Women Making A Difference Conference

The Women Making A Difference Conference has the mission of inspiring, educating and bringing together women of all backgrounds and ethnicities from across Cumberland County and surrounding areas, and to provide a spiritual and educational foundation for women wanting to make a difference.

The highlight of the conference will be the participation of nationally known motivational spiritual speakers such as Dr. Marilyn Hickey, as well as breakout sessions to help women in starting their own business, health & weight management, finance, education and other relevant topics. Moreover, some of the women attending the conference will have the opportunity to receive scholarships in the name of a specific donor.

Tickets for the conference are $25 per person in advance, $30 per person at the door and $20 for groups of 10 or more. Ticket purchases include: registration fees, choice of 4 breakout sessions, lunch, free parking, and access to merchandise from local conference vendors.

To purchase tickets and learn more about the “Women Making A Difference Conference”, please visit: http://womenmakingadifferenceconference.com/
For more information please contact Alexandria Brimage-Gray at 706-505-9970 or email womenmakingadifferenceconf@gmail.com.

Published on January 29, 2018 by Aurora Crowell  

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  

‘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  

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  

Bureau wins Sports Events 2017 Readers Choice Award

Fayetteville -SportsEvents Media Group recently recognized the FACVB as one of 2017 Readers’ Choice Award winners.  Honorees included both destinations and sports venues.
Sports event professionals nominated organizations they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups they host. Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system.

“SportsEvents readers came out in force to nominate and then to vote for their favorite sports events destinations and the host organizations that represent them.” said John Rezell, SportsEvents executive editor.  “It is clear, based on our readers’ experiences, that these award winners are willing to go above and beyond typical service levels to help sports event planners produce outstanding events that participants, their families and spectators will want to experience again and again.”

A downloadable, high-res Readers’ Choice Award logo is available at http://sportseventsmagazine.com/2017-RCA-Logo

“I’m proud of our team for securing this recognition,” says John Meroski, FACVB president and CEO. “It speaks to the level of one-on-one specialized service we provide our clients and the marketing strategies behind our successes.”

About SportsEvents Media Group
SportsEvents Media Group, publisher of SportsEvents magazine, is the industry leader in providing products and services designed to connect sports events organizers with sports commissions, CVBs, hotels, insurance companies and other sports events industry suppliers.

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 13, 2016 by Melody Foote  

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  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (Week of February 14, 2016)

Pupil Holiday/Teacher Workday
Faculty, staff and students in the Cumberland County Schools will observe a pupil holiday/teacher workday on Monday, February 15.


February’s Nurturing Parent Workshop
The CCS system’s Pre-K, Early Intervention and English As A Second Language Departments are part of a Cumberland County Partnership for Children’s initiative to provide Nurturing Parenting Workshops throughout the County. Two upcoming parent workshops are scheduled:
Tuesday, February 16 – “Understanding Feelings” ~ Seabrook Park Neighborhood Resource Center – 708 Langdon Street
Thursday, February 25 – “Praising Children and Their Behavior” ~ Hope Mills Community Center – 5770 Rockfish Road.
Both sessions take place from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. All workshops are FREE and open to the public. For more info, call 910.483.7370.


School System to Host Institute for Community Leadership
The CCS will play host to nearly 35 local future leaders on Tuesday, February 16 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.


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 at Fayetteville Kia, located at 2012 Skibo Road, on Thursday, February 18 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. to celebrate being a half-a-school year closer to winning a 2015 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 has joined with Lumberton Kia, Fayetteville Kia and the Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union to reward qualifying students with fantastic incentives for their scholastic performance.


First-Ever FTS Student Art Exhibition
Students at Terry Sanford High School (TSHS) will display their finest works of art in this year’s FTS Student Art Exhibition throughout the month until March 4. The artwork will be on display in Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Art Gallery, located in the General Classroom Building (Room 221). The Exhibition’s opening reception has been postponed until Friday, February 19 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact TSHS Arts Education Teacher Kellie P. Perkins at 910.484.1151, ext. 461.



