VCS Holds Two-Day School Resource Officer Training


-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools coordinated a training, led by the National Association for School Resource Officers (NASRO), on January 14-15. Mac Hardy, the NASRO Director of Operations, led the two-day training, which was attended by all Vance County School Resource Officers, representatives from the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, County Government officials and school-based and district administration.

Our work with the NC Center for Safer Schools will involve that our current Memorandum of Understanding is aligned with the best practices from our NASRO training. Our goal is to ensure that, as a district, we are maintaining the highest standards for school-based policing.

At the culmination of the training, Vance County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson, presented Sheriff Curtis Brame, our school resource officers and Captain Lloyd Watkins a VanceFormation pin. VanceFormation is the district recognition program, recognizing those who are paving the way by rethinking, reforming, reimagining and renewing. Our School Resource Officers are the first recipients to receive the recognition that are not employed by the district.

We are proud to have a team of SROs willing to work to ensure safety is our top priority. We are committed to educating our students in an environment that is welcoming and safe.

Pictures courtesy Vance County Schools:

Fairytale Characters to Take Over McGregor Hall!

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-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center is gearing up for its presentation of “Into the Woods,” a fully staged Broadway-style musical presented with a live, professional orchestra.

Evening performances include Sat., February 1, Fri., February 7 and Sat., February 8 at 8 p.m. Matinee performances will be offered at 2 p.m. on Sun., February 2 and Sun., February 9, 2020.

Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece “Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, entwining the classic stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood with an original story about a baker and his wife wishing to start a family and live a more wonderful life. The moral of this story? Be careful what you wish for!

Tickets for this event may be purchased by:

DROP-IN: 201 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, N.C. Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

CALL: (252) 598-0662 (M-F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

CLICK HERE:  (Use the eTix official site, online fees apply)

(This is not a paid advertisement)

VGCC Continues Enrollment Growth Trend

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College is celebrating good news to begin 2020. The fall 2019 semester that recently ended brought growth in enrollment along with an 11% increase in course hours completed in both credit (curriculum) and non-credit programs.

In addition, the college has started the new spring semester off seeing an increase in credit program enrollment over the same time last year.

As of the beginning of the spring semester in January, VGCC had 2,939 students enrolled in curriculum programs. That represents an 8% increase compared to the beginning of the spring 2019 semester when enrollment stood at 2,719.

A significant source of the increase was enrollment by high school students in the Career & College Promise program. There were 4.6% more of those students enrolled than there were at the beginning of spring 2019.

“We are excited about the increasing number of students who have chosen VGCC to pursue their higher education and prepare for a successful career,” said Dr. Levy Brown, the college’s vice president of learning, student engagement and success. “Student access, retention and career preparation are embedded in our daily work, and it shows!”

“We attribute this growth to a lot of collaboration among our talented faculty and staff across our four campuses,” added Kali Brown, VGCC’s dean of student access and support. “This is a collective effort, and we are glad to see outstanding things happening at VGCC under the leadership of President Desmarais. The college will continue to collaborate internally and externally to provide a top-notch educational experience.”

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.

Additionally, VGCC has classes starting in February and March for students to enroll in our 12 and 8-week term options.

For more information about the college, visit

Friday Institute Showcases Partnership With Vance Co. Schools

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools’ partnership with NC State and The Friday Institute continues to be valuable to both students and staff. We are excited about the opportunities we are afforded through this partnership and extending our lessons through virtual reality. The Friday Institute showcased their partnership with VCS in the article below:

We hope that you find this information and related article useful in sharing the great things happening in Vance County Schools.

West End Community Watch Hears on Importance of CPR Training

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-Notes courtesy Claire Catherwood, West End Community Watch

Jim Gunderson was the speaker for the West End Community Watch meeting held on January 21. Gunderson is employed by DAN (Divers Alert Network), located in Durham, where he is a First Aid and CPR trainer. Jim spoke about “The Necessity of First Aid and CPR Training.”

Gunderson presented a scenario to consider… you go out of your house briefly and return to find your spouse unconscious on the floor. What should you do?  First, you should call 911, of course, but you need to do more than that if the person is to survive. The question was, “Do you know what to do?”

Some sobering statistics were reported. Seventy percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home. Once the heart stops, the human brain will be dead within 3 to 4 minutes. EMS usually takes 15 minutes or more to arrive.  Stroke victims must be treated within one hour. A person bleeding from the carotid artery (in the neck) will survive only 1 or 2 minutes without treatment.

Few people are adequately trained for an emergency event. CPR training creates the confidence needed to be willing to help and increases the odds of survival.

First Aid and CPR training are available through the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and some health departments. Gunderson offers courses to the public through DAN. Online courses are not recommended because hands-on training is necessary.

The usual fee for training is $30 to $40. Training needs to be renewed every 2 years. The bottom line is that everyone should receive training!

