Superintendent Selected as 2017-2018 Northeast Regional Superintendent of the Year 

Pictured (Left to right: Past-Chair Dr. Don Phipps, Superintendent Beaufort County Schools; Vice-Chair Dr. Barry Williams, Superintendent Gates County Schools; Northeast Regional Superintendent of the Year Dr. Rob Jackson, Superintendent Edenton-Chowan Schools; Chair Dr. Ethan Lenker, Superintendent Pitt County Schools; NERESA Executive Director Dr. Dwayne Stallings)

The Superintendents Council of Northeastern North Carolina has unanimously selected Dr. Rob Jackson, Superintendent of the Edenton-Chowan Schools, as the 2017 – 2018 Northeast Regional Superintendent of the Year. The Superintendents Council of the Northeast Regional Education Service Alliance (NERESA) represents eighteen school systems across Northeastern North Carolina. As one of eight Regional Superintendents of the Year, Dr. Jackson will compete for the title of State Superintendent of the Year this fall.

"I am deeply-honored to be selected by my colleagues for this award. They are committed to making a difference for every child who enters a public school." said Dr. Jackson. “This award is not about me. It is about our teachers, staff members and administrators who give all that they have every single day for the children of Chowan County. It is about our business partners, our faith community partners and the volunteers throughout our county who consistently support our students and our schools. It is also about the parents and guardians who entrust their precious young people to our care. We hold that trust as sacred and together seek to help every student achieve their dreams.”

During his tenure as the Superintendent of the Edenton - Chowan Schools system, students have achieved the highest cohort graduation rate in school system history and made significant improvements in state assessment results throughout the school system. The system has opened new Career Academies (Health Sciences, Graphic Arts, and STEM); launched an off-site Alternative Learning Program, enhanced the Academically-Intellectually Gifted Program, added and restored extracurricular activities like Quiz Bowl, Show Choir, and National History Day competitions, and successfully implemented a 1-to-1 digital learning device program that provides all students in grades 3 - 12 an iPad or Chromebook to use at home and school.

Dr. Jackson is a tireless and passionate advocate for the children of Chowan County. Through his efforts, the school system has been able to air condition the high school gym for the first time and has been able to replace multiple air handling units that had sat broken for over a decade due to lack of available funding for repairs. His consistent message of "I believe in you" permeates throughout the school system. It is heard in his conversations with students and staff and posted in his social media messages encouraging students whether they are preparing for a state assessment, a concert, or getting ready to play in a state championship game. Dr. Jackson believes in the students and staff of Edenton-Chowan Schools and they are achieving remarkable results.

Dr. Jackson has been honored during his career as the inaugural winner of the Dr. Brad Sneeden Superintendents’ Leadership Award, the Wells Fargo North Carolina State Principal of the Year, the NCPAPA North Carolina High School Principal of the Year, the Southwest Regional Principal of the Year, the Union County Public Schools Principal of the Year, the Principals Executive Program Jack McCall Award Winner, the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award, the Glen Arden Elementary School Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year, the Western Carolina University College of Education Outstanding Senior, a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Western Carolina University, and as a North Carolina Principal Fellow.

If selected for the honor of State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Jackson would be the first former State Principal of the Year to also be selected as the State Superintendent of the Year and would serve as an advisor to the North Carolina State Board of Education, in addition to competing for the title of National Superintendent of the Year.

Hand Off: NCHSAA Board Again Taps a ECPS Staff Member to Represent Region One
Coach Hoggard and Superintendent Jackson
Pictured: Coach Hoggard and Dr. Jackson with the Game Ball from the Aces 600th Victory.  
At the Annual Spring Meeting of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association(NCHSAA), Edenton-Chowan Schools Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson was unanimously elected to a four-year term as a member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors.

Dr. Jackson will be charged with representing Region One located in Northeastern North Carolina. Comprised of eighteen school systems, Region One has been represented by another member of the Edenton-Chowan Schools staff, John A. Holmes High School Head Football Coach Paul Hoggard. Coach Hoggard has ably served on the NCHSAA Board of Directors for the past four years. As new Board Members were introduced and retiring Board Members were recognized, NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said of Coach Hoggard, “Coach, we are going to miss you. Your leadership has been invaluable to this organization. Thank you for your service to this Board and to the student-athletes across the state.”

Originally founded in 1913, the NCHSAA now has over 400 member schools and certifies the eligibility of over 200,000 athletes annually. The NCHSAA is a voluntary, non-profit corporation which administers the state’s interscholastic athletic program. Any North Carolina public or non-boarding parochial high school is eligible for membership, provided it is accredited by the State Department of Public Instruction and that the school adopts and maintains a prescribed code to guarantee fair competition.

“For the high schools and school districts in our region to again select someone from the Edenton-Chowan School district to represent them is a tremendous compliment to our school system,” said Dr. Jackson. “I believe that athletics has an important role in education, supporting and encouraging academic success. I look forward to working with the NCHSAA board in their mission to provide interscholastic athletic programs that support and enrich the educational experience of students.”