Published on February 12, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

CCS’ Principal Grabs Regional Principal of the Year Title

Fayetteville – During one of Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) administrative training sessions this morning, E.E. Smith High School Principal Melody R. Chalmers was announced as the Wells Fargo 2016 Sandhills/South Central Regional Principal of the Year. A photo of Chalmers is below.

She was selected from nine other principals, who represented counties throughout south central North Carolina.  As the regional winner, Chalmers will participate in a portfolio review and interview by a state selection panel.

Announcement of the Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year will be made on May 12 during an awards event at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, NC.

In October, Chalmers was selected from six other local principals to represent the CCS’ system on the district level.

This is the second year in a row a principal from the Cumberland County School system has been chosen to represent the Sandhills/South Central Region in state competition.


2016 POY Nominee - Melody Chalmers


Published on January 8, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (Week of January 10 – 16, 2016)

First of Three Parent Dialogue Sessions to be Held

Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) first Parent Dialogue Session is set for Monday, January 11 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Westover High School. All parents have been invited to attend one of three helpful sessions scheduled in January and February. Insightful information about district initiatives, cyberbullying and sexting, and effective ways the school district communicates with parents will be shared. A Q & A session will follow. For more information, call 910.678.2303.


 Board of Education Meeting and Public Forum
The Cumberland County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Central Services building, located at 2465 Gillespie Street. The meeting will begin with a public forum session. The Board plans to recognize the Rebooting Cyber Awareness Video Contest winners and December’s Amazing Acts of Character recipients.


January 2016 Get Connected TV Show: “Homeless, But Not Hopeless– During January’s edition of the Get Connected TV show, CCS’ Communications Specialist Renarta Clanton Moyd is joined by CCS’ Social Work Coordinator Pamela Story and Special Needs Transportation Supervisor Vicki Wilson. They are discussing students and homelessness. 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).




Published on January 8, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Teacher of the Year Displays a Heart of Service — 3rd- & 5th-Grade Teacher at New Century International Elementary School Takes the Title

index_8Fayetteville – “My parents taught me the ‘value of investing’ in others and the invaluable ‘returns’ on those relations,” said Cumberland County Schools’ 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year (TOY) Ashlee Garrison, a 3rd– and 5th-grade teacher at New Century International Elementary School. “My parents always told me that out of all things one may have in his or her life, people are the most important and relationships are our most precious ‘assets.’ Because of my parents’ stellar example, it was always in my heart to serve my community, and to this day the nurturing part of my soul still overflows into my personal and professional relationships as an educator.”

The announcement of the 2015-2016 Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) Teacher of the Year was made during the annual dinner in the ballroom at the Embassy Suites Hotel Monday evening, September 14. The presentation took place in front of 85 Teacher-of-the-Year candidates, their guests, school administrators, School Board members, and business sponsors.

Garrison received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her Master of Arts degree in Reading Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2013.

She was inspired to become a teacher early in life. Garrison said she remembers her first-grade teacher allowed her to assist with and teach other students. Her second-grade teacher ‘added fuel to that fire of service.’ “To say she [her second-grade teacher] made going to school ‘fun,’ would be an understatement!” said Garrison. “She did a cartwheel if everyone got an answer right. She sang a song, if we made her proud. These are the small things that make a teacher special, and that made me realize, at the tender age of seven, that education would be my career field as an adult. I could not see how anyone would not want to go to work every day and have that much fun!”

From that point, Garrison said she had many more amazing teachers and mentors, as well as her parents, who held her accountable and pushed her to be her best.

Part of this quest for excellence includes Garrison’s teaching philosophy where she feels teachers should be accountable for serving the student by learning his or her individual learning needs.  “…teachers have the ability to

ignite a passion in their students. It is up to the teacher to determine how each child learns and provide opportunities that challenge and build confidence in their students, while focusing on the strengths and needs of the whole child as a learner and citizen,” said Garrison. “I want to emphasize that each piece of this philosophy is key to ensuring the success of all students…When a passion is ignited, a student’s potential is limitless, because now they have the power to continue seeking experiences that will build upon the experiences they had with the one teacher who made them realize what made them different and exceptional.” Garrison said she keeps a large toolbox of games, songs, technological presentations, etc. in her classroom that addresses individual learning styles and levels. She also hosts small group, team and individual meetings as ways of addressing the needs of all her students.

