NRMS focuses on 3rd Grade Reading

(NEWS RELEASE) Nashville, NC – Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will host a series of four parent meetings for parents of third grade students regarding the potential impact of the Read to Achieve legislation on student promotion and retention.

The meetings are scheduled for December 2 at Nashville Elementary, December 3 at Bailey Elementary, December 10 at Benvenue Elementary and December 12 at OR Pope Elementary.  Parents of students in kindergarten, first and second grades are also invited to attend the meetings.

“Read to Achieve is part of the Excellent Public Schools Act, which became law in 2012 and took effect this school year,” said Melissa-Dancy Smith, Executive Director of Elementary Instruction. “We want all parents to be informed of how this impacts promotion and retention for third grade students.”

The goal of the legislation is to ensure that every student reads at or above grade level by the end of third grade. If a student is not performing on grade level, he or she can enroll in a Summer Reading Academy that will be offered by the school district. Parents have the option to decline enrolling the student in the Summer Academy, but students who do not attend will be retained in a third grade classroom next school year.

Each of the parent meetings will be hosted in a town hall format. A moderator will pose questions to a group of panelists including school administrators, instructional coaches, directors and other staff. Parents will also have the opportunity to ask additional questions, as needed.

For more information on Read to Achieve, parents are encouraged to visit the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools website,, and click ‘Read to Achieve’ on the district homepage.

Nash CC Faculty, Students Reach Out

(NEWS RELEASE) Nash Community College’s commitment to showing “blue love” has been especially apparent over the past few weeks. The term “blue love”, coined by a faculty member, refers to college employees’ earnest efforts to make every student feel welcome, to assist students in working toward their educational goals, to ensure proper advising and to help overcome barriers to learning that come with everyday life. In celebration of this blue love and spring semester advising, faculty, staff and students held a blue out on Thursday, November 7th marking their commitment.

Photo posted by Nash Community College

Continuing in the same spirit, each year Nash Community College reaches out to the community to help those in need. To kickoff the campus’ season of giving, the NCC Student Government Association recently led a campus-wide food drive to benefit Edwards Middle School’s Backpack Buddies program. The campus collected 3,662 items weighing in at 907 pounds. Student leaders challenged student clubs to see which group would collect the most food. The Student Nurses’ Association won the competition.

The Backpack Buddies program provides a backpack filled with ready-to-eat food for students who are identified by the school who may not have adequate food to eat over the weekend. Edwards Middle School has 42 children who benefit from the program. The backpacks are distributed each Friday at the end of the day prior to leaving school for the weekend.

Saturday’s “Shark Tank” features Great Entrepreneurs, Judges


Click on the Image to Obtain a Free Ticket for Saturday’s Shark Tank Event

SpringBoardNC’s inaugural “Shark Tank,” to be held this Saturday, November 16th, at 6 p.m. at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts at North Carolina Wesleyan College, will feature local entrepreneurs competing for the chance to advance their business ideas with funding and technical support.

The public is invited to attend this free event, as well as help select winners in each category. Tickets are required, and can be obtained online by clicking here or visiting the SpringBoardNC website,

“Shark Tank by SpringBoard is a way for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs to broadcast their ideas and businesses to the people that matter: customers, mentors and investors,” said SpringBoardNC Vice President, Jeff Tobias. “That’s aside from the opportunity to win significant cash prizes.”

Each finalist will present their idea to the audience and four special judges:

Mayo Boddie, Chairman, Boddie-Noell Enterprises

Brian Wordsworth, Executive Vice-President, MBM Corporation

Frances Gravely, Founder, Vietri, Inc.

David Walker, Eastern North Carolina Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, North Carolina Wesleyan College

More than 50 entries were submitted for the competition in 3 categories: business, college, and young entrepreneur academy. Business category applicants provided abbreviated business plans for new business and business expansion ideas. College students competed against each other, developing general business ideas and assessments. Participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) organized by The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce shared business ideas they’ve developed while participating in the program.

Business category finalists are:

Syntervention, a Rocky Mount-based company developing innovative products for use in the medical and surgical fields. They will be represented by Fuz Furbush.

Prsonas, a Durham-based company developing virtual-based customer interaction and presentation services, represented by David Rose.

Tail Gate Buddy, a Roanoke Rapids-based company started by Brian Hux, providing a product that attaches to vehicles to provide seating and cargo space for special events.

