SALEMBURG — Smiling teachers and school employees from the Lakewood area came together Wednesday under the leadership of a new group.
The Lakewood District Advisory Council sponsored a luncheon for Sampson County Schools (SCS) employees who work in the western portion of the district, its purpose to improve schools in the area. Sonya Powell is currently serving as the president. She previously served on the SCS Board of Education.
“It was a vision of mine to get the Lakewood Advisory Council up and running,” Powell said.
The group was inactive for several years before Powell contacted principals from the area. Plans were made during the summer and the lunch was one of the first results.
“In the future, we’re going to continue to help the Lakewood district any way we can,” Powell said.
She said principals have submitted wish lists of things they would like to see done. It’s something, they will work towards in the future.
“I have a great group of people working with me,” Powell said. “It’s through their efforts that we were able to bring all of this together.”
Some of the members work in several areas including the Lakewood Athletic Boosters and parent organizations. Marina Sessoms is serving as vice president and the treasurer is Brandon Strickland. Pamela Spates is the secretary.
“We’re going to try our best to keep it going,” she said.
Telfair Simpson, SCS Board of Education chairman, said the council was fantastic and appreciated the work of Powell.
“There’s a lot of excitement and participation,” Simpson said. “It’s a great deal. Teachers get to come together and get a meal, some entertainment. It’s good fellowship and I think it’s good for our community.”
Gerald Johnson, principal of Salemburg Elementary Schools, and other administrators served tea and soda during the event.
“It’s wonderful that the Lakewood district is doing this for faculty and staff,” Johnson said. “Other districts in the county have been doing it for awhile. The Lakewood Advisory Council … kudos to them.”
Along with a raffle and a lunch provided by Smithfield, the event also featured dance performances from Alexandria Armwood, MiKayla Moore and the Quisan’s Dance Academy.
David Nordine of Smithfield Foods discussed the company’s commitment to working with local schools. It recently donated cases of papers to Lakewood schools.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.