Vance County Adopts FY 16-17 Budget

This afternoon — Thursday — at 5:00, the Vance County Board of Commissioners met for a budget session and adopted the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.  The budget will go into effect on July 1, and it passed by a vote of 5-0, with Archie Taylor abstaining and Leo Kelly absent.  Commissioner Deborah Brown, who made the motion, and Dan Brummitt, who seconded Brown’s motion, voted yes as did Tommy Hester, Terry Garrison and Chairman Gordon Wilder.

Brown’s motion was contingent on the budget including an additional, one-time $150,000 going to the Granville-Vance District Health Department, which is drastically underfunded at this time.  The $150,000 is in addition to the $50,000 that was already in the proposed budget.

Taylor said he was not in favor of doing the $150,000 at this time because the Health Department may get a grant in August.  Taylor said, “I am in favor of giving the money down the line if it’s needed.  I am not in favor of fronting this money, but we can review and give it in September if we need to.”

Garrison’s comment was difficult to hear in the meeting space word for word, but his statement seemed to indicate his understanding was the Health Department needed the money now regardless of the grant.

A variety of factors has the Health Department underfunded right now because of things like changes in state funding, additional requirements and demand for services.  Based on what was said in the meeting, even with the efforts of Vance County and additional efforts by Granville County leaders, the Health Department is spending into its fund balance at this time.

More than one commissioner said it was time to sit down with Granville County leaders and with Health Department leaders and get recommendations going forward and that the sit down needed to be soon.

The only other specific budget item mentioned in the session was about “Citizens Aligned To Take Back Henderson, NC’s” effort to tear down and remove dilapidated and abandoned houses jointly owned by the City and County.  The board did not increase the $25,000 amount in the proposed budget to the $83,000 which the advocacy group had requested at Monday night’s regularly scheduled commissioner meeting.

Chairman Wilder and other members of the board did say they were committed to the clean up effort and that monies could be appropriated after the initial $25,000 was used up.

Prior to the meeting, Wilder told WIZS News he had hoped the budget would be adopted at the session.  He specifically mentioned the Health Department funding as something that needed to be worked out.  He said, “That’s something that has been pretty much out of the public’s eye.  A pretty good chunk of money there that they were requesting and there were some issues that have come to light even as late as today.”

In regard to the Health Department, he said, “We are planning to do the right thing, but how much and when and that sort of thing is still up for some debate.”

In Wilder’s remarks to WIZS News this afternoon before the meeting, he said of the “Citizens Aligned” project, “We are all committed to completing that project, and one of the things I’d like to see us do is have a time line attached to it.  You know, first of the year or whatever the board decides, that we have the goal that we are committed to to get all our properties taken care of anyway.”

It seems that the plan right now is that Vance County is budgeting $25,000 to remove the jointly owned houses, and all indications are the City has $25,000 towards the cause as well.

Wilder said, “Now we know, without a doubt, that it’s going to take more than that, but we don’t know how much more.  We are waiting for some estimates, and we are going to ask the (County) staff to get us some estimates or some quotes rather, and we will come back and try to do the right thing there.”

When the initial money gives out, the County, and the City for that matter, can vote to give some more.  Wilder said, “We have some money in contingency, and we can also vote to take it out of fund balance.  Just because we don’t put it in the budget, doesn’t mean we are not going to do it.”

As to Vance County’s fund balance, Wilder said, “We are trying to keep and maintain and build our fund balance.  It’s not a bad fund balance, but at the same time it’s not dangerously low or foolishly high.  But we don’t have the fund balance of a Granville County or somebody like that.”

McGregor Hall offers opportunity to leave ‘lasting impression’

The Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall wants you to “leave your mark and ‘Take a Seat.’”

In addition to purchasing tickets for events in the new performing arts center, patrons are being given the opportunity to leave a lasting impression by naming a seat in honor or memory of individuals, groups, businesses and organizations.

“The completion of the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall marks an important milestone for our region,” said Tommy Deadwyler, director of the new arts and education center located in Henderson at 201 Breckenridge Street. “We have created the Take-A-Seat campaign to provide an opportunity for area citizens and organizations to mark their place in history on this important landmark.

“Soon our new center will have brass markers on each of the 997 seats in the hall with the names of those who have demonstrated their love of the arts.”

