More than 700 educators, business leaders, and elected officials filled the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center on Tuesday afternoon for the sold-out Partners In Education Spring Luncheon.
The annual event helps raise money for Craven County schools through PIE grant programs.
The organization, Partners In Education is the local education foundation for Craven County Schools. PIE awarded more than $170,000 through a variety of grants and programs during the 2017-18 school year, PIE President Ervin Patrick said.
Dr. Cecil Staton, Chancellor of East Carolina University, served as keynote speaker.
John Bircher, attorney with White & Allen, and a 1988 graduate of West Craven High School, served as the emcee of the event. Bircher said of Dr. Staton that he was pleased to welcome Dr. Staton to Craven County. Bircher explained, “East Carolina University has a world class College of Education, and we are proud that Dr. Ervin Patrick, PIE president, recently received his doctorate from ECU College of Education.”
Bircher said Dr. Staton comes to ECU from the University System of Georgia where he served as Vice Chancellor for Extended Education and as interim President of Valdosta State University. Previously, he served as associate provost, assistant professor, and university publisher at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and on the faculty of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia.
He also served for 10 years as a Georgia state senator representing the state’s 18th District, and chaired the appropriations sub-committee responsible for the state’s $2 billion annual investment in public higher education.
Dr. Staton is a native of Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Furman University, a Master of Divinity with Languages and Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford in England.
After Dr. Staton spoke, it was announced that PIE would offer a one-time grant of $3,000 to Craven County public school principals for the 2018-19 school year in Dr. Staton’s honor for speaking. The focus of the grant will be STEM, at Dr. Staton’s request.
Several awards were given during the luncheon:
The Cheryl Marteney Memorial Volunteer Leadership Award serves to honor a volunteer who has made significant contributions through volunteer work with Craven County Partners In Education. This was awarded to Barbara Dotter, PIE volunteer.
The PIE Outstanding Leadership Award honors outstanding leadership and significant contributions to education by school administrators. This award went to Deborah Langhans, Chief Academic Officer of Craven County Schools and Dr. Ervin Patrick, PIE president and Director of Human Resource Services.
There were three PIE Excellence Awards. The award honors an individual or company for demonstrating a commitment to working with PIE to promote student achievement and educational excellence. This award went to Jason Jones, County Commissioner; B/S/H/ Home Appliances; and Wells Fargo.
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors Craven County Schools graduates for their contributions to the community, their profession, and PIE. This award went to Patricia Rammacher and Michael Raines, Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines.
Entertainment for the event was provided by Havelock High Jazz Band and West Craven Middle School #BucketRage.
Tommy Wilson was named director of Curriculum and Instruction for Craven County Schools effective July 2.
Wilson has been serving as principal at West Craven Middle School.
As director of Curriculum and Instruction, Wilson will provide leadership and direction in the ongoing planning, implementation, development, review, and evaluation of the district’s curriculum and instructional services, DoDEA Grants, and Title II Federal Program. His responsibilities as the director ensures that the district’s curriculum and instruction priorities are aligned to state standards and to instructional practices that yield the highest standards of student achievement and instructional excellence.
Wilson graduated from West Craven High School as well as East Carolina University. He taught in middle school in Wayne County and high school in Pamlico County, where he also served as an assistant principal and alternative school director. Prior to returning to Craven County, Wilson served as an elementary and middle school principal in Currituck County and most recently, he was West Craven Middle School’s principal for the 2017-18 school year.
Jessica Fortescue will replace Wilson as principal for West Craven Middle School effective July 2.
Fortescue started her career in education in 2006 as a math teacher at H.J. MacDonald Middle School. For the last five years she has served as an assistant principal at Brinson Memorial Elementary, West Craven Middle and New Bern High School.
Tabari Wallace, principal at West Craven High School and a former New Bern High School football standout, was named the 2018 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. It was announced today during a luncheon at The Umstead Hotel in Cary, North Carolina.
