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VGCC President, Student Leader Celebrate College’s 50th Graduating Class

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Almost 500 graduates were honored at Vance-Granville Community College’s 50th annual commencement exercises on May 10, 2019. Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who became the seventh president of the community college earlier this year, served as the principal commencement speaker for the outdoor ceremony, held in front of the gazebo on the college’s Main Campus.

As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright noted that Desmarais followed in the footsteps of Dr. Donald Mohorn, the first president of the college. Mohorn served as the speaker for the very first commencement exercises, back in 1970, when the school was known as Vance County Technical Institute. Wright added that one member of that first graduating class is today a faculty member at the college: Faith Harris, program head of information technology/computer education.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, the president of Vance-Granville Community College, delivers the commencement address at VGCC on May 10. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais began by reminding students of the special meaning of the college mascot, the “Vanguard,” which often refers to being in the lead. “Today, you are truly Vanguards – going forward and leading the way into the future as you leave this campus,” she said.

The president went on to give the graduates pieces of advice that she felt would have been helpful to her younger self when she graduated from college. “The first one is to focus on what you do best,” she said. “Now is the time to stop concentrating on your weaknesses and put more attention and effort into your strengths.”

Second, she advised students, “don’t be afraid to be an original.” She explained, “You’ve probably heard that there will be jobs in the next 15 years that don’t even exist today…. Now, that’s not to say that your education and skills training are useless – simply that different combinations and applications of skills will be required for future jobs. That’s where being an original comes in!”

Desmarais added, “Don’t be afraid to recombine your strengths, knowledge, and ability into something new – because that’s where innovation lies.”

Also offering inspiration to the Class of 2019 was the Student Government Association president, Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, speaking on behalf of his classmates. De Leon graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson speaks on behalf of the graduates at Vance-Granville Community College on May 10. (VGCC photo)

He said that, after high school, he “made some decisions that were truthfully not in my best interest” and later realized he needed to make a change. Crediting his mother with never giving up on him, De Leon enrolled at VGCC. “I found the courage to move forward like a raging storm,” he told his fellow graduates. “I have not looked back since.”

De Leon did not know what he wanted to do with his life when he enrolled. “It wasn’t until my instructor’s first lecture was over that I realized that I wanted to become a professor,” he recalled. “I wanted to inspire others the way he did. I now have two years of instructors who have inspired me to change others’ lives the way they did for me. The faculty and staff here at VGCC truly care about the students.”

He thanked professionals at the college for helping “sculpt” him into the person he is today. “I am proud to stand here before you as a man with a future,” De Leon said. He plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, with a long-term plan to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology.

After Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Levy Brown presented the candidates for graduation, Board of Trustees chair Danny Wright and President Desmarais presented degrees and diplomas and congratulated the graduates.

Students in the Class of 2019 joined more than 14,000 others who have graduated from the college over the past half-century and made some history of their own, with the first graduates from a pair of degree programs that have been added in recent years: Histotechnology and the Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts.

Vance-Granville Community College President Dr. Rachel Desmarais places a medallion around the neck of Academic Excellence Award recipient Hope Crute of Youngsville, right. (VGCC photo)

One graduate, Hope Crute of Youngsville, was formally presented with the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award. During the procession of graduates, President Desmarais paused to place a medallion around Crute’s neck in honor of her outstanding achievement. One student from each of the 58 colleges in the state system is recognized with the award each year. Crute, a Franklin County Early College High School student, graduated with both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science.

Members of this year’s class, including those predicted to graduate at the end of the summer term in July, were awarded 221 Associate in Applied Science degrees in a variety of curriculum programs, 143 Associate in Arts degrees, five Associate in Fine Arts degrees, two Associate in General Education degrees, 75 Associate in Science degrees and 72 technical and vocational diplomas. Some 25 students graduated with more than one credential.

De Leon led the new graduates in ceremonially turning their tassels as the ceremony concluded. Music was provided by the Vance-Granville Community Band. Bearing the ceremonial mace for commencement was Bioprocess/Biotechnology Program Head Stewart Lyon, the college’s 2018-2019 Faculty Member of the Year.

LIST OF GRADUATES

Graduates are listed by program and then by residence. Names marked with asterisks (*) indicate graduates who are projected to graduate in July 2019.

Accounting:

Sally Jean Perry of Louisburg.

Accounting and Finance:

Alicia Denise Hinton of Castalia;

Tonya Faucette Saleh and Lissbeth Trejo Trejo, both of Henderson;

Jasmine Keona Dunston, Tammy Elizabeth Johnson Dudding and Trina Marie Leapley, all of Louisburg.

