Local Students Receive ‘Bags of Sunshine’

Fayetteville, NC – The Cumberland County School Nutrition Association (CCSNA) is proud to announce the success of its 2nd Annual Sunshine Bag Program.
The program provides a ‘sunshine bag,’ which contains non-perishable foods and other products, to students in transition and/or need. The Bags help provide nourishment during Spring Break since the students do not have access to the support offered at school which includes school meals.  The Association distributed nearly 700 ‘Sunshine Bags’ to students this year.
“We see students come through the cafeteria lines that rely on school meals as their primary source for nourishment,” said CCSNA President and South View High School Cafeteria Manager Tina West.  “Our goal is to provide them with some resources during the Break.  It is our way of extending our care to the students beyond the cafeteria.”
CCSNA, made up of CCS’ cafeteria employees, conducted fundraisers, solicited community support, and collected donations to help fill the bags.   As students enjoyed the benefits of their bags during Spring Break 2017, CCSNA members have already begun planning for the 2018 Sunshine Bag Program.


Published on May 9, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

What’s Happening in the CCS? (April 30 – May 6, 2017)

**April 29 Event – Teacher Job Fair Saturday
The Cumberland County Schools’ Human Resources Department is sponsoring a teacher job fair on Saturday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Gray’s Creek High School (5301 Celebration Drive). Prospective teachers will get the opportunity to interview with principals during the Fair with hopes of filling vacancies throughout the school system.

 Student Art Displayed at Cross Creek Mall
The Cross Creek Mall Visual Art Exhibit, which highlights the talents of CCS students, will be on display from Monday, May 1 – Monday, May 15. Artwork from elementary, middle, and high school students from 76 schools in the CCS will be on display for the community to enjoy. The artwork is displayed by attendance area throughout the mall.

May 2017 Let’s Talk Education Radio Show: “Magnet Schools in the CCS”
During the May 1 edition of Let’s Talk Education, the show’s host, CCS’ Superintendent Dr. Frank Till, will talk with Montclair Elementary School Principal Stephanie Rivers and Anne Chesnutt Middle School Assistant Principal Lakeshia Payton. They will discuss plans for the elementary and middle schools to become Magnet schools. To listen, tune in from 11:34 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on WIDU 1600 AM or visit www.widuradio.com.

Upcoming Board Committee Meetings
The Cumberland County Board of Education Auxiliary, Student Support Services, Budget/Finance, Policy, and Legislative Committees will meet on Thursday, May 4 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Central Services’ Board Room, located at 2465 Gillespie Street.  The committee meetings, which were rescheduled from May 2, are open to the public.

Get Connected TV Show for May 2017
During May’s edition of Get Connected, CCS’ Chief Communications Officer Renarta C. Moyd is joined by CCS’ Executive Director of Secondary Education Dr. Jane Fields and Counselors Coordinator Kristy Curran. They will discuss graduation requirements and the new Latin Honors system. To watch the show, tune in to FCE-TV – Cable Channel 5 on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at noon or visit the school system’s Website (www.ccs.k12.nc.us).  

Custodial Appreciation & Awards Banquet
Approximately 400 custodians from Cumberland County schools and offices have plans to gather on Friday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. for the CCS’ Custodial Appreciation and Awards Banquet. The event, which will salute U.S. Veterans, will take place in the Cumberland County Crown Center Arena. During the evening, recent retirees, the Neill Brown Service Award recipient, and the Charlie Wilson School of the Year Award recipient will be honored. For more information about the Banquet, call 910.829.4481.

Very Special Arts Event 2017 Celebrates “Cinco de Mayo” Style
CCS’ Exceptional Children’s program presents the 36th Annual Very Special Arts Event (VSAE) on Friday, May 5 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Cumberland County Crown Expo Center. The artistic talents of exceptional children throughout the CCS will be presented using this year’s theme: “Cinco de Mayo.” The event will feature visual arts, creative writing, music, drama, and dance. For more information about the VSAE, call CCS’ Executive Director of Exceptional Children’s Services Julie Aul at 910.678.2440.




Published on April 28, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Cumberland County Schools’ 2017 Governor’s School Participants Announced

Fayetteville – The Cumberland County Schools’ Academically/Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Program is pleased to announce that the following students have been selected to attend the 2017 session of the North Carolina Governor’s School:


Samantha Gephart Art East TSHS
Jaelyn Wilson Choral Music (Soprano II) East MHCHS
Portia Washington English East PFHS
Hahn Lheem Instrumental Music (Cello) West JBHS
David Li Instrumental Music(Violin) West TSHS
Daniel Soliman Math West PFHS
Nicole Delmolino Math West TSHS
Nikhil Gordon Math West TSHS
Rebecca Black Math East TSHS
Shen Chung Math West RRCHS
Andrew Esterly Natural Science West GCHS
Brianna Chan Natural Science West JBHS
Catherine Walwer Natural Science West DBHS
Kelly He Natural Science West JBHS
Selena Beal Natural Science West TSHS
Arington Duffer Social Science East PFHS
Ellin Heidgerken Social Science West PFHS
Janasia Miller Social Science East EESHS
Mary E Vorder Bruegge Spanish West MHCHS

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is a five and one-half week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students that integrates academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses on each of two campuses (Salem College in Winston-Salem and Meredith College in Raleigh). The curriculum focuses on the exploration of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline, and does not involve credit, tests, or grades. The Governor’s School is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation.

