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GCS Chief of Staff Wins Top Honor

GCS Chief of Staff Wins Top Honor

Nora Carr, chief of staff for Guilford County Schools, has been awarded the Barry Gaskins Outstanding Service Award by the North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA). The award is named in memory of Pitt County Schools’ first public information officer and is the highest honor bestowed on an individual by NCSPRA. Carr received the recognition during NCSPRA’s Blue Ribbon Awards Brunch in Greensboro.

Left to right: Chris Fuller, NCSPRA Executive Director; Todd Hagans, NCSPRA President; Nora Carr, GCS Chief of Staff and Gaskins Award recipient; Cyndi Shah-Khan, Union Academy and Patricia Hollingsworth, NCSPRA Vice-President

Highly regarded for her experience in strategic planning, communications, and organizational development, Carr has dedicated most of her communications career to school public relations. Her expertise was requested following the deadly shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and in 2013 to assist in Moore, Ok., after devastating tornadoes hit the area. Carr led communications and media relations efforts after both tragedies.

She has won more than 200 state, local and national awards for communications excellence. In 2008, she was accepted into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows, an honor bestowed only on the nation’s leading public relations professionals. She also served as president of the National School Public Relations Association.

“I am proud of the work we do as public relations professionals,” Carr said. “We are driven because our kids are worth fighting for, public education is worth fighting for and our democracy is worth fighting for. Our educators are heroes and if we don’t tell our stories, who will?”

Visit gcsnc.com for more information.

Ramona MillerGCS Chief of Staff Wins Top Honor
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Student Video Contests

Student Video Contests

NCSBA recognized the winners of the middle school and high school video contests. Students were asked to create 45- to 60-second videos around the theme, What’s Super about Public Schools? Recognition was given during the NCSBA Annual Conference for Board Member Development held in Greensboro November 13-15.

This year was NCSBA’s third middle school video contest and had 19 entries. First place went to the team from Rochelle Middle School, Lenoir County for RMS Public School Rap. Second place went to Contentnea-Savannah School and third place to Woodington Middle School, also in Lenoir County. Each group received a certificate and a Visa gift card for the class to be presented during an upcoming local school board meeting.

The high school video contest teams placing first, second, and third attended the awards ceremony. Each group knew they had placed, but the order was not revealed until the ceremony presentation.

The submission from Nash Central High School, Nash-Rocky Mount Schools won the first-place trophy and a $3,000 cash prize for their school. The second-place winners were from Southern Nash High School, Nash-Rocky Mount Schools; they received a trophy and $2,000 cash prize for their school. In third place was the video from West Columbus High School, Columbus County, winning a trophy and $1,000 cash prize for their school. In addition, judges identified 10 additional videos to receive honorable mention.


Ramona MillerStudent Video Contests
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2017 Elementary Poster Contest

2017 Elementary Poster Contest

NCSBA recognized the winners of the 2017 elementary school poster contest. Students were asked to create posters around the theme, What’s Super about Public Schools? Recognition was given during the NCSBA Annual Conference for Board Member Development held in Greensboro November 13-15.

De’Asia Smith, a second grader from Scotland Neck Elementary, Halifax County, took first place for the K-2 grade category of the student poster contest. Suzanne Williford, a fourth grader from Hobbton Elementary, Sampson County, won first place for the Grades 3-5 category. Second place went to Raye Tilghman, a second grader from  Contentnea-Savannah School, Lenoir County and Isaiah Bromell, a fourth grader from Evergreen Elementary, Columbus County. Third place went to Samantha Williams, a second grader from Elm City Elementary, Wilson County and Candace Johnson, a fifth grader from Contentnea-Savannah School, Lenoir County. Each student received a certificate and gift to be presented during an upcoming local school board meeting.

Ramona Miller2017 Elementary Poster Contest
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Warren County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award

Warren County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award

Roberta Scott of the Warren County Board of Education is the 2017 recipient of the Raleigh Dingman Award for Outstanding Boardsmanship. To receive this esteemed award, which is given annually by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board member must be peer-nominated by their local school board.

