The Local Skinny! VCS Recognizes School-Community Partnerships For 2021

Vance County Schools gave special thanks to the community partners of the schools in the district during end-of-year recognitions.

Each school in the district identified a particular partner – business, church or individual – that has made contributions to support the school.

A district committee reviews all the partnerships and awards one as the district partnership of the year. This year’s partnership award goes to TechTerra for its support of STEM Early High School.

TechTerra founder Susan Wells worked with STEM and donated a class set of 3D doodler pens, along with project kits. “This generous contribution allows for students to be afforded innovative opportunities and learning experiences,” VCS public information officer Aarika Sandlin said.

Students can extend their knowledge through use and application with the items from TechTerra.

STEM Principal Gradesa Lockhart expressed her gratitude to TechTerra for “the ongoing efforts in providing our students with innovative equipment and experiences.” The partnership makes an impact on the students and the school, Lockhart said.

District leaders expressed gratitude not only to the partners of the individual schools, but also the support that comes from civic organizations, churches, businesses and the Vance County Public School Foundation.

“We are grateful for each and every partnership, as they find ways to support our students and staff through impact, innovation and outreach,” according to a press release from Sandlin.

Below is a list of schools and the community partners that were recognized:

Advance Academy – Melissa Elliott

Aycock Elementary – Lowe’s of Henderson

Carver Elementary – Cokesbury United Methodist Church

Clarke Elementary – First Baptist Church of Henderson

Dabney Elementary – First United Methodist Church

Early College High – AIS Carolinas

E.M. Rollins Elementary – First Baptist Church

E.O. Young Elementary – Middleburg United Methodist Church

L.B. Yancey Elementary – Rowland Chapel Christian Church

New Hope Elementary – Rock Spring Baptist Church

Pinkston St. Elementary – First United Methodist Church

STEM Early High – TechTerra Education

Vance County High – Gill Clopton

Vance County Middle – Sean Alston

Vance Virtual Village – Poe Center for Health Education

Zeb Vance Elementary – Clearview Baptist

Mako Medical Contributes $5K to Vance Co. Public School Foundation

– VCS Press Release –

The Vance County Public School Foundation is pleased to announce MAKO Medical, a national reference laboratory and leader in COVID-19 testing, has matched the Foundation’s initial funding of $5,000 for Learning that Extends Actual Performances (LEAP) Grants to double the amount available to Vance County educators. The Foundation initially committed $5,000 for the LEAP teacher mini-grants to support quality programs and educational ideas, and MAKO Medical agreed to match that amount with another $5,000.

“The foundation appreciates MAKO’s support for our mission of promoting quality programs in public schools,” Aarika Sandlin, Public Information Officer for Vance County Schools. “We will ensure that these mini-grants have the greatest impact on our educators and students.”

MAKO Medical’s Mikey the Shark visiting Vance County teachers in February 2020

The LEAP grants will be distributed in August at a district convocation. More details on how to apply and receive the grants will be provided in the following weeks.

“MAKO Medical values the vital work of educators,” said Josh Arant, COO, MAKO Medical. “We are honored to be able to help educators implement their innovative ideas in the classrooms.”

The recruitment and retention of certified teachers for Vance County Schools and the enhancement of programs and services for students are priorities for the Foundation. Over the years, the foundation has provided financial support for school system projects, teacher workshops, and special activities.

“We welcome additional donations for companies and individuals wanting to support our Vance County educators,” said Sandlin. “We all know how tough 2020 was on students, teachers and families. Helping our teachers enact their innovative ideas to improve classroom performance is a great way to support teachers and students.”

The LEAP grants for teachers are given annually, along with the co-sponsorship of the Teacher Executive Institute with the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce. The foundation also gives monetary awards to the local teacher of the year, principal of the year, and teachers who obtain National Board Certification.

About the Vance County Public School Foundation

The Vance County Public School Foundation supports all local public schools and encourages the successful development of the younger generation through community support. The Vance County Public School Foundation seeks to leverage the investment of private contributions from business, industry, and individuals to ensure the most significant possible impact in education. The foundation was chartered in 1988 and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.

COVID-19 Vaccine Q & A On June 2, Followed by June 8 Clinic For Anyone 12 And Older

Vance County Schools is partnering with local health experts to present a virtual information session next week designed to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, especially for those with questions about vaccinating children.

Join Dr. Cornelius Cathcart and Granville Vance Public Health on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the vaccination, according to a press release issued by Aarika Sandlin, VCS public information officer.

A vaccine clinic will be held on Tuesday, June 8 at Vance County Middle School from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The clinic is open to anyone ages 12 and up who wants a shot. “We are committed to ensuring that everyone who wants a shot has a spot,” the VCS statement read.