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Christian A. Dockum and Ethan Dean Hughes, both of Creedmoor;

Alberto M. Delahoz of Franklinton;

Tyrell Terry*,  Tyres Na’eem Terry* and Hunter T. Windley, all of Henderson;

Luis Fernando Briones Gomez*, Justin Albert Hicks, Zavious Damond Oakley* and Noah Ashton Reed*, all of Oxford;

Russell Wade Hinnant of Youngsville.

Associate Degree Nursing:

Lakeisha Monique Scott, James Elijah Temple and Rhonda Barnette Williamson, all of Bullock;

Catherine Gill Bullock and Emily Padgett, both of Butner;

Lilian J. Schleifer of Cary;

Kaylin Renee Gibson of Creedmoor;

Christine Atieno, Takera Shantell Green and Moses Maiko Onchonga, all of Durham;

Vanna Cunningham Farrar and Ashley Chea Sawyer, both of Franklinton;

Tuesday Ni-Asia Mathews of Fuquay-Varina;

Kathleen Elizabeth Lee, Allison Paige Stell, Tyler A. Thorp and Phylicia Johnette Wimbush, all of Henderson;

Keyona Donyitta Bullock, Jessica Brooke Honhart, Rachel Elizabeth Munson, Caitlin Anne Pernell and Chelsea Morgan Ray, all of Louisburg;

Frances Tuyet Beddingfield, Joseane Santiago Buckley, Teresa Ann Coley, Wanda Cozart Davis, Ashton Brummitt Hobgood, Hellen Ochanda Mbuya and Shanae Nicole Rhoades, all of Oxford;

Abigayle Makenzie Edwards, Leslie Michelle Judd, Angela Jepkoech Talam and Maritza Alexandra Vazquez, all of Raleigh;

Michelle Madison of Selma;

Ashley Nicole Flynn and Brandon Lee Smith, both of Wake Forest;

Melissa Candice Ramos of Warrenton.

Associate in Arts:

Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;

Benjamin Vijay Mangalam of Butner;

Spencer Jones* of Castalia;

Delaney Faith Edwards, Rickelle Taina Harrison, Sarah Josephine Jones, Netana Anastasia Ojeda Stgermain*, Michael Seth Potts, Rosanny Reynoso, Brandi M. Umstead and Davina Larae Williams, all of Creedmoor;

Jai Malik Butts and Dillon Keith McIntyre, both of Durham;

Maria Teresa Ayala*, Jessica Lynne Burney, Morgan Paige Byrd*, Kaleb Lee Cahoon, Sarah Rose Frizzle, Harley Marie Keith, Michelle Delgado Medina, Bernaldo Antonio Pina-Paz, Tyler Rada,

Charles Michael Sawyer, Brittney Ann Smith and Craig Wilkie, all of Franklinton;

Ariana Aguirre*, Viridiana Chavez, Amber Sha’prieste Cotton, Matthew Scott Denton, Dalton Scott Elliott*, Megan T. Goswick, Jessica Paige Grissom, Zurisadai Guzman-Vazquez, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Sarah Emily Howarth, Henry Huynh, Dylan Tyler Jackson, Tim Jiang, Jadyn May Jones, Joshua Arthur Jones, Jade A. Lewis, Alondra Lopez, Darius Philip Macon-Majette, Ariel Delores Noel, Vianey Nonato*, Evan Alexandra O’Geary, Ashley Jane Pendergrass, Joseph E. Penny, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Jarrett Philip Seaman, Amaya Sealyn Sneed, Jonyiah Alise Teasley, Alexis McKenzie Watson, Hannah Denise Wells, Corey Kennard Williams, Jr., Kianna A. Wills and Al-Leain Ishamarie Young, all of Henderson;

Kimberly Hope Callis, Caitlyn Nicole Holmes, Ashlee Marie Perry, Charles Edward Thompson, Gracey Renee Vaught and Brinea Wright, all of Kittrell;

Rachael Mei Ling Minter of Littleton;

Jessica Alexandra Baker*, Shelbie Dion, Nathan Fields, Leslye Herrera, Rylie Hannah Howes, Lujain Issa, Ashley Brook Lloyd*, Rachel May, Kalyn McComas, Kassandra Plascencia and Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;

Destiny Lynae’ Brown, Colby Latrell Richardson and Delana Symone Williams, all of Macon;

Katelyn Frazier, Daisha Monique Lemay and Sha’niya Lo-Angel Perry, all of Manson;

Caleb Richard Brauer, Andrew Barrington Cheek, Maya Hawkins, Wesley Scott Huff and Jasmine Luna, all of Norlina;

Chance Parker Taylor of Omaha, Nebraska;