Chowan Middle School Students Place First in Regional STEM Competition

Chowan Middle School students placed first in a regional STEM Competition recently held at Wesleyan College. The team is comprised of five sixth-grade students who competed against other middle school and high school students in the competition. The competition had four components – solving a real-world problem, presenting the problem and a solution to a panel of judges, creating a scale model of the project, and competing in an unknown STEM activity. 

Principals Complete Leadership Program

Two principals with the Edenton-Chowan School System, John A. Holmes High School Principal Steve Wood and Chowan Middle School Principal John Lassiter, have graduated from the 2016-2017 Distinguished Leadership in Practice Cohort offered by The North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association. The Distinguished Leadership program is a year-long, blended program that minimizes principals’ time away from their schools by combining six, one and a half day face-to-face sessions every other month with real-world online work designed to improve their schools’ results. Pictured is Edenton-Chowan Schools Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson, John Lassiter, Steve Wood, and NCPAPA Executive Director Dr. Shirley Prince. Congratulations Mr. Wood and Mr. Lassiter for your hard work and commitment to excellence!

John A. Holmes High School Student- Athlete Receives Heart of a Champion Award

Congratulations are in order for John A. Holmes High School Student-Athlete Meredith Mize who has been selected to receive the NCHSAA Heart of a Champion award. The award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship during their high school careers.

CMS Awarded New Wrestling Mats Courtesy of the JJ WATT Foundation 

The Chowan Middle School (CMS) wrestling program has received a $10,600 donation from the JJ WATT Foundation to purchase new wrestling mats for the Chowan Bulldog Wrestling Team. Teacher and CMS Wrestling Coach John Reinhold applied for the generous donation from the JJ WATT Foundation.

The JJ WATT Foundation is an organization, instituted by Professional football player Justin J. Watt, that funds athletic equipment for after school programs in rural districts. The mission of the JJ WATT Foundation “is to provide after-school opportunities for middle-school aged children in the community to become involved in athletics, so that they may learn the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and perseverance, while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers.”

With the addition of the new wrestling mats, CMS Wrestling will be able to continue to grow its program, giving more young athletes an opportunity to participate in wrestling, and cultivate more competitive wrestlers at both the middle and high school level. CMS is grateful to have received such a generous donation from the JJ WATT organization and looks forward to the opportunity the donation provides its students.

John A. Holmes High School Students Earn Industry Certifications 

John A. Holmes High School students earned 49 industry certifications in the Advanced Manufacturing and Cabinetmaking courses this semester. 

"I am so proud of this accomplishment by our students. These industry-recognized certifications demonstrate to future employers that our students have the skills needed to be successful. Whether these students attend a two- or four-year college, enlist in the military, or join the workforce after high school, they now have an important and valuable certification to add to their resume," said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. "This latest accomplishment is a further example of why Chowan County was the first county in Northeastern North Carolina to become a Nationally-Certified Work Ready Community. Hopefully, new and existing businesses that are looking to locate in the area will see the accomplishments of our students and choose to call Chowan County home."

Students in the cabinetmaking courses had the opportunity to earn two certifications including the Sawblade Certificate through the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) and the OSHA-10 Construction Certificate. The Sawblade Certificate can only be earned by students enrolled in a WCA woodworking program. Students must be able to use a tape measure, combination square, and caliper. They also have to earn ten skill points on machines performing specific operations, pass a written test, and be nominated by a faculty member. Twenty-three Sawblade certificates were awarded.

The second certificate earned was the OSHA-10 Construction certification. While earning this certificate students learned about the following jobsite hazards: caught-in or between, struck-by, electrocutions, excavations, falls, hand and power tools, health risks, material handling, and PPE. Twenty-three OSHA certificates were awarded.

Students who received these certificates are: C. Altamirano-Santana, J. Bass, A. Boone, N. Byrd, I. Chappell, B. Coon, J. Forehand, B. Long, I. Rayner, J. White, D. Alexander, L. Bond, J. Collens, L. Cooper, C. Forward, J. Garland, J. Hurdle, Keyonis Leathers, C. Parsons, J. Spruill, S. Spruill, J.  Tyson, and D. White.

Students in the Advanced Manufacturing class had the opportunity to earn three certifications. Two of the certifications are through the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council. These certifications cover safety and quality in manufacturing. The safety certification covers safety inspections, emergency drills, unsafe conditions, equipment safety, safe procedures, communication, and teamwork. The quality certification covers audits, data collection, continuous improvement, corrective actions, blueprint reading, and measurement.

The third certificate is a job readiness certificate. This certificate shows the student’s ability to exhibit the following skills desired in the workplace: attitude, communication, planning and organizing, critical thinking, social skills, teamwork, professionalism, and media rules.