The college category finalists are Tyler Freedman, Sabina Paudel, Kristopher Hutchins, and Shadawn Clanton. The YEA finalists are Brianna Barnes, Joshua McKnight, Thane Wooten, Shawndrea Gunter and Gabrielle Taylor

Three business category finalists will present their plans to the judges for the chance to win $10,000 to cover startup or expansion costs. They will also be given access to a committee of advisors who will help them start and grow their business for over their initial 12 months.

The winner in the college category will win $2,500 to use toward college tuition of paying off student debt. The YEA category winner will receive reimbursement of their program tuition, equivalent to $295.

“Shark Tank” is the first business competition of its kind in the local area. It is the product of a broad collaboration that includes North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Eastern North Carolina Center for Business & Entrepreneurship, the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise in Chapel Hill, and the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, and is supported by Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the North Eastern Entrepreneur Roundtable (NEER).

Arts Center to host “Peanuts” Thanksgiving Party

The Maria V. Howard Arts Center will host, “It’s a Thanksgiving Party, Charlie Brown!” on Saturday, November 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, in recognition of its current “Peanuts… Naturally” exhibition.

The event will feature tours of the “Peanuts… Naturally” exhibit, along with other Arts Center exhibits, hands-on activities, live Jazz music featured in “Peanuts” specials, and more.

“Peanuts… Naturally” is a national touring exhibit organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum. The exhibit features more than 50 items from the Museum, including classic strips, Peanuts-inspired art and collectibles. Most of the pieces represent natural and environmental themes Schulz often incorporated into his famous strip throughout its 50-year run.

The exhibit also includes several “hands on” stations where visitors of all ages can learn more about biology, plants, astronomy, weather and the environment.

“Peanuts… Naturally” is on display at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center at The Imperial Centre, 270 Gay Street, Downtown Rocky Mount from now until January 5th. The exhibit is free to the public and open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Tesla brings “Supercharger” to Rocky Mount

California-based electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors will open its second Supercharger station in North Carolina this Thursday on the grounds of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Rocky Mount.

Charging will be available for owners of Tesla’s Model S sedan, a high-performance luxury vehicle capable of 120 mph top speed with a travel range of more than 200 miles at 55 mph.

The Supercharger stations are key to a significant infrastructure program Tesla is implementing to enable greater range for its popular high-end vehicles. The company just completed its first major corridor of Superchargers, enabling travel from San Diego to Vancouver. 31 of these stations are currently in operation in North America.

Tesla sees the new Supercharger station in Rocky Mount as critical to its expansion in the Eastern United States. The station will provide “an important link in connecting East Coast travelers between Boston and Miami.”

So far, these stations have provided Model S vehicles with over 4 million supercharged miles. Tesla claims these stations have reduced national consumption of motor fuel by nearly 200,000 gallons.

Superchargers can facilitate a 50% charge of the Model S battery system in 20 minutes, with 200 miles worth of charge achieved in a half-hour. Stations will be located between city centers to enable free long-distance travel for about three hours at a time.

A public grand opening of the charging station will take place Thursday, November 14th, at 10 a.m., featuring on-site Tesla S show vehicles. The station will be available for use on November 14th as well.

Nash Community College receives “Military Friendly” Distinction

nashccLogo(NEWS RELEASE) Nash Community College has been named to the coveted Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Nash Community College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools media and website, found at, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. The schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

Sharpsburg Mayoral Race Draws Attention

The ongoing battle over the results of October’s election for Sharpsburg Mayor, a race decided by only 4 votes, is starting to draw interest with respect to the appeal efforts of the losing candidate.

Current Mayor Robert Williams, Jr., who currently trails challenger Randy Weaver by a count of 202-198, protested the results on the basis that one of the voters was not living at the address where they were registered.

Angela Hight provided an overview of Williams’ protest, along with a summary of its recent review and denial by the Nash County Board of Elections, in a story for Raleigh’s Civitas Institute:

Williams was appointed mayor of the town in July 2013 and had already requested a recount of the election because the race was so close. The election was held on Oct. 8 and Randy Weaver, the challenger, won with a vote of 202-198. The recount yielded the same results.