William Jordan Abbott*, Christy Lynn Beasley, Savannah Leigh Brogden, Jacob Newby Carver, Laci Anne Davidson, Ker’Telian Sharey Fields, Willie Lorenzo Fields, Khalil Nasim Gay, U’lia Kiana Hargrove, Sonia Marie Hernandez, Miya Kimberly Jefferson, Glandra Tahjah Jolly, Asmaa Kassim,

Kristie Lumpkin, Kelan Javarious Marable, Anna Elisabeth McAuley*, Kacey Ann Ramsey*, Alyssa McKya Thorpe, Trinity Alexis Thorpe, Kimberly Nicole Vargo*, Shiloh Ann Whiten, Hunter Scott Wilkins, Alexander Chance Wilkinson, Jadakiss Davonne Wilson and Foster Thomas Yacos*, all of Oxford;

Emerald M. Scott of Raleigh;

Madeliene E. Williams* of Rougemont;

Brittany Lee Petrimoulx and Maria Guadalupe Rojas, all of Stem;

Kamiyah Elizabeth Wiggins of Townsville;

Nicholas Henry, Morgan Hopkins, Ashley Husske, Rachel Sudney Kelley, Jamie Elizaveta McGinn,

Jillian Stegemann and Rachael Glynn Yelle, all of Wake Forest;

Conner Gray Bryant, Moniah Dal’shaunda Bullock, Ellen Renee Denning, Danaja Bene’t Lee*,

Bryanna A’layza Richardson and Heriberto Vela-Leos, all of Warrenton;

Tabais Jaheim Mitchell of Williamsboro;

Emily Jean Bauer, Julia Brock, Dariana Cabrera, Sarah Callahan, Kyle Cook, Hope Crute, Meara McCrory, James Hunter Murphy, Hayley O’Neal, Sydney Venezia and Taylor Nichole Wagaman, all of Youngsville.

Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts:

Jessica Kathryn Hartley of Kenbridge, Va.;

Christian Daevon Ellison* of Kittrell;

Elizabeth Nicole Durand and Samantha Theda-Jean Marchese, both of Wake Forest;

Colton Michael Valentino of Youngsville.

Associate in General Education:

Michael Wayne Whittemore, Jr.,* of Kittrell.

Associate in General Education – General Science:

Dominique Raeshaun Richardson of Henderson.

Associate in Science:

Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;

Spencer Jones* of Castalia;

Austin Michael Councilman of Creedmoor;

Jacklyn Colby Stanley of Durham;

James Geary*, Michelle Delgado Medina, Rebecca Kali Middleton and Morgan Daryl Wiggins, all of Franklinton;

Brian Joseph Boyd, Matthew Burnette, Matthew Scott Denton, William Zachary Egerton, Toni Sorensen Greene, Jessica Paige Grissom, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Fatima Najib Hawter, Henry Huynh, Tim  Jiang, Shadi Mohamed Nagi, Dawson Thomas Peoples, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Charne A. Robinson, Delaney Short, Tiffany M. Williams and Kianna A. Wills, all of Henderson;

Ethan Allen Cole and Ashlee Marie Perry, both of Kittrell;

Evan Theodore Casady, Maxwell Diaz, Abiral Singh Hamal, Leslye Herrera, Karalee Jensen Miller* and

Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;

Katelyn Frazier and Shawn Lavonda Miles, both of Manson;

Kristen Miranda Senter of Middleburg;

Andrew Barrington Cheek and Shima’a Hauter, both of Norlina;

Amari Gekedd Bass, Monica A. Botros, Destiny Jonique Davis, Aivy Balan Derry*, Maggie Elizabeth Dickerson, Ashley Marie Parker*, Chase Michael Perry, Natalie Renee Russell*, Isaac Ayoub-Nagi Saleh and Jacob Bart Thomasson*, all of Oxford;

Nicholas Luchenbill Kurtz* of Raleigh;

Emily Jean Bauer of Rolesville;

Lily Rose Averette of Rougemont;

Desiree Raquel Talley of Roxboro;

Elizabeth Adcock and Kayla Michelle Blue, both of Stem;

Aaron Wesley Archambault, Lindsay Fenlason and Kynleigh Elizabeth Holley, all of Wake Forest;

Nihya Tyrae Alston, Ellen Renee Denning, Kamini Alexis Hudson, Kimberly Labra-Franco, Hannah Pastores Ortiz, Nyasia Monique Warren and Taylor Nicole Williams, all of Warrenton;

Quavion Chykiem Basyden of Willard;

Julia Brock, Sarah Callahan, Hope Crute, Dylan Hagen, Hayley O’Neal, Caroline Sofia Puca, Daniela Vargas-Donge*, Sydney Venezia and Cody Alexander Woolverton, all of Youngsville.

