School Bus Safety – Important

State Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Stay Alert Due to Increase of School Buses on North Carolina Roadways

RALEIGH – In North Carolina, over 14,000 school buses travel our highways daily transporting children to and from school.  Most motorists that meet school buses on the state’s highways actually stop as required by North Carolina law.  However some do not. The results can be tragic. Since 1999, thirteen children in North Carolina have been struck and killed while loading and/or unloading from a stop school bus. School buses are easy to spot. They typically are painted yellow with the words “School Bus” printed in large type on their front and rear as well as being equipped with alternately flashing red lights on the front and rear. Yet despite these distinguishable traits, motorists still fail to properly stop.

According to the Department of Public Instruction, a total of 3,153 vehicles across the state passed stopped school buses on a single day in 2014. Despite that number, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Statistics show that students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends. More surprisingly, a child is much safer riding the bus than being driven by a parent.

Through the years, the penalties for those who violate the law, have become more stringent. Under North Carolina law, G.S. 20-217, drivers going either direction must stop when a school bus is stopped to let children off unless it is on a highway divided by a median or a four or more lane road with a center turning lane. Drivers are to remain stopped until the bus has completed dropping the children off and begun to move again. Drivers who are convicted of passing a stopped school bus face a $500 fine and 5-points on their driver’s license. A driver who passes a stopped school bus and strikes someone will face a Class I felony and be fined a minimum of $1,000. The penalty increases to a Class H felony and fine of $2,500 if someone dies.

In an effort to promote traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops, the Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be aware of the increase of school buses across the state.

“As we begin the school year, our Troopers will be closely monitoring school buses.  Our number one goal is to ensure the safety of the public but particularly our children,” said Colonel Bill Grey, Commander of the State Highway Patrol. “To accomplish this goal, we must work together to keep our school children safe and to educate all drivers on the importance of school bus safety.”

To increase educational awareness, below are a few simple safety tips that drivers, parents and children should follow:


  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.


  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.


  • Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.

For more information on North Carolina’s Stop Arm Law or other educational safety tips, please go to the following link:

For more general information, please contact Lt. Jeff Gordon at (919)733-5027 or



Whatever happened to Reading?  It used to be Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  It appears that story telling is taking over for Reading as the cornerstone of a new way for young children, especially African-American children, to learn and along the way build confidence and a strong bond between the pre-schooler and the teacher, this according to the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

The study by the Institute looked at more than 6,000 students across the United States and points out students need to be able to orally express themselves in class in front of other students as this activity helps develop early reading skills.

According to the study, when African-American children are given the opportunity to verbally tell their home and lesson stories to others in the class, good things happen not only to them but to others in the class.  According to the authors, teachers should listen more and talk less and encourage all their students to talk about their studies and surroundings as this encourages them to participate in all classroom activities.

This study was the first to demonstrate a connection between African-American preschoolers’ storytelling skills and further development of their early reading skills.

This article was recently released by North Carolina News Service, a statewide news service for North Carolina.

Vance County Schools On The Air

Vance County Schools Public Information Officer Terri Hedrick can be heard live on WIZS each Monday afternoon between 4:35pm and 4:55pm.

August 10, 2015 — New Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson was officially sworn in one week ago.  At the Vance County Board of Education meeting August 10th, Dr. Jackson took part in a ceremonial swearing in and oath of office.  It took place at the VCS Administrative Services building on Graham Avenue.  The meeting started at 7pm.

Vance County Schools will host two “Meet the Superintendent” events for parents, students, school system employees and community residents to meet new Superintendent Anthony Jackson.

The events will be held on Monday, August 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Northern Vance High School and on Wednesday, August 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Southern Vance High School. Both events are floating receptions with Dr. Jackson available to meet everyone, talk about the new school year and answer questions. Light refreshments will be provided.

All local residents are invited to attend one or both events.