A. Shive received a MSSC Safety Certificate and a Job Readiness Certificate. A. Pryce received a Job Readiness Certificate.

Teachers Earn National Board 

Teachers in the Edenton-Chowan School System were recognized by the Board of Education at the January 3, 2016 meeting for earning National Board re-certification established by the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Individuals honored for successfully completing the recertification process included: Angie Walston, White Oak Elementary teacher; Brenna Halstead, D.F. Walker Elementary teacher; Cindy Olson and Linda Sutton, teachers at Chowan Middle School, and Sonya Rinehart, Northeast Region Education Facilitator.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. It complements, but does not replace, a state’s teacher license. It is valid for 10 years, and renewal candidates must begin the renewal process during their eighth or ninth years as NBCTs.

National Board Certification is achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do. National Board Certification is available nationwide for most PreK–12 teachers.

As part of the certification process, candidates complete 10 assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. The assessments include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.

Board Members Take Oath of Office
Newly-elected members of the Board of Education Mrs. Joan White, Mr. Paul Clifton, and Mr. Gene Jordan take the oath of office at the December meeting. The oath of office was administered by the Honorable Judge Meader Harriss, III.

Local Farmers Help Edenton-Chowan Schools Win $10,000 to Improve STEM Education 

A $10,000 Grant from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will provide enhanced learning opportunities for John A. Holmes students to develop important and leading skills – helping to shape the future of agriculture.

Edenton-Chowan Schools will utilize funds to replace a deteriorating greenhouse on the John A. Holmes campus for use by Career and Technical Education students in the Agricultural Science classes.

Farmers from across the U.S. nominated and selected the America’s Grow Rural Education Grant recipients.  In 2016, the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is awarding $2.3 million to rural public school districts to benefit science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

To feed the world’s rapidly growing population and tackle many other global challenges, our country’s next generation of leaders will need to be highly-skilled in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). That’s why the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, has awarded Edenton-Chowan Schools with a $10,000 grant.

Edenton-Chowan Schools plans to use the funds to replace a deteriorating greenhouse on the John A. Holmes campus for use by Career and Technical Education students in the Agricultural Science classes. Students will be able to sow, cultivate, and monitor plants on the high school campus. Plants will be used for landscaping and beautification for the schools as well as for fundraising purposes for the Chowan County Future Farmers of America. The greenhouse will be available for use by Biology classes as needed for enrichment of their curriculum.

“We are honored to be a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the America’s Farmers Rural Education Program sponsored by Monsanto and grateful for the support from our local farmers,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “This grant will enable our students to have a hands on approach and focus on learning about new science and technology that is propelling the horticultural and agricultural industries.”

Earlier this year, local farmers Fenton Eure, Burney Baker, Mark Chappell, and Carey Parrish nominated the district for consideration. After the nomination, the district developed its submission to enhance its STEM education offerings through its project, “A Place for Plants”. A group of science and math teachers reviewed each submission and selected Edenton-Chowan Schools as a finalist.

Next, the Program’s Farmer Advisory Council, which is composed of approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the county with an interest in agriculture and education, selected Edenton-Chowan Schools for one of the Grow Rural Education Grants. Grant applications were judged based on the merit of the application, need, and community support.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program began in 2011. Since 2011, more than $11 million has been awarded to over 700 rural school districts to enhance STEM education. For a complete list of winners and to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit


Richardson Named Teacher of Excellence

Brandi Richardson has been honored with the Teacher of Excellence Award for the Edenton-Chowan School System for 2016-2017. Richardson is an Exceptional Children’s teacher at White Oak Elementary School. Nominated by her fellow teachers, this award recognizes one teacher from each county in North Carolina who must have taught in the Exceptional Children’s Program for a minimum of five years. In addition, the honoree must deliver daily instruction or therapy, be recognized as a teacher leader within the school system they teach and deliver innovative instructional programs that demonstrate positive outcomes for students. Richardson will be recognized at the Exceptional Children’s Conference in Greensboro, NC in November.

Students Learn About Bluegrass Music

Nu-Blu, a bluegrass group based out of Siler City, NC recently led two lively and entertaining American bluegrass performances and information sessions for the students at White Oak Elementary School and D.F. Walker Elementary School. The four-piece group consisted of Carolyn on bass and vocals, Levi on banjo and vocals, Milom on the mandolin and Daniel on the guitar and vocals. Influencers of the group include bluegrass pioneers Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt and Edenton native, the late Martin Paker.

The funding for this event was partnered through the Martin Parker Music Fund, the Edenton-Chowan Schools Education Foundation, and the National Bluegrass Heritage Foundation Grant. The event was coordinated by Jane Parr, WOS Music Teacher. Mr. Steve Evans, local musician, also assisted with efforts to support this group.

Leader Daniel Routh summed up their bluegrass involvement by saying, “If we can touch somebody on a deep level and create a moment for them that they always will remember and entertains them, that’s gold. If we can say to someone, ‘Hey, check this out. If you like this, you’re probably going to like bluegrass!”

