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.

Vance County Schools on the Air 06/12/19

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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)

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)

Three Vance Co. Educators Named to Opportunity Culture Fellows Cohort

-Press Release, Public Impact

Public Impact announces with pleasure our fifth cohort of Opportunity Culture Fellows. This year’s 15 fellows are Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders and principals who have achieved strong results and been leaders in their schools and districts.

Fellows provide support to their cohort, take one another’s ideas back to their schools, write columns about their experiences, and speak locally and nationally about their Opportunity Culture roles. Their feedback and leadership are invaluable in helping to improve the Opportunity Culture initiative, and all materials related to it.

This year’s fellows come from Arizona, Illinois, and four North Carolina school districts. We welcome and congratulate:

Multi-Classroom Leaders:

James Cerasani, Randolph Elementary, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
Casandra Cherry, Phillips Middle, Edgecombe County Public Schools, North Carolina
Cherie Dixon, LB Yancey Elementary, Vance County Schools, North Carolina
Frederick Hoffman, Ferndale Middle, Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
Casey Jackson, Aycock Elementary, Vance County Schools, North Carolina
Steven Kennedy, Wilson Middle School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina
Amy Pearce, North Edgecombe High, Edgecombe County Public Schools, North Carolina
Angela Porter, Hairston Middle, Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
Christina Ross, Desert Oasis Elementary, Nadaburg Unified School District No. 81, Arizona
Keisha Wheat, Randolph Elementary, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois


Kristen Boyd, Aycock Elementary, Vance County Schools, North Carolina
Elizabeth Meyers, Randolph Elementary, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
Jenny O’Meara, Phillips Middle, Edgecombe County Public Schools, North Carolina
Merrie Conaway, Foust Elementary, Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
Eric Ward, Harding University High School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina

As this cohort begins the fellowship over the summer, the 2018–19 cohort will be wrapping up their year, culminating in a convening for all past and current fellows in September. We thank all fellows for their participation, Opportunity Culture advocacy, and feedback to improve the initiative.

“Every year, fellows lead in their classrooms and schools; the fellowship gives them an opportunity to lead and advocate for a stronger profession at a national level,” said Sharon Kebschull Barrett, vice president for editorial services and communications at Public Impact, who oversees the fellowship and works closely with fellows to learn from their experiences through interviews and column writing. “They lead us as well, pointing the way for Public Impact to continually improve Opportunity Culture for other educators.”

The national Opportunity Culture initiative, founded by Public Impact and now in 28 sites in nine states, extends the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within schools’ recurring budgets.

Research indicates that Multi-Classroom Leadership, the foundation of an Opportunity Culture, helps teams of teachers produce substantially higher student learning growth than in typical schools. Multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) lead a small teaching team, providing instructional guidance and frequent, on-the-job development while continuing to teach part of the time.

Each school’s design and implementation team, which includes teachers, determines how to use Multi-Classroom Leadership and other roles to reach more of their students with high-standards, personalized instruction—one hallmark of great teachers.

The school’s redesign schedule provides additional school-day time for teacher planning, coaching, and collaboration. MCLs typically lead the introduction of more effective curricula, instructional methods, classroom management, and schoolwide culture-building.

Learn more about multi-classroom leaders and principals in Opportunity Culture schools at

Town Talk: Vance County Schools’ Year-End Events

Terri Hedrick, public information officer with Vance County Schools, was on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to announce the school system’s end-of-year events and activities.

This Friday, June 7 will be the last day of VCS’ 2018-19 school year.

Hedrick discussed the Vance County Early College High School’s recent graduation ceremony on May 23 and announced upcoming commencement dates and times for AdVance Academy and Vance County High School.

For additional events and details from Hedrick’s segment, 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


Commencement Set for AdVance Academy, First Graduating Class of Vance Co. High

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Commencement ceremonies for AdVance Academy’s Class of 2019 will be held on Thursday, June 6 at 6 p.m. at McGregor Hall in downtown Henderson. Vance County High School commencement will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m. in the gymnasium at Vance County Middle School on Warrenton Road.

Seniors will receive tickets to give to family and friends. Only those with tickets can attend the ceremonies. Everyone can view the events live online via the school system’s website homepage.

Those with tickets who attend the events are urged to arrive early. Once the graduation ceremonies begin, attendees cannot enter the auditorium or gymnasium.

Overflow seating will be available, but those attending must have tickets for these seating areas, also. All tickets will be distributed to seniors at the graduation practice sessions.

We are looking forward to memorable commencement ceremonies for all of our Class of 2019 members. Please join us in making these events very special ceremonies for all of our graduates!