Student Academic Growth and Proficiency Reported for 2016-2017 School Year

The North Carolina State Board of Education released test results from the 2016-2017 school year that show that schools are making significant gains in increasing the proficiency rate, student growth, and the overall school performance grades.

D.F. Walker Elementary School experienced the highest growth rate among the four schools, exceeding expected growth for the second year in a row and moving from a performance grade of C to a performance grade of B. Students at the school increased their growth and percent proficient in every tested area with an overall growth rate of 88.8 percent.

Chowan Middle School students also exceeded expected growth, moving ahead of last year’s expected growth rating and improved their school performance grade from a D to a performance grade of C. The school received an overall student growth rate of 87.8 percent.

John A. Holmes High School increased over last year the percentage of students who have earned four CTE credits in a career cluster and the percentage of graduates who were awarded at least a Silver Level Career Readiness Certificate based on ACT WorkKeys. The increase was a total of 4.3 percent over last year to from 76.7 percent to 81 percent. More than 95 percent of graduates took and passed high-level math courses such as Math III. The school earned a school performance grade of C but did not meet expected growth. The school received an overall growth rate of 54.3 percent.

White Oak Elementary School does not receive a school performance grade or growth rate because it is a PreK-2 school and does not administer End-of-Grade Tests. However, the strong foundational work of the teachers and staff there helps prepare students to be successful in the tested grades. Additionally, Edenton-Chowan Schools has no low-performing schools in the district.

Edenton-Chowan Schools four year cohort graduation rate dipped slightly from 90.5 percent to 84 percent.

The 2016-2017 state assessment information and school performance grades provide insight into our students’ academic progress and identify both reasons to celebrate and opportunities for improvement. “I believe in our students, teachers, and staff and the fruits of their efforts have really paid off with a continued increase in student growth and improved school performance grades at D.F. Walker Elementary School and Chowan Middle School. In two years, D.F. Walker Elementary School has moved their school performance grade from a D to a B. Chowan Middle School moved their performance grade from a D to a C and exceeded expected growth – both phenomenal tasks which are a testament to the dedicated teachers, staff, students and parents who dreamed it…believed it…and achieved it!” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “Teachers and staff have been really focusing on individualized instruction and setting academic goals and we will strive for continued improvement at all schools,” he added.

New Directors Lead School District Maintenance and Transportation Departments

Two new directors will lead the Edenton-Chowan Schools Maintenance and Transportation Departments this year. Jamie Johnson, Maintenance Director and Amanda Goodwin, Transportation Director were approved by the Board of Education in these new roles in July. Johnson and Goodwin take over in these positions following the retirement of Brad Bass who served 30 years with the school system in the maintenance department, 10 years as maintenance director with seven of those years serving in a dual capacity as both maintenance and transportation director.

“I am extremely excited about Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Goodwin leading our maintenance and transportation departments,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “Both Mrs. Goodwin and Mr. Johnson bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles and they will continue the tradition of providing quality work and services for continued transportation safety and quality instructional learning environments for our students,” he added.

Johnson began his career with the school system in 2007 as a locksmith and skilled craftsman. He has professional training and certifications is HVAC Heating and Air Conditioning from Martin Community College; School Security and Threat and Vulnerability Assessments training and certification, Asbestos and Safety Training; Energy Coordinator certification; certified locksmith, certified wastewater treatment; and certified pesticide control. He is a member of the North Carolina Public Schools Maintenance Association (NCPSMA) and also serves as an advisory council member with the organization. Prior to working with Edenton-Chowan Schools, Johnson was employed by Bertie County Schools as a wastewater operator.

Goodwin has been employed with Edenton-Chowan Schools since 2006. She started her career in the transportation department as a TIMS/BSIP Cost Clerk and later served as the Office Manager for the transportation and maintenance departments. She has extensive experience in planning and managing the day-to-day operations of the transportation department. Mrs. Goodwin holds an Associates in Business Administration from College of the Albemarle where she was on the Dean's List and an All American Scholar. She is a graduate of John A. Holmes High School. She is a member of the National Association of Pupil Transportation Supervisory Program; a certified Maris Programmer for TIMS Geocode mapping; and a certified BSIP advanced certification and District 8 Trainer. Prior to working with Edenton-Chowan Schools, Goodwin was employed as a Customer Service Representative with Bank of America and worked in accounting and payroll and United Piece and Dye Works.

Lewis Named Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year

Tricia Lewis, an Art Education Teacher and Teacher of the Year at D.F. Walker Elementary School has been awarded the honor of the 2017-2018 Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year. Representing Edenton-Chowan Schools, Lewis will advance to regional competition as part of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program.

“Mrs. Lewis is an outstanding teacher who shares her love of art with her students and she is very deserving of this honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson. “Whether the students are painting or working on a mixed media project, Mrs. Lewis nurtures each student’s creativity and helps them develop a love and appreciation for art in their lives and in our world.”

Lewis accepted her first teaching position with Edenton-Chowan Schools in 2010 as an art teacher at John A. Holmes High School. She transferred to D.F. Walker in 2015. Lewis is a member of the North Carolina Art Education Association. She is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art Education with a concentration in Painting and Drawing. She also holds an Associates Degree in Fine Arts from Louisburg College.