News 01/24/20

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Town Talk 01/23/20: NC Treasurer Folwell Assures State Pension is Secure


NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell appeared on WIZS Town Talk Thursday at 11 a.m.

Folwell has served as the North Carolina State Treasurer since 2017 and is the former Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Overseeing the 26th largest public pool of money in the world, Folwell explained that his office manages retirement, healthcare and pharmaceutical benefits for 900,000 state and local employees in NC.

“At the end of the day, what I like to say is that we are in the check delivery business. Every 30 days we are spending nearly $750 million. We manage an amount of money eight times that of the state budget.”

Acknowledging that, statistically speaking, 2 out of 10 Town Talk listeners most likely have something to do with the State’s pension, health and/or pharmacy benefit plan, Folwell said those involved in the system can rest assured that employee retirement plans are secure.

“The pension plan is one of the five most solvent and secure pension plans in the United States, if not the world,” said Folwell. “A rating agency just posted us as number one in the country in terms of the ability to fund the pension plan during an economic downtown.”

Reminding listeners that economic downturns are historically “when not if” occurrences, Folwell said he was confident in the strength of the State’s pension system.

On the other end of the spectrum, Folwell said the State’s health plan is “one of the most insolvent in the US. All of our efforts right now are on state healthcare costs.”

Despite rising costs, Folwell said the State is committed to keeping insurance rates as affordable as possible for employees and retirees. “We have frozen all premiums for the second straight year even in light of the fact that costs are increasing at a faster pace than the governor’s budget and legislature’s budget appropriates money to us.”

Folwell said listeners may also be interested to know that the State currently has $700 million in unclaimed property, mostly in stocks and bonds, that can be viewed at any time, by first and last name free of charge at To learn more about the Treasurer’s Office, visit

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


Paramedicine, Paid Volunteer Fire Positions Among Retreat Discussions

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The Vance County Board of Commissioners met at Perry Memorial Library on Tuesday for the first of two planned retreat days designed to assist with the review of current plans and development of new goals for the coming fiscal year.

Commissioners heard presentations from County department heads on their respective office’s current fiscal year accomplishments and priorities moving forward.

EMS Director Javier Plummer and Vance County Fire Marshal Keith Duncan shared the details of their respective portion of the presentation with WIZS News.

Plummer led a discussion on the need for a Community Paramedicine program within the EMS department. Paramedicine is a program that allows paramedics to operate in expanded roles by assisting with public health, primary healthcare and preventive services to certain populations within the community.

According to Plummer, the main focus of the program is to 1) provide and connect patients to primary care services; 2) in some cases, complete post-hospital follow-up care; 3) integrate with local public health agencies, home health agencies, health systems and other providers; 4) provide education and promote health and 5) not duplicate available services within the community.

“As far as EMS is concerned for the planning retreat, I mainly discussed our call volume with the Board of Commissioners as well as the purchase of equipment,” said Plummer.  “Our goals going forward are the addition of Captain’s positions and the development of a Community Paramedicine program.”

Duncan reported his accomplishments for the current fiscal year included the rewriting of contracts between volunteer fire departments and County government, as well as the establishment of paid personnel in volunteer departments.

The contracts allowed for increased appropriations and funds for hiring staff at volunteer fire departments. “Departments were able to fund two paid personnel for 12 hours a day Monday through Friday this fiscal year,” said Duncan. “To date, this has worked great and has verifiably reduced response times for the citizens. As an added benefit, these departments run first responder calls that help with the EMS call volume.”

Commissioners will reconvene on Monday, February 10, 2020, for the second day of the planning retreat. The meeting will be held in the Farm Bureau Room of Perry Memorial Library in Henderson from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

VCS Announces Innovative School Application Dates/Deadlines

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools announces important dates and deadlines for its innovative school options for the upcoming 2020-21 academic school year.

Applications for innovative schools, including EM Rollins STEAM Academy, STEM Early High School, AdVance Academy and Vance County Early College High School, will be available on the VCS website, VCS District Office and at each school beginning February 3, 2020.

Applications are due to the VCS District Office, located at 1724 Graham Avenue in Henderson, by February 28.

An Innovative School Night will be held at the District Office on February 11 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Parents and prospective students can ask questions and learn more about the programs during this session.

On March 14, STEM Early High School and Vance County Early College High School applicants will be mailed their application status. Final decisions for the remaining schools will be mailed on March 30.

Southern Gospel’s Triumphant Quartet Coming to South Henderson Pentecostal

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-Information courtesy Mary Helen Mustian, South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church

An evening with Triumphant Quartet, Southern Gospel’s #1 male quartet, is coming to South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church, 905 Americal Rd., Henderson, on Thursday, January 30, 2020, at 7 p.m.

Admission is free; a love offering will be taken. You do not want to miss this concert!