Published on March 31, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

CCS’ 2017 Middle School Forensics Tournament Winners

CCS’ 2017 Middle School Forensics Tournament Winners


Fayetteville – The Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) Middle School Forensics Tournament, held March 4 at New Century International Middle School, served as the culminating event for a season of competition that also included three Fall Festivals, three Mini-Tournaments, and two District Tournaments.

Over 230 middle school students from all 16 CCS’ middle schools competed for first- through tenth-place honors in three rounds of competition.  Students participated in the Speech and Debate categories of Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking, Duo Interpretation, Storytelling and Public Forum.

Middle school student winners in First Place in each category were as follows:


Humorous Interpretation Lilli Mikesell New Century International Middle Isaac Frazier
Dramatic Interpretation Majesty Smith South View Middle Diane Speights
Extemporaneous Speaking Cadyn Taylor Mac Williams Middle Amy Tarrillion
Original Oratory Naina Mittal Seventy First Classical Middle Valerie Israel
Storytelling Mya Bartell South View Middle Diane Speights
DUO Interpretation Hezekiah Bryant & Kenneth Ritchie Max Abbot Middle Jennifer Mullen
Public Forum Amira Gunther & Chidimma Umerah Seventy First Classical Middle Valerie Israel


First- through fourth-place Sweepstakes Awards were also given to those schools that accumulated the most points through student placement. Schools that received Sweepstakes Awards were as follows:


First Place          Seventy First Classical Middle, Valerie Israel, Head Coach

Second Place     Mac Williams Middle, Amy Tarrillion, Head Coach

Third Place        Gray’s Creek Middle, Leslie Craig, Head Coach

Fourth Place      South View Middle, Diane Speights, Head Coach


The Middle School Forensics program is an extracurricular activity designed to enhance the personal and academic growth of its participants by focusing on the use of higher order thinking in the appreciation and interpretation of literature through performance and the enhancement of research and writing skills for public speaking.           


Published on March 24, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

What’s Happening in the CCS? (February 19 – 25, 2017)

Pupil Holiday/Teacher Workday
Students, faculty, and staff at schools throughout the Cumberland County School system will observe a pupil holiday/teacher workday on Monday, February 20.


CCS to Host ICL
The Cumberland County Schools (CCS) will play host to nearly 35 local future leaders on Tuesday, February 21 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the CCS’ Central Services’ Board Room. During their visit, the Institute for Community Leadership (ICL) participants will learn how to effectively serve on the School Board or on any other local board or commission. Also, the participants will engage in a panel discussion about community volunteerism and how to become mentor to a young child or teen in need. Reps from the school system and several community groups will share information with the participants about various mentor opportunities and ways they can make a difference in the life of a child.


Upcoming Board Committee Meetings
The Cumberland County Board of Education Curriculum and Personnel Committees will meet on Thursday, February 23, 2017, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Central Services Board Room, located at 2465 Gillespie Street/Fayetteville.  The committee meetings are open to the public.


Digital Learning Day Observance
In observance of Digital Learning Day (February 23), the fifth graders at Westarea Elementary School will participate in student-led presentations and exhibitions about the various biomes of the world using digital technology. The STEM experience gets underway at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23 in the school’s cafetorium. For additional information, call the school at 910.488.1705.


BIG Chinese New Year Celebration
CCS’ World Language Department presents its Chinese New Year Celebration on Thursday, February 23 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at Seventy-First High School. The public has also been invited to attend and enjoy the numerous informational booths, games, and interactive activities from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. For more information, e-mail carmenvillalobos@ccs.k12.nc.us.


Honoring the Past to Strengthen the Future
Westarea Elementary School will be presenting its annual Black History programs on Friday, February 24. This year’s theme is the African-American Contributors Awards. The student-led performing arts program honors the contributions of current and historic African-American men and women who have made a difference, motivated a change, created new opportunities, and achieved the unachievable. The first program featuring kindergarten through second graders will begin at 9:00 a.m., while the program highlighting third through fifth graders starts at 1:00 p.m.



Published on February 21, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

‘Amazing Acts of Character’ for January 2017

Fayetteville – Each month through Cumberland County Schools’ Amazing Acts of Character recognition program, schools are asked to nominate students who display character above and beyond expected behavior.

Three students were recently selected from individual school nominations for displaying ‘amazing acts of character’ and will be recognized and honored during the Cumberland County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of CCS’ Central Services building. The honorees are as follows:

Caleb-Michael Rogers, a seventh grader at New Century International Middle School (NCIMS)According to NCIMS Counselor Laura Moore, the 13 year old joined the wrestling team for the first time this year, and because of his positive attitude and work ethic, he has emerged as a leader on the team. She recalls at a recent home wrestling match observing Caleb make “a remarkably kind and respectful gesture.” One of Caleb’s teammates got pinned, was very upset, and refused to shake the hand of his opponent and the opponent’s coach, which is customary. “Caleb, without any word from his coaches, jumped up and went and shook the opponent’s and coach’s hands and congratulated them,” said Moore. “He truly showed great sportsmanship and represented his school very well. Caleb just instinctively knew what the right thing to do was and did it!”

Surya Munugoti, a junior at Terry Sanford High School (TSHS)Lola Widman, the school counselor at Max Abbott Middle, said that this 16 year old works as a tutor in a program where students in TSHS’ Global Studies Academy tutor students at her school in math or reading.  Widman said that Surya has “stood out from the outset for his outstanding performance.” She said that he genuinely cares about helping the students, works diligently to assist them, and checks to see if they are making progress in their math classes. According to Widman, each semester, tutors are only asked to volunteer twice a week for a set number of weeks. Surya has chosen to exceed the number of days per week and weeks than what is required. “He (Surya) has provided a great service to our students and to our school,” said Widman. “We are extremely fortunate and grateful for his help, especially considering the fact that he does not need the community service hours offered for this tutoring program. Instead, he is helping our students because he is intrinsically motivated to help others!”

