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DFW Student Takes First Place in Speech Contest

Joshua Twiddy, a fourth grade student in Mrs.Stacey Bank's and Mrs. Pam Leary's Class at D.F. Walker Elementary School received first place for his outstanding speech in the Vidant Medical Center Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech Competition held on January 21, 2015 in Greenville. Twiddy's speech was selected to receive the top honor among students from 29 other counties in the Northeast Region.


Turner Resigns as Aces Athletic Director

Bob Turner, Athletic  Director at John A. Holmes High School announced today that he will step down after nearly 13 years at John A. Holmes High School, seven years as the school’s Athletic Director.  Turner has accepted a position as a sales representative for the Albemarle Region with Johnson & Lambe, an athletic equipment company based in Raleigh, NC.

“I have truly enjoyed my stay here at John A. Holmes and I will always hold a special place in my heart for everyone I have ever worked for, coached, or come in contact with,” said Turner.  “I want to personally thank the parents, students, coaches, teachers and community for their support throughout my career as a teacher, coach, and athletic director at Holmes.”

Turner was hired as a Health and PE Teacher in 2002.  He was named Athletic Director of the Aces in 2008 following the retirement of Jay Swicegood.  Prior to becoming Athletic Director, Turner coached JV and Varsity Football, JV and Varsity Baseball, and Varsity Softball.   

Turner began his teaching in North Carolina at Perquimans County Schools.  In Perquimans, Turner coached JV Baseball, JV and Varsity Football, Girls and Boys Basketball, and Men’s and Women’s Track.  In 2000-01 at Perquimans he coached the Girl’s Basketball Team to the State Championship game with a record of 30-0.

“Bob Turner has worked tirelessly to continue the tradition of excellence in our sports program as Athletic Director at John A. Holmes High School,” said Principal Sheila Evans.  “Our coaches, parents and student athletes have appreciated Coach Turner’s dedication and enthusiasm as Athletic Director.  He continually promotes the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship which has been recognized at the state level by receiving for the past two years the NCHSAA Sportsmanship Award,” commented Evans. “While we will miss Coach Turner, I am confident that our search will result in an outstanding Athletic Director for John A. Holmes High School,” she added.

The school system will begin the search for a new Athletic Director and the position will be held open until a qualified replacement is found.

John A. Holmes JROTC Receives Grant Award

John A. Holmes High School JROTC Cadets received a $500 Grant from the First Flight Military Officers Association (FFMOA) and the United Services Automobile Association (USAA). The grant was presented to the Cadets at the Duck Woods Country Club in Southern Shores (Kitty Hawk) on January 9, 2015. The grant was based on several categories:  Service to the community, service to the local schools, success of the program after Cadet Graduation, military competitions and awards.  The Cadets were very honored and humbled by receiving this unexpected gift.  LTC (Ret.) George A. Nelson leads the John A. Holmes High School JROTC program.
The Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (AEMC) recently funded a grant totaling $3,000 to support a program at Chowan Middle School called the Chowan Sisterhood.  The Chowan Sisterhood is a partnership between the Chowan County Sheriff’s Department and Chowan Middle School to provide a mentoring program for female students.  The grant will be used to fund organized activities for students and their mentors to participate in together.


The Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (AEMC) recently presented Chowan Middle School and the Kids and Cops Program, sponsored by the Chowan County Sheriff’s Department a check totaling $3,000. The check presented by Chris Powell to Sheriff Dwayne Goodwin will help fund a grant for the Kids and Cops Summer Program at Chowan Middle School that is designed to help transition rising sixth graders to middle school.

Chowan Middle School Principal Named Assistant Superintendent

During their regular monthly meeting last night, the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education approved Tanya Turner to become the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the school system effective July 1, 2015. Turner was recommended for the position by Superintendent Rob Jackson following a month-long application and selection process.