A gift or pledge of $1,000 secures the lasting tribute, noted John Wester, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation (ECCF).

“We started the Take-A-Seat campaign soon after our doors opened,” Wester said. “The heavy lifting has been done by some generous donors to get our beautiful new facility in operation. Start-up funding is needed now to help us secure the programming for 2016-2017 to attract patrons and meet ongoing facility needs.

“Already dozens are getting on board with Take-A-Seat to help us make this exciting new venture an immediate success. Already we have some individuals who want to remember family members with a memorial plate,” Wester added. “Businesses and civic organizations also are seeing this as a way to show their support and creating a lasting tribute for their entity.”

Wester added that the gift to the Hall is a meaningful way to mark a birthday, anniversary or holiday. Special gift acknowledgment letters are sent to persons who are specified.

Among those who have shown their support is George M. Harvin of Henderson, who has “taken” several seats.

“I want to remember my family and I want to show appreciation to the community,” Harvin said. “Those are the basic reasons, but this is also a fun thing. This is a really positive accomplishment for our town and I certainly want it to succeed.

“There’s the obvious fact that it is renovating and revitalizing downtown,” he added. “It’s also a show of pride in the community. That’s the biggest thing.”

“McGregor Hall belongs to all of the communities surrounding its central location in Henderson,” added Deadwyler. “We are seeing support grow from beyond Vance County’s borders to bring in friends from Granville, Franklin and Warren counties as well as Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and beyond.

“Contributions to McGregor Hall’s ‘Take-A-Seat’ campaign are welcomed from all individuals and organizations who will be enjoying the events our new theater is able to offer,” Deadwyler said.

“At every event, donors will have the pleasure of knowing their generosity has made it possible for someone else to experience the unique joy of entertainment, understanding and self-discovery that comes only with the performing arts available to our communities.”

For those who wish to make installments to make the contribution, the donation can be spread over four payments within the scope of a year. Credit card payments are accepted.

A brochure is available from McGregor Hall with more details on the project, and additional information and a pledge form are available on the web at Forms and payment information should be mailed to the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation, the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall, P.O. Box 1333, Henderson, NC 27536.

Questions can be directed to Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or or James Edwards, ECCF board treasurer, at (252) 213-8221 or

VGCC to offer Enrollment Day on June 16

Vance-Granville Community College will hold “Enrollment Day” on Thursday, June 16, from 9 a.m. until noon, and from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., at all four of its campuses. During those times, VGCC counselors and other staff members will be ready to assist anyone who is interested in enrolling at the college for the Fall 2016 semester, which starts Monday, Aug. 15. No appointments are required.

For new students, the process of enrollment begins with an application for admission and an application for financial aid. Then, students must request their official high school transcripts, and in some cases, their transcripts from other colleges they have attended. Next, they should meet with an academic/career coach and schedule a placement test, unless it is waived. Finally, students complete an orientation session, either online or in the traditional face-to-face format. On Enrollment Day, incoming students will be able to accomplish all of these tasks or schedule them, so they can stay on track to start classes in August.

For the convenience of working adults, a similar enrollment event will be held on the evening of Tuesday, June 28, between 5 and 7 p.m., at all four campuses.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County (about midway between Henderson and Oxford) at the intersection with Interstate 85 (Exit 209).

The Franklin County Campus is located just west of Louisburg on N.C. 56.

South Campus is on N.C. 56 between Creedmoor and Butner.

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

Registration for fall classes at VGCC is ongoing, through July 29. For more information, contact VGCC at or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

VGCC celebrates Male Mentoring students

The first-ever PRIDE awards were presented as the Male Mentoring program at Vance-Granville Community College recently held an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding students who have participated in the program.

The ceremony, held May 2 in the VGCC Civic Center, began with welcoming remarks from the president of the college, Dr. Stelfanie Williams. “I want you to know how important you are to us as male leaders in our college and in our community,” Dr. Williams told the students being recognized. “We are glad that Vance-Granville has played a part in your growth and development.

The highlight of the evening was the first presentation of the Male Mentoring PRIDE awards. As Greg Nash, co-coordinator for the Male Mentoring program and chair of the VGCC Adult Basic Skills department, explained, PRIDE stands for “Pin Recognizing Individuals Demonstrating Excellence.” Each honored student received a lapel pin designed by Nash.

