Edgecombe taps nine for advisory council


Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Edgecombe County Public Schools recently appointed nine community members to its newly-formed business advisory council.

The Edgecombe County Board of Education adopted a board policy to create the business advisory council earlier this year to bring it into compliance with a new state-mandated requirement designed to improve cooperation between schools and businesses in order to better prepare students for future employment.

The appointments to the new council include David Catt, plant manager for Keihin Carolina System Technology; John Judd, plant manager of Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant; Susan Freeman, executive director of Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce; and parent representatives Alice Schenall and Inez Ribustello.

In addition, four local educators will serve as ex officio members of the Business Advisory Council. These members include Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Valerie Bridges; Sheila Porcher, CTE coordinator for Edgecombe County Public Schools, Dr. Deborah Lamm, president of Edgecombe Community College, and Donnell Cannon, principal of North Edgecombe High School.

Dr Marc Whichard, associate superintendent of Edgecombe County Public Schools, told the school board at the Dec. 11 school board meeting that the Edgecombe County Business Advisory Council would be working together with the Nash County Business Advisory Council formed by Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools to hold joint meetings.

“The council will be a joint council represented by members of Edgecombe and Nash counties, representing the strong history of working relationships of business and industry and governmental entities within the Twin Counties region,” Whichard said.

At first, both school districts looked at whether the Strategic Twin-Counties Education Partnership would fulfill the requirements of the school business advisory council as it has served a similar role in the past. However, Whichard said the school district realized they needed to form their own council because the partnership did not meet all the state requirements, primarily because it is a private organization and the state requires that meetings of the business advisory council be open to the public.

The first meeting of the joint council will be held in February in Edgecombe County at the school board central office in Tarboro, Whichard said. The August meeting will be held in the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Central Office in Nashville.

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools has not yet announced its appointments to its business advisory council.