White Oak Elementary Teacher Named Edenton-Chowan Schools
 Teacher of the Year

Catina Byrum, a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher and Teacher of the Year at White Oak Elementary School has been awarded the honor of 2016-2017 Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year. Representing Edenton-Chowan Schools, Byrum will advance to regional competition as part of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program. Byrum has been employed for 16 years with the school system.

“Mrs. Byrum is an outstanding teacher and very deserving of this honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “Her positive and caring spirit is evident in her daily interaction with her students. She teaches some of our youngest students with a passion for helping them grow academically, socially, and emotionally. She is phenomenal,” he added.

Byrum is a graduate of Elizabeth City State and majored in Art Education and Special Education. She later attended Pembroke University and East Carolina University to complete certification in Birth through Kindergarten. She began her career with Edenton-Chowan Schools as a part-time teacher assistant in the in the Exceptional Children’s program at White Oak Elementary School. In 2004 she became a teacher in the Pre-Kindergarten program there and has faithfully served her students each year since. She is a member of the Professional Educators of North Carolina. She is also the recipient of the 2010-2011Teacher of Excellence Award – given to one outstanding exceptional children’s educator annually by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Byrum believes that all children can learn. “I believe we are all individually and uniquely made and that we should celebrate our differences. I believe that play is a child’s work…and that it takes a partnership between parents and school to teach each child,” she commented.

“Parents are their children’s first teacher before they come inside our buildings and they are the biggest influence on their children. It is my desire to establish a partnership with every parent of the students I teach,” said Byrum.

The 2017 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program provides an opportunity to honor and recognize exemplary teachers in North Carolina and to call attention to the importance of the teaching profession. The North Carolina Teacher of the Year program is affiliated with the National Teacher of the Year Program, a project of the Council of the Chief State Officers of Schools.

2016-2017 Teachers of the Year
Congratulations to our Teachers of the Year! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our students, parents and community!

                                      Monica Cofield  
Chowan Middle School
Teacher of the Year
Science Teacher

Laura Turner
John A. Holmes High School
Teacher of the Year
Mathematics Teacher

Asheton Smith
D.F. Walker Elementary
Teacher of the Year
Third Grade Teacher

Catina Byrum
White Oak Elementary
Teacher of the Year
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Edenton-Chowan Schools Finance Department Receives State Recognition 

The Edenton-Chowan Schools Finance Department received recognition from the North Carolina State Board of Education on July 21, 2016 at the state Finance and Business Services Conference for excellence in management of the North Carolina State Public School fund for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The North Carolina State Board of Education Achievement in Financial Resource Management Award recognizes school systems that have shown effective cash management and use of state funds, and accurate and timely financial reporting. The school system’s finance department has received this recognition and honor yearly since the State Board began the program - now for the 13th consecutive year.

School System Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson said, "I am incredibly proud of our Finance Department and the tradition of excellence they have established. Our community entrusts the school system with precious financial resources and expect that we will carefully safeguard and maximize each dollar we receive. Being recognized annually at the state level for 'accurate and timely financial reporting' assures us all that the money invested in our children is going where it was intended for."

Edenton-Chowan Schools' Superintendent Selected as 2016 NCSSA Brad Sneeden Leadership Award Winner 
The North Carolina School Superintendents' Association (NCSSA) has announced the selection of Dr. Rob Jackson, Superintendent of the Edenton-Chowan Schools System, as the recipient of the inaugural Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award. The award is presented in honor and recognition of a superintendent who has demonstrated a strong commitment to life-long learning, unwavering integrity in leadership and transformation of vision into action.

This annual award is presented to a graduate of the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association's Next Generation Superintendent Development Program (NGSDP), a program which is designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools.Dr. Jackson was selected by fellow superintendents and thought partners in the NGSDP.

"I am deeply-honored to be selected by my colleagues for this award. They are committed to making a difference for every child who enters a public school," said Dr. Jackson. "As a principal, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Sneeden when he served as the Director of the Principals' Executive Program. His commitment to public education, to service, to hard work, and to continuous improvement was inspiring to all who had the opportunity to learn with and from him. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to serve as a public educator in our great state and very much appreciate the professional development opportunities provided by the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association."

The award is named in honor of Dr. Brad Sneeden who was serving as Carteret County Schools' Superintendent at the time of his death in October, 2008 at the age of 56. Among the innovative efforts he brought to this district was the establishment of the Marine Science Academy, later renamed as a memorial to him, which exposes students to hands-on marine science activities.

In selecting the award winner, superintendents were asked to consider the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates vision and the ability to translate vision into specific goals. The recipient should be a person whose leadership has resulted in his or her district developing and/or implementing innovative programs and projects to benefit students. 
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to life-long learning, focusing on the continuous improvement of his or her leadership skills 
  • Demonstrate evidence of setting and achieving high standards of ethical conduct within his or her organization. 

