Sampson Community College was home of a special guest this week. North Carolina State Superintendent June Atkinson visited the college as part of the Sampson Community College President’s Luncheon series Tuesday.
The third event in the Sampson Community College President’s Luncheon series event focused on education and was sponsored by the SCC Foundation. The room was filled with over 65 community partners and thought-leaders, informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. Leaders including, Representative Larry Bell, Sampson County Commissioner Albert Kirby, County Manager Ed Causey, and numerous principals, school board members and administrative staff from Sampson Community College, Clinton City and Sampson County schools.
“The Foundation is proud to sponsor the President’s Luncheons where we invite leaders from various industries to Sampson Community College to discuss issues that matter to those of us who live in rural North Carolina,” Lisa Turlington, Foundation director said. “We appreciate Dr. Atkinson taking the time to speak with leaders and advocates for education in Sampson County. Her remarks clearly indicate our need to look to the future to meet the training needs of our students.”
As the first woman elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Atkinson is serving her third term. She oversees 1.5 million students in over 2,500 public schools. During her educational service she has served as a teacher, state education official and national leader most recently served as the President for the National Council of Chief State School Officers. Under Atkinson’s leadership, North Carolina’s high school graduation rate has gone from 68 percent to over 84 percent, the highest in the state’s history.
“Dr. Hutchin’s forum allowed local educators and public officials to convene and share thoughts, ideas, challenges and enthusiasm about the future of education,” Clinton City Schools board member Diane Viser said. “Dr. Atkinson’s pep talk was terrific as well. I hope school leaders will prioritize such gatherings as the take-away is always encouraging and positive.”
Sampson Community College vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Bill Starling, said even though the time spent with Atkinson was short, her comments provided valuable information for all those who were present.
Merrie McLamb, who is a long time Sampson County Schools educator and SCC Foundation director, said, “very timely facts about our education were discussed and posed many thoughts for where education is now, and where it was needing to go in the future. The audience, representing many areas of education in this county, posed questions about legislation to goals in the future.”
“It was a pleasure to have so many dedicated educators from Clinton City Schools, Sampson County Schools and Sampson Community College on our campus,” Turlington added. “We thank the representatives from the school boards and the SCC Board of Trustees for being in attendance as well. It was a wonderful opportunity to have so many proponents of education in the same room.”
For more information about the SCC Foundation, please visit www.sampsoncc.edu or call 910-592-8081.