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!

130 Vance Co. Educators Expected to Attend State Rally; Schools Closed May 1

Educators and school staff from across North Carolina will gather at a planned protest in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

The N.C. Association of Educators’ Rally for Public Education participants will ask legislators for increased funding for the hiring of additional support staff, the reinstatement of retirement health benefits and advanced degree compensation and an increase in the minimum wage for hourly employees.

A high number of leave requests for the day led some local school systems, including Vance and Franklin County, to declare May 1 a holiday for students and an optional workday for teachers.

Terri Hedrick, public information officer for Vance County Schools, told WIZS that of the school system’s 900 employees, 130 requested leave to attend the rally. While rally participants account for only 14% of overall staff, Hedrick said, “Those asking off are in classrooms and are vital to student instruction.”

In a recent press release, Vance County Schools stated that Superintendent Anthony Jackson recommended the school day change and the Vance County Board of Education approved the holiday in an effort to support public school educators.

The missed instruction day for students will not be made up.

The VCS press release explained, “While it is always important for students to be in school and learning, school system officials believe that our extended school day times at all grade levels this school year will be sufficient for student instruction even with the missed day on May 1. The school day was extended for the 2018-2019 school year by about 15 minutes at the elementary, middle and high school levels.”

Hedrick stated that the majority of employees at the system office will be at work tomorrow – including Dr. Jackson – and do not currently have plans to attend the “Day of Action” rally.

In a message sent to NC public schools earlier this month, State Superintendent Mark Johnson encouraged educators to find alternative ways of voicing their concerns.

His message read, in part:

“I encourage discussions about different ideas and opinions. Your voice is crucial. I want you to know why I cannot agree with one group’s proposal to encourage schools to close on May 1.

Weather hit us hard this year, and I do not want to encourage any more students missing any more school days. It’s not good for students’ academic and nutritional needs, or for our bus drivers and some other non-certified staff, who may miss scheduled work hours and, as a result, pay.”

As an alternative, Johnson suggested that educators take action on a day when schools were not in session, such as the week of spring break. Spring break for many NC schools concluded last week.

Vance County Board of Education member Ruth Hartness expressed her support for local educators participating in the rally.

“They have an issue and they have to voice it in some way,” said Hartness. “I agree with them. I see no harm in it and it may do some good. Hopefully, the legislature will listen to these folks and something will come through that will be to their liking.”

In the meantime, Hartness said she believes the school system does a good job of educating the community with its current resources.

“The answer to many of the issues is more money from the legislature for schools. We are doing the best we can with the money that we have been given.”

Vance Co. Schools Honors Over 275 Volunteers/Business Partners

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools honored the over 275 school volunteers and business partners who are involved in supporting our 15 public schools for the 2018-2019 school year at the annual Volunteer/Business Partner Recognition Reception held on April 24. The event was held at the Henderson Country Club. 

During the event, Jack Richardson, a long-time volunteer at both Dabney and Pinkston Street elementary schools, was named the school system’s Volunteer of the Year for 2018-2019. Richardson was presented with the district volunteer award by Dr. Michael Putney, principal of Dabney, and Dr. Jacqueline Batchelor-Crosson, principal of Pinkston Street.

Jack Richardson, center, holds the plaque he received as the Vance County Schools Volunteer of the Year after it was presented to him by Dr. Michael Putney, principal of Dabney Elementary School, left, and Dr. Jacqueline Batchelor-Crosson, principal of Pinkston Street Elementary School, right. (Photo courtesy VCS)

Richardson has volunteered at both of the elementary schools for almost 15 years. He goes into the schools two to three days each week to tutor children in reading and mathematics. Both principals praise Richardson for his dedication to the children and his determination to have children adopt a love for reading and confidence in their math skills. 

In addition to Richardson, 10 more school Volunteers of the Year were honored during the event. They were each presented with plaques by Dorothy Gooche, chairperson of the Vance County Board of Education and Superintendent Anthony Jackson.

School Volunteers of the Year include: Betty Jo Pernell of Aycock Elementary School; Johanna Ragland of Carver Elementary School; JoAnne Allen of Clarke Elementary School; Eboni Terry of New Hope Elementary School; Susan Freeman of E.M. Rollins Elementary School; Rev. Ronald Regular of L.B. Yancey Elementary School; Richard Brand of E.O. Young, Jr. Elementary School; Cedric Hinton of Zeb Vance Elementary School; Leslie Walthall of STEM Early High School; and Norma Moore of Vance County Middle School. 

There were 43 more outstanding volunteers and business partners recognized with awards by our schools during the reception.

The most outstanding business partners include those nominated for the school system’s Shining Moment in Education Award. Those partners honored were First United Methodist Church, which earned the prestigious Shining Moment Award as the top business partner for the school system. Other Shining Moment partners include Clearview Baptist Church, Cokesbury United Methodist Church, Flat Rock United Methodist Church, Henderson Family YMCA, Henderson Toyota, I Believe God Outreach Church, Optimist Club of Henderson, South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church and St. Paul United Church of Christ.

Reminder: Arts Alive! to Showcase Student Talent at McGregor Hall This Weekend

The third annual Vance County Schools’ Arts Alive! event will be held at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson this Saturday, April 27, 2019. The showcase will feature student talent in a variety of art forms including painting, drawing, dancing, singing and performance. All grade levels will be represented.

Parents, students, family, educators and community members are invited to view over 200 pieces of student artwork that will be displayed in the McGregor Hall Gallery beginning at 3 p.m. Gallery viewing is free of charge.