Outside the classroom, the six-year educator said she is concerned about teacher ‘exodus’ and low teacher morale. Garrison said she feels these are attributed to the sense of powerlessness teachers may experience as it pertains to “the lack of educator representation in North Carolina’s legislative processes.”  She feels that open and frequent communication between legislators and the public school system is one solution to the problem. “Teachers work to meet the needs of their students in the best way possible, and legislators work to meet the needs of their constituents in the best way possible,” said Garrison. “We have a common ground, and now we just need to bridge the gap through effective communication.”

Like legislators, she also has ‘constituents’ (her students) whom she serves by meeting their educational needs. “Educating children is a complex job that I feel honored to have the opportunity to do each and every day,” said Garrison. “…it is my mission to actively love my students and encourage them to be their best.”

As the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year, Garrison received:

  • $400 and flowers from the Cumberland County Schools;
  • $300 from the Communities In Schools of Cumberland County (CISCC);
  • A one-year car lease of a 2015 Chevy Cruze from Reed-Lallier Chevrolet;
  • A commemorative custom-designed CCS’ Teacher of the Year ring from Jostens;
  • A ladies’ watch from Herff Jones;
  • A weekend stay in the Presidential Suite of the Embassy Suites Hotel;
  • A billboard ad from Lamar Advertising; and
  • A plaque from the Board of Education.

Other winners announced Monday evening were first runner-up Martina Graham from Anne Chesnutt Middle School, who received $300 from the CCS, $100 from CISCC, a plaque, and flowers;  and second runner-up Jennifer Jasinski from Gray’s Creek Middle School, who received $200 from the CCS, $100 from CISCC, a plaque, and flowers. The 10 district winners were awarded iPad Minis from the CCS’ Technology Department, $100 from the CCS, and a plaque. All TOY candidates received $100 from the CCS, a custom-framed certificate, and two hours of C.E.U. credit.



Published on September 19, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Cumberland County Educator to Receive Prestigious Professional Development Award from the N.C. Association of Educators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          CONTACT:  Linda Powell-Jones

June 5, 2015                                                                                  800-662-7924, ext. 212



Cumberland County Educator to Receive Prestigious Professional Development Award

from the N.C. Association of Educators


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Brian Freeman, a K-5 instructional coach at C. Wayne Collier Elementary School in Hope Mills, is the winner of the 2015 NCAE Linda Rader Professional Opportunity Award, given to an educator in support of developing their leadership responsibilities and/or professional growth. The award of $1,500, along with a plaque, will be presented to Freeman during a special celebration on Friday, June 5, at the Education Resource Center (395 Elementary Road, Fayetteville). The event begins at 6 p.m.

The award is named in honor of Gaston County educator Linda Rader, who served as an instructional leader and NCAE president. She was instrumental in the merger of the predominately African-American North Carolina Teachers’ Association (NCTA) and the predominately white North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), which came together to form NCAE in 1970.

An educator for 19 years, Freeman says there are three significant professional development events that have positively impacted his abilities as an educator – obtaining a master’s degree in elementary education, achieving National Board Certification (NBC), and earning NBC renewal. The icing on the cake, so to speak, he says was being selected as a Fulbright Fellow to study abroad in Japan. “This opportunity lit a spark and passion that helped me analyze myself under a new lens. I think during those two years, I probably grew the most, especially having to move from teaching second grade for 12 years to kindergarten.”

Freeman said he wants to continue to increase his leadership abilities as well as continue to grow in his professional development. Currently he is enrolled in the School Administration Program at UNC-Pembroke. “As a future administrator, it will be my responsibility to lay the groundwork for a successful public school by setting a clear direction and tone, investing in high-quality professional development, setting up mentors for new teachers, giving teachers the authority to make key instructional decisions, and elevating the importance of academic achievement. I have made a difference as a teacher, as an instructional coach, but the extent of a difference I can make as a ‘leader of leaders’ is beyond my wildest imagination!”