Antonio Rojas, a junior at Douglas Byrd High School (DBHS) – DBHS Principal Dr. Zoletta Taylor is applauding this 17 year old’s level of compassion. Recently, Antonio wrestled an opponent from an area high school who had Down’s syndrome. According to Dr. Taylor, Antonio treated the match like any other and wrestled vigorously with his opponent; however, “because of his compassion for the student’s disability,” Antonio chose to take a personal loss to his wrestling record.

The Amazing Acts of Character Committee selects winners based on school nominations. The winners are then recognized at the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education, where they are presented with a special trophy and certificate.


Published on February 13, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

What’s Happening in the CCS? (February 12 – 18, 2017)

Board of Education Meeting and Public Forum

The Cumberland County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting and public forum in the Board Room of the Central Services’ building, located at 2465 Gillespie Street. The Board plans to recognize January’s Amazing Acts of Character recipients, the Cape Fear High School Varsity Football Team as the 2016 NC Eastern 4-A Champs, the 2017 Wells Fargo Outstanding Educator Award recipients, local North Carolina School Public Relations Association 2016 Blue Ribbon Award winners, and members of the Board of Education. The meeting is open to the public.


Gran’daddy Junebug to Pay Visit to Elementary School
During a special assembly at Glendale Acres Elementary School, the students, faculty, and staff will get the chance to hear master storyteller Mitch ‘Gran’daddy Junebug’ Capel perform on Wednesday, February 15 at 1:15 p.m. According to event organizers, his performance promises to be high energy with lots of audience participation. The school’s PTA matched a grant with the Arts Council to bring Gran’daddy Junebug to the school for an assembly. The Arts Council’s Artist in Schools program is supported in part by the CCS, the North Carolina Arts Council, the City of Fayetteville, and Cumberland County. For more information, contact Deborah Dowd at 910.484.9031.


“At Hope Mills Middle School, We Love Our Bus Drivers!”

In observance of Love the Bus/Bus Driver Appreciation Week, 10 local officials have been invited by the staff at Hope Mills Middle School (HMMS) to see their bus drivers in action on Wednesday, February 15 from 2:20 – 3:30 p.m. Community officials will be assigned to ride one of the 10 buses leaving the middle school to drop students off at their homes. According HMMS administrators, almost three quarters of their student body (about 422 students) ride their school buses each day to and/or from school. For more information about the special appreciation observance, contact HMMS Assistant Principal Melissa Davis at 910.425.5106.


Mid-Year Celebration for a New Car

As part of the Beasley Media Group’s “Driven 2 Excel” program, CCS’ seniors and their parents will gather in the Crown Arena on Thursday, February 16 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. to celebrate being a half-a-school year closer to winning a 2016 Kia Soul. To qualify, the seniors must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher and have no more than five absences during the qualification period. In conjunction with the CCS and other community partners, Beasley Media Group has joined with Fayetteville Kia and the Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union to reward qualifying students with fantastic incentives for their academic performance. 


Cumberland County Spelling Bee Competition

Fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout Cumberland County will put their spelling skills to the test on Friday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The final rounds of Cumberland County’s Spelling Bee competition will take place in Room 3 of the Educational Resource Center, located at the 396 Elementary Drive 28301/Fayetteville.




Published on February 13, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Cumberland County Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten Registration for 2017-2018 School Year

Parents can attend any one of the following registration sites from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on the designated dates:

Date                            Attendance Area                                          Location

Friday, Feb. 24            Douglas Byrd                                                   *ERC

Friday, March 3           Gray’s Creek/Jack Britt/South View           Gray’s Creek Recreation Center

Friday, March 10         Pine Forest/E.E. Smith                                  College Lakes Recreation Center

Friday, March 17         Seventy-First/Westover                                 Westover Recreation Center

Friday, March 24         Cape Fear                                                          Eastover Recreation Center

* ERC is CCS’ Educational Resource Center, located at 396 Elementary Drive/Fayetteville.

Applicants must be 4 years old on or before August 31, 2017, to register.
They must reside in Cumberland County.
Parents should bring the following information:
Certified birth certificate, shot record, current utility bill (gas, water, lights ONLY), proof of income, court-ordered custody papers or military special power of attorney & TDY/Deployment Orders (if applicable), and parent/guardian’s valid driver’s license/state ID.

For more information, call 910.483.7370.

Published on February 3, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

What’s Happening in the CCS? (January 29 – February 4, 2017)

Pupil Holiday/Required Teacher Workday
Students, faculty, and staff at schools that follow the Traditional calendar will observe a pupil holiday/required teacher workday on Monday, January 30.

School System to Meet with the Legislative Delegation
The Cumberland County Board of Education and the Cumberland County Legislative Delegation will meet to discuss items of mutual importance. The meeting will take place on Friday, February 3 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the Central Services’ Building, located at 2465 Gillespie Street, Fayetteville, NC 28306. The meeting is open to the public.

Looking Ahead …

Upcoming Observances

February 5 – 11 — CCS’ Suicide Awareness Week

February 6 – 10 — National School Counseling Week


Published on January 30, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Recognizing & Celebrating School Counselors

Fayetteville – National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be celebrated from February 6–10, 2017, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

“The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition to those who implement comprehensive school counseling programs, which are a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st Century,” said Cumberland County Schools’ Counseling Coordinator Kristy Curran.