Commenting on Dr. Jackson's honor, NCSSA Executive Director Jack Hoke said, "Dr. Jackson exemplifies the traits that guided Dr. Brad Sneeden's career in educational leadership. Dr. Jackson has demonstrated a vision for the Edenton-Chowan Schools, a strong commitment to continuous improvement and the highest standards of ethical conduct. He is a very deserving recipient of this award."

During his tenure as the Superintendent of the Edenton - Chowan Schools system, students have achieved the highest cohort graduation rate in school system historyandmade significant improvements in state assessment results throughout the school system. The system has opened three new Career Academies (Health Sciences, Public Safety, and STEM); launched an off-site Alternative Learning Program, added and restored extracurricular activities like Quiz Bowl, Show Choir, and National History Day competitions, and successfully implemented a 1-to-1 digital learning device program that provides all students in grades 6 - 12 an iPad to use at home and school.

Edenton-Chowan Schools Board of Education Chairman John Guard shared, "Though Dr. Jackson refuses to take any credit and insists that our students, teachers, and administrators deserve all of the praise, his consistent message of "I believe in you" permeates throughout our school system. Our students and staff know that he believes in them and they are achieving remarkable results."

Dr. Jackson has been honored during his career as the Wells Fargo North Carolina State Principal of the Year, the NCPAPA North Carolina High School Principal of the Year, the Southwest Regional Principal of the Year, the Union County Public Schools Principal of the Year, the Principals Executive Program Jack McCall Award Winner, the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award, the Glen Arden Elementary School Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year, the Western Carolina University College of Education Outstanding Senior, a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Western Carolina University, and as a North Carolina Principal Fellow.

Dr. Jackson was presented a check in the amount of $1000.00 for personal professional development.

John A. Holmes Senior Graduates With Associates Degree from College of the Albemarle

John A. Holmes High School Senior Daniel Midgette graduated with his Associates Degree from the College of the Albemarle on May 11, 2016. Midgette is the first student from John A. Holmes High School to earn a two-year college degree before graduating from high school. During the Commencement Ceremony, COA President Dr. Deitemeyer shared he was the first student to do this from a traditional high school in COA's history. Midgette is the son of Jenny Altman and Chris Midgette.

Free Summer Lunch Program Offered

The Edenton-Chowan Schools will be having a summer lunch program for children ages 18 and under. This program will offer lunch free of charge to these children. It will be held at DF Walker Elementary School and Chowan Middle School. Please take advantage of this free program. The dates the program will be offered will be: 

June 19- 28th - Chowan Middle School and DF Walker Elementary School. The hours for lunch are 11:30-12:00.

July 10- 27 – DF Walker Elementary School (Monday-Thursday – not open on Friday’s). The hours for lunch are 11:30-12:00.

If you have any questions, please call Karen Tynch at 482-4436.

Albemarle Sounds Donations Support Choral Music Programs

Gil Burroughs, a member of The Albemarle Sounds choral group and an Edenton-Chowan Board of Education member, presents checks in the amount of $150 per school to music teachers in the Edenton-Chowan Schools in support of the vocal music programs. Pictured (L-R) Jane Parr, music teacher at White Oak Elementary; Gil Burroughs; Carolynn O’Kelley, music teacher at Chowan Middle School, and Justin Smith, Music Teacher at John A. Holmes High School. Nicole Byrd-Phelps music teacher at D.F. Walker Elementary School was not available for the photo. 

For the past 20 years, The Albemarle Sounds have offered the proceeds from their singing Valentines to support the vocal music programs in area schools. Since that time, the group has donated $28,000 to vocal music teachers in Chowan, Perquimans, and Pasquotank Counties.


School System Receives 
“Above and Beyond” Award 

Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson had the  honor of representing the Board of Education, our teachers, staff, and administrators in receiving the "Above and Beyond Award" from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee of the Department of Defense. The school system was nominated for this award by Captain Sam Barrow and his wife Ashley Barrow. Mr. and Mrs. Barrow shared their appreciation for the teachers and staff members who went out of their way to support Mrs. Barrow while Captain Barrow was deployed for a year to Kosovo. While the school system received this award, the true heroes are Captain Barrow and all those who serve our country and the families who share them with all of us.

Pictured are Judge Ron Bogle, Major General Greg Lusk, Captain Sam Barrow, Dr. Rob Jackson, Mrs. Ashley Barrow, NC Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Secretary Larry Hall.

CMS Student Entrepreneurs Visit Retail Business

Chowan Middle School students recently visited the Edenton-Coffee House owned and managed by Gigi Sawyer so they could experience first-hand how a retail coffee shop operates. This visit was especially important to the students because they wanted to compare the operation of a retail business to their own coffee shop that they operate at Chowan Middle School. 

