I am sure each of you have heard the Sampson County slogan, “you’ll like the way we work and you’ll love the way we live.” There are many days that this slogan gets reconfirmed with its truth and this past Tuesday was no different.
That day was the Chamber’s Adult Leadership Education Day, led by Leadership committee member Nancy Dillman from Clinton City Schools and Tommy Macon from Sampson County Schools. The 2012-13 Leadership class consists of participants who are lifelong residents of Sampson County and residents who are just beginning to call Sampson County home. Although from different backgrounds, I truly believe each of us learned in deeper depth the educational system within the county, reconfirming this is, indeed, a great place to work and live.
The day began with a tour of Clinton High School. What an awesome facility for the students, with opportunities such as AP classes, woodworking, theater, on top of the strong core academic classes. We then traveled to Butler Avenue School where we discovered children in the classroom from gym, ESL (English as a Second Language) to science where each student wore a white lab coat. As our journey continued, we got an inside look at College Street School and Telemon Corporation- Head Start. Our next stop was Sampson County’s Partnership for Children where Victoria Byrd shared their role within Sampson County and how they work with not only the children but also the parents in order to be a resource center as well as provide guidance and support.
The afternoon was a new experience to all of us. We ventured into Union High School where principal Ed Holmes, Col. Macon, Dr. Theresa Melenas, and Jennifer Facciolini shared with us a new critical thinking technique that is being implemented called “Common Core.” At first, we went into a classroom and viewed this learning style in action. The students, who had their desks positioned in a circle, would read a text and then from that text answer questions the teacher asked. This learning style is greatly set apart from what I, and the other participants, did in high school. The teacher is only the facilitator where there is no right or wrong answer. It all goes back to each student referring to the text and analyzing the text to draw their own perspective, which again, can be backed up by the text. After seeing it in action, it was our turn. The Adult Leadership class began examining our text, “The Pledge of Allegiance.” From the text, we were asked questions in which we had to answer, using critical thinking and,of course, referring back to the text. This new technique and learning style will set this generation apart from others. They will be able to see the facts (the text), analyze, and have those critical thinking skills in place when they enter the workforce.
While we were at Union High School, we learned of the Animal Science Physiology Nutrition and Care Program that gives the students the opportunity to learn responsibility but also a chance for hands on experience of working with a variety of animals from the Ag Industry. We closed the day by stopping by Sampson Community College and discussing Continuing Educations with Ann Butler and her colleagues.
Thank you to each of you that were involved for the Leadership Education Day. I cannot express how much I learned about each individual aspect of education within Sampson County. It is such a privilege to be in a county that not only has great facilities, activities and opportunities for everyone, but to have employees and teachers who are leaders in the education industry and a passion for each generation of students. This passion is evident in not only each of the businesses and organizations we visited but also in each individual. It truly is helping make Sampson County a place where “you’ll like the way we work and you’ll love the way we live.”
(Editor’s note: Have questions about the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce or would like to get involved, visit the website, www.clintonsampsonchamber.org or call 592-6177.)