Isenberg honors community leaders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What started out as a vision between Principal Nathan Currie and PTA President Ginger Cartwright became reality.
An auditorium full of people came out as H.D. Isenberg Elementary School hosted its first Black History Celebration titled “A Time to Reflect, Celebrate and Persevere.”
Billy Bradley & N’ Ovation provided music and Fitrah Shahid-El sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice” and “We Shall Overcome.”
Melissa Craig, 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year, gave the welcome before Laderious Carter, a fifth-grade student at Isenberg, shared his essay on Thurgood Marshall.
The Isenberg Honors Chorus performed “The Ballad of the Underground Railroad.” The Julian B. Duncan Players, Livingstone College, provided renditions from Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Herman Felton, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Livingstone College, was the keynote speaker. He spoke of the vision of Harold D. Isenberg and Dr. Betty Dess, the school’s first principal, and the struggles and perseverance of African-Americans.
The school honored and recognized several people for their contributions to Isenberg Elementary School as well as the Rowan-Salisbury community:
• Donnie Taylor-Jefferson — Jefferson is the director of the Westside Community Foundation. In that role, she is responsible for the management and development of the Stepping-Up Youth Education and Enrichment Center, which reaches out to Isenberg and other elementary schools in an effort to increase academic performance.
• The Rev. Henry Diggs — Diggs is a former Isenberg PTA president and the co-founder and pastor of Faith Temple Triumphant Ministries. His church currently meets on Sundays at Isenberg and has taken on the role of faith-based partner with Isenberg.
• Kay Wright Norman — Norman is in her 15th year serving on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education. Currently she serves on the board’s curriculum committee and the appeals committee. She has been a pioneer in identifying unmet needs for children and youth in the Salisbury/Rowan community.
• Dixie Dalton — Ms. Dalton is the Title I parent coordinator for Rowan-Salisbury schools. She has served in several Title I positions at various schools, including Isenberg and Knox Middle School.
The evening concluded with an African drum and dance tribute to the evening’s honorees by the African Pearls.
“This must be an ongoing celebration,” Principal Nathan Currie said.
He also thanked the PTA and community for their support.