Chowan Middle Schools’ Bulldog Beverage and Bakery began two years ago with student entrepreneurs whose idea was to develop a program that would provide coffee and baked goods such as muffins and bagels to teachers and other staff at the school. Teacher Stacey Hoffman serves as the program’s faculty advisor. Students take and fill daily orders and deliver the items each morning. The money they collect for their food and beverage items provides enough to pay for the cost of the products. The concept of the Bulldog Beverage and Bakery is not about profit, but more about providing students experience in operating a small business, interacting with the public, and learning about what good customer service means. 

While at the Edenton-Coffee House, the students witnessed first-hand all of these things and more. The students learned how they make coffee and various other beverages. They were also allowed to tour the kitchen to see how the coffee shop prepares food, serves, and sells it to their customers. Sawyer extended her generosity beyond the tour of her business by providing lunch for the students and hot chocolate with sprinkles.

John A. Holmes High School Symphonic Band Earns Superior Rating in Competition

Congratulations to the John A. Holmes High School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Mr. Lynn Dale, for earning a Superior Rating at the NCBA Eastern District Music Performance Adjudication! 

John A. Holmes High School AJROTC Student Receives National Scholarship

John A. Holmes senior and Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, Battalion Commander Sabrina Rogerson, has been awarded a National ROTC scholarship. The National ROTC Scholarship will pay full tuition, books and a monthly stipend to the college or university selected along with an additional stipend of up to $500 per month. This is a very selective and competitive scholarship where there are over 13,000 applicants. Rogerson is a member of a very small pool of national winners. 

In over three and a half years in the Army JROTC program, she accumulated over 450 community service hours. She has contributed to the school, community and local organizations by volunteering to lead service learning projects that included laying wreaths over the graves of veterans and collecting and providing food for the homeless. She has voluntarily led color guard events and special ceremonies requiring the posting and retiring of our flags. She has participated in many school and community activities to include leading multiple Accident Prevention/VIP ceremonies, volunteering as a worker during the annual Indian Festival, assisting in parking cars during the local music festival and helping local middle and elementary schools. She has given selflessly, supporting the annual banquet that benefits our local police, fire department and first responders. Finally, for three consecutive years she supported Vidant Hospital’s Women's Health and Wellness program in Chowan County.

Rogerson is the leader of the battalion, the drill team, raider team, rifle team and the color guard. She attended basic training last summer and was ranked #3 in her in her company and will attend AIT this summer as she continues to serve our nation as an army reservist.  Rogerson is also a member of the National Honor Society at John A. Holmes High School.

Chowan Middle Students Recognized as Soil and Water Conversation Contest Winners

Five students at Chowan Middle School have been recognized by the Chowan Soil and Water Conservation as winners in the organization’s annual District Essay, Poster and Bookmark Contest. Placing first in the essay contest was RC Bullock and second place E. Daniel. First place winner in the bookmark contest was E. Daniel and second place C. Forward. In the poster contest, S. Reid received first place recognition and D. Long (not pictured) was awarded second place. 

The students will be recognized for their work at an awards luncheon to be held on March 14, 2017 in Elizabeth City at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center.

Board of Education Recognizes SRO for Food Drive to Benefit Local Food Pantry
Board of Education Chairman Eugene Jordan  recognized School Resource Officer and Deputy Heather Matthews for her leadership in organizing the Lock Up Hunger Campaign to benefit the local food pantry. Students and staff in the Edenton-Chowan Schools donated over 10,000 pounds of food to benefit the food pantry.

Chowan Middle School Receives Third School to Watch Honor 

Chowan Middle School has earned unique distinction among middle schools in North Carolina and in Eastern North Carolina for the fact that the faculty, students and staff have received the honor of being named a "School to Watch" by the North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education for the third time. Chowan Middle School received the first award in 2010 and was re-designated in 2013 and is now being recognized again for the faculty, staff, and students’ continued quest for excellence. Only 400 schools across the nation have been recognized as a School to Watch. Chowan Middle School is one of 48 schools identified over the last 13 years as a School to Watch and the only school in northeastern North Carolina to receive the recognition three times. Chowan Middle School exceeds the state average in teachers with advanced degrees, teacher s holding National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification, and average teaching experience.

“We are all celebrating with Chowan Middle School on receiving this prestigious recognition,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “Achieving the distinction of being named a ‘School to Watch’ is very difficult to achieve and confirms the quality educational program that is reflective of the hard work and dedication of the students and staff at Chowan Middle School,” he added.

“Our students and staff have earned this school award,” said Principal John Lassiter. “This award is a result of their hard work and could not have been accomplished without the help of my leadership team Brenda Pate and Phillip Gatling Sr.,” he added. “It takes all of us working together to foster and sustain a safe, nurturing environment that leads to academic excellence.”

The Schools to Watch initiative has been recognizing outstanding middle schools across the state since 2003. The Schools to Watch initiative is sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. The National Forum is an alliance of more than 60 educators, researchers, and officers of national associations and foundations dedicated to improving schools for young adolescents across the country.