“This board member has enjoyed a rich career in educational service, including serving as a public school teacher, reading/English teacher for U.S. military personnel, adult high school program coordinator for the community college, and a school board member,” said NCSBA Executive Director Ed Dunlap during the announcement. Scott has devoted more than 50 years to the field of education. She is a dedicated advocate for providing a quality, equitable education to all students and has worked tirelessly for students both locally and across the state as an NCSBA past president.

The Raleigh Dingman Award is the highest honor bestowed on a North Carolina school board member. The award is named in honor of Dr. Raleigh Dingman, the Association’s first full-time executive director, and was first presented at the 1981 annual conference. In 2002 legislation was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly that provides for the Raleigh Dingman Award winner to serve as an ex officio advisor to the state board of education and to attend meetings and participate in deliberations of the state board. Scott will serve in this capacity.

In recognition of their outstanding service as board of education members, the following board members were selected for the honorary All-State School Board. These individuals have made significant contributions to their school systems during their tenure and were peer-nominated for the Raleigh Dingman Award or the School Board Leadership Award, which was won by Chris Wilson, Camden County. All-State Board Members are: Eltha Booth, Beaufort County; Shearra Miller, Cleveland County; Christian Overton, Camden County; Dr. George Truman, Anson County; Barbara Yates-Lockamy, Columbus County; and Bob Wyatt, Rockingham County.

 

Ramona MillerWarren County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award
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2018 A. Craig Phillips NC Superintendent of the Year

2018 A. Craig Phillips NC Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Janet Harmon Mason, Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools, was named the 2018 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year at the NCSBA awards presentation and reception held Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The award was given jointly by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA), North Carolina School Superintendents Association (NCSSA) and the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). Scholastic sponsored the event and provided $5,000 in recognition of Dr. Mason’s achievements. Mason was nominated for the state honor after being named District VIII’s 2018 North Carolina Regional Superintendent of the Year by the Western Regional Education Service Alliance.

“Dr. Janet Mason’s vision for digital learning and digital leadership has guided her district to the forefront statewide in these areas. She works tirelessly to improve public education for students, staff and her community as a whole, and is well-respected among her peers for her outstanding leadership. She is most deserving of this honor,” said Jack Hoke, Executive Director of NCSSA.

As the 2018 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Mason will compete on the national level for Superintendent of the Year at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education, held February 15-17, 2018 in Nashville, TN.

The 2018 North Carolina Regional Superintendents of the Year, all of whom were nominees for this prestigious state award and were recognized as such at the Nov. 14 ceremony, included:

  • Region 1 | Northeast | Dr. Rob Jackson, Edenton-Chowan Public Schools
  • Region 2 | Southeast | Dr. Eric Bracy, Sampson County Schools
  • Region 3 | Central | Dr. Ethan Lenker, Pitt County Schools
  • Region 4 | Sandhills | Mr. Michael Freeman, Anson County Schools
  • Region 5 | Piedmont/Triad | Dr. Travis Reeves, Surry County Schools
  • Region 6 | Southwest | Dr. Stephen Fisher, Cleveland County Schools
  • Region 7 | Northwest | Dr. David Stegall, Newton-Conover City Schools
  • Region 8 | Western | Dr. Janet H. Mason, Rutherford County Schools

 

Ramona Miller2018 A. Craig Phillips NC Superintendent of the Year
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Camden County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award

Camden County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award

Chris Wilson of the Camden County Board of Education is the 2017 recipient of the School Board Member Leadership Award. To receive this esteemed award, which is given by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board member must be peer-nominated by their local school board.

“This board member has worked diligently to close the achievement gap in his community and throughout the state,” said NCSBA Past President Chuck Francis of Wilson’s commitment during his 15 years on the Camden County board. Wilson is a member of the NC Caucus of Black School Board Members, advocates for progress and innovation, and helped start the nation’s first U.S. Coast Guard Junior Leadership Program in 2006.