Automotive Systems Technology (Degree):

Brandon Matthew Sparrow of Creedmoor;

Christopher Ramon Hernandez of Henderson;

Branden Scott Lilley* of Louisburg;

Juan Avila-Velazquez and Blake Aaron Larcade*, both of Oxford;

Daniel Shaw of Wake Forest.

Automotive Systems Technology (Diploma):

Alfredo Rodriguez Jimenez, Jr., of Henderson.

Business Administration:

Sable Clark of Bullock;

Charlene Allen Kearney and Eboni Latoya Kilgore, both of Creedmoor;

Cody Nelson Garner of Franklinton;

Sharon Terry Bryant, Venita Jean Day, Christie Gail Ellington and Megan Brooke Penny, all of Henderson;

Danny Wayne Ayscue and Tara Lastacey Burwell*, both of Kittrell;

Adero Benjamin Bullock of Louisburg;

Justin Tyler Roberson of Norlina;

Latosha Cherie Hunt, Temeka Gill Marable and Bridget Marie Odom, all of Oxford;

Amber Lynn Taylor of Rolesville;

Leeanne Nicole Harp of Wake Forest;

Tiffany Lynn Gray, Barbra Ann Warren and Dar-Neshia Samone Williams, all of Warrenton;

Karen Noemi Intriago-Carrion of Washington, D.C.

Computer Technology Integration – Networking & Security Technologies:

Terrence Bowden of Oxford.

Cosmetology:

Hunter M. Boykin, Bridgett Nicole King and Samantha Briann Williamson, all of Franklinton;

Holly Rose Buchanan, MacKenzie Dawn Hutson, Chelsea Leigh Jones, Michelle Lynn King* and Irina Zhavrina Letts, all of Henderson;

Megan Lee Twisdale of Kittrell;

Jayliyah Aareyan Edgerton* and Anna Marie Wood, both of Louisburg;

Nikshya Williams* of Manson;

Jazmine Diane Hunt and Kaela M. Wood*, both of Oxford;

Kathleen Rae Feinman of Rolesville;

Aliah Kaitlyn Dillard, Laura Elizabeth O’Hara and Rachel Ashley Savage, all of Wake Forest;

Danielle K. Hargrove*, Danielle Seward and Janice Pitchford Shehata, all of Warrenton;

Traci Nichol Alston of Youngsville.

Criminal Justice Technology:

Adrianna Maria De Nuzzia and Akilah S. Hyatt, both of Creedmoor;

Brenda Gail Ellis of Durham;

Darryl Lamont Ragland of Franklinton;

Jose Angel De Leon, Jerry Lawrence Dickerson, Keyla Lewis, Kettisha Cheriss Marrow and Latoya Renee Seward, all of Henderson;

Charles Francis White of Hurdle Mills;

Yahaira Kelly Solis and Charmaine Ailean Sutton, both of Louisburg;

Sherese Lashonda Hicks* of Macon;

Reginald Tyrone Harris*, Madison Nicole Johnson, Savannah Ciara Kelly, Brandon Wayne Perry, Matthew Austin Smith and Olivia Jayde Williford*, all of Oxford;

Andrew Lewis Ayscue of Youngsville.

Culinary Arts:

Mia Symone Ray* of Butner;

Sonya Kearney Jackson of Franklinton;

Leonard Noel Lyons* of Henderson;

Rebecca Naomi Groover of Raleigh;

Dejah Davis of Stem.

Early Childhood Education:

Brittany Ann Yarboro of Butner;

Chelsea Ann Mickle of Durham;

Holly A. Perry of Franklinton;

Jessica Renee Bolton, Johanna Wilkins Ragland, Tracy Grissom Roberson, Ayesha Tia Rogers, Seniqua Dante Turner and Rochelle Danielle Williams, all of Henderson;

Shannon Chantel Manning of Norlina;

Sharon Wilson Barnette, Penny O. Glover and Charlie Kristine Vaughn, all of Oxford;

Hayley Autumn Massengill of Raleigh;

Deborah Ellenburg Burns of Youngsville.

Electrical Systems Technology:

Daniel Charles Ohrt of Creedmoor;

Cecori Lamon Dunston of Henderson;

Joshua Todd Neal of Stem.

Electronics Engineering Technology:

Douglas A. Gendron of Louisburg.

Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology:

Melissa Edwards Waddell of Henderson.

Histotechnology:

Melissa Brook Anderson of Butner;

Michael Angelo Parziale of Cary;

Linda Jamira Livingston of Louisburg;

Rawia Dafalla of Raleigh.

Human Services Technology:

Gloria Ann Evans of Bullock;

Jennifer Stasia Bennett of Henderson;

Larecia Roberson Bullock and Hali L. Wheeler, both of Oxford.

Human Services Technology/Gerontology:

Sonya Jeanne Barnes* of Henderson.

Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:

Gloria Jean Chavis of Butner;

Emilee Elizabeth Newhouse* of Creedmoor;

Grace Abigail Ohlandt* of Franklinton;

Jennifer Stasia Bennett and Feliciana Inconta Hernandez, both of Henderson;

Hali L. Wheeler of Oxford;

Jawanda La’meia Burchette of Stem.

Information Technology (Degree):

Mitchell Lee Greene and Robert Cam Hurt, both of Creedmoor;

Justin Keith of Durham;

Colin Hope, Aron Lee Magee and Alvin Bryan Richardson*, all of Henderson;

Cody Ryan Parrott of Kittrell;

Kassidy Lynn Holtzman of Norlina;

Lewis Keith Carr of Raleigh;

Alex T. Jackson and Tony Emmett Schuenemann, both of Stem;

Brandon Vestweber of Wake Forest;

Cody Brandenburg of Youngsville.

Information Technology (Diploma):

William Mark Woodlief of Oxford.

Mechatronics Engineering Technology:

Xavier Dominique Eaton of Bullock;

John Walter Slaton of Henderson;

Christopher Everett Long of Norlina;

Segun Adeyinka Folajin of Raleigh.

Medical Assisting (Degree):

Candice Antrice Downey of Creedmoor;

Ebony Le’shea Moniqu-Terry of Franklinton;

Ashley R. Hill and Petrina La-Vette Perry*, both of Henderson;

Emily Palacios* and Jessica Nicole Ruffin-Sutton, both of Louisburg;

Savannah Jackson Barnes of Oxford;

Erica Tunstall of Warrenton.

Medical Assisting (Diploma):

Destini L. Foster* of Butner;

Katie Anne Fuller*, Danielle Brook Groves* and Kaylor Michelle Lawrence*, all of Creedmoor;

Sheronica Raquel Griffin* of Franklinton;

Jennifer Louise Parker* of Knightdale;

Briana Taleen-Tign Barnwell* and Crystal Catlett Williams*, both of Louisburg.

Medical Office Administration:

Ashleigh Danielle Ray of Bunn;

Valerie Ann Robinson of Butner;

Eboni L. White of Creedmoor;

Savannah Noelle Jones* of Durham;

Cheryl Lynn Graham of Franklinton;

Morgan Maria Archer, Tranita Nicole Brown, Sarah Marie Cassell, Cassidy Jackson Grissom, Melissa Orr Simmons, Tashiyana Avante Turner and Raini Williams, all of Henderson;

Robin Elaine Dorsett, Susan Millard Edwards, Misty Rose Grabowski and Shalinda Leondria White, all of Louisburg;

Adrienne Fudge Edwards of Middleburg;

Shimeka Latice Kearney and Cartes Eaton Newell, both of Norlina;

Belinda Faye Davis, Tracy Ramsey Matthews, KeShonda Arielle McMannen, Ashley Nicole Piper and Robin Claiborne Williams, all of Oxford;

Hannah Scurto Parnell of Stovall;

Meri Beth Blake and Davita Chante Steed, both of Warrenton;

Kathleen Cardullo Green, Jessica Marie-Faithe Noll and Yvonne L. Richards*, all of Youngsville.

Office Administration:

Matt Stephan Larch of Henderson;

Lastacey D. Burwell Kittrell;

Indajah Sahmon Henderson of Oxford.

Paralegal Technology (Degree):

Katie Lynn Bean* and Amali Nagi Hauter, both of Henderson;

Evelyn Nolasco of Louisburg;

Holly Hodges Cashwell of Wake Forest.

Paralegal Technology (Diploma):

Celene Acuna of Henderson;

Lauren Elizabeth Cash and Melissa J. Padgett, both of Oxford.

Pharmacy Technology (Degree):

Jane M. Jones of Franklinton;

Darcel L. Alston of Henderson;

Katherine Rose Harris* of Kittrell;

Taylor Elizabeth Reams of Warrenton.

Pharmacy Technology (Diploma):

Glenn Thomas Burgess* of Creedmoor;

Adrienne L. Reams and Anthony Martin Wade, both of Oxford;

Monika* of Roanoke Rapids.

Practical Nursing:

Candice Compton Howarth* of Bullock;

Sharlett Elisa Wilson* of Butner;

Mary Wairimu Wanjiku* of Cary;

Shaquile Londale Hawkins* of Creedmoor;

Justin Kortor* of Durham;

Stephanie White Alston* and Mikayla Ashley Sellers*, both of Henderson;

Laveasta Perry Clayton* of Knightdale;

Cindy Cooper Blankenship* and Megann Joy Casady*, both of Louisburg;

Marylou L. Goedeker*, Sylvia Bosibori Mugambi*, Stephen Makori Nyambariga*, Esther Kwamboka Ogachi* and Teresa Nyanchama Onchiri*, all of Raleigh;

Suzanne Lee Wiley* of Wake Forest;

Bryanne Janelle Kilmer* of Youngsville.