Described as a national award-winning teacher, Freeman has an extensive line of professional accomplishments. He served on the NCAE Board of Directors and as an NEA alternate director for three years, is a former commissioner for the Town of Red Springs, was the recipient of the NEA Magna Carta Fellowship to the UK, and was a Disney Teacher Honoree. His work has been featured in Our State Magazine, Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day. He is a graduate of Pembroke University, where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees and represents active, retired and student members.



Published on June 5, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Fayetteville, NC, Ranked 31st Best City in the U.S. for Teachers


index_8Fayetteville, NC, Ranked 31st Best City in the U.S. for Teachers

New report shows Fayetteville is a great place for educators to live and work

Charlotte, N.C. GoodCall – A new report released by the GoodCall research team shows that Fayetteville was just ranked the 31st best place in the U.S. for teachers. The rankings were based on data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics and Indeed.com.

Fayetteville made the list due to high teacher pay, along with strong educational values, a low cost of living, and a solid job market for teachers. According to GoodCall analysis, Fayetteville has nearly 70 currently available teaching jobs.

“The teaching profession has become more and more challenging in recent years, due in large part to high-stakes testing and budget cuts”, says Paul Southerland, Senior Analyst for GoodCall. “We set out to find which cities still offer a great quality of life for teachers, and Fayetteville is certainly one.”

The methodology for the report took into account the average salary, number of teaching jobs, teaching jobs per capita, high school graduation rates, cost of living and amenities score for cities nationwide. The full report can be found here: http://www.goodcall.com/data-center/the-best-places-to-be-a-teacher-in-the-u-s/

About GoodCall: GoodCall.com is a consumer-focused website where people and information intersect. Founded in February 2015, GoodCall was born from the idea that in an increasingly complex online marketplace, consumers deserve access to the information they need to make educated financial decisions. From scholarships to college rankings and beyond, families visit GoodCall to find unbiased, unfiltered information to help make the decisions that will shape their future.

Media Contact:
Carrie Wiley, Public Relations Manager
(631) 275-3806


Published on May 29, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (Week of May 24, 2015)

Memorial Day to be Observed
In observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 will be a student and teacher holiday. Cumberland County Schools’ Central Services offices will be closed as well.


Upcoming Teacher Workdays
A required teacher workday is scheduled for Cross Creek Early College High School, Cumberland International Early College High School, Alger B. Wilkins High School, and Howard Health and Life Sciences High School on Tuesday, May 26. A second teacher workday (not required) is on Wednesday, May 27.


End-of-Year Teacher Assistants’ Banquet
Members of the Cumberland County Schools’ Association of Teacher Assistants will have their annual banquet on Tuesday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m. The end-of-the-year event will take place in the auditorium at the Educational Resource Center.


It’s Testing Time, Again
Students throughout the CCS will be taking End-of-Grade tests at area elementary and middle schools from Wednesday, May 27 – Thursday, May 28. Also, End-of-Course assessments will take place as follows:

Traditional and 4X4 Schools – Friday, May 29 – Thursday, June 11

Reid Ross Classical School – Tuesday, May 26 – Monday, June 8

All Middle Schools (Math 1) – Wednesday, June 3


Board Committee Meetings
The Cumberland County Board of Education Curriculum and Personnel Committees will meet on Thursday, May 28 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Central Services’ Board Room, located at 2465 Gillespie Street. The meetings are open to the public.


Art Show & Honors Society Induction Ceremony
South View High School is sponsoring a student-run art show on Thursday, May 28 at 5:00 p.m. in the media center at the school. Immediately following the Art Show, several artistically talented art students will be inducted into the National Art Honors Society. The induction ceremony is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. For more information about both events, contact SVHS Teacher Karrie Matias at karriematias@ccs.k12.nc.us.


End-of-Year Awards Banquet
Employees of CCS’ Child Nutrition Services and members of the School Nutrition Association are sponsoring their annual awards banquet on Thursday, May 28 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Crown Expo Center. This year’s theme is “Soaring With the Winds of Change.”