The PRIDE Award for Engagement went to Computer Technology Integration student Bradley Gooch of Oxford and Vance County Early College High School/College Transfer student Christopher Blue of Henderson for being active in the program and making a concerted effort to keep in touch with their coaches (members of the VGCC faculty and staff) on a consistent basis. Gooch has served as vice president of the Male Mentoring Club this year, and Blue has served as recorder/treasurer.

For their longevity being active in the program, College Transfer student Moises Ortiz of Louisburg and Computer Technology Integration student Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount received the PRIDE Awards for Tenure.

College Transfer student Benjamin Marshall of Butner received the PRIDE Award for Leadership for his work to share the program’s vision with others and helping with various events. Marshall has served as Male Mentoring team leader for VGCC’s South Campus.

The PRIDE Awards for Scholarship were presented to students who have completed at least 50 credit hours while maintaining a GPA of 3.2 or higher. The honorees were Warren Early College High School/College Transfer student Christopher Ford of Manson (who has served as president of the Male Mentoring club this year), Franklin County Early College High School student Sean Griffith of Wake Forest and Computer Technology Integration student Dajuan Harrison of Henderson.

Students and staff members presented highlights of Male Mentoring events and activities from the past year. Academic and Career Coach Seletha Pherribo discussed an educational trip to Washington, D.C., that included a White House tour. Academic and Career Coach Anthony Pope, co-coordinator for the Male Mentoring program, recounted a visit to Warren Early College High School by former Harlem Globetrotter James “Twiggy” Sanders that the program sponsored. VGCC Criminal Justice student Matthew Jaurique recalled another guest speaker, former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis. Tim MacNeil, assistant coordinator for the VGCC Academic Skills Center, talked about the “Math Matters” presentation by distinguished N.C. State University professor Lee Stiff. Student Christopher Blue recapped a presentation by Delores S. Eaton and what her story taught him about African-American history. College Transfer student Mikal Williams gave his perspective on the recent Male Mentoring trip to Atlanta, which included stops at several historically black colleges and universities. Donal Gooch, a student-athlete on the VGCC Vanguards basketball team, discussed a tour of the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner. The tour was designed to bring awareness to students of federal government career opportunities and to highlight the importance of developing strong critical thinking skills through education. Gooch’s teammate, Alcyone Moore, recalled a presentation by Psychology instructor Peter Metzner, “Relax Your Way to Better Grades.”

In addition to the PRIDE awards, Anthony Pope presented a certificate to every student who participated in the program this year. In closing remarks, VGCC Dean of Students George Henderson congratulated students on their success and thanked the coaches for making a difference in the lives of their mentees.

Supported by a grant from the N.C. Community College System, the VGCC Male Mentoring program involves an active, intensive, and engaging process of academic coaching and case management to help male students succeed. For more information on the mentoring program, contact Anthony Pope at or (252) 738-3395, or Greg Nash at or (252) 738-3305.

VGCC graduates 13 cadets in school’s 102nd BLET Class

Thirteen cadets graduated on May 17 from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College, in a ceremony held in the Civic Center on Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Graduates of VGCC’s 102nd BLET class included Nathaniel Tyler Davis of Butner Public Safety; Mikel Donte Hargrove, Alphanso Fitzgerald James and Candice Nicole Pegram, all of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Samuel Kice Jarrell of the Henderson Police Department; Charles Edward Chapman of the Person County Sheriff’s Office; Macon Jabbriel Davis of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; O’Shea Deon Jones and Steven Llemarr Taylor, both of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office; William Michael Huffaker, Christopher Ryan Lanham, Kevin Valton Parrish and Adam Graham Rooker.

The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by students from the ROTC program at Northern Vance High School, and the singing of the national anthem by NVHS student Jaylen Webb.

In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, thanked the many leaders from local law enforcement agencies in attendance for partnering with the college. “Thank you for supporting our cadets, providing many of our instructors, and hiring our graduates, as together, we promote increased safety and quality of life for the communities we serve,” Ballentine said. She congratulated the graduates on successfully completing the rigorous, 667-hour training program and encouraged them to continue their education. “I wish you success and safety as you protect and serve all of us,” Ballentine added.