Wallace was selected from a field of eight regional finalists chosen earlier this year following interviews and a rigorous portfolio review. The regional principals of the year are:
Northeast: Michelle White, D.F. Walker Elementary (Edenton-Chowan Public Schools);
Southeast: Tabari Wallace, West Craven High (Craven County Schools);
North Central: Jonathan Enns, Fuquay-Varina High (Wake County Public Schools);
Sandhills: Jim Butler, Richmond Senior High (Richmond County Schools);
Piedmont-Triad: Tracy Kimmer, Yadkin Early College High (Yadkin County Schools);
Southwest: Titus L. Hopper, Cleveland Early College High (Cleveland County Schools);
Northwest: Desarae Kirkpatrick, Nebo Elementary (McDowell County Schools) and
Western: Melissa Godfrey, Andrews Elementary (Cherokee County Schools)
Wallace previously served as the principal of Havelock Middle School for seven years. He began his career in public education at his Alma Mater, New Bern High School. He then served as assistant principal for two years at Tucker Creek Middle, and three years at West Craven Middle School.
Meghan S. Doyle, Craven Schools superintenden, said, “Mr. Wallace is a champion for children. He is a tireless advocate for the needs of our students in a challenging world. He is the place of comfort, support, encouragement, and the highest expectations for every child and adult with whom he works. We are blessed to have him in Craven County Schools and we are excited to have his voice represent the school leaders of our state.”
Wallace receives $3,000 for personal use and $3,000 for his school. The winner also receives professional development and resources supporting global awareness in the curriculum for his staff, a custom-made NC Principal of the Year signet ring and pendant, a complimentary two-night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and resources to help combat child hunger from the Principal of the Year program’s newest sponsor, No Kids Hungry NC.
This is the 35th year the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has partnered with The Wells Fargo Foundation to recognize the state’s outstanding principals. Since 1984, when the program began, 38 Principals of the Year and 248 regional recipients have been recognized. In addition, The Wells Fargo Foundation has provided more than $1 million in cash awards during that time to these school leaders.
A pie chart shows results of a survey of Craven County Schools faculty asking which of five options they preferred the school system takes to deal with a large number of teacher absences expected on May 16. Of 839 respondents, 37.3 percent of staff, the largest chunk, preferred to have a regular workday. Ninety percent of faculty will remain at work on May 16. Post photo
The Craven County Board of Education held an emergency meeting today to figure out what to do when 84 faculty members take the day off from school on May 16, most of them to participate in a protest march in Raleigh over school funding.
The board voted unanimously to do nothing.
More than 40 percent of North Carolina’s public school students will not have classes on May 16 due to an exodus of teachers going to a rally planned that day in Raleigh, according to the News & Observer, a newspaper that covers Raleigh (a newspaper is a publication that publishes news printed on paper; many have websites).
Thousands of teachers from across North Carolina are expected to come to Raleigh for the “March For Students and Rally For Respect” to lobby state lawmakers for better pay and working conditions, according to the News & Observer.
Because of all the expected teacher absences, 19 North Carolina school districts have announced they’ll close school on May 16. Those districts represent almost 666,000 students, or 44 percent of the state’s public school students, the News & Observer reported..
In Craven County, 84 faculty members put in requests to take the day off, most of whom plan to participate in the rally. That’s just below 10 percent of the total faculty for Craven County Schools. Teachers had until Thursday to put in their leave requests.
Not knowing how many local teachers would be participating in the rally, school officials came up with contingency plans in case there was an insufficient number of teachers to conduct classes. They planned Thursday’s emergency meeting before the final tally of faculty participants was in.
Plans included closing the schools, having an early release, or doing nothing. Another day off, or even half a day off, would have required the district to add hours to remaining school days in the semester, or even add a Saturday session in June, because all its discretionary days off were gobbled up by snow days in the winter.