In a proclamation signed by the Cumberland County Board of Education Chair, Curran cited school counselors for (1) being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents; (2) working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of rearing children in today’s world; (3) focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational, and career development; and (4) working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and personal/social skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., the executive director of ASCA. “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week’s festivities. Many school counselors will be hosting special events and activities to call attention to the myriad benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.


As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, the Cumberland County School system, as a whole, will be recognizing its school counselors with an appreciation breakfast, while individual schools will choose to recognize with different activities. Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their local schools. Additional information can also be found on ASCA’s website, www.schoolcounselor.org.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, career and social/emotional so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association, which is the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, provides professional development, publications and other resources, research, and advocacy to more school counselors around the globe.


Published on January 30, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

“It’s OK 2 Ask”

Fayetteville – According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, suicide is the third leading cause of death for North Carolinians between the ages of 10 to 24.  Unfortunately, stigma, myths and misinformation about suicide prevent both adults and young people from discussing this topic.  Recognizing the signs and symptoms of suicide and knowing who to call for help is one way to prevent suicide.

To raise awareness, Cumberland County Schools (CCS) is observing Suicide Awareness Week from February 5 – 11.  CCS’ staff, students, parents, and community members are invited to join our efforts. Show your support by (1) spreading the word; (2) knowing the signs; and
(3) knowing who to call!

Help spread the word.  The Cumberland County School system joins the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in their campaign to ensure that our youth know that “It’s OK 2 Ask.” 

  1. Let others know that “It’s OK 2 Ask” by wearing the national suicide prevention colors, turquoise and purple, on February 8.
  2. Take a ‘selfie’ or ‘usie’ holding the sign, “It’s OK 2 Ask.”
  3. Send your photo to shirleycarter@ccs.k12.nc.us
  4. Look for the photo gallery on the CCS’ Website (www.ccs.k12.nc.us).

Know the Signs and Symptoms.  Some of the common signs and symptoms of suicide are as follows: threatening and talking about wanting to hurt or kill themselves; making preparations, e.g., trying to get firearms, pills or other ways of killing themselves; talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, hopelessness; withdrawing from friends, family, or school; and experiencing difficulty sleeping or sleeping all the time. (Note: This is not an exhaustive or definitive list. These are merely potential warning signs and a signal to get help.)  View the video from the Mayo Clinic below for more information about teen suicide prevention.

Prevent Teen Suicidehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BByqa7bhto

Know who to call.  If you are concerned that someone is suicidal, help is only a telephone call away. Both local and national resources are available 24/7.

  • 911 Emergency Services
  • Contact Crisis Helpline
    • 485.4134
  • Alliance Behavioral Health Care – Health & Information Line
    • 510.9132
  • Cape Fear Valley Behavioral Health – Roxie Center
    • 615.3333
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 273.TALK (8255)
  • Veterans’ Suicide Hotline
    • 273.8255 Select # 1
  • Hearing Impaired TTY Users
    • 799.4TTY (4889)
  • En Espanol
    • 628.9454

A school counselor, school social worker, and a school psychologist are available in all of our schools. They are also available to link parents and students to community resources.

For more information, contact Natasha Scott, the executive director of CCS’ Student Services, at 910.678.2433 or natashascott@ccs.k12.nc.us.







Published on January 30, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Cumberland County Schools’ ‘Amazing Acts of Character’ for November & December 2016

Fayetteville – Each month through Cumberland County Schools’ Amazing Acts of Character recognition program, schools are asked to nominate students who display character above and beyond expected behavior.

Four students were recently selected from individual school nominations for displaying ‘amazing acts of character’ and will be recognized and honored during the Cumberland County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of CCS’ Central Services building.

The November 2016 honoree is as follows:

Hailey Blair, a sixth grader at Gray’s Creek Middle School (GCMS)According to Patricia Brewer, Hailey’s English/Language Arts teacher, the 11 year old is a “great person who is a good example for her peers.” Recently, Hailey received a graded paper from one of her teachers. Upon reviewing the graded paper, she noticed that her teacher had incorrectly scored it. The circled grade on the front of the paper was slightly higher than what it should have been. “Hailey respectfully brought this error to the attention of her teacher,” said Brewer. “Because of Hailey’s honesty and integrity in this situation, the teacher rewarded her by letting her keep those few extra points.”

The December 2016 honorees are as follows:

Margaret “Maggie” Kane, a third grader at Long Hill Elementary School – During Maggie’s recent participation in a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event, Mary Katherine Mouton, Maggie’s third-grade teacher, said the eight year old “demonstrated courage, compassion, and empathy that is remarkable for anyone, much less an eight year old.” According to Mouton, Maggie, who has a close relative that is a cancer survivor, decided two years ago to grow her hair and donate it to a child who has lost their hair because of cancer. Through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for childhood cancer research, Maggie and her family sponsored a fundraising event at a local pizza restaurant. More than $10,000 was raised through the effort and “true to her word,” Maggie had her head shaved and donated her hair to Wigs for Kids. “Maggie is an inspiration and model for all of us!” said Mouton. “Thank you, Maggie!”