In other news, there are close to 100 new school teachers in Vance County this year.  August 10th was their first day, and a breakfast was held in the cafeteria of Northern Vance High School.  Superintendent Jackson headlined those welcoming the new teachers.

Orientation sessions continue on Tuesday and Wednesday at Northern Vance for all the new teachers here in Vance County.

Thursday, August 13th, all employees return to work to start the new school year.  All 10, 11 and 12-month employees.  All 1,100-plus Vance County Schools employees will join in a convocation on Thursday at 8:30am at Northern Vance to celebrate the new school year.

Entire Show from August 10, 2015

New School Year Starting

According to the Vance County Schools website, the new public school year for 2015-2016 will officially start with the beginning of classes for students on Thursday, August 6, at the Vance County Early College High School located on the campus of Vance-Granville Community College near Henderson.

Vance County Schools (NVHS Choir)

Teachers and other 10-month employees begin work for the new school year at the Early College on Monday, August 3.

The Early College High School has students who take college level courses at the community college and their schedule must closely follow the schedule of the college.

All other Vance County Schools begin classes for students on Monday, August 24.

New teachers and other new employees for the school system report to work on Monday, August 10. They will be welcomed to the school system at a breakfast held at 8 a.m. in the cafeteria of Northern Vance High School. New employees will participate in orientation sessions August 10-12. All school system employees will attend a breakfast and convocation on Thursday, August 13, at Northern Vance High School. The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the school’s cafeteria and the convocation will follow at 8:30 a.m. in the gymnasium. Friday, August 14, is a mandatory workday for all employees and Monday, August 17, through Thursday, August 20, also are mandatory workdays. Friday, August 21, is a teacher workday.

On Thursday, August 20, open house sessions will be held at all schools, except Early College High School, from 3 to 7 p.m.

New Vance Schools Superintendent Starts Aug 1

The Vance County Board of Education Tuesday night, July 21, 2015, voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Anthony “Tony” Jackson as the new superintendent of Vance County Schools.

He will begin his duties as superintendent on August 1.

Dr. Jackson’s career in public education spans 27 years in several districts in both North Carolina and Virginia. He began his teaching career in Wake County. He has served as a principal at all three levels in rural, suburban and urban districts. He also has been an associate superintendent and an executive director of curriculum and instruction.Untitled-2

Dr. Jackson became the superintendent of Henry County Public Schools in Virginia before he was chosen as superintendent for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, a position he served in for the last four years. He is described by an experienced, long-serving member of his past board as “passionate about his work and wanting to make sure the kids get the best education they can get.” He led the 1:1 digital learning initiative for students in grades 4-12 to facilitate 21st Century learning methods and the development of a comprehensive 10-year capital improvement facility plan. During his tenure in Nash-Rocky Mount, the school system had increases in Algebra I enrollment and in the on-time cohort graduation rate and a decrease in the dropout rate. Dr. Jackson also successfully completed the school system’s first reassignment process in over 20 years.

He was named the Central Carolina Regional Education Service Alliance 2013-2014 Superintendent of the Year. The region encompasses several neighboring counties including Wake, Durham, Nash, Edgecombe, Franklin, Vance, Granville, Johnston, Wilson, Halifax and Northampton. In November of that year, he was one of seven finalists for the North Carolina Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Jackson has a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from East Carolina University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from N.C. Central University and a doctorate degree in education from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He serves on the boards of the local Boys and Girls Clubs, the United Way, the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Arts Council and the Braswell Library Board of Trustees. He also holds membership in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

He has two adult children and his hobbies include singing and playing the piano.

The Vance County Board of Education wanted the next superintendent to be a person who: makes the tough decisions in the education of children in Vance County Schools; is active in the community; is self-motivated; is an advocate for resources; genuinely likes children; and wants the best for children. During the search process, the board carefully reviewed applications and supporting documentation from a field of 23 candidates from six states. The board is confident that Dr. Jackson meets the needs of Vance County Schools and that he will work with the board to lead the school system to even higher achievements.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Jackson as the new superintendent of Vance County Schools and as a new member of our community. We hope that you will be as pleased as we are to have him as our next superintendent. We also hope the community at large will welcome him here as he moves Vance County Schools to the next level.