Radiography:

Kristen Ashlee Bowman of Butner;

Shanice Donnia Alleyne, Karene Kavonne Anderson, Matthew Scott Battistel, Starsha Hargrove, Dwayne Douglas Huneycutt and Paige Donahue Snider, all of Creedmoor;

Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton;

Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson;

Angela Joan Basili of Hillsborough;

Shayla Adair Cash and Dulce Guadalupe Huerta-Santillan, both of Louisburg;

Megan Irene Proctor of Macon;

Crystal Gail Sorrell of Oxford;

Samantha Pierce of Raleigh;

Rubi Judith Coyote-Baizabal, Celeste Justine Evans and Treva Duncan Gordan, all of Roxboro;

Marina Ellen Rombout of Stem;

Megan Tamara Whitman of Youngsville.

Welding Technology (Degree):

Michael Lee Hall of Creedmoor;

Carrie Ellen Johnson and Troy J’Qwan Little, both of Henderson;

Austin Davis Finch of Louisburg.

Welding Technology (Diploma):

Marquis Lamar Skinner* of Henderson;

Ismael Trejo Labra of Norlina.

Vance Co. Early College High School Graduates 33 Seniors

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Early College High School awarded high school diplomas to 33 graduating seniors in the Class of 2019 during Commencement Exercises held on the evening of May 23, 2019, in the Civic Center at Vance-Granville Community College near Henderson. 

There were 27 of the high school graduates who also earned an associates degree from Vance-Granville Community College and eight who earned two associate degrees from the community college. 

Principal Travis Taylor presents a high school diploma to a member of the Class of 2019 at Vance County Early College High School. (VCS Photo)

The graduates include: Marcus Baggett, Amber Cotton, Emily Dement, Matthew Denton, Damien Faulkner, Khalil Gay, Jessica Grissom, Zuisadai Guzman Vasquez, Kaitlyn Harris, Maya Hawkins, Anthony Henderson, Henry Huynh, Tim Jiang, Alondra Lopez Moreno, Tabais Mitchell, Ariel Noel, Ashley Pendergrass, Joseph Penny, Joel Renteria, Jr., Nashanti Richardson, Ethan Roberson, Jarrett Seaman, Amaya Sneed, Joniyah Teasley, Charles Thompson, III, Gracey Vaught, Alexis Watson, Kamiyah Wiggins, Corey Williams, Jr., Jamad Williams, Kianna Wills, Jadakiss Wilson and Al-Leain Young. 

Those receiving both associate of arts and associate of science degrees were Matthew Denton, Jessica Grissom, Kaitlyn Harris, Henry Huynh, Tim Jiang, Joel Renteria, Jr., Ethan Roberson and Kianna Wills. 

Ethan Roberson delivers the valedictorian address during the Vance County Early College High School Commencement Exercises. (VCS Photo)

Ethan Roberson was the class valedictorian and Tim Jiang was the class salutatorian. They both delivered addresses that recognized the accomplishments of their distinguished class and included excitement about their futures. 

Principal Travis Taylor led the commencement exercises. The Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard from Vance County High School presented the flags at the beginning of the ceremony. Senior Kamiyah Wiggins sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

Serving as graduation marshals were Josiah Jones and Haley Williams, as lead marshals, as well as Aryianna Dockery, Emani Foster, Cheyenne Guerrant, Kristyn Medlin, Josie Roberson, Kendall Royster, Jessica Steed and Leslie Zuniga Trejo.

Opening/Dedication of VCRFM’s Memorial Garden Scheduled for June 12

-Information courtesy Paul McKenzie, Agricultural Extension Agent, NC Cooperative Extension

Join the Extension Master Gardener volunteers for a drop-in celebration of the official opening and dedication of the Memorial Garden at the Vance County Regional Farmers Market. This event will take place on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The garden is dedicated to the memory of Master Gardener volunteers who are no longer with us. It features drought-tolerant plants that attract pollinators and other beneficial insects and is also a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

The garden will also provide inspiration to area gardeners for new plants to try in their own landscapes. This beautiful space of peace, beauty and reflection was built entirely through contributions and the dedicated effort of the Master Gardener volunteers of Vance and Warren Counties.

Light refreshments will be served and a short program will take place at 10:30 a.m. The Master Gardener volunteers then invite you to stroll around the garden and visit.

The Vance County Regional Farmers Market is located at 210 Southpark Drive in Henderson. For more information, call 252-438-8188 or email [email protected].

