Vance County Schools Announces Leadership Changes

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The following administrative changes have been announced for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mrs. Letitia Fields – Principal, New Hope Elementary School

Mrs. Fields was born and raised in Henderson, North Carolina. Mrs. Fields has served as a Special Education teacher and a Social Studies and Writing teacher. Her most recent assignment was Assistant Principal at Zeb Vance Elementary School.

Mrs. Field attended New Hope and grew up in the Townsville community.

Mrs. Fields will begin as Principal at New Hope on July 17, 2019.

Ms. Michelle Fiscus – Public Information Officer

Ms. Fiscus brings a distinguished background in marketing and television network reporting to us.

Most recently she has served as the Public Information Officer in the Franklin County Public Schools and at Louisburg College.

We are excited about having her join us. Ms.Fiscus will begin working in the district on August 1, 2019.


Mrs. Gail Powers – Director of Career and Technical Education and Secondary Education

Mrs. Powers currently serves as the Executive Director of CTE in Halifax County and has previously served as an elementary, middle and high school principal in Nash-Rocky Mount and Randolph Counties.

We were extremely fortunate to find a professional with her unique set of skills and background experiences to join us. We anticipate her starting work with us on or about August 1, 2019.

High School Students Explore Medical Science at VGCC South Campus

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College has once again partnered with the Wake Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to offer a “Mini-Medical School” camp for high school students. The week-long camp was recently held at VGCC’s South Campus, located between Butner and Creedmoor.

Students used computer simulations and hands-on lab activities to learn about topics that included anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cardiology, epidemiology, medical genetics and genomics. The course was taught primarily by Becky Brady, a registered nurse and chemical engineer.

Faculty members from VGCC programs that prepare students for health-related careers gave students information about academic pathways and employment prospects.

VGCC has partnered with Wake AHEC since 2014 on Mini-Med School camps. Based in Raleigh, Wake AHEC serves nine counties: Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren. 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.

NC AHEC’s mission is to meet the state’s health workforce needs and to provide education 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.

On front row, from left: Tanisha Shetty of Green Hope High School; Darlene Villarroel-Lopez of Wake Forest High School; Abigail Gorman of Green Hope High School; Alexis Duncan of Regan High School; Jenna Curry of Granville Early College High School; Alhanna Cancel-Roman of Wake Forest High School; Kaylee Huff of Granville Early College High School; Shreya Gandi of Enloe High School; and Pooja Shah of Wake Early College of Health & Science; On back row, from left: lead instructor Becky Brady; Anushka Mandalapu of Wake Early College Health & Science; Nijaha Alston of Granville Academy; William Sharp of Leesville Road High School; Ashleigh Kiger of Mt. Tabor High School; Seth Jones of Granville Central High School; Brandon Bowling of South Granville High School; Brooke Bowling of South Granville High School; Lacey Blackley of South Granville High School; and Andre Hargrove of Granville Central High School. (VGCC photo)

VGCC Small Business Center to Offer Free QuickBooks, Financial Classes

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-Information courtesy Sheri Jones, Director, VGCC Small Business Center

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center is offering two free, three hour classes entitled “Quick Start Bookkeeping with QuickBooks.”

The classes will be offered on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the times and locations as listed below and is being taught by Semone Brisson, an Accountant and QuickBooks Consultant of Brisson’s Accounting out of Salisbury, NC. A description of the classes content is below and registration is required.

If you, your members or someone you know could benefit from these classes, please forward the following information and registration links to them.

The links can also be accessed from our website at


1)  “Quick Start Bookkeeping with QuickBooks”

This informative seminar is geared toward the novice bookkeeper and QuickBooks user. An accountant and QuickBooks consultant will show you how to set up and use QuickBooks desktop software for everyday accounting tasks in the simplest, most efficient way possible for your company or non-profit.

Topics include:

  • Setting up a company file quickly
  • Understanding and designing financial statements
  • How items and classes work
  • When to use receivables, payables and bank feeds
  • What is a “set of books” and how does it work?
  • What bookkeeping practices do I need?

This seminar will benefit both QuickBooks desktop and online users. It is not intended to be a “step-by-step hands-on class” and does not require a book. Questions are welcomed and encouraged.

“Quick Start Bookkeeping with QuickBooks”
Wednesday, July 31 from 6 – 9 p.m.