Published on May 21, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (April 26 – May 2, 2015)

Annual “REAL MEN READ” Night
Luther “Nick” Jeralds Middle School is sponsoring Real Men Read Night on Monday, April 27 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Young men in grades 5th – 8th have been invited to participate in an evening of reading as they are encouraged to become self-motivated, life-long readers. During the Real Men Read Night, prominent educators and community members will read and help facilitate discussions in reference to motivational passages from their favorite book. For more information, contact the school’s media coordinator, Lanetta McEachern at 910.822.2570.

35th Annual Spring Orchestra Festival
The CCS and the Cumberland County Board of Education present the 35th Annual Spring Orchestra Festival on Tuesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cumberland County Crown Arena. The April 28 student performance will feature the Beginning Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, students from Eastover-Central Elementary School and the Cumberland County Middle School Youth Orchestra. The April 30 performance will highlight the musical stylings of the Advanced Orchestra and String Ensemble along with the All-County High School Orchestra and the Cumberland County Youth Orchestra. The festival is free and open to the public.

Expect Only Greatness (E.O.G.) Night
Anne Chesnutt and Lewis Chapel middle schools are joining forces to sponsor Expect Only Greatness (E.O.G.) Night for all middle school students and their families on Wednesday, April 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the campus of Anne Chesnutt Middle School (ACMS). During the evening of festivities, the students and their parents will receive information and resources about navigating the upcoming EOG (End-of-Grade) tests. For more info, contact ACMS Administrative Intern Lakeshia Payton at 910.867.9147.

Ever-Popular Spring Evening of Dance
Hundreds of students throughout the school system will be participating in the Spring Evening of Dance on Wednesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Crown Theatre. The evening performance features select dance pieces from the CCS’ high school dance programs. CCS’ All-County Dance Ensemble, an auditioned group of high school dance students, will be performing as well. Since 1998, the standing-room-only event has attracted dance lovers throughout the community. This event is free and open to the public.

“Cruisin’ thru the Arts”
CCS’ Exceptional Children’s program presents the 34th Annual Very Special Arts Festival (VSAF) on Friday, May 1 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: “Cruisin’ thru the Arts.” Through funding from the Junior League of Fayetteville, the event will feature visual arts, creative writing, music, drama, and dance. For more information about the VSAF, call Julie Aul in the Exceptional Children’s Office at 910.678.2440.

Law Day 2015
In observance of CCS’ Law Day 2015, area lawyers, judges, and other representatives of the legal profession will visit elementary classrooms throughout the school system to talk with fifth-grade students on Thursday, April 30. The classroom discussions and presentations will encompass this year’s theme: “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law.” For more information about Law Day 2015, contact CCS’ K-12 Social Studies Specialist Jonathan Frantz at 910.678.2426.

Young Scientists Converge to Compete
The CCS will be hosting the Region IV Elementary Science Olympiad Competition on Saturday, May 2 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at South View High School. This event will highlight the scientific knowledge of 3rd– through 5th-grade students. Teams of 18 students from 26 local elementary schools will compete in science-related activities, e.g., planets and constellation identification, bottle rockets, identifying North Carolina rocks and minerals, STEM Engineering, paper airplanes, weather, identifying plants and animals, etc. The awards ceremony will take place at 1:15 p.m. For more information, contact K-5 Science Curriculum Specialist Angela Adams at 910.678.2447.

Speaking Spanish
CCS’ World Language Department is sponsoring the 2015 Spanish Quiz Bowl on Saturday, May 2 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on the campus of Lewis Chapel Middle School. Students from across Cumberland County will compete in the preliminary and final rounds at this time for a chance to be named this year’s Spanish Quiz Bowl Champions! For more information, contact Claudia Diaz at Max Abbott Middle School at 910.323.2201.

Published on April 24, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Amazing Acts of Character Recipient (February 2015)

Fayetteville – Each month through the school system’s character recognition program titled ‘Amazing Acts of Character,’ schools are asked to nominate students who display character above and beyond expected behavior. 