“I am very pleased that Ms. Turner will serve the school system as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction,” said Superintendent Rob Jackson.  “I am excited about the leadership and expertise Ms. Turner will bring to our K-12 curriculum and instructional program as she works with our teachers, principals and directors in continuing to move our school system forward,” he added.

With 22 years experience in education, Turner has extensive experience in school leadership and curriculum and instruction.  She was employed with the Edenton-Chowan School System in 2001 as an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at Chowan Middle School.  In 2005, she was named the Director of Teacher Development and Testing for the school district and was later named the Principal of Chowan Middle School where she has served since 2006.  Turner began her career in Perquimans County in 1992 as an elementary teacher and basketball coach and later as an Instructional Facilitator at Perquimans Middle School.

"I am extremely humbled to be named as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Edenton Chowan Schools and feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to serve the staff and students of our county in this role,” commented Turner.  “Curriculum and instruction has always been my passion and l look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  I have and will always have a deep love and appreciation for the staff and students at Chowan Middle School and choosing to pursue this role was a difficult one for me, but one I believe I was led to through prayerful consideration. I believe the staff and students at Chowan Middle School have shaped me into the leader that I am today and I will be forever grateful to them for the special role each of them has played in my life."

Turner received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Methodist University.  She earned a Masters Degree in Supervision and Administration from East Carolina University and certification to teach Academically Gifted Education K-12 from College of the Albemarle.

Her numerous honors include: Middle Level Administrator to Watch for NC Eastern Region 2013, Recognition for completion of the National Board for Principal Standards 2014, Principal of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools 2011-2012; President of the North Carolina Middle School Association 2010-2011, PBIS Exemplar School 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014; North Carolina School to Watch 2010, 2013; Principal of the Year for Region I Middle School Association 2008; Principal of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools 2007-2008; Administrator of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools as Assistant Principal 2003-2004; Teacher of the Year Perquimans County Schools 1995; Teacher of the Year for Perquimans Central School (1995); Math Teacher of the Year for Perquimans County Schools 1996.

Turner’s professional memberships include:  Association of Supervision and Curriculum and Development (ASCD), North Carolina Middle Level Educators, Parent Teacher Association, North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association, North Carolina Association of School Administrators.     

The position of Assistant Superintendent was last held by Mr. Rob Boyce who retired from the school system in October 2009. The position has remained vacant since that time.  The position was re-established by the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education through a reorganization of existing positions and assignments made possible through attrition. The position does not add additional staff members to Central Services and will not cost the school system additional money.

Teachers Earn National Board Certification

Five teachers in the Edenton-Chowan School System achieved National Board Certification through a performance-based, peer-review process.  The certification earned by the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is the profession’s gold standard for accomplished teaching, based on standards created by teachers, for teachers, that define what teachers should know and be able to do to advance student learning.

Mara Swindell, an Art Education teacher at Chowan Middle School earned certification for the first time.

Four educators achieved the recertification process: Elizabeth Huff, Counselor at John A. Holmes High School; Brenda Pate, Instructional Facilitator at White Oak Elementary School; Joy Brickhouse, Teacher at D.F. Walker Elementary; and Tracy Faircloth, Teacher at White Oak Elementary.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. It complements, but does not replace, a state’s professional educator’s license. It is valid for 10 years, and renewal candidates must begin the renewal process during their eighth or ninth years as National Board Certified Teachers. National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K−12th grades.

School Board Members Take Oath of Office

The Honorable Michael J. McArthur, Clerk of Superior Court for Chowan County administered the oath of office to John Guard and Gil Burroughs at the December 1, 2014 meeting of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  Guard and Burroughs were re-elected in November to serve as members of the school board.  Guard was elected to serve a two-year term and represents District 2.  Burroughs was elected to serve a four-year term and represents District 3.

In addition to the oath of office, school board members nominated and elected Guard to serve as Chairman of the Board of Education and Mrs. Jean Bunch as Vice-Chair.