Kerr Lake Country Club – 600 Hedrick Dr. Henderson, NC 27537

Registration Link:

2) “Understanding Financial Statements”

Maintaining and understanding financial information is critical to running a profitable small business. This three hour seminar helps small business owners focus on using key financial reports to understand and operate their businesses. The seminar also explains how small business owners can use their financial statements to identify potential problems before they become serious threats to the business’ survival.

“Understanding Financial Statements”

Wednesday, July 31 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Vance-Granville Community College, Bldg. 7 – 200 Community College Road Henderson, NC  27536

Registration Link:

Town Talk: Hedrick Discusses Retirement, 21 Years With VCS – 06/25/19

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Terri Hedrick, public information officer for Vance County Schools, was on Tuesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to announce her upcoming retirement from the school system.

Hired by VCS in 1998, Hedrick will retire Monday, July 1, 2019, with 21-years of service.

A native of Wilson County and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Hedrick has called Vance County home for the past 40 years.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time living in Vance County and working here,” Hedrick said.

Prior to joining VCS, Hedrick served as marketing director for Maria Parham Hospital. Hedrick also spent 15 years at what was then known as The Henderson Daily Dispatch as a reporter and editor.

Hedrick has also represented VCS well on WIZS’ Vance County Schools news program that has most recently aired on Mondays. She is wished the very best and will be missed!

To hear the Town Talk interview with Terri Hedrick its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at


Vance Co. Schools Educators Participate in Summer Summit

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

More than 75 educators with Vance County Schools joined together to participate in the school system’s Summer Summit held on June 21, 2019, at Zeb Vance Elementary School.

Curriculum specialists and school administrators led most of the at least dozen breakout sessions or workshops provided at the summit. The sessions were designed to provide educators with valuable, up-to-date information and strategies they can use in the classroom and throughout the schools to provide quality educational instruction to students. Participating teachers and others received education training credits for attending the sessions.

The Summer Summit offered opportunities for educators in the school system’s 15 schools to collaborate and network with their peers.

Breakout sessions or workshops focused on areas including blended learning; building math fluency; student motivation; teaching students with attention deficit disorder; understanding poverty; student motivation; whole group instruction; and working with students with special needs.

The Summer Summit proved to be an ideal way for key educators to receive additional professional development at the beginning of their summer break before taking time to relax and begin preparing for the 2019-2020 school year.

Destiny Ross, a technology instruction curriculum specialist with Vance County Schools, leads a session with local educators involving blended learning to use strategies for the effective use of different types of technology to support and enhance classroom instruction. (VCS photo)

Dr. Donna Blakebrough, a secondary curriculum specialist with Vance County Schools, stands at right as she discusses strategies for motivating students in the classroom during a workshop session. (VCS photo)

Vance Co. Schools’ Student Spotlight Winners Tour Washington, D.C.

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Twelve of the 16 Student Spotlight award winners from Vance County schools this school year participated in a  trip to Washington, D.C., on June 20.

The trip was part of their award recognition. The award recipients were each honored with surprise visits to the classrooms in their respective schools during the year. In those surprise visits, they were presented with several gifts. Later, all of the Student Spotlight winners were recognized during Vance County Board of Education meetings and were presented with framed certificates commemorating their awards.

During the trip to our nation’s capital, they visited with U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield in his offices and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in the U.S. Capitol. Both Butterfield and Tillis are from North Carolina and represent Vance County in the U.S. Congress. The students, who were accompanied on the trip by their parents and some younger siblings, also visited several of the Smithsonian Institution Museums located along the National Mall. Everyone also had special guided tours of the U.S. Capitol building.

The students’ trip was made possible by sponsors of the award program including the Vance County Public School Foundation. Other major sponsors of the Student Spotlight program are The Daily Dispatch, Prim Residential Properties and Rentals, Mako Medical Laboratories, Maria Parham Health and Vance County Schools.

Student Spotlight award winners from Vance County Schools are shown with U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield outside his office in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. (VCS photo)

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis stands in front of the Student Spotlight award winners in the U.S. Capitol as he visited with them during their trip to Washington, D.C. (VCS photo)

VGCC Child Care Center Awarded Five Stars

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

The state of North Carolina has once again awarded a five-star license — the highest possible rating — to the Child Care Center at Vance-Granville Community College’s Main Campus.

State evaluations of child care programs are conducted once every three years, explained Melanie Copeland, the manager of the VGCC center. “On a scale of one to 15 points, our program received 14 total points, earning the renewal of our five-star status,” Copeland said. “The five-star rating demonstrates that we provide exceptionally high-quality care and education.”