Aycock Rec. Center Offering High Energy Aerobics Class

-Information courtesy Tara Goolsby, Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks Facilities Supervisor, Aycock Recreation Center

The Henderson-Vance Recreation & Parks Department will offer Step Aerobics in the Aycock Recreation Center’s Multi-Purpose Room on Wednesdays from June 5 – July 31, 2019.

Step Aerobics is a 45-minute high energy fitness class that will be offered from 6:15 to 7 p.m. This class is great for beginners or those looking to get back into the swing of fitness.

Fee: $1 for members, $2 for non-members.

For more information, please contact Lauren Newlin at 252.438.3160 ([email protected]).

Dabney Drive Drug Arrest Made on Youngsville Man

-Information gathered from Henderson Police Department report

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 12 p.m., Henderson police arrested Preston Moore, 28, of 1034 Tarboro Road in Youngsville, NC.

According to the police report, Moore was taken into custody at 120 Dabney Drive in Henderson (near the intersection of Dabney Dr. and Oxford Rd.).

Moore was charged with Felony Possession of a Schedule I Substance and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was confined to the Vance County Jail under a $10,000.00 secured bond and received a court date of June 4, 2019.

Kerr Lake Caregiver Retreat to Offer the ‘Overwhelmed’ a Break

Harvey Holmes, family caregiver specialist, and Laura Yeatts, aging projects coordinator, with the Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging, were on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the organization’s upcoming Kerr Lake Caregiver Retreat.

The retreat will be held on Kerr Lake at Satterwhite Point, 6254 Satterwhite Point Rd. in Henderson, on Friday, June 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

According to Holmes, the retreat is a chance for family caregivers in the Vance, Granville, Warren, Franklin and Person County areas to enjoy soothing activities, including chair yoga exercises, games, painting and more.

“Caregivers tend to be some of the most overwhelmed and overburdened individuals in the world,” said Holmes. “This retreat gives them a much-needed break from the stress of their caregiving duties.”

There is no cost to attend the retreat. Lunch and on-site respite care will be provided. Participants are asked to dress comfortably as it is an interactive, outdoor event.

Registration is required by Friday, May 31. To register, please call Holmes at (252) 436-2040 or email [email protected].

In discussing the pressure that caregivers often face, Holmes cited an AARP Public Policy Institute report that indicated the average US caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends an additional 20 hours per week in her caregiving role – the equivalent of an additional part-time job.

Holmes mentioned former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s famous quote about caregiving in order to sum up the importance of the role: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

To hear the Town Talk interview with Harvey Holmes and Laura Yeatts in its entirety, including additional Kerr-Tar Agency on Aging updates and upcoming events, click here.

Durham Woman Sentenced for Heroin Distribution in Henderson

-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced DOMINQUE RUSSELL, 30, of Durham to 24 months of imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.

On December 28, 2018, RUSSELL pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.

On January 21, 2018, and January 28, 2018, officers with the Henderson Police Department (HPD) utilized a confidential source to conduct controlled buys of heroin from the occupants at 521 Spring Court in Henderson, North Carolina.

On January 31, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant on the home. In the room belonging to Jermill Blacknall (in federal custody awaiting Arraignment date) and RUSSELL, officers recovered a loaded rifle with two “banana clips” containing 27 and 28 rounds of ammunition, a 9mm 50-round magazine “drum” with 28 rounds, an empty Glock magazine in a Glock box (no gun), and identification belonging to Blacknall. A search of the remainder of the home revealed scales, a blender with white powder residue, 18.99 grams of heroin (in a car seat), and packaging material. Blacknall and RUSSELL’S two young children were also in the house.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Since 2017 the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Henderson Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Dodson handled the prosecution of this case for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at http://justice.gov/usao-ednc. Follow us on Twitter @USAO_ENDC.

Vance Co. 4-H: Register Now for Youth Summer Fun Camps

-Information courtesy Vance County 4-H

Registration is now underway for Vance County 4-H Summer Fun Camps! A variety of camps for ages 5-18 are available from late June through early August.

Register at the N.C. Cooperative Extension in Vance County from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Please allow 30 minutes of your time for the required paperwork.

For the online registration packet and more detailed information about each camp listed in the graphic below, please click here.

Visit 4HOnline to fill out your child’s 4-H enrollment form which includes the required medical release form.

View step by step instructions by clicking here or visit the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Vance County office.

Please read the camp packet thoroughly and understand the rules, regulations, and requirements.

With questions, comments or concerns, please contact Lina Lue, Vance County 4-H Agent, at (252) 438-8188 or [email protected]

Sheriff Brame Gets More Personnel; May Lead To Other Cuts

It’s budget time for Vance County, and the Vance County Board of Commissioners met Monday night and Tuesday night for more than four combined hours in budget sessions.