The School Board Member Leadership Award honors a school board member for exemplary leadership during the previous school year. In recognition of their outstanding service as board of education members, board members were selected for the honorary All-State School Board. These individuals have made significant contributions to their school systems during their tenure and were peer-nominated for the School Board Member Leadership Award or the Raleigh Dingman Award, which was won by Roberta Scott of Warren County. This year’s All-State Board Members are: Eltha Booth, Beaufort County; Shearra Miller, Cleveland County; Christian Overton, Camden County; Dr. George Truman, Anson County; Barbara Yates-Lockamy, Columbus County; and Bob Wyatt, Rockingham County.

 

Ramona MillerCamden County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award
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Lenoir County Board of Education Wins Leadership Award

Lenoir County Board of Education Wins Leadership Award

The Lenoir County Board of Education is the 2017 recipient of the School Board Leadership Award. This award honors a school board for extraordinary leadership during the 2016-2017 school year. To receive this esteemed award, which is given by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board must demonstrate excellent governance skills through commitment to the role of the school board.

Lenoir County was recognized during the awards ceremony of the Association’s 48th Annual Conference for Board Member Development in Greensboro on November 14. During comments to ceremony attendees, the board was celebrated for the bold, innovative steps it has taken to lead the school system forward. The board’s commitment to a shared vision helped the system exit low-performing status, increase student proficiency in most schools, and develop its academic options to address the varying needs of students and parents.

 

Ramona MillerLenoir County Board of Education Wins Leadership Award
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Franklin County Commissioners Recognized

Franklin County Commissioners Recognized

NCSBA presented its prestigious County Commissioners of the Year Award to the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners.

The group was recognized during the awards ceremony of the Association’s 48th Annual Conference for Board Member Development in Greensboro on November 14. The Franklin County Board of Education touted their county commissioners as a group of men and women dedicated to the success of their community’s students and teachers. Their leadership, support, and cooperation with the board of education have played an important role in increasing student proficiency and achievement and ensuring that vital school improvements are possible.

The County Commissioners of the Year Award is given to a board of county commissioners that is nominated by the local board of education in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.

 

 

Ramona MillerFranklin County Commissioners Recognized
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2017 Delegates Choose New Officers

2017 Delegates Choose New Officers

Delegates at the Association’s  2017 annual conference elected new officers and seven new members to the governing Board of Directors during the delegate meeting of the 48th Annual Conference for Board Member Development. NCSBA’s new president is Minnie Forte-Brown from Durham County; president-elect is Billy Griffin, Jones County; vice president is Brenda Stephens, Orange County; and treasurer is Amy Churchill, Buncombe County. Officers will serve a one-year term.

Members elected to serve a second two-year term on the NCSBA Board of Directors are Sharron Huffman, Wilkes County; Ron Kiviniemi, Transylvania County; Brian Piercy, McDowell County; and Earl Taylor, Onslow County.

Members elected to serve a first two-year term on the Association’s Board of Directors are Mary McCray, Charlotte-Mecklenburg; Dr. Terri Mosley, Surry County; Jennifer Thompson, Cherokee Central School; Steve Van Pelt, Alamance-Burlington.

The Board of Directors establishes the mission and goals for the Association and ensures that NCSBA activities and programs remain focused on these goals. In addition, the officers and directors are the personal communications link between their regions and the Association.

Ramona Miller2017 Delegates Choose New Officers
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 23, 2017

NCSBA Legislative Update – June 23, 2017

NCSBA Legislative Update
JUNE 23, 2017

 


**Note that lawmakers are wrapping up the legislative session.  Session may end as soon as next week so this may be one of our last weekly legislative updates.**

BUDGET PASSES

A final compromise budget was made public late Monday night.  It quickly moved through the House and Senate this week and was presented to the Governor late yesterday afternoon.  The budget passed each chamber with veto-proof majorities (77-40 in the House, 39-11 in the Senate), with Republicans unified and a handful of Democrats crossing over to vote in favor.  You can watch the House debate here.  The Governor has 10 days to sign or veto.  If the legislature adjourns before he takes action, he would have 30 days to sign or veto.