Teachers Receive Bright Ideas Grants

Three teachers with the Edenton-Chowan Schools, Debbie Bunch, Janie Joseph, and Steve Karl were awarded Bright Ideas Mini Grants by the Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation.   The Bright Ideas Grant Program is sponsored and funded by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. 

Bunch is a sixth grade teacher at Chowan Middle School.  Her grant was titled “Take a Bite Out of the Apple.”  This project will fund Apple TV Airplay in the classroom allowing for more teacher/student collaboration and innovative problem solving with the iPads used with instruction.

Joseph is a sixth grade teacher at Chowan Middle School.  Her grant was titled “Everybody Loves Robots – Engaging Middle School Minds with Robotics.”  This project will allow Chowan Middle School students in the STEM Crazy Club to creatively innovate and explore the world of robotics and engineering by integrating math, science, and technology.  Students will learn about the basics of robotics, build a variety of Lego Mindstorm robots and learn to program them to perform a variety of tasks.

Karl is a Science teacher at John A. Holmes High School.  His grant titled “Organic Gardening” focuses on providing greenhouse supplies to promote student involvement in growing plants and starting gardens.  Seeds and other materials will be used to grow plants that will be planted in a garden located at the high school.  The garden was a product of an Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation mini grant received last school year and is sustained through funds from the mini grant.         

5th Graders Skype Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler

The fifth grade science classes at D. F. Walker Elementary School participated in a Skype session with Jeremy Wheeler, WAVY-TV Meteorologist, on Tuesday, November 25th. Mr. Wheeler talked with them about predicting the weather, forecasting the weather and various types of severe weather. He also explained the education needed to become a meteorologist. Lastly, students were able to ask questions about local weather conditions and the potential for snow this year. Mr. Wheeler stated, "We will definitely have snow (at some point) this winter."
Storyteller Visits Edenton-Chowan Schools

Through a grant provided by the Arts of the Albemarle, Edenton-Chowan Schools was fortunate to have the opportunity to hear the award winning performer, Ms. Donna Washington. She spoke with students at Chowan Middle School on Thursday, November 20th and students at D. F. Walker Elementary and White Oak Elementary on Friday, November 21st.  Ms. Anna Kay Laughton, Music and Choral Educator at Chowan Middle School, coordinated these efforts.
Ms. Donna Washington was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and attended Northwestern University. Having been involved in numerous theatrical productions in college she found her love for storytelling. Donna is a multiple award winning recording artist, receiving the 2002 Parent’s Choice Award for her first independent recording, “Live and Learn: The Exploding Frog and Other Stories,” as well as numerous other awards for her writings, performances and books. Donna has performed at thousands of schools, libraries and numerous storytelling festivals throughout the country and offers workshops in storytelling, writing, education, and creative drama.
White Oak Elementary Celebrates and Honors Veterans

White Oak Elementary School students celebrate and honor Veterans in a program held at the school today, November 7, 2014. First graders perform under the direction of Jane Parr, Music Teacher at the school.
John A. Holmes JROTC Places First in Drill Competition

Congratulations to the John A. Holmes High School JROTC Cadets for taking first place out of seven teams competing in a Drill Meet held on Saturday, November 1, 2014.
Rocky Hock Ruritans Donate Dictionaries

The Rocky Hock Ruritan Club raised money to purchase and give every third grade student at D.F. Walker Elementary School a student dictionary.  President Keith Rollins, Secretary Joe Asbell, and Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee Jack Perry, and member Jacob Ullom are pictured passing out dictionaries to excited third grade students at the school.  The Ruritans gave 173 dictionaries to students and teachers in an effort to support the Read to Achieve literacy initiative and encourage students to learn new words and expand their vocabulary.
Albemarle Electric Supports Local Schools

The Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (AEMC) recently hosted a luncheon for local school districts within its membership to discuss the various ways they can support local schools.  


