Education briefs: Partners in Learning moves special needs fashion show virtual

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2021

SALISBURY – Partners In Learning will be canceling its in-person Special Needs Fashion Show scheduled for Sept. 14 due to increasing COVID-19 numbers in Rowan County. A virtual date will be set for later in the fall.

“There are so many variables to consider when planning an event during a pandemic. Our committee took the time to review the specifics of our event including, current COVID-19 rates, safety recommendations, and the families who star in our show, which led to the difficult decision to go 100% virtual with this year’s event. Many of our models are medically fragile and it is our responsibility to keep them safe. Last year our virtual Fashion Show was our most successful year. We hope that the community can support us again this year, just as they did last year,” PIL Executive Director Norma Honeycutt said.

The annual fashion show is in memory of an alumnus Jacob Usher who passed away in 2015, at the age of eight due to a heart condition. The funds raised from this event go directly to programming needs including adaptive equipment and materials, as well as, scholarships for families who would not be able to afford the needed services.

“Families of children with special needs can face a tremendous amount of medical and educational expenses. It is our goal that no child be told no services because of the family’s financial situation,” Development Director Amy Vestal said.

Partners In Learning began providing telehealth services at the beginning of the pandemic to help support parents and is continuing the services during the current surge.

“The need is greater than ever, with our waitlist over 420 children long. Parents are calling us daily, pleading to get their child into our high quality early education center. Just because there isn’t room at our centers doesn’t mean we can’t support the family,” Intervention Director Cassie Karriker said..

Donations can be made by mailing a check to 2386 Robin Rd. Salisbury, NC 28144 or by visiting

Hood awarded $10,000 climate change and theological education seed grant

SALISBURY –Hood Theological Seminary was invited to apply and received the Climate Change and Theological Education seed grant worth $10,000 from the American Association for the Advancement of Science – Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion.

Hood is one of only two Association of Theological Schools seminaries to receive this type of grant. The grant requires a required course be revised and the seminary to offer a campus event to feature the global climate crisis.  The grant deliverables will be performed by the International Center for Faith, Science and History at Hood, and Sharon Grant will act as project director and teaching faculty.

RCCC students place in 2021 SkillsUSA

SALISBURY – Nine students from Rowan Cabarrus Community College competed in the 2021 SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships. The virtual conference showcased Career and Technical Education, with students participating in approximately 120 trade, technical and leadership competitions in more than 95 trade areas.

The following students from the Rowan-Cabarrus automotive, cosmetology, electrical systems technology, engineering, and graphic design programs competed and placed this year:

  • Marc Fruchtman of Salisbury, first place, Engineering Skill Project Showcase
  • Morgan Stack of Concord, second place, Cosmetology
  • Cody Hill of Concord, third place, Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Joshua Fruchtman of Salisbury, fourth place, Automotive Systems Technology
  • Brianna Richer of Salisbury, third place, Graphic Design
  • Jeinny Lopez Isep of Concord, fourth place, Pin Design Contest
  • Nick Arnsten of Salisbury, third place, T-Shirt Design
  • Rachel Sedlacek of Concord, fourth place, T-Shirt Design
  • Darren Steele of Kannapolis, fifth place, T-Shirt Design

“We are proud of these talented students and applaud the skills they have developed in their chosen fields of study,” RCCC President Carol Spalding said. “College is about more than just going to class, and getting involved in organizations like SkillsUSA helps students take their education and career prospects to the next level.”

This year’s Rowan-Cabarrus advisors included Tony Bean and Jim De Friess, Engineering; Denise Tuchek, Cosmetology; Ryland Perry, Advertising and Graphic Design; James Hauss, Electrical Systems Technology; and Carl Smith, Automotive Systems Technology. Jon Crockett of HVAC provided additional assistance.

The College’s SkillsUSA Chapter was recognized as a quality chapter in the Chapter of Excellence Program.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce by providing students with opportunities to gain personal skills, workplace skills, and technical skills grounded in academics. The organization has more than 350,000 student and instructor members at the national level.