For K-12 public schools, the final budget contains pay raises for teachers, a restructuring of the school administrator pay system, an increase in NC Pre-K slots, new lottery funding for school construction, and new opportunities for school employee bonuses.  However, it does not make investments in professional development (which remains zeroed out at the State level) or textbooks (there is an appropriation but it is just to replace a cut which was supposed to go into effect).  These were some areas outlined in the NCSBA legislative agenda as needing additional funding.

There are also several concerning provisions, including Education Savings Accounts, restrictions on transfers between LEA allotments, cuts to Central Office, no retiree health benefits for new hires after 2020, and no funding nor language stating intent to fund K-5 specialty teachers for 2018-19.

NCSBA has put together materials showing all the major funding and policy provisions for the final budget.   Attached please find the budget documents.

ANTI-PENSION SPIKING Bill

SB 117 was a hot topic this week.  The bill was moved on and off the House calendar a few different times throughout the week.  It now sits in the House Education K-12 Committee.  There is expected to be an amendment put forth to remove the retroactive applicability of the language that says the Trustees don’t have to go through rule-making.  This would preserve the favorable superior court ruling in the Cabarrus/Wilkes/Union/Johnston lawsuit as it applies to all the LEAs that have been assessed up to that ruling.

LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX

HB 333, legislation to expand the ability of localities to establish local option sales taxes for public education, remains parked in Senate Rules.  The House passed it a few weeks ago but the Senate has not taken any action.  With lawmakers wrapping up their business for 2017 the window for moving HB 333 this session is closing.  This bill gives localities another tool to help address school construction backlogs and other pressing local education issues.

 

Please contact your Senator(s) and let them know that HB 333 is a priority item for school boards and tell them it is important to pass HB 333 before this session ends!

Other News

Local Education Funding Lawsuits
It appears that lawmakers are not going to take action on the issue of local education funding lawsuits this session.  SB 531, which is the Senate’s bill to eliminate school boards’ local education funding lawsuit authority, remains eligible for the next session since it made crossover.

 


Omnibus Education Bill

HB 155 passed out of committee this week.  A Senate Committee took a bill on another topic and revised it to make several changes to the 115C public education statutes.  The most notable among these changes are:

– A provision that says if a high school has 1,500 students or more then assistant principals may conduct the annual performance evaluation of a teacher, provided that the principal does at least one of the teacher’s first three annual evaluations.

– A provision that delays implementation of the State Board’s recently passed school-based mental health policy.

Charter Schools
The Senate dropped a House proposal to give preferential enrollment treatment to parents who work for an organization that donates land/money/resources to a charter school.  The Senate Education Committee took this provision out of a multi-part charter school bill- HB 800.  The major component of the revised bill now is a provision that makes it easier for charters not identified as low-performing to expand their student population without needing approval from the State Board of Education.  The new threshold (25%) is a little less than what the House originally passed.  HB 800 goes to the Senate floor next week.

3rd Grade Teacher Bonuses
SB 169 passed the House this week and has been sent to the Governor.  This bill gives bonuses to teachers who taught 3rd grade last year and were in the 25% of state or local reading growth scores and then were moved to a different grade this year.  Due to a quirk in the language of the original legislation setting up the 3rd grade reading bonus program, those teachers were initially ineligible.  This bill will ensure that those teachers get the bonus.  A provision in the new State budget ensures that 3rd grade top 25% reading growth score teachers who are moved to a different grade the next year are eligible for the bonuses going forward.

School Staffing Flexibility
SB 448- Professors in the Classroom, unanimously passed the House and is heading to the Governor’s desk.  This bill would provide local boards of education with the flexibility to hire university/college professors to teach core academic subjects in any grade K-12.

Teacher Prep Reform
SB 599, the restructuring of the state’s teacher prep system, was revised by a House Committee this week and is going to the House floor.  The House Education K-12 Committee made a number of changes to the language of the bill but kept the core in tact.  SB 599 is scheduled to be heard on the House floor Monday.   If you want to see the changes that the Committee made to this bill you can click here.

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Sean HolmesNCSBA Legislative Update – June 23, 2017
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