In advance of the information session, the public is invited to complete a short survey, which can be found on the VCS website and social media accounts, Sandlin said. “Our district continues to make calls, encouraging families to complete the survey,” she said.

A link to the survey is listed below:

Vaccination Survey

Click the link below to join the June 2 webinar:

Visit for information on how to join by telephone.

The Local Skinny! Vance Co. Schools 1 of 24 in Nation

May 27 – The Local Skinny! – VCS Press Release –

Vance County Schools Named National Beta District of Distinction

Henderson, North Carolina – National Beta is proud to announce Vance County Schools as a 2020-2021 National District of Distinction for the third consecutive year. This award is given to those deserving districts who offer National Beta in all schools in their district, and who induct qualifying students in all eligible grades (4‐12). Vance County Schools is one of only 24 districts to receive this award nationwide.

Through the exceptional efforts of VCS Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson, district Beta Club coordinator, Andrew Markoch, school sponsors and deserving Beta members, Vance County Schools has flourished since the district’s initial Beta charter. This national award speaks highly of our district’s commitment to academic excellence, leadership development and service involvement, and illustrates their dedication to preparing students for college and career readiness. The students in their district understand the importance of these qualities and exemplify the Beta motto, Let Us Lead by Serving Others.

A School of Merit is designated if the school has members in every eligible grade; every one of our schools received this designation. Beta Club advisers in our schools play a major role in the success of the program and recognition of eligible students. Those advisers include:

  • Kim Burton of Aycock Elementary School
  • Teresa Hicks of Carver Elementary School
  • Cheryl Cook-Chavis of Clarke Elementary School
  • Joy Herndon of Dabney Elementary School
  • Marian Faulkner of E.O. Young Elementary School
  • Veronica Young of E.M. Rollins Elementary School
  • Sharita Jones of L.B. Yancey Elementary School
  • Cathy Oswald of New Hope Elementary School
  • Yolande Dixon of Pinkston Elementary School
  • C’Monee Wilkins of Zeb Vance Elementary School
  • Gradesa Lockhart of STEM Early High School
  • Vicki Anne Fullwood of Vance County Early College High School
  • Sandra Williams-McGlone of Vance County Middle School
  • Bobbi Parks of Vance County High School
  • Chameka Williams of Vance Virtual Village

Award recipients received a National Beta District of Distinction award to proudly display at their district office. In addition, National Beta District of Distinction principals received a plaque to display at their school.

About National Beta: National Beta is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America. Since its beginnings in 1934, National Beta has been committed to providing students with a positive experience in a supportive manner in grades 4-12. The organization recognizes outstanding achievement, promotes character and social responsibility, encourages
service involvement to school and community, and fosters leadership skills. For more information about National Beta, visit

Vance County Schools Graduation Day 2021

(WIZS Radio, Your Community Voice, broadcast all four VCS graduations.)

– Vance County Schools Press Release –

Graduation is an important milestone; one that commemorates and honors the hard work of students over the course of 13 years, as well as their families. Vance County Schools held the Class of 2021 Commencement Exercises, in-person, for all four district high schools: Vance Virtual Village Academy, Advance Academy, Vance County High and Vance County Early College.
Each graduation took place on Monday, May 24 with Dr. Anthony Jackson, Superintendent, along with the school principal of each respective school, presenting diplomas as seniors walked across the stage.

Commencement Ceremonies

  • Vance Virtual Village Academy, Vance County School’s K-12 virtual school, graduated 20 seniors in its inaugural class. Principal Jessica Perry awarded diplomas to the students at an 8:30 AMceremony at the Vance County High School gymnasium. Graduate Camron Silvious address the Class of 2021, while Heddie Somerville, Principal at Clarke Elementary, was the keynote speaker.
  • Advance Academy, Vance County School’s flex school, graduated 96 students, with diplomas awarded by Principal Stephanie Ayscue. Commencement took place at a 10 AM ceremony at the Vance County High School stadium.
  • Vance County High School, the district’s traditional high school, graduated 175 students. At a
    1:30 PM ceremony, held at the Vance County High School stadium, Principal Rey Horner awarded
    diplomas. Tymiah Aniece Wimbush, Class of 2021 graduate, shared a poem to her fellow class.
  • Vance County Early College Principal, Travis Taylor, awarded 63 diplomas at a 4 PM ceremony at
    the Vance County High School gymnasium. Jorge Gomez Mancilla and Sarah Elizabeth Parish,
    Class of 2021 graduates, gave a farewell address.

Academic Achievements

As a district we honor and celebrate the academic achievements of our top high school scholars using the Latin honors system: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude. The Class of 2021 worked hard and remained dedicated to their studies during a challenging year. Collectively, Vance County Schools honored 25 Summa Cum Laude, 20 Magna Cum Laude and 28 Cum Laude students.