One student was 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, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of CCS’ Central Services building. The honoree is as follows:

Justin Edge, a 2nd grader at Glendale Acres Elementary School – Justin’s teacher, Leisa Jackson, said the seven year old is a very trustworthy student. “It is his nature to be honest and in everything he does, this trait comes out,” said Jackson. She has noticed that he monitors the classroom treasure box to see that only one treasure is taken and he often returns toys, paper, and pencils to their rightful owner. Justin’s level of honesty surpasses most. “If I say that it is too loud in the classroom and if someone was talking they should move their behavior chart color, Justin is the first to go to the board to move his color.” According to his mother, at home “he is a stickler for following rules and telling the truth, even if it could get him into trouble.” She has noted that he is always willing to speak up so that others are not corrected for something someone else has done.

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. A special trophy and certificate are presented to each student winner.



Published on March 6, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Upcoming Events in the Cumberland County Schools (March 8 – 14, 2015)

Fayetteville Town Hall Meeting at Local High School
E.E. Smith High School is the site for a March 9 Fayetteville Town Hall Meeting sponsored by U.S. Representative David Price. The meeting gets underway at 6:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. Representative Price hopes local citizens will attend the event with questions or concerns about issues facing Congress. The Town Hall moderator is radio personality Kevin McCrimmon. Also, Price’s staff will be on hand to help citizens with any problems they are experiencing with federal agencies like the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veteran Affairs. For more information about the Fayetteville Town Hall Meeting, contact District Liaison William Munn at 910.549.8674 or William.Munn@mail.house.gov.


Board of Education Meeting and Public Forum

The Cumberland County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Central Services building, located 2465 Gillespie Street. The meeting will begin with a public forum session. The Board plans to recognize February’s Amazing Acts of Character recipient, Jack Britt High School State Championship Wrestling Team, and the Top 10% Growth Schools in the CCS.

Published on March 6, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Actress Glenn Close’s Sister Jessie is scheduled as featured speaker at 2015 Clinical Update

994490_773404696051589_979571116555554694_nFayetteville – 2015 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review, set for Feb. 26 and 27 at NC State University’s McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh, welcomes Jessie Close as its featured plenary speaker. An ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, a non-for-profit organization founded by her sister, actress Glenn Close, Jessie fights stigma and misunderstanding to create a clearer picture of mental disorders. Her own struggle with bipolar disorder and alcoholism provides the backbone to a courageous story and an enlightened perspective on the state of mental health in America. Her book, Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, was released, January 13, 2015 by Grand Central Publishing and is a co-authored by Pete Early. Jessie will be available to sign her book for conference attendees at the Quail Ridge Books booth on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Most of her life, Jessie lived with anxiety, confusion and paranoia. As a teenager, she dropped out of high school and contemplated suicide. Jessie recalls, “I lived many years without medication, then, at age 45, I was put on two medications for bipolar disorder. I drank to calm the mania.” She was an alcoholic and mentally unstable. Then her eldest son, Calen, was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, a form a schizophrenia. Jessie asked her sister, Glenn, to help battle the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness. In 2009, Glenn founded BringChange2Mind.org, an outreach and stigma-fighting mental health advocacy group that provides invaluable resources and inspiration to people and families in need. Jessie also blogs about living with mental illness for BringChange2Mind.org and has made appearances on Good Morning America, Katie, Erin Burnett, and Piers Morgan.

Additional featured speakers for the conference include, Jeff Swanson, Ph.D. on the topic of Gun Violence and Mental Illness; Lori Raney, M.D. on Evidence Based Approaches to Integrated Care, and Andy Short, Ph.D. and Allan Chrisman, M.D. on Mental Health in Disaster Response.

Continuing the tradition of providing quality content for practitioners of mental health, developmental disability, and substance abuse services, the 2015 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review offers information on a variety of topics related to the treatment of mental illness. In addition to SR-AHEC and Wake AHEC, the conference is jointly sponsored by the Duke Department of Psychiatry, the UNC Department of Psychiatry, the NC Psychiatric Association, the NC Psychological Association and The Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse.

Click here for more details on the conference or contact Southern Regional AHEC Administrator for Mental Health Continuing Education John Bigger, at 910-678-7207 or by e-amil at John.Bigger@sr-ahec.org.


Elementary School Principal Grabs This Year’s Principal of the Year Title

index_8FayettevilleKim Robertson, principal of Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School, has been selected as the 2014-2015 Cumberland County Schools’ Principal of the Year (POY).