Vance County Schools – Donations from Staples

The management and employees of the Staples Fulfillment Center on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County have donated approximately $12,000 worth of school supplies to Vance County Schools.

Representatives of the school system and Staples are shown in the accompanying photo with the four pallets of items donated after they were delivered to the Vance County Staples DonationsSchools’ Purchasing and Distribution Center. Shown in the photo are, from left, E.T. Newby, lead warehouseman for the school system; Kerri Williams, inventory control supervisor for Staples; Silka Boone, purchasing coordinator for the school system; and David Person, Staples Fulfillment Center manager. The donations of school supplies are part of the Staples center’s annual Donation Program, led by a team of employees.

Williams said that three key Staples employees, Gary Johnson, Tigkin Richardson and Sandra Murray, all Vance County residents, were instrumental in getting the donations for use by students in Vance County Schools.

The donated supplies include a wide range of notebook paper, file folders, project folders, composition books, three-ring binders, pens, pencils and more.

“Our school system is so appreciative of the wonderful generosity of Staples in supporting our students,” said Terri Hedrick, public information officer for Vance County Schools. “Staples has been a great partner for our school system over the years. All of the school supplies will be put to great use by our students in all 17 of our schools for the new school year.”

Vance County PAGE Scholarships

The Vance County Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Education (PAGE) has announced three graduating seniors from Northern Vance and Southern Vance high schools have been awarded scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year. The scholarship recipients are shown in the accompanying photo holding the plaques that bear their names and will hang in their respectivPAGE Scholarshipse schools. The students include, from left, Chris Pendergrass, who won the Jerold P. Murdock Memorial Scholarship; Moriah Davis, who won the Top Graduate from Southern Vance High School Scholarship; and Ray Cheever, who won the Top Graduate from Northern Vance High School Scholarship. Pendergrass received the Murdock scholarship, worth $500, as the top graduate from all high schoolsin Vance County. Davis and Cheever represent the best in their respective graduating classes. Their scholarships are valued at $250 each. All three scholarship winners were honored at a reception hosted by Vance County PAGE on June 9, in the Vance County Schools’ Administrative Services Center.

Vance County Teacher Executive Institute

A total of 17 educators in Vance County Schools completed their participation in the Vance County Teacher Executive Institute (TEI) program for 2014-2015 on March 19.

They were honored at a dinner and ceremony held at the Henderson Country Club after completing four all-day sessions in the leadership program.

TEI 2014-2015

The participants are shown in the photo and include, seated from left, Deris Mora of Henderson Middle; Lauren Murvine of E.M. Rollins Elementary; Tonia Davis of Clarke Elementary; Deborah Bullock-Harris of Dabney Elementary; Aarika Sandlin of Eaton-Johnson Middle; and Cynthia Traynham of Southern Vance High. Standing from left, are Erika Barnett of Aycock Elementary; Ana-Maria Topliceanu of Northern Vance High; Joshua Patterson of STEM Early High; Cheryl Jones of Pinkston Street Elementary; Carrie Hoffler of New Hope Elementary; Joy Darden of E.O. Young Jr. Elementary; Analiza Maghanoy of L.B. Yancey Elementary; Sophia Miller-Ford of Early College High; Alison Tiangson of Western Vance High; Mary Frances Wiggins of Carver Elementary; and Bonnie Stallings of Zeb Vance Elementary.

TEI is a leadership program for local public school educators. It is presented each year by the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce and the Vance County Public School Foundation.

Dr. Rebecca Garland, deputy state superintendent of North Carolina, was the featured speaker for the TEI dinner and closing ceremony. The evening was sponsored by Walmart Distribution Center #6091 of Henderson.