Through the Schools to Watch initiative, the National Forum identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum's criteria for high performance by demonstrating they are:
(1) academically excellent-these schools challenge all students to use their minds well;
(2) developmentally responsive-these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence; and
(3) socially equitable-these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports.

According to the Forum, "To achieve this level of performance, high-performing schools establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence. They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making."

Recognized schools are featured in state and national publications, and will be visited by educators from around the country looking to see where “things are being done right.” Schools will also participate in professional development and will serve as a model for other schools using the Schools to Watch Criteria to guide school improvement and reform.

Alumni, Staff, and Community Basketball Games Fundraiser

Attention men and women who played varsity basketball at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton - An Alumni Basketball Game and Fundraiser is being planned to raise money for new practice uniforms, team bags, and warm-ups.

A big day of basketball events is currently being planned for Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the John A. Holmes gymnasium and former men's and women's basketball team members are asked to return to John A. Holmes for special alumni games to support our athletes. A women's alumni game is being planned for 6 p.m. and a men's alumni game at 7 p.m.  

The first 30 men who register and pay $10 for the cost of the game shirt will make up the two men's teams.  The first 30 women who register and pay $10 for the cost of their game shirt will make up the two women's teams.   Thirty is our maxium number, so register early - the deadline to register is April 1, 2017.

To register, email Coach R. Woodley the following information to and include your name, email address or cell/text number, graduation year, varsity coach, T-shirt size, and favorite number (if available).  You will receive a return email or text message with further information.

Edenton-Chowan Education Foundation Awards Mini-Grants

The Edenton-Chowan Education Foundation awarded the following teachers mini-grants totaling $3,995.50 at the Board of Education Meeting held on January 3, 2017:

White Oak Elementary School:

· LeAnn Nixon – Flexible Seating for Second Grade

· Angie Walston – Flexible Seating

· Connie Peeler – Body & Brain Adventure Room

DF Walker Elementary School:

· Stacey Banks – Get Informed

· Brenda Ward – Cooking Club

· Becky Nixon – Let Them Play Games

· Kristine Ludlow – Flexible Seating Classroom

· Jamie Bass – Fly Me to the Moon, Almost

Chowan Middle School:

· Molli Rose – 8th Grade Annual Visit to ECU

· Karen Ames – Teen Court Videos

· Janie Joseph – Reading in Treble

· Deborah Bunch – The Living Wax Museum

John A Holmes:

· Nichole Smith – The Aces Café

· Catherine Baker – Calling All Raktivists

· Anthony Downing and Larry Giddens, Jr. – Alternative Learning Program

John A. Holmes High School Students Place Third in Regional Art Competition
Students in Amy Griffith's Visual Arts classes at John A. Holmes High School placed third as a group in the Regional Art Show Case sponsored by the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities (NCASA). The students created art inspired by the band U2's song titled Beautiful Day. Students submitting work were T. Ryan - Printmaking, M. White - Drawing, M. Hope - Painting, L. Smith - Photography, A. Turner - mixed media. Their work will advance to state competition held on December 3. Congratulations to these talented students!

Art Showcase is a competition that recognizes both the best individual artists and best art programs in North Carolina schools. An unlimited number of students in each school may participate in the school-level competition. Students are presented with a prompt and given about one month to create their submission. Media categories include painting, drawing, collage, photography, and other creative efforts. Electronic copies of submissions are sent to NCASA and forwarded to judges. Submissions from top teams and students from each category advance to the State Finals and are evaluated by judges in a live exhibition.

John A. Holmes High School Students Participate in NCDOT 2016 Construction Career Day and Job Fair

John A. Holmes High School students in Ben O’Kelley’s construction management courses and Bree Atkinson’s agriculture management courses recently participated in the North Carolina Department of Transportation 2016 Construction Career Day and Job Fair held in Pitt County. The event is an opportunity for high school students to learn about the commercial and highway construction industries.

During the event students had the opportunity to have hands-on access to power and hand tools used by the commercial construction industry. They also participated in interactive exhibits such as rebar tying, tile setting, pipe bending, welding, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, and surveying. Students also had an opportunity to try their hand at operating heavy equipment like skid steers, backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, cranes and more.

Students also had the opportunity to interact with contractor personnel, vendors, and university and community colleges to ask representatives about training and education opportunities.

McLaughlin Honored as 
Edenton-Chowan Schools 
2016-2017 Administrator of the Year 

Sarah McLaughlin, Assistant Principal at White Oak Elementary School has been selected by her peers to receive the honor of being named the 2016-2017 Administrator of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools. McLaughlin is known for her dedication and passion for early childhood education. She continues to devote herself to supporting and loving the children that she serves.

“Mrs. McLaughlin is a compassionate educator who always has a child’s best interests at heart. Her extensive experiences in early childhood education enable her to work with teachers and parents in guiding and supporting the best instructional practices both in the classroom and at home,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “She is an advocate for every child having access to early childhood learning opportunities and helping students, parents and families achieve success,” he added.

