LUMBERTON — The assistant superintendent of Human Resources for the Public Schools of Robeson County has resigned to take a position with Robeson Community College.
The announcement of DeRay Cole’s decision, made by Superintendent Johnny Hunt at the close of Monday’s regular monthly meeting of the school board, came as a surprise to staff members as well as the board.
Cole’s resignation is effective April 30. He begins his job at RCC on May 1.
Cole will serve as RCC’s project manager for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant. The federally funded program is being offered through the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, a group consisting of RCC and nine other North Carolina colleges. The goal of the program is to train displaced workers for high-quality jobs in many fields.
Cole has an extensive background in industry, business and education. He worked for 23 years for a multi-national manufacturing organization based in Pennsylvania before coming to work for the Public Schools of Robeson County in 2004. Before becoming an assistant superintendent three years ago, he served as the alternative schools coordinator at Fairmont High School, assistant principal at Prospect Elementary School and principal at South Robeson High School.
Cole thanked the board and Hunt for giving him the opportunity to pursue his career in education.
“It has been a pleasure to come to work every day, and especially to work with the intelligent young minds of Robeson County students,” he said. “In my new position at RCC there will be a continuing collaboration and partnership between the college and the Public Schools of Robeson County.”
During Monday’s meeting, board members agreed to change existing school policy that restricts individual students or schools from participating in state or national competitions the two weeks before and two weeks after the annual end-of-grade and end-of-course testing. Current policy prohibits field trips during this period.
Board members agreed that the existing policy be reviewed and the definition of field trip be revised.
“I wouldn’t classify students going to a competition as a field trip,” said Jerry Long, chairman of the board’s Policy Committee. “We need to define our policy.”
JoAnn Chavis Lowery, the board’s chairman, agreed.
“The people in the (state) competitions didn’t have a choice of where the competitions are held and when,” she said.
Walter Jackson, the assistant superintendent for administration and technology, said that there have been seven requests for field trips during the blacked-out time period for this year’s testing. He said four of the applications can be approved now that the board has agreed to change policy.
In other business, the board:
— Recognized the cheerleaders from Fairmont Middle School who last month won a national title during competition in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
— Recognized two Junior Beta Club members at Lumberton Junior High School who recently won first place in state Beta Club competitions. Rico Pojol took first place in the Spelling Bee, and Ethan Clewis took first place in Language Arts.
— Recognized Tracy Hyman, a teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School, as the school district’s Certified Employee of the Month.
— Recognized Everette Teal, the district’s director of Technology, as the Classified Employee of the Month.
— Recognized Pamela Jacobs, a bus driver for students attending the Red Springs Middle School, as the district’s Bus Driver of the Month.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or email@example.com