VCS Students Return To School 5 Days A Week For 2021-22 Year

Students in Vance County Schools can expect to be back in school five days a week for the 2021-22 school year.

With the exception of Vance Virtual Village Academy (V3), all schools will be back in face-to-face instruction, said VCS public information officer Aarika Sandlin.

Parents who want their child or children to remain in remote instruction should request a transfer to V3 no later than July 19, Sandlin said in a statement to WIZS.

Be reminded that V3 is a one-year commitment. Parents can contact their child’s school or V3  at 252.506.7172 to learn more.

Students on the traditional calendar return to school on Aug. 23; students in year-round school return on Aug. 9; Early Start students return on Aug. 5, according to information on the district website.

Dr. Cindy Bennett Next Vance County Schools Superintendent

At the regular meeting of the Vance County Board of Education Monday evening, the board voted unanimously to select Dr. Cindy Bennett as the next superintendent of Vance County Schools.

Presently Bennett serves as Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Strategic Planning.

Effective July 1, she will replace Dr. Anthony Jackson who is leaving in early July to become superintendent in Chatham County, NC.  Jackson was superintendent for six years.

Board member Ruth Hartness made a motion that “the Vance County Board of Education offer the position of superintendent to Dr. Cindy Bennett.”

On the Zoom meeting it was difficult to hear exactly who seconded the motion, but there was an apparent zeal on the part of many members to do so.

Congratulations were offered and board members clapped.

Bennett said, “Thank you so much.  Madam chair, to all the board members, Dr. Jackson, I can’t thank you enough for this honor.  I love this community.  This community is my home, and I will do everything within my power to serve the children in this community and to give them all that they deserve.  Thank you again.  I am humbled.”

Board members clapped a second time after Bennett spoke.

In a press release from Vance County Schools, Board Chair Linda Cobb said, “Dr. Bennett is dedicated to our community, our schools and most importantly our students. We have been impressed with her work in Vance County Schools over the last six years. Her qualifications and experience beyond Vance County will allow her to boldly lead our district. We look forward to supporting her, working together towards
ongoing excellence.”

Bennett, who has worked for the North Carolina Department of Public instruction said in the Vance County Schools press release, “I am excited to lead an innovative, educational organization, that will expand educational opportunities for all learners.  Henderson has been my home now for over eleven years. I am honored to serve this community.”

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 Superintendent Resigning July 2 For New Job

– Vance County Schools Press Release – 

Vance County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson, has announced his resignation, after six years of service to the district. Jackson describes his time in Vance County Schools as “the most amazing and professionally fulfilling of my entire career.”

During Jackson’s time with VCS, the district has improved student outcomes, consolidated schools, increased the on-time graduation rate, decreased long-term suspensions and dropout rates, along with, developed a new strategic plan, implemented a digital 1:1 program, started the Arts Alive talent showcase, redesigned innovative programs, launched the new Vance County Center for Innovation, and most importantly, consistently given this community reasons to be Vance County Schools Proud.

Jackson expressed his gratitude for the educators in Vance County being committed to the vision, goals and beliefs of the district. He shared, “We have made tremendous inroads and I firmly believe that the school system is positioned to continue serving as a model of innovation and an engine for growth for our entire community.”

Dr. Jackson’s last day with the district will be July 2, 2021, as he has accepted the position of Superintendent in the Chatham County School System, in Pittsboro, beginning July 2021. The Vance County Board of Education will soon meet to begin the process of identifying the district’s next leader.

Vance County Schools Receives State Inspection of Buses

– press release – 

Vance County Schools transportation department recently received their annual bus inspection from the state. In the process, inspectors assign point values to violations, meaning a low score is the desired outcome. During the inspection, the state thoroughly examined 10-percent of the school system’s bus fleet.

This year, Vance County Schools achieved a score of 22.43. Since 2017, Vance County Schools continues to improve their inspection score, performing at a level better than the state average.

Mr. David Cooper, VCS Transportation Director, shared “I am very proud of our mechanics, who on a daily basis ensure our buses are safe and running properly. We are elated that one of our buses had a perfect score. Our department strives daily to put the safety of our students and bus drivers as our number one priority.”

Vance County Schools is extremely proud of the attention to detail as our transportation department maintains our fleet. When our buses are well cared for and maintained, we know our students are utilizing the safest form of transportation.

VCS Administrator Receives Leadership Award From Superintendents’ Association, School Leadership Alliance

A Vance County Schools official has received a prestigious award from the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) and the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD).

Dr. Letisha Judd-Manning, director of elementary education and professional development for Vance County Schools, is the winner of the Dr. Samuel Houston Leadership Award for the Aspiring Superintendent Program Cohort V, according to a statement from the NCSSA. The annual award is presented to a graduate of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association Aspiring Superintendent Program, a program designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools.

Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson called Judd-Manning “a strong and focused leader with a track record of success as a teacher, school principal and district leader. We are very proud of Dr. Judd-Manning and grateful for her leadership and dedication to Vance County Schools,” Jackson said.

Dr. Judd-Manning “exemplifies the traits that have guided Dr. Samuel Houston’s career in educational leadership, said Jack Hoke, NCSSA executive director. “She has a commitment to continuous improvement, high standards of ethical conduct, strategic planning, improving student performance and meeting the needs of the 21st century workforce,” Hoke said.

“It is an honor to receive the Dr. Samuel Houston Leadership Award and to have participated in the Aspiring Superintendent Program,” Dr. Judd-Manning stated. “One of the greatest rewards was taking this powerful journey with this cohort of amazing N.C. educational leaders. The wisdom and expertise shared by our esteemed program leaders was extremely valuable and will have lasting influence,” she added.

Judd-Manning has been with VCS since 2017 and previously served in Durham Public Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, according to Aarika Sandlin, VCS public information officer.

career in education began 25 years ago as a teacher assistant. She went on to become a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Dr. Judd-Manning was graduated from N.C. Central University, earned a master’s degree in school administration at UNC-CH and holds a doctorate in education from High Point University.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Samuel Houston who is President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center. Dr. Houston served as superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District for ten years where he opened the first year-round school in North Carolina. Dr. Houston has been a champion for strategic planning, student performance and accountability, meeting the needs of the 21st century workforce, skills for the STEM world and building education partnerships.