Miranda Draughon, a fourth grader at Gray’s Creek Elementary School – According to Kelly Tucker, the media coordinator at Miranda’s school, the 10 year old is “a child with exceptional character.” During the Cumberland County Schools’ annual Reading Rocks! Walk-A-Thon for literacy effort, Miranda decided to take action by helping to buy books for the school media center. Tucker said she didn’t ask her parents for money or raid her piggy bank. Instead, Miranda enlisted the help of two friends from her church to help make bookmarks to sell at church. “As a result of her leadership, caring, and sense of responsibility, Miranda raised $28 for our library,” said Tucker.

Jayden Townsend, a fifth grader at Morganton Road Elementary School – Courtney Sides, the school counselor at Jayden’s school, said that the 10 year old demonstrated an incredible amount of bravery and caring when recently, she saved her brother who was being viciously attacked by a dog. According to Sides, in November, Jayden, her mother, and little brother were visiting the home of friends in South Carolina. Jayden went outside to check on her brother when she noticed a dog [Rottweiler] on top of her brother. “She ran over, picked up the dog, and threw him,” said Sides. “Jayden picked up her brother and tried to get him into the house, but the dog attacked again.” She put her brother down and told him to run into the house while she fended off the dog. According to Sides, Jayden’s brother was hospitalized, but has since returned to school. “She thought of her brother before herself,” said Sides. “She put herself in harm’s way to rescue him. It is not every day that you see someone help others, much less put themselves at risk. Through her heroic acts, she saved her little brother. We feel as though she should be recognized for her bravery and heroism.”

The Amazing Acts of Character Committee selects winners based on school nominations. The winners are then recognized at the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education, where they are presented a special trophy and certificate.


Published on January 9, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

What’s Happening in the CCS? (January 8 -14, 2017)

Board of Education Meeting and Public Forum
The Cumberland County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting and public forum in the Board Room of the Central Services building, located at 2465 Gillespie Street. The Board plans to recognize the recipients of the newly created CCS’ Champion of Children Award and November and December’s Amazing Acts of Character recipients.

January 2017 Get Connected TV Show: “Cumberland Polytechnic High School: The Polytech Way– During January’s edition of the Get Connected TV show, CCS’ Chief Communications Officer Renarta Clanton Moyd is joined by Cumberland Polytechnic High School Principal Dan Krumanocker, School Counselor Brittany Raines, and Students Asia Hannans and Jared Little. They are discussing the numerous learning opportunities at the school system’s newest high school that is located on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College. To watch the show, tune in to FCE-TV – Cable Channel 5 on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at noon or visit the school system’s Website (www.ccs.k12.nc.us).

Looking Ahead …

MLK Day Observance & Teacher Workday w/Staff Development
In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, a pupil/teacher holiday will be observed by the Cumberland County Schools on Monday, January 16. Central Services will be closed as well. A pupil holiday/required teacher workday/staff development day will be observed on Tuesday, January 17 at schools that do not follow the traditional calendar. 

Middle & High School Choice Fair & Parent Meeting
The CCS system will sponsor its 2017-2018 Secondary Choice Fair on Tuesday, January 24 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Educational Resource Center (ERC) auditorium, located at 396 Elementary Drive in Fayetteville.  The Fair will highlight booths from area middle and high schools that have information about Choice schools, academies, or programs that are accepting student applications for next school year.  Also, a Fort Bragg E.E. Smith Parent Meeting will take place from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. in Room 3 at ERC. For more information about the Secondary Choice Fair or the Fort Bragg E.E. Smith Parent Meeting, call 910.678.2407.

Published on January 9, 2017 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

It’s Christmas Every Day in Communities of Cumberland County

Greater Fayetteville, NC – With a holiday event every day until Christmas, it’s fair to say that Fayetteville and Cumberland County enjoy celebrating the season. From light displays to artistic presentations, from historic endeavors and events with small town charm, locals and visitors are bound to find something to delight. We’ve highlighted a few events here. For the complete list, go to www.VisitFayettevilleNC.com.

Pictures are available. Follow THIS LINK to access images.

Tweet this: From light displays to artistic endeavors and historic happenings, Christmas happens every Dec. day in @cumberlandnc http://bit.ly/2gZAM5U

Four light displays provide ample opportunity to revel in the sparkle of the season:

–  Denton Ridgein Linden hosts Christmas Lights at Denton Ridge each weekend until Christmas.Visitors take a tram to a quaint village adjoining the Lower Little River. Tickets are $10 per person.

–  At Christmas in Paradise, visitors walk through 12 acres of Christmas lights, experience a live nativity and much more. This free event, held at Paradise Acres, runs December 2-3, 9-10 and 16-23.

–  Visit Arnette Parkin Fayetteville to take a ½-mile stroll through a walking trail filled with sights and sounds of the Christmas season. Christmas in the Park also includes live entertainment, marshmallow roasting, holiday movies and a Christmas Express train. Admission is $10 per family vehicle. Christmas in the Park is open every night from December 7 through 21.

–  From December 9 through December 30 (excluding the 24 and 25), Cape Fear Botanical Gardenhosts the annual Holiday Lights in the Garden. The display is an illuminated mile-long pathway with a synchronized show of music and lights over the Cypress Pond. This year, LEGO® sculptures provide an added element of fun. Admission is $6 to $15 per person.

The community also offers plenty of artistic avenues to explore:

–  Sweet Tea Shakespearepresents Behold: A Folk Christmas Cantata at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on December 8 and 9. The production is a musical take on the Christmas story. Admission is $5 to $10.

–  A local tradition, the Cape Fear Regional Theatrehosts The Best Christmas Pageant Ever weekends until Christmas. Tickets are $10 to $15.