Speaking on behalf of the class, Cadet Candice Pegram thanked the many instructors who had trained them, as well as the family members and friends who were there to support the graduates. “We all started here in January with different mindsets and experiences, wondering what to expect,” Pegram said. “Now that we are finally finished, we can walk away with knowledge, training and an open mind, with the hope for a long, successful career.”

Graduates selected Roxboro Police Department Detective Sgt. Christopher Dickerson, one of their instructors, to serve as their featured speaker. Dickerson graduated as a member of BLET Class 81 at VGCC in 2006. He thanked the college faculty and staff “for setting the standards in law enforcement and for continuing to support these officers every day, long after they graduate.” Dickerson honored the sacrifices that the cadets, as well as their family members, had made while in training. “This is only the beginning,” he said. “Not only is law enforcement a career path, it’s actually a way of life.” Law enforcement, Dickerson added, is “the greatest profession in the world,” and he knew that the graduates had chosen it out of a genuine desire to serve. “I welcome you all to the family of law enforcement,” he said.

Andrea Ferguson, the program coordinator, and instructor Glen Boyd presented awards to the top students in the class in three categories. Huffaker won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in weapons firing. Lanham earned the Physical Training Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo. Jarrell took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Ferguson at

VGCC pins Associate Degree Nursing graduates

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 51 students who graduated this spring from the Associate Degree Nursing program with a pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center on May 11.

Among those honored with distinctive nursing pins at the ceremonies were 14 who graduated through the LPN to ADN Transition Program, which helps Licensed Practical Nurses to continue their education and then become Registered Nurses. These graduates were Shelley Hawkins of Creedmoor; Jaleesa W. James of Durham; Charidy A. Scott of Franklinton; Tabitha L. Blanchard, Emily “Jill” Carpunky and Kimberly Watson, all of Henderson; Susan J. Collins of Louisburg; Christy Elliott of Nelson, Va., Angela Almengor, Suzanne Butler and Lovelyn Imoh, all of Raleigh; Chamara D. Enis of Stovall; Morgan Yount of Timberlake; and Felicia L. Spruill of Warrenton.

The graduates who took courses in the traditional five-semester sequence included Caroline Rhodes of Butner; Ryan M. Erlenmeyer of Chapel Hill; Jennifer A. Taylor and Emma C. Weaver, both of Creedmoor; Clarence M. Allen, Hardeep Dhillon, Meagan C. Long and Nneka A. Nweke, all of Durham; Meredith Alshibah and Samantha A. Smith, all of Franklinton; Jenna E. Jarrell, Meredith Manning, Samantha Patrick, Tenisha Ragland-Colvin and Fara L. Vass, all of Henderson; Sada’ Reed of Kittrell; Amy Althiser, Jessica Johnson and Devan F. Wilkins, all of Louisburg; Melanie Hilliard of Macon; Princess T. Couch, Elaine A. Harrison, Hope Lassiter, Erica Caudle Medlin, Andrea Norris, Keisha Terry and Sophie Tyler, all of Oxford; Onyekachi Amadi and Kimberly Fakhoury, both of Raleigh; Jennifer Smith of Rolesville; Wanda Burwell of Stovall; Mica Durham, Laura Graham and Gian Carlo Sagulili, all of Wake Forest; Tarsha Richardson of Warrenton; and Olivia Austin and Shannon M. Paulson, both of Youngsville.

In welcoming remarks, VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams congratulated the students on their success. “The class of 2016 is the most recruited class in our history,” she said, noting both the employers and the four-year universities who had expressed interest in the graduates. “Over half of the class has already accepted registered nursing positions or will continue working with their current employers, and I’m so proud of that,” the president said. “Graduates, just as VGCC has made an impression on your lives, you will make a difference in the lives of others as registered nurses. We are proud to have trained you for such a worthy endeavor.”

Class of 2016 President Caroline Rhodes made welcoming remarks on behalf of her classmates. “We have fought long and hard for this day,” she said. “Our blood, sweat and tears have paid off. We are ready to embark on the next chapter of our lives.” Rhodes thanked the graduates’ friends and families for their love and support, and the VGCC faculty and staff for their patience, diligence and compassion. “We will take the knowledge that you have instilled in us and use it in our future careers to be the best nurses that we can be,” she said.