Friday morning all involved parties met at the Nash County Agricultural Center Auditorium which houses the Nash County Board of Elections. Williams presented his case in which he said that one individual was not eligible to vote in the election because he did not live at the address where he was registered to vote.  The voter had lived in a trailer at the address but it had been repossessed right before the election.  The voter admitted that he had fallen on hard times but that he still had valuables on the property, he was up to date on lot rent, his driver’s license showed that this was his residence, he slept in a tent on the property some nights and has every intention to put a trailer on the property when he saves up enough money.

The voter in question presented several pieces of evidence to prove that he still lived at the residence in question.  After the Board heard the testimony from the voter in question and others who were called to support him, they dismissed Williams’ protest unanimously and said the written order would be available in the days to follow.  The board referred to several similar cases in coming to their decision to dismiss this case.  A domicile is considered a person’s residence.  One important thing to note is  to legally change a domicile, there must be an actual abandonment of the first domicile with the intent not to return to it, and the acquisition of a new domicile by actual residence at another place with the intent to make that new place a permanent home. Owens v. Chaplin 228 NC 705, 47 SE2d 12 (1948).

Williams did say, after the Board gave their decision, that he would be filing for an appeal at the State Board of Elections (SBOE).  The Election cannot be officially declared until that appeal has been decided on by the SBOE.  There will follow up to this blog when they have given their ruling on the matter.

Public Schools prepare Parents for Test Score drop

Officials with both Edgecombe County Public Schools and Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools are making parents of their students aware of likely drops in upcoming test score reports as a result of significant changes in statewide curriculum.

Earlier this week, both school systems released statements explaining the changes and how they will be implemented in the coming weeks. Based on their information, these changes are part of the State’s adoption of controversial “Common Core” standards.

From Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools:

During October, the State Board of Education adopted new academic achievement standards (also referred to as cut scores) to align the new assessments students with the new Common Core and Essential Standards curriculum. As a result of the higher standards, student scores across the state are expected to be significantly lower than in previous years.

Dr. Anthony Jackson, Superintendent, said the drop in scores is consistent with trends in other states, and with past re-norming of standards and corresponding assessments. 

“As with any major change in assessments, there is an anticipated drop in performance — as teachers adjust instruction to meet the new standards — and students adjust to the higher levels of rigor,” said Jackson. “We want parents to understand that this is a reflection of both the major shift in the rigor of the curriculum and the new testing process.”

The State Board of Education will approve the new accountability data for students and schools across the state on November 7. Schools will begin issuing individual score reports shortly after the State Board gives approval. On November 14, schools will host parent nights, during which school administrators and educators will speak with parents about the test scores.

In a letter sent home to parents on October 30, Jackson asked parents to carefully review the individual score reports. 

“Unfortunately, because these are new assessments, it is virtually impossible to compare this year’s performance to your child’s previous scores,” said Jackson in the letter. “Please see these scores as the baseline for your child’s performance moving forward.”

While proficiency scores are expected to be lower this year, the school district will also be highlighting school and district level growth data, which will give an indication of how students progressed, based on their performance from the previous year. Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will utilize the growth and proficiency data to adjust instructional strategies to support the needs of students as they develop the skills to meet the higher demands moving forward.

For more information about the release of test scores, parents and community members are invited to visit the NRMPS website, Several resources are available, including sample score reports, frequently asked questions, and descriptors of each achievement level. A detailed schedule of upcoming parent nights will also be available on the website.

From Edgecombe County Public Schools:

As a result of changes in the assessment process and the implementation of a new curriculum, North Carolina student results are expected to drop significantly.

So that the assessment data can be properly aligned to the new assessment and the new curriculum, the North Carolina State Board of Education implemented new academic achievement standards in October.  These standards, referred to as cut scores, are a reflection of increased standards across the state and are an indication of the significant drop in student scores that the state is expected to see.

On November 7, 2013, the State Board is scheduled to approve the student data at its meeting.  Within two weeks by way of U. S. Mail, Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) students will receive detailed individual student reports and a letter from Superintendent John Farrelly.

“Looking at historical trends for North Carolina, whenever there has been a change in the assessment tool, scores across the state have declined,” said Farrelly.  “With both a change in the assessment tool and the curriculum we are teaching in North Carolina, there is an expectation for scores to fall significantly.”
The ECPS system is being proactive by alerting the community that the scores will not be an accurate reflection of student potential.  The new Common Core curriculum that was adopted by North Carolina is indicative of increased rigor.  As teachers modify instruction relative to the new standards, students across the state are likewise adapting to the new testing model.