–  On December 10, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestraoffers Waltzing in a Winter Wonderland, a concert featuring traditional Christmas music. The concert is held at Methodist University. Tickets are $11 to $27.

–  The North Carolina Symphonypresents a Holiday Pops Concert on December 7 at Methodist University. Tickets are $20.

–  On December 14, the public is invited to the 82nd Airborne Division’s All American Bandand Chorus for the Sharing Holiday Traditions Concert. The free concert will be held at the 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters on Fort Bragg.

–  The Cumberland Oratorio Singerspresent the Messiah Sing concert at St. Ann Catholic Church on December 17. The concert is free.

Historical and small town Christmas fun:

–  On December 3, enjoy a small-town Christmas celebration during Christmas in Hope Mills. The day starts with breakfast with Santa, followed by a parade, festival of lights and lighting of the town’s Christmas tree.

–  The 1897 EA Poe House, part of theMuseum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, hosts Holiday Jubilee on December 4.  This free event encompasses Victorian Christmas traditions, to include period cooking on the 1902 stove. Throughout the month of December, the EA Poe House is decorated for a Victorian Christmas celebration.

–  The Town of Spring Lake holds its Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 5. Festivities include seasonal music, tree decorating, and a visit from Santa. The ceremony will be held at the tree adjacent to Town Hall.

–  On December 16 and 17, tour the Oak Grove Plantationduring its Open House for a traditional Christmas experience. The house, which was built circa 1793, was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Tickets are $5 to $12.

–  Explore artistic, original and cutting-edge loft designs during Downtown Fayetteville’sCandlelight Loft Tours. Tickets are $10 to $12 for this December 11 event.

About Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.comor call 1-800-255-8217.

Published on December 1, 2016 by Melody Foote  

PWC’s Chad Ham Recieves J.W. Pate Award for Environmental Protection Contributions

Chad Ham, Water Resources Environmental Program Manager for the Fayetteville Public Works Commission,  has been named the 2016 Recipient of the J. W. Pate Award for his contributions to conservation and environmental protection.  The award is given annually by the Cape  Fear River Assembly to individuals who exhibit strong leadership on environmental issues, particularly related to water resource and quality matters.

This is the organization’s highest honor for environmental stewardship and was first given in 1984 in memory of J.W. Pate, a former Fayetteville City Council member.  Pate is remembered as an outstanding citizen and community member of Fayetteville with an unusual sensitivity for his time toward environmental issues and the Cape Fear River.

Since its inception,  award recipients have included North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, N.C. Senators Tony Rand and Lura Tally, N.C. Representatives Alex Warner and Margaret Highsmith Dickson, Dr. Sid Gautam and Sol Rose.  Ham is the fourth person associated with PWC to receive the honor as former General Managers Ray Meunch, Tim Woods and Steve Blanchard are past recipients.

Ham serves on the Cape Fear River Assembly Board o f Directors as well as serving as the Middle Cape Fear River Basin Association Chairman.  He has also served as the President of the North Carolina Water Quality Association, Chairman of the   NCAWWA-WEA Water Resources Committee  and member of the NC League of Municipalities Regulatory Advisory Committee,  and  NCAWWA-WEA Governmental Affairs Committee.

PWC Media Contact
Carolyn Justice-Hinson

Published on June 17, 2016 by Carolyn Justice-Hinson  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (June 2016)

End-of-Year Schedule for Schools

As the school year comes to an end, students, faculty and staff at Year-Round and Traditional schools in the CCS will follow the schedule below:

Year-Round Schools

Friday, June 3                         Last Day for Students/Pupil Early Release
Monday, June 6                      Teacher Workday
Tuesday, June 7                      Required Teacher Workday
Wednesday, June 8                 Teacher Workday – Optional

Traditional Schools

Wednesday, June 8                 Last Day for Students/Pupil Early Release
Thursday, June 9                     Required Teacher Workday
Friday, June 10                       Required Teacher Workday
Monday, June 13                    Teacher Workday – Optional


Get Connected TV Show for June 2016 — “SGA: Students Taking a Stand” — During June’s edition of Get Connected, CCS’ Communications Specialist Renarta Clanton Moyd is joined by Terry Sanford SGA Officers Nathaniel Browning and Jay Shah, Cross Creek Early College High School SGA Officer Morgan O’Neill and Adviser Kenneth Huffman. They discuss the important role SGA plays in the school and in the lives of students on the their leadership development journey. To watch the show, tune in to FCE-TV – Cable Channel 5 on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at noon or visit the school system’s Website (www.ccs.k12.nc.us).


NEW — LIVE Broadcasts of ‘The Big 10’ Graduations Scheduled

The school system in conjunction with Fayetteville Technical Community College, the Crown, and Time Warner Cable (TWC) will air LIVE broadcasts of the June 9 and 10 high school graduation ceremonies from the floor of the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum. From the comfort of their homes, TWC subscribers will be able to watch CCS’ students walk across the stage to get their diplomas on FCE-TV – Cable Channel 5 according to the following schedule:


Thursday, June 9

Douglas Byrd High School                             8:00 a.m.

Westover High School                                  11:00 a.m.

Terry Sanford High School                             2:00 p.m.

Pine Forest High School                                 5:00 p.m.

South View High School                                8:00 p.m.

Friday, June 10

E.E. Smith High School                                  8:00 a.m.

Gray’s Creek High School                            11:00 a.m.

Cape Fear High School                                   2:00 p.m.

Seventy-First High School                              5:00 p.m.

Jack Britt High School                                    8:00 p.m.