Student Melanie Hilliard then presented a gift on behalf of the class to the college: a piece of artwork that depicts figures from nursing history and includes the “Florence Nightingale Pledge.”

Academic honors were presented to graduates who completed the program with at least a 3.5 grade point average: Durham, Enis, Harrison, Imoh, Medlin, Taylor, Wilkins and finally Erlenmeyer, who was recognized for having the highest GPA in the class.

Nursing instructor Tracey Hight also presented cords to students who participated in community service projects as members of the National Student Nurses Association, including Amadi, Austin, Couch, Graham, Lassiter, Paulson, Ragland-Colvin, Reed, Rhodes, Smith, Taylor, Terry, Tyler, Vass, Weaver and Wilkins.

Longtime VGCC Nursing instructor Camella Marcom served as guest speaker for the ceremony. She currently teaches at her alma mater, East Carteret High School in Beaufort. “I welcome you to the great profession of nursing,” she said to the Class of 2016. She tried to think back to her own pinning in 1982. “I cannot for the life of me remember one thing that was said,” Marcom said, to laughter. “But I do remember how I felt that day, and how much becoming a nurse meant to me and my family.”

“It’s not possible for you to know the power of your prepared mind and your newly acquired knowledge and skills until you actually use them, but you will, and through this, you will touch the lives of so many who need you,” Marcom said. She asked the graduates to remember just three words she said: “You are ready.”

Instructor Anna Seaman described the significance of the nursing pin. The unique green and gold pin identifies each nurse as a VGCC graduate, and indicates that the graduate has the training and competence to serve as a professional nurse. During the ceremony, graduates were pinned by VGCC Nursing department chair Erica Jastrow and instructor Kim Radcliffe, and received lamps and roses from instructors Heather Wilson and Holly Cathcart. Meanwhile, Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas read their biographies. After all graduates had received pins, the lights in the Civic Center were lowered, and instructor Brooke Darnell led students in reciting the “Florence Nightingale Pledge” by lamp-light.

NCDA&CS awards agritourism grants to 29 farms

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that 29 agritourism farms will receive funding for marketing projects.

The Agritourism Marketing Cost Share program is administered by the department’s agritourism office with funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

“I’m pleased that we are able to award a total of $50,000 in cost-share funding to agritourism farms across the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “For many agritourism operations, this funding can provide the help they need to boost their marketing efforts and increase the number of visitors to their farms.”

In its first year, the cost-share program received 77 applications requesting a total of $409,050. After a thorough review of applications, 29 farms were selected to receive grants for projects ranging from directional signage and marketing brochures (from companies similar to MyCreativeShop) to website development and branding. Individual grants ranged from $360 to $6,000.

The following farms received grants:

  • High Country Ginseng, Boone
  • C.V. Pilson Farm, Cameron
  • Flint Rock Farm, Cameron
  • Windy Hill Farm, Cedar Grove
  • Raised In A Barn Farm, Chocowinity
  • Hubb’s Corn Maze, Clinton
  • Yadkin Valley Farms, East Bend
  • Minka Farm, Efland
  • Sanderson Farm, Four Oaks
  • Poplar Creek Farm, Green Mountain
  • Hickory Creek Farm, Greensboro
  • Brothers On Farms, Hayesville
  • Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, Hendersonville
  • Wise Acres Organic Farm, Indian Trail
  • Good Karma Ranch, Iron Station
  • Addison Vineyard Farms, Leicester
  • English Farmstead Cheese, Marion
  • Renfrow Farms, Matthews
  • Granville Corn Maze, Oxford
  • Wehrloom Honey, Robbinsville
  • Briar Creek Nursery, Rocky Mount
  • Bradley Farms, Saluda
  • Creekside Farm, Selma
  • Huckleberry Trail Farm, Siler City
  • Celebrity Dairy LLC, Siler City
  • The Farmers’ Daughter, Taylorsville
  • Medlin Family Farm, Wake Forest
  • Yellow Wolf Farm, Walkertown
  • Cold Mountain Corn Maze, Waynesville

North Carolina is home to more than 700 agritourism farms, making it one of the nation’s top states for agritourism. Operations vary from pick-your-own strawberries and choose-and-cut Christmas trees to weekend wedding venues and monthlong farm stays. For more information on agritourism farms in the state, go to

VGCC alumna and Henderson City Council member encourages Adult Basic Skills graduates

Graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s Adult Basic Skills programs were challenged to believe in themselves and to continue their education, as an alumna who is now a member of the Henderson City Council offered encouragement at commencement exercises on May 5.