It is imperative that parents not compare their students’ data with those of previous years, as the comparison is inaccurate.  As is typical moving forward after changing assessments, student scores generally incline. 

“We, as a district in Edgecombe County, will continue to focus on growing students and are committed to staying the course instructionally for student success and growth,” stated Farrelly.  “Our current emphasis on infusing technology into our content areas will prove to be highly effective.  We recognize that we have significant challenges in front of us to meet the new rigorous curricula standards. The new curriculum and assessments demand that we adjust instructional practices to provide more problem solving learning experiences for students. Despite the anticipated drop in overall scores, I am confident that we will continue to raise the bar for both teacher and student performance.”

Jones new Princeville Mayor, Page wins in Tarboro – Complete Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson Election Results

election-2013-buttonPrinceville’s Bobbie D. Jones and Tarboro’s Rick Page are the new Mayors of their respective communities, winning Tuesday’s elections against multiple opponents.

Jones received about 67% of the total votes in Princeville against a field that included incumbent Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates (16%) and Milton R. Bullock (13%).

JoeRoam Myrick was elected to Princeville Commission for Ward 3, while Pamela L. Ransome leads with 48% for the Ward 4 seat against Calvin Sherrod (37%) and Tyrone Hopkins (15%).

In Tarboro, Page received 51% of the votes cast for Mayor in a race that included fellow challengers John Wooten (27%) and Donnie Hale (22%).

Tarboro’s Ward 1 Council Seat featured a 3-way race with Othar Woodward (40%) leading Gerrelene Walker (33%) and Carl Benson (27%). Steve Burnette won the Ward 3 seat, while John L. Jenkins was elected in Ward 5. Taro Knight, Ward 7 Councilmember, ran unopposed.

Tarboro and Princeville were the closest-followed of Tuesday’s local races in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties. More than a dozen municipalities held Mayor, Commissioner and Council elections, with turnout generally light in all locations.

Here is a complete rundown of results for municipal elections in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson County. Percentages are not shown for uncontested races.

Edgecombe County

Conetoe – Mayor
Linda Ingram

Conetoe – Commissioner (4 Seats)
Milton Goff, Jr. – 25.5%
Johnny Respass – 21.9%
Wilson Jones – 20.9%
Jesse Petteway – 16.2%
Leon E. Wynn – 15.5%

Macclesfield – Mayor
Mike Keel

Macclesfield – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Kathryn Cobb Ford – 45.4%
Dannis L. Sanderson – 29.2%
Write-Ins – 25.4%

Pinetops – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Joyce E. Tolson
Suzanne Coker Craig

Princeville – Mayor
Bobbie D. Jones – 67%
Prisciilla Everette-Oates – 16%
Milton R. Bullock – 13%

Princeville – Commissioner, Ward 3
JoeRoam Myrick – 82%
Isabelle Purvis-Andrews – 18%

Princeville – Commissioner, Ward 4
Pamela L. Ransome – 48%
Calvin Sherrod – 37%
Tyrone D. Hopkins – 15%

Tarboro – Mayor
Rick Page – 51%
John Wooten – 27%
Donnie Hale – 22%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 1
Othar Woodard – 39.6%
Gerrelene M. Walker – 33.2%
Carl Benson – 27.1%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 3
Steve Burnette – 68%
Leshaun Jenkins – 27%
Stephen Ribustello – 5%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 5
John L. Jenkins, II – 59%
Candie Bailey Owens – 41%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 7
Taro Knight

Nash County

Bailey – Mayor
Timothy Johnson

Bailey – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Shelley Carroll – 50%
Phillip (Rocky) Winstead – 31%
Allen Daniels – 19%
(Harold Flora won for a third seat, unexpired term ending 2015)

Castalia – Mayor
Ellene Leonard

Castalia – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Brian Hinkle – 33.7%
Write Ins – 31.3% (TBD)
Debbie Moore Rodriguez – 21.7%
Debra Sjoberg – 13.3%

Middlesex – Mayor
Luther (LuHarvey) Lewis, Jr. – 44.7%
Dale Bachmann – 28.4%
Vennie Brock – 26.3%

Middlesex – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Ann Mitchell Lewis – 31.7%
Harold Meacombs – 26.4%
Robert Johnson – 21.1%
Brandie Holt – 14.9%
Stacey E. Meek – 5.9%