In a continuing effort to serve the worldwide community, the CCS in conjunction with the Crown Coliseum will offer live Webcasts of the June 9 – 10 graduation ceremonies. View the commencement exercises according to the above schedule, by visiting the following link: http://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/event-streaming. If a password is requested, type: classof2016.

Graduation ceremonies for Howard Health & Life Sciences High School, A.B. Wilkins High School, Cumberland International Early College High School, Cross Creek Early College High School, Massey Hill Classical High School and Reid Ross Classical High School held in Seabrook Auditorium (Fayetteville State University) or in the Crown Theatre will be archived on the Crown’s Website  http://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/event-streaming. The ceremonies will not be available for viewing until the week of June 13.


Media Covering June 9 & 10 Graduation Ceremonies

All media covering the June 9 and 10 ceremonies are reminded to

(1) enter and exit through the West VIP Entrance at the Crown Coliseum;

(2) upon your arrival, ask security to contact a member of the CCS’ Communications Department; and

(3) wear your credentials in plain sight.

No photographers will be allowed on the arena floor or at the mid-level or bottom of the escalators at the Crown.


Published on June 3, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

E.E. Smith High School Principal Named N.C. Principal of the Year

FayettevilleMelody Chalmers, the principal of E. E. Smith High School, was announced on May 12 as the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The announcement came during a state-wide luncheon in Cary.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson commended Chalmers on her selection. “Melody is known as an innovative problem solver who is committed to the academic and personal growth of each of her students and teachers. Her staff and students truly benefit from the nurturing learning environment she promotes.”

In naming Chalmers the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, Juan Austin, Wells Fargo Carolinas Community Affairs senior vice president, said, “Melody has a special ability to recruit and retain quality teachers in her school, and student achievement is remarkable. Our education system has never been at a more critical juncture than now and with administrators like Melody we all see how dedication and effort connects with students, staff and parents.”

The 18-year education veteran received a bachelor’s degree in English Education in 1998 from North Carolina A&T State University and a master’s degree in School Administration in 2005 from Fayetteville State University.

She has served her entire administrative career in the Cumberland County Schools (CCS) having worked as assistant principal at E. E .Smith High and Warrenwood Elementary from 2004-2009, principal at Cross Creek Early College High from 2009-2011, and now principal of E.E. Smith High. Throughout her career, she has received numerous educational recognitions and certifications, and has presented at various state-wide conferences.

As Wells Fargo Principal of the Year, Chalmers receives $3,000 for personal use and $3,000 for her school. She also receives professional development and resources supporting global awareness in the curriculum for her staff thanks to Education First Tours, and a custom-made NC Principal of the Year signet ring and pendant from Jostens, Inc.

Chalmers will continue to lead her school for the next year; however, Wells Fargo will furnish her with a stipend to travel across the state serving as an ambassador for education. She will serve as a member of the State Superintendent’s Principals’ Advisory Committee, and as an adviser to the State Board of Education and the Board of Directors for the NC Public School Forum. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will sponsor her enrollment and completion of the Education Policy Fellowship Program.  She will also chair the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Selection Committee.

“Melody has committed herself to making the community where she grew up better by educating the children,” said CCS’ Superintendent Dr. Frank Till. “Now, she will be a role model for the state.”

Chalmers is the fourth principal from the Cumberland County School system to be selected for this honor in the 33-year history of Wells Fargo NC Principal of the Year. She joins the following list of outstanding principals:

1990                Dr. John R. Griffin from E.E. Smith High School

1996                Mary D. McDuffie from Seventy-First High School

2003                Nina Rene’ Corders from E.E. Smith High School

Having received today’s honor, Chalmers succeeds Pactolus School Principal Steve Lassiter from the Pitt County School system.

 2016 NC Principal of the Year Melody Chalmers w State Superintendent Dr June Atkinson (May 2016) Pictured is (l-r) State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson and 2016 N.C. Principal of the Year Melody Chalmers during the May 12 announcement at a state-wide luncheon in Cary.


Published on May 18, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Local Schools Win Top Awards at Middle School Forensics State Finals

On Saturday, April 30, the 2016 Middle School Forensics State Final was held at Rogers-Herr Middle School in Durham.  Students participated in six separate events: Public Forum, Extemporaneous Speaking, Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, and Original Oratory.  In the Interpretation categories, students performed memorized literary works, and in Original Oratory students presented their own original persuasive speeches.  Students participating in Extemporaneous Speaking came prepared to speak on three topics—US Politics, Africa and the Middle East, and the US Economy—but did not know what questions they would answer before drawing them before the beginning of the round.  They then had 30 minutes to prepare a persuasive speech.  And in Public Forum Debate, teams argued for or against pulling U.S. troops from Okinawa.


Below are the top six ranking students in each category and the top six ranking schools:

