through at least Friday, March 27, 2020. However, parents/guardians and students will have to opportunity to pick up homework, essential personal items, and meals following the schedule below.

FCS and your student’s schools will make every effort to keep you informed of additional information, as well as any updates and changes to these schedules as soon as possible upon determining those details.

Homework Packets: Tuesday, March 17, 3 to 6 p.m., at Schools

Because many Franklin County Schools’ students do not have access to the Internet and electronic devices, printed homework packets will be available for pick up on Tuesday, March 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the student’s school. Parents and guardians should be on alert for specific details about this procedure directly from your school principal.

Additionally, electronic and web-based learning materials are also being made available. Those details will also be communicated from school principals and district personnel as soon as possible.

Essential Personal Items: Tuesday, March 17, 3 to 6 p.m., at Schools

Students will be able to retrieve any essential personal belongings from their schools, such as medications or other essential items, during the Tuesday, March 17 timeframe. If a student needs access sooner, they should make arrangements with their school’s administration.

Meals: Begins Wednesday, March 18, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,  at BHS, FES, LHS, YES

FCS’ Nutritional Services will provide meal packages that include breakfast, lunch and a snack for students. Those meal packages will be available for pickup Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning Wednesday, March 18 and continuing through Friday, March 27 at the following locations:

  • Bunn High School
  • Franklinton Elementary School
  • Louisburg High School
  • Youngsville Elementary School