At White Oak, McLaughlin most recently has been instrumental in the schools’ efforts to reach out to the young children and their families in Chowan County through a program called Little Cub’s Mommy and Me Playgroup. Understanding how important quality early learning experiences are to the development of young children coupled with the fact that children acquire so much of their language before they even go to preschool or kindergarten, McLaughlin works closely with the faculty and staff to organize and open the playgroup where young children and their parents can interact in an environment that is rich in language and meaningful play. Her other responsibilities include working with curriculum and instructional initiatives and helping to ensure the smooth operation of the school bus fleet that serves White Oak School.

With a successful career now spanning more than three decades, McLaughlin began teaching in 1977 at Ben Hagood Elementary School in Pickens, South Carolina. She then moved to Connecticut where she served in various early childhood education roles as a teacher and child care center director. After relocating to North Carolina, McLaughlin taught one year in Tyrell County before obtaining a position as a teacher at D.F. Walker Elementary School in 1995 where she taught various grade levels and also served as an Academically and Intellectually Gifted Teacher. She became an assistant principal in 2004 and moved to White Oak Elementary School.

McLaughlin holds an Associate in Science Degree in Child Development from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University, and a Master of Science Degree in Reading from Western Connecticut State University. She received her certification as a principal and school administrator from East Carolina University. McLaughlin is also a recipient of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.

2016-2017 Instructional Assistants
 of the Year
Congratulations to our dedicated, hardworking, instructional assistants! Thank you for your continued support of our students, teachers and community!

Shante White
Chowan Middle School
Instructional Assistant
of the Year

Justin Smith
D.F. Walker Elementary
Instructional Assistant
of the Year

Rosa Carter
White Oak Elementary
Instructional Assistant
of the Year

Derrick Douglas
John A. Holmes High School
Instructional Assistant of the Year

2016-2017 Bus Drivers of the Year
Congratulations to our awesome bus drivers who always put safety first!

Ann Bond
White Oak/D.F. Walker Elementary 
Bus Driver of the Year

Linda Leary
Chowan Middle School Bus Driver of the Year

Tammi Taylor-Felton
John A. Holmes High School
Bus Driver of the Year

Student Selected to Attend 
Governor's School

We are pleased to announce that Emma K., a Junior at John A. Holmes High School has been selected to attend The Governor’s School of North Carolina 2016. She will be attending Governor’s School East at Meredith College to study Natural Science.  

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation. The academic program is open to rising seniors located on two campuses, Governor’s School West at Salem College in Winston Salem and Governor’s School East at Meredith College in Raleigh.

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is funded annually by the General Assembly of North Carolina and is administered by the Public Schools of North Carolina, State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children’s Division.

Edenton-Chowan Schools is Recognized for Participation in Teacher Working Conditions Survey

Edenton-Chowan Schools has been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for being the first school system in the state to reach 100 percent participation on the North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey. The school system received a check in the amount of $1,000 that will be equally divided among the four schools. 

“I am most appreciative of each of our teachers for taking the time to provide our district with the information we need to serve and support our teachers in the crucial work they do every day. As this award was received because of the teachers, I believe that it should be returned to the teachers in the following manner: the award will be equally split between the schools to be used to recognize our staff members in a manner determined by the School Improvement Team,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. 

Four other public schools were also recognized NCDPI for 100 percent participation to include Creswell High School (Washington County), Allenbrook Elementary School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools), East Rutherford Middle School (Rutherford County ), and Plain View Primary (Bladen County). The monetary awards were sponsored by BB&T. 

From March 1 through April 1, school-based licensed educators in all 115 North Carolina school districts and 148 charter schools had an opportunity to share their views regarding their working conditions on the 7th biennial NC TWCS. 

The NC TWCS is designed to gather a variety of information from teachers, counselors, principals and other administrators about topics such as the adequacy of school facilities and resources, time, empowerment, school leadership, community support, student conduct, professional development, mentoring and induction services, and student learning. The web-based survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. 

"Results from previous years’ surveys have provided education policymakers and school leaders a robust roadmap to guide positive change and strengthen professional development, school improvement plans and teacher and administrator evaluations," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. 

Each North Carolina school with a survey response rate of 40 percent or greater will receive a results report and these data become a part of the school's ongoing improvement planning process. These results are one component of the on-going process for collaborative school and district improvement plans and also are used in North Carolina's educator and administrator evaluation processes. In 2002, North Carolina was the first state in the nation to ask educators what they thought about their working conditions and what tools and support they need to do their job well. In 2016, the state is still leading the nation with this survey and results have been used to shape educational policy in North Carolina for more than a decade. 

The New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the development of a high-quality teaching force, administers the NC TWCS. The NTC has conducted similar surveys in other states. Since 2009, the NTC has heard from more than 1 million educators in 26,000 schools in 18 states and select school districts.