Additionally, students earned 3,557 college credits while enrolled in high school. Of those, 48 students received their Associates degree. The class boasts 14 North Carolina Scholars, 60 National Beta Club members, as well as 24 National Honor Society members.

The Journey Beyond Graduation

The school district has 14 graduates enlisting into the United States military, including the US Army, US Air Force and US Navy. Additionally, there are 50 graduates who have already secured full-time employment and 158 accepted into college, earning nearly 7 million dollars in scholarships and grants! The Class of 2021 received college acceptances from the following:

Appalachian State University | Averett University | Barton College | Belmont Abbey College | Brevard College | Campbell University | Cape Fear Community College | Catawba College | Chowan University | Clemson University | College of Charleston | Concord University | Durham Tech | East Carolina University | Elizabeth City State University | Elon University | Fayetteville State University | Gardner-Webb University | Grace College | Greensboro College | Guilford College | Hawaii Pacific University | High Point University | Hollins University | Howard University | Jacksonville State University | Johnson & Wales University | Kansas State University | Lees-McRae College | Lenoir Rhyne University | Livingstone College | Louisburg College | Louisiana State University | Mars Hill University | Mary Baldwin University | Meredith College | Methodist University | Michigan State
University | North Carolina A&T State University | North Carolina Central University | North Carolina State University | North Carolina Wesleyan | New Jersey City University | Ohio State University| Old Dominion University | Queens University | Radford University | Roanoke College | Saint Augustine University | Saint Martin University | Shaw University | Southern Mississippi University | Strayer University | The New School New York | The University of Akron | The University of New Mexico | The University of Tennessee at Knoxville | University of California at San Diego | University of North Carolina at Asheville | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | University of North Carolina at Charlotte | University of North Carolina at Greensboro | University of North Carolina at Pembroke | University of North Carolina at Wilmington | University of Alabama at Birmingham | University of California at Riverside | University of Kentucky | University of Mount Olive | University of Nevada at Las Vegas | University of Northern Colorado | University of Oregon | Vance Granville Community College | Virginia Tech | Wake Tech Community College | Washington and Lee University | Western Carolina University | William Peace University | Wingate University | Winston Salem State University

Vance County Schools is extremely proud of the 354 Class of 2021 graduates. They have moved beyond obstacles placed before them, including a public health crisis, proving their resilience. We are confident the Class of 2021 will go forth and do great things!

Vance County Schools Logo

Vance County Schools Re-entry Plans Ready; Just Need Date

The Vance County School system has been hard at work on a re-entry plan for students, and this week at the Vance County Board of Education meeting that re-entry plan was approved.

No date was set.

VCS Public Information Officer Aarika Sandlin provided the information in her latest board briefs.  She wrote, “The Board of Education approved the re-entry plan for students; however, the re-entry date was not determined. The Board of Education will continue to review metrics, along with discussions with The ABC Science Collaborative, NCDHHS and Granville Vance Public Health.

“The re-entry plan approved allowed for two days of face-to-face instruction and a staggered entry, beginning with PreK, K and 6 grades, followed by grades 1 and 2 and then grades 3-5. Additionally, self-contained EC students in grades PreK-12 begin re-entry.”

The plan will allow any student wishing to remain fully remote to do so, with live instruction on specific days and times.

Sandlin can be heard each morning on WIZS at 7:45 and each afternoon during the WIZS Local News with school information.

Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson will join WIZS on TownTalk Tuesday, December 22 at 11am.

Local News Audio

Local News Audio 9-9-20 Noon

– Homicide Suspect Arrested –
– Dr. Jerry Edmonds, VGCC Vice President Appointed to Black Entrepreneurship Council –
– Executive Session of Henderson City Council, Personnel Matter –
– Office Supplies for Vance County Schools Students –

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Local News Audio 9-8-20 Noon

– Warrants for Se’Quayveon Batchelor for 1st Degree Murder Remain Unserved –

– Vance County Schools and the Vance County Public School Foundation Both Recipients of Walmart Grants –

– Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Hold Monthly Meeting Tues., Sept. 8 –

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Henderson Police Department

Local News Audio 9-4-20 Noon

-Suspect At Large After Man Shot Dead on Neathery Street-

-Vance County Schools Surpasses State Graduation Rate-

-VGCC Advances the Virtual Classroom through Proven Faculty Development-

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Local News Audio

Local News Audio 8-20-20 Noon

  • Dr. Rachel Desmarais, President of Vance-Granville Community College, Oldest Son Killed in Car Crash
  • David “DJ” Cooper on Serving as Transportation Director of Vance County Schools, The Same Schools He Himself Attended
  • McGregor Hall Continues Online

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