Education Briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

RSS named one of six districts to watch nationally

Rowan-Salisbury Schools was named as one of six districts across the nation to watch in 2020. This recognition was announced in Education Dive, an online educational newsletter and website for K-12 and higher education news. Geared towards education professionals, it is a leading publication operated by Industry Dive.

“The success of our hard work has been reaching across the nation,” RSS Superintendent Lynn Moody said. “We keep our nose to the grind and work hard every day for the children we serve. I could not be prouder of our students, teachers, administrators, and all our staff. We are grateful to our parents for working with us and for our community supporting us to make big changes for the betterment of teaching and learning in our schools.”

In September, the School Superintendents Association, along with Successful Practices Network and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, released a document titled, ‘Releasing the Floodgates of Innovation’ about Rowan-Salisbury Schools. RSS was one of 25 districts selected for an in-depth study on putting students first through our innovative approaches to education.

Livingstone sport management students attend Super Bowl

Eleven Livingstone College sport management students served as hosts at Super Bowl LIV held Sunday in Miami, Fla. Livingstone was only one of two historically black colleges and universities selected to participate in the experience.

Deonna Young, Semaj Williams, Cory Jones, Antwann Abernathy, Damoni Johnson, Breanah Brown, Alfred Patrick Jr, Marcus Thompson, Precious Wood, Tianna Deberry and Daruis Gwynn were selected to attend based on academics and engagement.

The purpose of the program teaches the business side of sports. Students worked the NFL Experience that featured the football players, NFL Live and served as way finders inside the stadium on game day.

“They got to meet so many people, celebrities and stars,” Crowley said. “Every day, they saw someone famous.”  

Students had to complete application packets and background checks, and undergo online customer service training. They each received official Super Bowl credentials along with hats, shirts and bags.The students helped to raise their own money for the $7,000 trip with support from the college.

“We want that paradigm because we want to be the best department, not just on the campus, but in the state,” Department Chair Charles Crowley said. “We want to make sure we are recognized over other large programs, not just as an HBCU, but as the best students.”

There are sport management graduates from Livingstone currently working in the NFL and who have interviewed with professional teams including the San Antonio Spurs and the Seattle Seahawks, he said.

RCCC English chair is a statewide ‘Star Act’

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College English Chair Jenny Billings has been honored as an Innovator of the Year “Star Act” for 2019 by the North Carolina Association of Community College Association of Distance Learning

Billings was selected in recognition of the Office Hour Initiative, which makes faculty available during non-traditional hours and online so that students who have jobs, families and other responsibilities outside the classroom can access help when needed. The OHI also requires students who fall into certain at-risk categories to meet with faculty so that they can get back on track for success.

The first of its kind, the concept has garnered a following of other schools and increased student attainment. It was created in response to feedback from students who noted that faculty members were their best resource at the College, but they were not meeting with them often.

“I am extremely proud and appreciative of Dr. Jenny Billings for her dedication to our students and creativity in finding ways to enhance the student experience. She is very deserving of this recognition,” RCCC President Carol Spalding said.

North Carolinians can nominate a School Hero for a $10,000 award

For the second year, a program is underway to shine a spotlight on our NC School Heroes – those who help our students achieve their dreams – with awards of $10,000 to ten School Heroes and $10,000 to their schools.

The N.C. Education Lottery created the program as part of its support of public education in North Carolina. A large part of the money raised by the lottery this year, $385 million, provides support for many of the school staff who work at our public schools. The School Heroes program recognizes the important work those school employees do along with that of teachers, principals and others.

“Think back to your time in school and picture in your mind the person who made a difference in your life, someone whose kindness you’ve never forgotten or whose advice still rings true to you today,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. ”That’s a School Hero.”

The website,, allows people to post a story and photo about their School Hero and then vote on the ones they like the most. North Carolinians have until March 15 to post a nomination or vote on their favorites.

The first call for School Heroes came last year. North Carolinians responded with more than 6,750 nominations of teachers, principals, school staff and school workers and then cast 2 million votes for those they liked the most. Judges reviewed the 200 nominations with the most votes and selected the 10 School Heroes.

The 2019 class of School Heroes included a principal, two teachers, a teacher assistant and substitute bus driver, a school custodian, a high school band director, a high school basketball coach, a school crossing guard, and a school social worker.

IMF accepting applications for Treasure Feamster Scholarship

The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship scholarship committee is accepting applications for the 2020 Treasure Feamster Scholarship. Applications will be received through Monday, April 6 and must be postmarked by that date. The scholarships are available for high school seniors who are members of an Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship-affiliated church, regardless of their field of study. Students can check with their guidance office or affiliated churches for applications or information. For more information, call (704) 639-1894 or (704) 433-3277.

ASL makes RCCC students better communicators

The American Sign Language  is one of the many personal enrichment courses that Rowan-Cabarrus offers through its corporate and continuing education division. Classes ranging from home gardening to conversational Spanish are scheduled on a rotating basis.

Just as with other languages, the way individuals express themselves in ASL differs with the person. There are regional “accents” and “dialects,” and as with English, one person’s ideas and method of conveying them differ from everyone else’s. Class members used ASL body gestures, hand movements and facial expressions such as furrowed or raised eyebrows to get their meaning across. ASL also uses a finger-spelling alphabet to communicate proper names and certain English words.

“I loved this class the first time, and I loved it again. Several members of my family have taken enrichment classes at Rowan-Cabarrus and all have enjoyed them,” Madalyn Liefert said. “I originally took the classes after becoming interested in the language from a TV show. It is absolutely important to learn how to communicate with others the best you can. Those who are deaf don’t have a choice to learn another language or have another way to communicate, so why not take the time to learn about the life they live every day?”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call (704) 216-RCCC (7222).