Edenton-Chowan Schools’ staff and students have benefited from various AEMC programs including: Bright Ideas grants, Washington Youth Tour, Light-Up for Christmas Toy Drive, Basketball camps, demonstrations on electricity safety and the use of equipment.  AEMC has also supported the "Kids-n-Cops” program in cooperation with the Chowan County Sheriff’s Department.  


Pictured (L-R): Superintendent Rob Jackson, White Oak Elementary School Principal Michelle White, D.F. Walker Elementary School Principal Jamie Bowers, Chowan Middle School Principal Tanya Turner, John A. Holmes High School Principal Sheila Evans, and AEMC General Manager Gary Ray.

Lassiter Earns Apple Foundations Trainer Credential

Dr. Vann Lassiter, Instructional Technology Coordinator with the Edenton-Chowan School System, has earned the credential of Apple Foundations Trainer.  Lassiter is one of only five educators in North Carolina to hold this certification and the only person in Northeastern North Carolina.

The Apple Foundations Trainer Academy is a train-the-trainer program focused on the educational uses of Apple technologies.

AFT Academy classes consist of individuals from public K–12 districts, private schools, schools of education, and higher education institutions across the United States. The focus of the program is on enhancing the readiness of individuals for their role in leading professional learning for Apple OS and related  iWork and iLife apps in their schools and to sustain basic Apple technology skills in education organizations that have implemented a one-to-one Apple learning initiative such as the programs at John A. Holmes High School and Chowan Middle School.

Lassiter completed the week-long AFT Academy program in Cupertino, CA. Every session modeled best professional development practices—all in a curricular context. The agenda covered advanced skills in the features of iOS, OS X, iLife and iWork apps, iBooks Author, and iTunes U, and to understanding and practicing effective teaching strategies for adult learning.

AFT Academy attendees are selected by an application process. Applicants must hold positions that include responsibility for delivering preservice or in-service professional development within their district, school, institution, or organization. Acceptance to and success in the AFT Academy program requires robust skills in a range of Apple software products that typically reflect a number of years of usage.

Elliott Nominated to Board of Directors

Glorious Elliott, a member of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education, has been selected to serve on the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) Board of Directors by the nominating committee.  Following formal election at the NCSBA Delegate Assembly in November, Elliott will be a representing Edenton-Chowan Schools and Northeastern North Carolina on the association’s board.  Elliott is the first Board of Education member to serve in this capacity since the late 1970’s when Eugene Jordan, Sr. represented the school system.

“Mrs. Elliott has proven to be a strong supporter of public education during her service as a member of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education,” said John Guard, Chairman of the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  “Prior to serving on the Board of Education, she was also an active parent serving in leadership roles of local PTA’s and the local band boosters in the school district.  The Board of Education feels strongly that Mrs. Elliott will be an outstanding representative for both the Northeast Region and the State as a member of the NCSBA’s Board of Directors,” he added.

Elliott has cumulative service of almost 17 years on the Edenton-Chowan Board of Education.  She initially served on the school board from 1987-2002.  She left the school board in 2002 because she was covered by a term limits restriction in effect at that time.  During this tenure she served as both Vice Chair and Chair of the Board.  Elliott was reelected to the Board of Education in November 2012 as an at-large candidate.  Elliott is a retired Chief of Probation and Parole with the Department of Corrections who served multiple counties in Northeastern North Carolina.  She is the wife of James Elliott and they have a son, Dr. Stanley Elliott, Vice Chancellor of Shaw University.

White Oak Principal 2014-2015 Administrator of the Year

Michelle White, Principal of White Oak Elementary School has been named the 2014-15 Edenton-Chowan Schools Administrator of the Year.  The recognition is part of The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s 2015 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Program.  The program has been administered since 1984 with financial support from Wells Fargo Company. Mrs. White has been principal at White Oak Elementary School since August, 2012.  Prior, Mrs. White served as assistant principal at Perquimans High School.  She has also served in an administrative position at Perquimans Central School performing duties of Assistant Principal, technology facilitator, and instructional facilitator. Mrs. White will advance to regional competition with eight finalists competing for the state award. 