Because more than 90 percent of the faculty will remain at their posts, school officials felt that was sufficient to keep schools open on May 16.
“Participation is lower than in other districts,” said Meghan Doyle, schools superintendent. “This is not because of a lack of engagement,” but because the harsh winter left the school district with few options to meet its minimum school day requirement.
Faculty representative Dawn Jones said a lot of schools across the state are closing to participate in the rally. “We are rallying for us, for our schools, and for our districts to get more money,” she said. “We will represent Craven County Schools proudly.”
But she said some faculty members feared retaliation from administrators if they participated in the rally.
School Board member Frances Boomer said her only concern was that the teachers should have no fear. “We support them and are behind them,” she said. “We want you to have the best that you can have.”
Board Chairman David Hale said participants in the rally from Craven County have the board’s “full support.”
On Thursday, May 9, Keller Williams Realty will be donating staff time during Annual Volunteer Red Day to Grover C. Fields Middle School. The beautification projects with start at approximately 9:15 a.m. and the team will be completed with their work at 4 p.m.
RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is Keller Williams annual day of service. Each year on the second Thursday of May, the company celebrates RED Day as a part of its legacy.
Making a difference in the lives of others and bettering the communities that they serve lies at the heart of the Keller Williams culture. This observance defines who they are and is a natural extension of their commitment to the highest level of professional customer service.
Over time, a growing number of their family members and friends continue to participate in this extraordinary event. It embodies the generous spirit and commitment associates have to “giving back” to the cities and towns they live and work in.
Katy Chadwick, right, pictured with two of her pupils. Contributed photo
Katy Chadwick, teacher at James W. Smith Elementary School, has been selected as the 2018-19 Teacher Ambassador for Craven County Schools. In this role, she will serve as the local adviser to the Board of Education and will represent Craven County Schools in various community and civic events.
Chadwick now moves on to compete against other local award recipients for the Southeast regional Teacher of the Year title. Chadwick was chosen following an application and interview process with the local selection committee, comprising of the current Teacher Ambassador, the current Principal of the Year, a Board of Education member, central office staff and business/community/faith partners.
In her application package, Chadwick shared her passion for teaching by stating, “Teaching has been a life-long dream of mine.”
She described how blessed she was to have amazing educators when she attended Brinson Memorial Elementary School as a child and that she vividly remembers specific moments with each of her teachers.
“While each educator was different in their daily routines and methods, they shared one commonality: a love for teaching.” Chadwick further wrote, “Because of their devotion for teaching and willingness to invest in me, I felt at peace and fulfilled at school. I was eight years old when I decided that if I became an elementary teacher, I could always feel as peaceful, fulfilled and joyful as I did at school.” As a high school student, she worked with struggling second grade readers for several months and was able to witness their growth, which made her even more determined to pursue a career in education. Due to her personal commitment and academic success, Chadwick was awarded the North Carolina Teaching Fellow Scholarship in 2007.
When asked what she considered to be her greatest contribution and accomplishment in education Chadwick stated, “I relentlessly encourage students to see their value and potential. My classroom environment provides opportunities for students to recognize their worth. Many students in my classroom come from homes with limited resources and I refuse to accept that cyclical poverty will ultimately determine the outcomes of my future first-generation college students.” Chadwick further stated, “There is something so empowering in knowing that I was destined for teaching. I am proud of my profession and I dedicate myself fully to my students. In an evolving and uncertain profession overcome with obstacles, I would choose to be a teacher over and over again because every child deserves a loving teacher who emphatically believes that they are capable of achieving the impossible, no matter how high the odds are stacked against them. I am, and will always be, that teacher.”
For more than 50 years our nation has honored teachers with the National Teacher of the Year Program. In 2014, the NC Department of Public Instruction announced their partnership with Burroughs Wellcome Fund as the new major sponsor of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program. Since 1970, North Carolina has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers.