In addition to the art gallery, approximately 20 performing acts ranging from large to small groups of vocalists, musicians, dancers and more will entertain on McGregor Hall’s stage beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Arts Alive! show are available for purchase at McGregor Hall’s box office beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for adults and children are $5 each; all seating is general admission.

New this year will be a series of “master classes” offered in singing, dancing and musical instruments the morning of the event. Classes will be offered by Hill’s Music Shoppe, Ballet Arts All Stars and Wolf Trap Education.

Master classes are free of charge and will either be offered at McGregor Hall or across the street at First Baptist Church in Henderson.

For more information on each class, locations or to register, please visit the Vance County Schools website by clicking here.

Vance Co. Schools: May 1 Declared Student Holiday, Optional Teacher Workday

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

After consultation with school system leadership and the Vance County Board of Education, Superintendent Anthony Jackson has recommended, and the Board of Education has approved, a change in our school calendar to accommodate the N.C. Association of Educators’ Rally for Public Education planned for Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Raleigh.

The day will be changed to an optional teacher workday in all Vance County Schools and a holiday for students.

This decision has been made because of the large number of educators in our schools who have asked for the day off to participate in the public education rally. The missed day of instruction will not be made up for students.

School system employees who want to be out of work on May 1 must use annual leave time or, if they don’t have available leave time, must take the day off without pay or report to work.

Vance Co. Schools: Early Release Day, Spring Break Reminders

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

April Reminders:

Friday, April 12, 2019, is an early release day for Vance County schools. Elementary schools dismiss at 12 p.m. and middle and high schools dismiss at 12:15 p.m. Early College follows its regular schedule for Friday.

Spring break for students is April 15 – 19. All Vance County schools and school system offices are closed on Friday, April 19 in observance of the Easter holiday.

Vance Co. Schools Named a 2019 District of Distinction

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools has been named a 2019 District of Distinction by the National Beta Club for offering the academic recognition membership to students in all eligible schools in the school district.

In making the award announcement, National Beta officials praised the efforts of Superintendent Anthony Jackson, school chapter sponsors and deserving student members.

This national award recognizes Vance County Schools’ commitment to academic excellence, leadership development and service involvement, and illustrates the dedication to preparing students for college and career readiness. The students in the district understand the importance of these qualities and exemplify the Beta motto, Let Us Lead by Serving Others, National Beta officials noted.

Bobby Hart, chief executive officer for National Beta, contacted Jackson in a letter about the district’s recognition.

In the letter, Hart wrote, “Thank you for all you do as an administrator in supporting the success of your schools, staff and students. We appreciate your continued focus on fostering activities that ensure all students can achieve success.”

Beta Club advisors in Vance County Schools play a major role in the success of the program and recognition of eligible students. Those advisors include:

·       Hollie Powell of Aycock Elementary School

·       Teresa Hicks of Carver Elementary School

·       Myron Duncan of Clarke Elementary School

·       Michelle Foster of Dabney Elementary School

·       Marian Faulkner of E.O. Young, Jr. Elementary School

·       Shaunese Coombs of E.M. Rollins Elementary School

·       Sharita Jones of L.B. Yancey Elementary School

·       Cathy Oswald of New Hope Elementary School

·       Eva Jennings of Pinkston Street Elementary School

·       Ashley Pennington of Zeb Vance Elementary School

·       Ben Mixer of STEM Early High School

·       Vickie Fullwood of Vance County Early College High School

·       Pamela Perry of Vance County Middle School

·       Bobbi Parks of Vance County High School

National Junior Beta includes grades 4-8 and National Senior Beta includes grades 9-12.

With more than 500,000 active members and 9,000 chapters nationally and internationally, National Beta has become the nation’s largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization. National Beta recognizes outstanding achievement, promotes character and social responsibility, encourages service involvement to school and community and fosters leadership skills.

The school advisors for the National Beta Club chapters in Vance County Schools are shown in the photo during their recognition at the Vance County Board of Education meeting on April 8. They are shown with Dorothy Gooche, board chairperson, and Superintendent Anthony Jackson, both standing at center. (Photo courtesy VCS)

Vance Co. High School Inducts 15 Into National Technical Honor Society

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

A total of 15 students at Vance County High School were inducted into the school’s chapter of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) during a special ceremony held at the school on April 4.

Each of the students was presented a framed certificate for their academic accomplishments in Career and Technical Education courses at the high school. Presenting the certificates were Principal Rey Horner, Career and Technical Education Director Willa Clark and Career and Technical Education Career Development Coordinator LaShawn Hawley. Amy Langston-Eley, Career and Technical Education instructional specialist, and Pamela Huff, a Career and Technical Education teacher and advisor to the NTHS chapter, assisted.

Pamela Huff, Career and Technical Education teacher at Vance County High School, presents a framed certificate to Zy’Shawn Appling in recognition of his induction into the high school’s chapter of the National Technical Honor Society. (Photo courtesy VCS)

Those students inducted as new members include America Alfaro, Tamia Alston, Zy’Shawn Appling, Amari Bennerson, Sha’Mya Bullock, Kristophe Burwell, Tammy Dang, Anasia Jones, Stephanie Salazar-Villa, Noah Terry, Tyere Wiggins, Destiny Weaver, Sydiahiah Williams, Bryton Yarborough and Phajja Yarborough.

Turner Pride, Jr., the director of the Vance County Cooperative Extension Service, was the featured speaker for the evening. He praised the new NTHS inductees for their accomplishments and hard work. He also gave them some advice on how to continue to be successful through the remainder of their high school careers and beyond.

Horner also addressed the students and let them know how proud he is of each one of them. He asked them to continue to be leaders among their fellow classmates and let them know that he is counting on them to help lead success at Vance County High School.