Robertson now moves on to compete with other local award recipients from the Sandhills/South Central Region of the state. After the state selection process is completed, one principal will be selected as the 2015 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.

The 20-year education veteran has served as a school administrator for 11 years and started her career in the field after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Fayetteville State University (FSU) in 1992. Eleven years later, she obtained a master’s degree in school administration also from FSU. Throughout her career, she has served in numerous educational leadership positions and was recently appointed to serve on the North Carolina Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force representing School Principals.

As an administrator, Robertson said she firmly believes that the greatest gift she, as a principal, can give her students is a great teacher. “It is my desire to ensure that our children have the very best [teacher] in front of them each day,” said Robertson. “A big part of my current strategic plan is attracting and retaining the best and the brightest [teachers]. It is abundantly clear to me that people with the right skills AND motivation are an unstoppable force.” Robertson said she sees herself as “motivator in chief” and works daily to empower her teachers. “An effective leader cannot and should not be everywhere trying to make everything happen and everyone successful,” said Robertson. “An effective leader mines talent and gives it the tools that guarantee success, even when you are not there. Empowering talented people with autonomy and guidelines has a profound impact on our planning. The talent at my disposal can anticipate and see around corners. Our current and future story is filled with broken paradigms, non-existent status quo, and growth for EVERY student in our school. The conditions have been set and our team is exceeding expectations and rising to the challenge daily.”

As the CCS’ Principal of the Year winner, Robertson received the following:

  • Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education
  • Cash award and floral arrangement from the CCS
  • Engraved desk clock from Herff Jones
  • Commemorative Principal of the Year ring from Jostens
  • $5,000 check for school use from LaFayette Ford
  • $1,000 check for personal use from LaFayette Ford
  • $100 gift certificate from Maid 2 Shine
  • A weekend stay in the Presidential Suite at Embassy Suites – Fayetteville/Fort Bragg
  • Gift certificate for pet service of choice from Pet Tastics

All seven POY nominees [Dr. Thomas Benson (Westover High), Michele Cain (Cumberland Road Elementary), Jeanna Daniels (Beaver Dam Elementary), Felix Keyes (New Century International Elementary), Scott Pope (Max Abbott Middle), Kim Robertson (Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary), and Michael Tucker (Cliffdale Elementary)] received a mounted certificate/plaque from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award and one unit of professional credit from the CCS, an iPad Mini from the CCS’ Technology Department, a professional photograph from Lifetouch Photography, a gift card for housecleaning services from Maid 2 Shine, and a chauffeured limousine ride to the Luncheon from Exclusive Shuttle & Limo Service.

This year, as a show of appreciation, all CCS’ principals received gift certificates from Newk’s Eatery and Maid 2 Shine housecleaning service. Their names were also entered in a drawing to receive two His & Her fragrance baskets from Belk and Macy’s in Cross Creek Mall.

The regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year, who will be announced in January 2015, will receive $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for personal use. The 2015 State Wells Fargo Principal of the Year can expect to receive $3,000 for his/her personal use and for his/her school. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2015 at a state-wide awards event.


Published on September 19, 2014 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

Area Students and Staff Attending School This Saturday

Fayetteville – Because of inclement weather experienced from February 11 – 14, students and staff in all Cumberland County Schools will be attending school tomorrow (Saturday, March 1) in order to make up the time missed from classroom instruction. Schools will operate on a two-hour early release schedule. Prime Time is offering afterschool care until 4:00 p.m. to parents who have previously registered for the Saturday program.

 All Saturday & Good Friday Make-Up Dates

Traditional Calendar Schools — Saturday, March 1; Saturday, March 15; and Friday, April 18

Year-Round Calendar Schools — Saturday, March 1; Saturday, March 15; and

Saturday, April 5

Howard Health & Life Sciences, Cross Creek Early College, Cumberland International Early College & A.B. Wilkins High Schools — Saturday, March 1; Saturday, March 22; and Saturday, May 3

The schools will be following a two-hour early release schedule.

Published on March 1, 2014 by Renarta Clanton Moyd  

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