Above: The staff of the Vance-Granville Community College Child Care Center (on the college’s Main Campus) proudly display the certificate indicating the center’s renewed five-star license. They include, seated, from left, Pam Harris, Melanie Copeland and Kathy Hughes; and standing, from left, Hilda Cordell, Anita Fuller, and Rhonda Pegram. (VGCC Photo)

Since the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education began the current system of star rated licenses for child care centers in 2000, the center on VGCC’s Main Campus has earned the five-star rating in seven consecutive evaluations.

As part of the evaluation process, the Child Care Center was visited by fire and sanitarian inspectors, a state licensing consultant and two state-appointed evaluators. They rated the center in two categories – staff education standards and program standards. The center received a perfect score of 7 points in the area of staff education, 6 points for program standards, and a bonus point because all of its teachers have at least associate’s degrees in early childhood education.

“The strength of our child care center is our staff! The dedication they show day in and day out is what made our success possible. They are the most devoted group of ladies I have ever met. I knew when my two boys were here that this was a remarkable center. I am blessed to work side by side this group every day!” Copeland said.

Copeland pointed out that not only does the center provide outstanding child care, but it also affords an excellent environment for students in Vance-Granville’s Early Childhood Education program to gain practical training.

The VGCC Child Care Center is licensed to accommodate 38 children, toddler to four years old. For more information, parents can call Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3220.

VCS Students Benefit From Read to Achieve Summer Camps

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Press Release, Vance County Schools

Selected students in grades 1-3 in Vance County Schools began working with teachers in the school system’s Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camps at Aycock and L.B. Yancey elementary schools on June 18.

The camps are operating Mondays through Thursdays until July 18, the final day for third graders at the two sites. First and second graders will end their camp participation on July 17. The two camps are open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. each day and provide students with free breakfasts and lunches. School bus transportation also is provided for participating students.

Teachers are working with the students in small classroom settings to improve their reading skills to help them be more successful in the new school year. Third-grade students will be tested again on their reading skills with a focus on having them fulfill requirements for promotion to the fourth grade.

Students are shown working with teachers in small groups at the Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camp at L.B. Yancey Elementary School. (VCS photo)

Students work on their word association skills during activities at the Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camp at Aycock Elementary School. (VCS photo)

Vance Co. Schools Provides Free Summer Meals for Local Children

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-Information courtesy Terri Hedrick, Public Information Officer, Vance County Schools

The Vance County Schools Nutrition Program is once again providing free meals over the summer to students.

Breakfast and lunch are provided to approximately 500 children at the two VCS Read to Achieve Summer Camps held at Aycock Elementary and L.B. Yancey Elementary from now through July 18.

VCS also feeds approximately 100 children breakfast and lunch through the Mi Centro program at Aycock Elementary for eight weeks in the summer. Mi Centro is a pre-school program for children who do not speak English as their primary language. This program helps with English language development, social skills and academics to prepare children for kindergarten. Meals to all of these camps/programs are free.

Through a federal grant program, VCS provides free lunches to churches, daycares, pre-schools, or other organizations in Vance County who serve children during the summer. According to VCS Public Information Officer Terri Hedrick, all the administrators of the programs have to do is contact the VCS School Nutrition staff to provide basic information.

The administrators in the programs must come to Aycock Elementary (where meals are prepared) to pick up the lunches and take them back to their sites. Hedrick said there are currently 20 summer programs in the county for which VCS provides lunches.

“We have done all of this for several years over the summer because we know many children have inadequate food supplies at home,” stated Hedrick.

Jackson Recipient of Superintendent of the Year Award

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson has been selected as the recipient of the 2019-2020 Central Carolina Regional Education Service Alliance (CCRESA) Superintendent of the Year Award.

He was presented the award on June 17 by Dr. Neil Pederson, executive director of CCRESA, during the Vance County School System’s administrative meeting.

Jackson received the award for his outstanding leadership in the school system. For the 2018-2019 school year, he led the successful consolidation of two middle schools and two high schools. In addition, he has led local schools to an improved graduation rate of over 82 percent and improved student performances at all grade levels. He also has been instrumental in leading efforts to continually improve community involvement in our public schools.

Jackson has just completed his fourth school year as the leader of Vance County Schools. He joined the school system in August of 2015.

Dr. Anthony Jackson, right, accepts the CCRESA Superintendent of the Year Award from Dr. Neil Pederson, executive director of CCRESA. (VCS photo)