With over 12 years of experience in public education, Mrs. White earned a Masters Degree in School Administration from Elizabeth City State University.  In addition, she holds a Masters Degree in Technology Education from East Carolina University and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from East Carolina.  Along with these certifications, she also holds a teaching license in the areas of Elementary Education, and Art Education.  She also holds certification as a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified teacher.

Education Foundation Awards Mini Grants

The Edenton-Chowan Education Foundation awarded the following teachers mini-grants totaling $3,501.61 at the Board of Education Meeting held on October 6, 2014:


White Oak Elementary School:

·         Jennifer Attkisson – Keeping the Reading Fire Lit

·         Lacey Winslow- iPad, uPad, we ALL love an iPad for Literacy


DF Walker Elementary School:

·         Angela Speck & Phil Huey – Integrating Mindfulness Into the Classroom

·         Krista Bond & Nicole Dowd – Literature for Learning

·         Kristine Ludlow- VersaTiles Manipulatives

·         Jennifer Thach – DFW Book Clubs


Chowan Middle School:

·         Angela Elsbree – The Gift of Reading

·         Deborah Bunch – I Need to Know More

·         Janie Joseph – Tablet-Based Literature Circles: Transforming Reluctant Readers Into Independent Readers


John A Holmes:

·         Stephen Karl, Victor Agraz, Stephanie Graban, Rachel Ward- Outdoor Learning Lab Classroom

·         Victor Agraz- Improving Rigor and Real World Global Scientific Practices through Hands-On Inquiry-based Labs

·         Rosa Michelle Downing – Reading for a Purpose

Parent Portal Application

Edenton-Chowan Schools is offering a new Parent Portal which may be used to view student grades, attendance and other academic information online. The parent portal provides parents and guardians access to all their students' information with a single log on. In order to receive access to Parent Portal, parents/guardians are required to do the following:
1. Fill out an application for each child. Parents/guardians with children in more than one school will be required to fill out a separate application for each school. Please note that this is a necessary step. 
2. Take the completed application to the school where the student is enrolled.
3. Provide photo ID to the school staff when the form is returned.

After completing and returning the application as directed, parents/guardians will receive their account information. A copy of the application can be found below or picked up at the school. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

Debra Rook Named Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year

Debra Rook, an eighth grade Language Arts Teacher and Teacher of the Year at Chowan Middle School has been awarded the honor of 2014-2015 Edenton-Chowan Schools Teacher of the Year.  Representing Edenton-Chowan Schools, Rook will advance to regional competition as part of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program.  Rook has been teaching for 12 years, five of those years have been at Chowan Middle School.


“Mrs. Rook’s students are taught to use a wealth of critical thinking skills, advanced communication skills, and high-level technology applications in her daily lessons,” said Tanya Turner, Principal of Chowan Middle School.  “She integrates global awareness through the units of literature she teaches by strategically weaving in informational text that contains current and past news articles, biographies, and primary documents.  She strives to challenge all children to achieve maximum growth by planning her lessons with the goal of meeting individual students’ needs.”

Rook is a graduate of John Brown University where she earned a B.S. Ed. in English/English as a Second Language.  She is currently completing a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults through Vermont College of Fine Arts.

“I push myself to reach and try and change and grow so that my passion thrives for what and how I teach,” said Rook.  “Teaching is igniting the torch of inspiration in students, but it also confers the responsibility of seeking sources of inspiration so a lesson, video, poem or novel inspires others. Teaching is examining closely the details of a child’s heart and mind, but it is also broadly accessing a whole class, school and community to find resources that connect and support individuals,” she added.

The North Carolina Teacher of the Year program provides an opportunity to honor and recognize exemplary teachers in the state 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 presented by the ING Foundation, a project of the Council of the Chief State Officers of Schools.

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