Humorous Interpretation

6- Arianna Herring, 71st Classical Middle School, Fayetteville

5- Antonio Santiago, New Century International Middle School, Fayetteville

4- Bomani Mwamba, New Century International

3- Joy Bao-Dai, Jay M Robinson Middle School, Charlotte

2- Rachel Curtis, Jay M Robinson

State Champion- Vinitha Sunkara, Jay M Robinson


Dramatic Interpretation

6-Colby Blackwell, Pine Forest Middle School, Fayetteville

5- Ramaya Wike, Gray’s Creek Middle School, Hope Mills

4- Arianna Darden, Mac Williams Middle School, Fayetteville

3- Rebecca McCartney, 71st Classical

2- Reagan Amos, Meadowview Magnet Middle School, Mt. Airy

State Champion- Julia Dyer, New Century International


Extemporaneous Speaking

6- Peyton Warren, Gray’s Creek

5- Nadia Hussein, JN Fries Magnet School, Concord

4- Jackson Lewer, Jay M Robinson

3- Aditya Senthil, JN Fries

2- Luke Suh, New Century International

State Champion- Rashad Rahman, 71st Classical


Original Oratory

6- Faith Frizzi, JN Fries

5- Naina Mittal, 71st Classical

4- Sherry Liu, Jay M Robinson

3- Kaylee Newcomer, Gray’s Creek

2- Emily Rogers, Mac Williams

State Champion- Naomi Ovrutski, Jay M Robinson


Duo Interpretation

6- Josie Savnik and Tayshlei Owens, Mac Williams

5- Silas Benavides and Aaron Pizzaro, New Century International

4- Pate Fuller and Riley Hall, 71st Classical

3- Hannah Daniels and Damian Gunter, Gray’s Creek

2- Josh Hurd and Christyna Regan, JN Fries

State Champions- Rakshita Kothapalli and Meghna Iyer, Jay M Robinson


Public Forum

6- Hope Bartlinski and Emma Warrick, New Century International

5- Asia Murchison and Richelle Ntumy, 71st Classical

4- Himanshu Kunwar and Andres Hui, 71st Classical

3- Krithika Senthil and Mastawal Tirfe, JN Fries

2- Tisha Abdul and Tanmayee Kanagala, JN Fries

State Champions- Devin Desai and Luke Draygo, Jay M Robinson


And the top six schools:


6- Mac Williams Middle School, Fayetteville

5- Gray’s Creek Middle School, Fayetteville

4- JN Fries Magnet School, Concord

State Third Place- New Century International Middle School, Fayetteville

State Runner-up- 71st Classical Middle School, Fayetteville

State Champion- Jay M Robinson Middle School, Charlotte


Middle School Forensics is one of 23 competitions that will determine the best high school and middle school in the state.  The NCASA Scholastic Cup and NCSSM Challenge Cup will be awarded to the high schools and middle schools with the best overall performance among the 23 major scholastic competitions in North Carolina.  Points are awarded for participation and excellence in NCASA and partner competitions.




Published on May 6, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Cumberland County Schools’ Amazing Acts of Character Recipients for April 2016

Fayetteville – Each month through Cumberland County Schools’ Amazing Acts of Character recognition program, schools are asked to nominate students who display character above and beyond expected behavior.

Eight students were recently selected from individual school nominations for displaying ‘amazing acts of character’ and will be recognized and honored during the Cumberland County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of CCS’ Central Services building. The honorees are as follows:

Josaleen Yates, Rihanna Garcia and LaNaya Mitchell, first graders at T.C. Berrien Elementary SchoolAccording to School Social Worker Reta Elliot, Josaleen, Rihanna and LaNaya “showed courage and did what true citizens do in a real emergency situation.” Recently when entering the classroom from recess, the six-year-old girls noticed a classmate who was having a seizure. Apparently the student was light headed, dizzy and began staggering while attempting to walk. “The little team of students, immediately assisted the student in need by helping her walk safely on the stairwell to make sure she didn’t get hurt,” said Elliot. While the teacher assisted in the situation, Josaleen, Rihanna and LaNaya made sure everyone stayed calm and helped lead the student to a safer area.

Esther Cazares, Abigail Thorne, Luenice Fonseca, Jada Myrick and Hayley Rupert at Cumberland Mills Elementary School – Teacher LaTonya Brewington, School Counselor Aliena Maples and the Kindergarten teachers at Cumberland Mills Elementary School all agree that Esther, Abigail, Luenice, Jada and Hayley are “wonderful role models and show excellent citizenship to all students” at the school. This school year, the five girls were nominated to help kindergarten students during breakfast time and with AR reading or general tasks based on their outstanding character. Mid-year it was noted by their teachers that they are disciplined, self-starters who initiate positive behavior and have kind and caring spirits. “These young ladies are trusted to help our kindergarten students with minimal supervision or direction,” said the school counselor and teachers. “Esther, Abigail, Jada, Luenice and Hayley first complete their responsibilities and then take time out of their morning routine every day to help assist kindergarten students with their responsibilities. All five of these young ladies are wonderful role models to others on how to be a great citizen.”

The Amazing Acts of Character Committee selects winners based on school nominations. The winners are then recognized at the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education, where they are presented with a special trophy and certificate.



Published on May 6, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

School Administrators Announce Assistant Principals of the Year

Fayetteville –Three Cumberland County school administrators were recently announced as the 2016 Cumberland County Schools’ Assistant Principals of the Year.  They are as follows:

  • Elementary School Level – Chad McLamb, C. Wayne Collier Elementary
  • Middle School Level – Tim Lancaster, Westover Middle
  • High School Level – Meshonda Williams, Terry Sanford High School

The announcement was made at the annual Assistant Principals’ Banquet on April 21. During this time each year, the CCAPAP gathers to celebrate the hard work, commitment, and dedication assistant principals render to students, faculty, and families.

McLamb, Lancaster, and Williams were nominated and voted on by their fellow assistant principals from across the school district.

Note: McLamb and Williams have recently been named the principal of Morganton Road Elementary School and Douglas Byrd Middle School, respectively.

 A photo of the honorees is below: (l-r) Tim Lancaster, Meshonda Williams and Chad McLamb.

2016 Assistant Principals of the Year (Lancaster, Williams & McLamb)


Published on April 29, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

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