“Twenty-five years ago, I was sitting in the same spot that you all are sitting in,” Melissa Elliott told the graduates, who were among those students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year. “Back then, I didn’t know if I was capable of doing anything, but 25 years later, I’ve conquered four degrees, and I’m working on my doctorate right now.”

As the principal commencement speaker, Elliott, in her first term on the Henderson City Council, urged the new graduates to enroll in a curriculum program at VGCC immediately, just as she once did in the Criminal Justice program. Her associate degree from the community college paved the way for Elliott to continue her education, serve in various capacities in law enforcement and start her own non-profit organization, Gang-Free, Inc.

“I encourage people to go to Vance-Granville, because I know that the people here care about you,” she said. “They love you and they want you to succeed…. I was catapulted into my educational career through this institution. This is just the beginning of where you can go, but you have to believe in yourself.”

Elliott asked the graduates to focus on three P’s: perseverance, patience and perception. “Perseverance means you will continue even with the wind against you, but you still move forward,” she said. “You all evidently have patience, because you are here.” As for perception, she said, “Sometimes, our perception is totally off, and we begin to believe that we can’t do it. Well, I want you to believe that you can do it, you can have it, and you will be it! I want you to get that down in your heart. You can become absolutely anything your heart desires.”

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony was Melissa Pearce of Franklinton. She said it was “a miracle” that she was standing in that position as a graduate. At age nine, Pearce was seriously ill and was in a coma for 48 hours. “I stayed in the hospital for two weeks recovering,” she said. “After being released from the hospital, I had a really hard time learning and remembering things, and still do to this day.”

School was always difficult and frustrating for Pearce, and eventually, she dropped out. Pearce married and had three sons, but she always felt the need to go back to school to obtain a high school diploma. Twice, she started but did not finish.

“Once my boys were all in school and didn’t need me during the day, I started to think again about education and all of the benefits associated with education,” she said. “I decided to try to get my GED again, but this time, I created a six-month game plan.” She went to class four days a week for five months at VGCC’s Franklin Campus, and then in the sixth month, took all four of the required tests. “I worked hard and stayed focused and had two amazing teachers who helped me and encouraged me to not give up,” Pearce recalled.

“Within one month’s time, I had passed all my tests and received my GED in March 2016! I did it! I want my children to know even with all the obstacles that stood in my way, I never gave up. I may have lost focus on my education, but it was all worth it to raise my family. Now that I have regained my focus on my education, I plan to keep pushing myself and reaching for the stars!”

Pearce is now enrolled in the VGCC Early Childhood Education program, starting in the summer term. “My goals are to one day become a director of a day care to provide the care and support that all children need,” she said. Pearce urged her fellow graduates, “Don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how long it takes.”

In welcoming remarks, VGCC Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine congratulated the graduates. “You have passed the tests. You have completed your work,” she said. “It may not have been easy, but it has been worth it, because tonight, you can celebrate a great achievement.” Ballentine, too, urged them to continue their education at VGCC. “We will help you make the transition to college, and we will advise you as you dream, design and discover new pathways and new possibilities,” she said.

Following Elliott’s address, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC, praised the graduates and applauded the Basic Skills faculty for preparing students to succeed. “The diploma you receive tonight will allow you to begin to realize your dreams,” the president said. “You are now able to further your education, start a career, and become a lifelong learner.” As an extra incentive for graduates to move on to the next level of education, she announced that each would receive a certificate worth free tuition and fees for one semester of courses in curriculum programs at VGCC, absorbing costs not covered by federal financial aid.

After VGCC Adult Basic Skills department chair Greg Nash announced the candidates for graduation, Dr. Ballentine assisted President Williams in presenting diplomas.

