School system offers thanks

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 08:35 PM

At least 150 volunteers and business representatives gathered Wednesday evening as Vance County Schools hosted its annual Volunteer/Business Partner Recognition Reception.

In conjunction with National Volunteer Week the reception recognized the 2012-2013 Volunteer of the Year, individual school volunteers of the year, and most outstanding business partners.

“We in the Vance County School district seek the best possible learning opportunity for our students,” said Darlynn Oxendine, a member of the school board. “In doing so we draw on an unwavering commitment to explore engaging approaches in teaching and learning.

“We welcome volunteers playing a role in that commitment to excellence in education.”

David Westbrook, principal at Carver Elementary, had the honor of announcing Marion Perry of Henderson as the Vance County Volunteer of the Year.

Perry, who has volunteered in Vance County Schools for close to 10 years, was described by Westbrook as an outstanding individual volunteer who leads a reading program for struggling students and works with school administrators and staff members in a variety of ways throughout each school year.

Perry was overwhelmed with emotion as she accepted her award, and described the honor she felt not only as a volunteer, but as a mother whose daughter was educated in Vance County.

“She’s a Vance County product,” Perry said. “She’s in her residency in anesthesiology at University of Chicago at Illinois.

“I’ve benefited so much as a parent. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life to raise a child here in Vance County.”

Two young girls sang “You Are My Sunshine” as a young boy strummed the melody on guitar. The song was dedicated to Perry, who famously sings it to students having a bad day.

“That’s my token song for them when they are feeling bad and everything I tell them, you are my sunshine, and they have hugs around my waste all the way down the hall,” Perry said. “To pull them up, to say you can do anything you want to, I’ve always taught them that.”

Middleburg Baptist Church was also honored with the Vance County Schools’ Shining Moment Award for 2012-2013.

Individual volunteers for each of Vance County’s 16 schools were recognized for their support, along with individual school business partner awards.

“We encourage all of the community to become involved in our schools,” Oxendine said. “As we say it takes a village to raise a child.”

The schools and their winners were: Aycock Elementary, Phillip and Pam Grissom; Carver Elementary, Marion Perry; Clarke Elementary, Vonya Harris; Dabney Elementary, First United Methodist Church and Kathy McCann; New Hope Elementary, Joy Johnson; Pinkston Street Elementary, Jack Richardson; E.M. Rollins Elementary, Rachel Godfrey; L.B. Yancey Elementary, Catherine Parham; E.O. Young Jr. Elementary, Brandy Pendergrass; Zeb Vance Elementary, Christina Dement; Eaton-Johnson Middle, Angela Reid; Henderson Middle, Cheryl White; Northern Vance High, Nickole Anderson; Southern Vance High, Rakima Pipkin; Early College High, Angela Matthews.

The businesses recognized were: City Road United Methodist Church, Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Flat Rock United Methodist Church, Henderson Family YMCA, Henderson Optimist Club, Henderson-Vance Parks and Recreation, Holmes Oil Company – Cruizers, Jerry’s Artarama, Middleburg Baptist Church, St. James Baptist Church, St. Paul United Church of Christ, Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Townsville Lions Club, Vance County Farm Bureau, Walmart Distribution Center #6091.

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com