Craven County Schools has been working closely with school administrators since the announcement of the plans for the National Walkout Day in Remembrance of the 17 shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Principals have communicated with students the importance of maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment while still providing an opportunity to memorialize the lives of those lost as a result of this tragedy.
Below is information provided by the school principal on optional plans at the listed school:
Student leaders at New Bern High School have created a Walk Out & Walk Up (see photo of poster)
Havelock High School will honor the memory of the victims with a moment of silence at 10 a.m.
Craven Early College High School will have a Walk-In by challenging students to walk up to 14 students and 3 adults to say something kind, This will encourage students to make others feel included, welcomed, and appreciated.
While respecting students’ First Amendment Rights, Craven County Schools is communicating with students who are interested in expressing themselves so long as there is minimal disruption in the classroom and does not impact student and staff safety. The schools have been providing alternative options for students to demonstrate their compassion during this time. Alternative, peaceful, on-campus plans include, a moment of silence to remember those that lost their life and student led walk-in’s.
The district shares the community’s concerns regarding school safety and continues to partner with local law enforcement and other agencies throughout Craven County to provide training and continue practicing through drills to ensure staff and students are as prepared as possible for any type of emergency that might occur at school.
Update: The following notice was sent by New Bern High School Principal Jerry Simmons to parents of New Bern High School students. About 11 students at the high school walked out of class and participated in a peaceful sit-in.
Good evening, Parents. This is Jerry Simmons, principal of New Bern High School. Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of the tragedy that occurred in Parkland, Florida. A movement has begun in response to the violence happening on school campuses throughout the world. That movement calls for students to walk out of schools tomorrow morning at 10am and return to their classes after 17 minutes, one minute for each victim last month. I have been approached by many of our students and staff members expressing concern for the safety of our students, given that this plan has been widely advertised and not everyone may have the best of intentions in mind. Our student leaders from both SGA and FCA have proposed an alternative to the WalkOut and I will describe that plan here. First, we’re asking that our students and staff members wear silver and red or burgundy, the colors for the Stoneman Douglas Eagles. Second, we will invite any students who wish to participate to join us to Walk Out on Bear Plaza during their assigned lunch period. We will offer moments for reflection and support for the victims during that time. We will also solicit feedback from our students on how we can improve our practices at New Bern High. And third, we are asking our students to Walk Up to someone you don’t know and extend kindness and concern to a fellow Bear. So again, we have informed our students that we are not supporting the planned 10am WalkOut as we cannot safely supervise this activity. We are instead asking that our students and staff rally with us as we Dress Like An Eagle in Silver and Red, WalkOut during lunches and WalkUp to a fellow Bear. As always, thank you for supporting the Mighty Bears.
The Craven County Board of Education approved Deborah Langhans as the new chief academic officer (formerly assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction) for Craven County Schools.
Under the direction of the superintendent, Langhans leads and facilitates the administration of curriculum development, instructional programs and services, and teacher and leadership development for the school system.
She will supervise elementary, middle, and high school curriculum, programming, and instructional staff, Career and Technical Education, Federal programs/projects, Exceptional Children, English as a Second Language, and Early Childhood education.
The Chief Academic Officer provides administrative and strategic leadership in collaboration with all district executive staff and school leaders.
Langhans has worked in the district for 29 years. Superintendent Meghan Doyle said, “Mrs. Langhans heart for Craven County Schools as well as her vast experience as a teacher, principal, and district leader prepared her to lead our academic programs into the future.”
In the spring of 1989, she was introduced to Craven County Schools as a student teacher at West Craven High School. Upon graduation from East Carolina University, she was hired as a math teacher and served in this role for the next 14 years.
In 2003, She transitioned to school administration, serving as an assistant principal at West Craven Middle School, Havelock Middle School, and West Craven High School. In 2008, H.J. MacDonald Middle welcomed her as the principal where she served for three years. She then decided it was time to pursue an opportunity to work with the entire district and has been the Director of Secondary Education for the past five years.