Granville Chamber wants your participation


Participants are requested for the upcoming Leadership Granville program, which will begin mid-September and end with graduation mid-April.  Individuals with a sincere and genuine interest in future service to the community and those who have demonstrated commitment by previous community activities are encouraged to apply.  Also, individuals interested in assuming leadership positions within their organization and/or community should apply.

The program consists of approximately twenty sessions, most of which are evening.  Session highlights include:  leadership assessment and development, personal and group dynamics, county history, city-county-state governments, education, the arts, agriculture, economics-industry-small business, health services and volunteer agencies, human services, community support, tourism, judiciary and law enforcement, visiting manufacturers, farm, industries, businesses, etc.

Sponsored by the Granville County Chamber of Commerce, Granville County Schools and Vance-Granville Community College, Leadership Granville offers citizens of Granville County the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the community and develop their leadership potential.  It offers new citizens an opportunity to become personally and professionally acquainted with county structure and life, which can benefit their present and future leadership.

Interested individuals should contact one of the Chamber’s office locations – 124 Hillsboro Street in Oxford/Wanda, 919.693.6125,  or 1598 Highway #56, Butner/Toni Anne, 919.528.4994,

VGCC honors Radiography graduates


Twenty-one new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 9 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.

Members of the 2016 Radiography graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their pins May 9 included, on first (front) row, from left: Jessica Lynn Loera, Elizabeth Nichole Cooper, K. Christian Chaney and Haley Elizabeth Watkins; second row, from left: Nicholas LaMont Kemp, Taylor Marie Goubeaux, Hannah Marie Wyatt, Ashley Nichole Keith, Candace Leigh Gentry and Sarah Elizabeth Sutton; third row, from left: James Hinks, Anna B. Filyaw, Elizabeth Rose Twisdale, Courtney Michelle Mitchell, Preston Lin Verble and Canon O’Briant; fourth row, from left: Jonathan Wayne Robbins, Brian Heath Winslow, Brian Holmes, Jake Kiley and Terrell Johnson III.  (See cover photo.)

In welcoming remarks, VGCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine congratulated the graduates and, as a colleague in the field of radiologic technology, former instructor and former program head, welcomed them to the imaging profession. She shared some information about the diverse class, noting that six graduates had been raising children during their studies, eight had earned Dean’s List or President’s List honors, and six already held college degrees in other fields.

Ballentine expressed best wishes to at least 13 graduates who are planning to continue their education in fields such as CT, MRI, mammography and radiation oncology. She also thanked the faculty and staff who had “educated, inspired and supported these students.”

Elizabeth Twisdale was presented with the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest GPA in the class. Nicholas Kemp received the Mallinckrodt Award for outstanding clinical performance. Elizabeth Cooper received the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Student Award of Excellence.

The students voted for Patrick Castro of Duke University Medical Center as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while Ashley Lorbacher of Southpoint Triangle Orthopaedic Center received the JRCERT Award of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to Duke Regional Hospital.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Carla Williams, the lead PET-CT technologist at the VA Medical Center in Durham. Williams is a U.S. Air Force veteran and Pitt Community College Sonography graduate. “As you look back, you will see that you paid for this achievement tonight with dedication, focus and grit,” she told the graduates. “So, for the simple fact that you are sitting here, you do have what it takes to succeed.” Williams also urged the new graduates to “walk in compassion” as professionals. “In health care, where there is no compassion, there is no success,” she said. “Even with all the technological advancements known to man, compassion is still the driving force behind the word ‘care.’”

Class president Nicholas Kemp gave a response on behalf of his fellow students. He thanked the Radiography faculty and clinical site staff, his classmates for their spirit of collaboration and encouragement, and class treasurer Hannah Wyatt for her attention to detail. Kemp also thanked the graduates’ family members and friends for their support. “You all gave us the courage to take the first step, and you have been along with us for the twisty, bumpy ride,” he said. “Know that although the pin is worn upon our chests, it is also worn on all of your hearts.”

He and other class officers then surprised faculty members Angela Thomas, Stacey Soles, Anthony Twisdale and Lewis Daughtry with gifts from the class to show their appreciation.

Graduates received pins from Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas and recited the Radiographer’s pledge as the ceremonies concluded.

— VGCC Press Release —