The 2018 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, which is sponsored by Voya Financial, Inc. and is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The State Teacher of the Year will advance as a finalist and compete for the national title.

Schools Name Teachers of the Year-
Nixon, Reinhold, O'Kelley

White Oak Elementary School Teacher of the Year
LeAnn Nixon, a second grade teacher has been chosen as White Oak Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year. She began her teaching career at White Oak Elementary School three years ago.  She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Elizabeth City State University, and an Associate of Arts Degree from College of the Albemarle.  Prior to teaching, Mrs. Nixon was a lead child care teacher in the school system’s employee child care program.  She also served as an instructional assistant and tutor at Weeksville Elementary School in Elizabeth City.   Mrs. Nixon is a member of the Professional Educators of North Carolina.  She has also written and received numerous grants for her classroom to include Donors Choose , Edenton-Chowan Education Foundation, Bright Ideas, and PENC New Teacher Grant for math and reading centers and flexible seating projects.

Chowan Middle School Teacher of the Year
Johnny Reinhold, a 7th grade science teacher, has been chosen as Chowan Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.   Mr. Reinhold holds a Masters Degree in Science Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Reinhold accepted is first teaching position three years ago at Chowan Middle School.  There he serves on the School Improvement Team, as a Grade Level Team Leader, and Head Wrestling Coach.  Reinhold is a recipient of Chowan Middle Schools’ Above and Beyond Award.  He also wrote and received a grant in the amount of $10,600 for new wrestling mats at the school.  Reinhold is loved and admired by his students in the classroom and as a wrestling coach.  He holds his students to high expectations and standards.  He believes the best way to teach science is through hands-on activities.

John A. Holmes High School Teacher of the Year
Rachel O’Kelley has been chosen as John A. Holmes High School’s Teacher of the Year.  Mrs. O’Kelley teaches Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Advanced Physical Science and Physical Science at the high school. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from East Carolina University.   O’Kelly began her teaching career at John A. Holmes in 2014.  She serves on the  School Improvement Team, Learning Focused Implementation Framework Team, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support Team, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and as Science Department Chair.  In addition, O’Kelley is a charter founder and teacher representative of the John A. Holmes LEO Club, a Princeton ACT Trained Instructor, and serves on the Teacher Advisory Council to the Superintendent.

John A. Holmes High School JROTC Students Attend Leadership Camp at Camp Pendleton, Virginia

While many high school students enjoy the break from the school year, six cadets from John A. Holmes High School participated in one of the nation’s premier leadership training camps. The camp called JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) Eagle is located on the Virginia National Guard’s State Military Reservation, Camp Pendleton at Virginia Beach, Virginia. The mission of the camp is: “To motivate young people to be better citizens” and the staff of the camp does all that it can to challenge these future leaders. 

The six-day camp combines hands-on leadership training as the students participate in a series of activities including: orienteering, rappelling, obstacle courses, survival skills, drill and ceremony, pellet rifle and small boat operations. Cadets compete in an Academic Bowl where students are challenged with competitive academic panels to determine top honors.Every day presents challenges to the students as they rotate through leadership roles as they plan and organize each day’s activities.

The week of activities culminates with a field day where each cadet team competes for camp honors in athletic and organizational events that test both physical and mental and collaborative skills.

The camp is sponsored by the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and conducted by staff drawn from 28 high schools in the South and Central Virginia Area and North Carolina. This year John A. Holmes High School sent COL Don Isbell, Senior Army Instructor and SFC Michael Jackson, Army Instructor, who participated as the Deputy Commandant and Platoon Tactical Officer respectively.

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.

Congratulations to the Edenton-Chowan Schools Board of Education for earning the North Carolina School Boards Association Gold Bell Award for the second consecutive year! The Gold Bell Award acknowledges school boards wherein every member has met the Gold Bell standard for hours of Professional Development between July 1st and June 30th. To add perspective to this accomplishment, only 25 (out of 115) school boards in the state earned this recognition. Thank you to our school board members for leading by example and modeling a commitment to never stop learning.

Schools Name 
Instructional Assistants of the Year
Congratulations to our dedicated, hardworking, instructional assistants! Thank you for your continued support of our students, teachers and community!
Carolyn Leary 
White Oak Elementary School

Trina Rountree 
D.F. Walker Elementary School

Linda Leary 
Chowan Middle School

Patrice Bell 
John A. Holmes High School

Athletic Director Earns Athletic Administrator Certification

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) is pleased to announce that Wes Mattera, Athletic Director at John A. Holmes High school, has been recognized by this association as a Certified Athletic Administrator. 

To earn this distinction, Mattera has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination. 

Mattera is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism. 

Mattera is a former head football coach for the Edenton-Aces was selected to serve as the Athletic Director at John A. Holmes High School in April 2015. As Athletic Director, Mattera oversees the coordination and operation of 26 sports programs at the school.

The NIAAA is a national professional organization consisting of all 50 state athletic administrator associations and more than 10,000 individual members. It is dedicated to promoting the professional growth of high school athletic administrators and preserving the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the secondary school curriculum. 


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.