Momeyer – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Martha Lucas
Ronald Pace

Nashville – Town Council (2 Seats)
Larry Taylor – 41.8%
Patricia Rogers – 31.2%
Jerry Harris – 26.8%

Red Oak – Mayor
Alfred Wester

Red Oak – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Levell Langley
Barbara High Tyre

Spring Hope – Mayor
James F. (Buddy) Gawltney III

Spring Hope – Commissioner (3 Seats)
Drew Griffin – 31.4%
Daryl Emig – 29.2%
Ted Lee Bissett II – 20.3%
David Rose – 18.9%

Whittakers – Commissioner (3 Seats):

Doris E. Lindsey – 21.8%
Fran Lynch – 19.9%
Al Wright – 17.3%
Jessica Vinson – 16.8%
Nancy Jones Taylor – 13.7%
Betty H. Bullock – 10.2%

Wilson County

City of Wilson – Council, District 3
William Thomas (Tom) Fyle – 80%
Ricardo Dew – 20%

City of Wilson – Council, District 5
Donald I. Evans

City of Wilson – Council, District 6
Logan T. Liles

City of Wilson – Council, District 7
Derrick D. Creech – 77%
William (Bill) Darden – 19%
Write-Ins – 2%
Reginald E. Pope – 2%

Black Creek – Mayor
Ralph M. Smith, Jr.

Black Creek – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Roland W. Lucas – 21.8%
Ellen E. Dawson – 20.0%
Elton R. Franks, Jr. – 20.0%
Lisa Godwin Skinner – 18.2%
Write-Ins – 11.8%
Damian Seltzer – 7.7%

Elm City – Mayor
Grady N. Smith

Elm City – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Dave Childress
Melvin Cooke
Lewis Crockett, Jr.
Marsha Wells
Gil Wheeler

Lucama – Commissioner (3 Seats)
David A. Johnson – 32.1%
Jed Simpson – 29.4%
Tim C. Wiggs – 28.4%
Thaddeus Washington – 9.2%

Saratoga – Mayor
Charles (Tommy) Hawkins

Saratoga – Commissioners (3 Seats)
Ronald McCormick
Anthony Newcomb
Elaine Saunders

Sims – Mayor
Dana K. Hewett

Sims – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Robert (Bobby) Ruffin – 21.5%
Eddie Ray Watts – 17.5%
Rhonda Ruffin Payne – 17.5%
Courtney Waren – 13.4%
Michael Hall – 12.8%
Louis Sparks, Jr. – 9.4%
Danny Howell – 8.1%

Stantonsburg – Council (3 Seats)
Donnie Bass
Jackie Grice
Robert Watson

Nash Community College Marketing Efforts Honored

nashccLogo(NEWS RELEASE) Nash Community College’s Marketing was recently recognized by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) Southeast United States district for its marketing collateral. The NCMPR is an organization for marketing and public relations professionals at community colleges and technical colleges across the United States.

Nash Community College Director of Media Production Andrew Small, left, and Senior Director of Marketing and Communication Kelley Deal, right, receive awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. (Photo from Nash Community College)

Nash Community College Director of Media Production Andrew Small, left, and Senior Director of Marketing and Communication Kelley Deal, right, receive awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. (Photo from Nash Community College)

The College’s Marketing team, which includes Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kelley Deal and Director of Media Production Andrew Small, received bronze awards for their 2012-2013 Community Report, the Industrial and Advanced Manufacturing Academy Video and the First Day Matters campaign in the categories of ”College Annual Report,” ”College Promotional Video” and “Successful Recruitment Marketing Campaign” respectively.

Deal serves as NCMPR’s North Carolina state representative for the Southeast US district. She joined the NCC staff in 2007 and was recently named the College’s 2013 Ambassador Award recipient. A graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, she is currently a second year Master of Arts degree candidate in the East Carolina University School of Communication.

Andrew Small was a presenter at the conference held in Hilton Head, South Carolina, leading a session titled “Design Asylum” highlighting strategies for marketing professionals and creative professionals to work effectively as a team. Small has been employed with Nash Community College since 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Auburn University and was selected as the College’s 2013 J. Edgar and Peggie T. Moore Staff Award recipient.

For more information about Nash Community College, please call 252-451-8235.