A priority emerged Tuesday night, and that is adding about $250,000 in additional funding to the proposed upcoming county fiscal year budget to provide additional manpower to Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame’s Office and his efforts at the jail.

In simplified terms, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office gets three more deputies and another lieutenant, while the Vance County Jail gets two more personnel to help with reducing workloads and safety concerns for jail employees and prison transports. To be clear, two deputy positions were in the originally proposed budget and now an additional deputy and an additional lieutenant are set to be added to the proposed budget.

After lengthy discussion by the board, Brame was asked to speak.

He said, “Vance County is a hub for heroin.” He said that hub was in Durham and now it is here. He said he needed more support and manpower to fix the problem. He said, “Nobody is dealing from home. If you see two cars meet in the street, they’re passing dope.”

Commissioner Tommy Hester said as he understood it, about $122,500 would fund two more deputy positions.

Commission Chair Archie Taylor said there appeared to be a consensus on the board to do more for the sheriff and said the money needed to be found.

Commissioner Leo Kelly raised the point of increasing the tax rate by a penny because it would generate about $287,000 and that would eliminate the squeeze on other parts of the budget.

As to the jail, it was stated that $90,000 would fund two more positions.

All present commissioners, and all but one was present, agreed and directed County Manager Jordan McMillan to find the necessary $250,000. It may come from the general fund, a tax increase, other cuts and by finding other priorities and making cuts.

Commissioner Dan Brummitt said, “The board has made the Vance County Sheriff’s Office and jail a priority.” He said it was in the best interest of public safety and for the county to move forward.

Commissioner Gordon Wilder said, “We have a new sheriff and we want to support him.”

As to the other public safety concern, the much ballhooed fire protection plans, the next public opportunity to hear about that comes Tuesday, May 28th. In a press release, the Commission board has announced that the location of the public safety committee meeting on the 28th has been changed to the Perry Library’s Farm Bureau room (205 Breckenridge Street).  The time is 6 p.m.

The fire coverage discussion at this time is centered around the proposed 2.3 cents increase in the fire tax rate, how the fire tax monies are used, the equitable distribution of funds to the volunteer departments, the provision for two paid positions in each volunteer department funded by the county, except at Epsom and Drewry who get one paid firefighter, and the additional debate about the future of the Vance County Fire Department and, stillmore, the future of the Vance County Rescue Squad.

There are more questions than answers and the commissioners appear to be stuck in the details without actually having fully decided if broader, more full scale changes are needed.

KVA Headmaster Frank Wiggins Talks Championship Win, Sense of Community

Frank Wiggins, Kerr-Vance Academy Headmaster, was on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the Spartans recent NCISAA 1A Baseball Championship win and end-of-year activities.

The Spartans took the best two out of three series against Albemarle Academy on May 18 – 19, 2019, at home on Boyd Field. With a final score of 15-2, the win resulted in a third straight state title for KVA.

Prior to the championship round, the team defeated The Burlington School and Lawrence Academy.

“What a phenomenal accomplishment,” said Wiggins. “The kids have worked really hard this year, and the coaches have done an outstanding job. To win the championship three times in a row speaks volumes about the program.”

Wiggins praised the talent and leadership of upperclassmen Cam Murphy, Lane White and Matt Overton in addition to Head Coach Todd Wilkerson and Assistant Coach Mike Rigsbee.

The combination of “senior leadership, young talent and coaches that set a high standard for performance” led to a successful team that even had KVA’s daycare and preschool children cheering from the stands.

“One of the great things about Kerr Vance being such a small school is that everybody knows everybody. Our high school kids know our younger kids. You’ll see daycare and preschool kids at the ball games, and they know the players by name. That kind of community is something special,” Wiggins said.

As KVA winds down the 2018-19 school year with a victory, Wiggins said there is still plenty of excitement left this week with final exams, award ceremonies and the graduation of 23 seniors. This Friday, May 24 marks the last day of school and graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m.

Camp activities and events will be offered over the summer break. For additional information, please visit KVA’s website at www.kerrvance.com.

Looking ahead to enrollment for next school year, Wiggins said KVA staff would love to see you and your family in person via a campus tour. “I invite people to take a tour of the campus, to speak to our teachers and staff and to experience the routines and day-to-day operations that demonstrate what we’re all about.”

According to Wiggins, what KVA is all about is offering personalized education, all while fostering a sense of community.

“Our job is to educate children for success, and that takes a whole child approach,” said Wiggins. “We have an excellent track record of not only preparing kids to go to college but to be successful in college, graduate and then go on to outstanding careers. Many are leaders in their field and give back to the community.”

To hear the Town Talk interview with Frank Wiggins in its entirety, click here.