Eaton-Johnson Middle School, VGCC continue Partnership


From left, VGCC Dean of Business & Applied Technologies Angela Gardner-Ragland, seventh-graders Juccia Davis and Elijah Hawkins, eighth-grader Melannie Garcia, seventh-graders Kasey Edwards and Nanci Escamilla, and counselor Dr. Priscilla Chavis-Lockley. All the students are EJMS ambassadors. (VGCC photo)

From left, VGCC Dean of Business & Applied Technologies Angela Gardner-Ragland, seventh-graders Juccia Davis and Elijah Hawkins, eighth-grader Melannie Garcia, seventh-graders Kasey Edwards and Nanci Escamilla, and counselor Dr. Priscilla Chavis-Lockley. All the students are EJMS ambassadors. (VGCC photo)

Vance-Granville Community College and Eaton-Johnson Middle School in Henderson are continuing to build upon a tradition of collaboration to help prepare young students for higher education.

The partnership between EJMS and VGCC is a special passion for the middle school’s lead counselor, Dr. Priscilla Chavis-Lockley. She earned two degrees at Vance-Granville — early childhood education and associate in arts (college transfer) — before moving on to North Carolina Central University for a bachelor’s degree and three master’s degrees, and to North Carolina State University for a doctorate in education and counseling.

VGCC Dean of Business & Applied Technologies Angela Gardner-Ragland visited the middle school this fall and met with some of the outstanding students in the ambassador program there. She and Chavis-Lockley discussed possibilities for EJMS students to visit VGCC this year, and for representatives of the college to return the favor. Gardner-Ragland suggested the Simulation & Game Development program, which trains students to design three-dimensional models for games and other applications, as a growing program that should appeal to the younger students.

Planning for college studies at the middle school level has become increasingly important, as students now have options to enroll in Early College High Schools, offered by VGCC in partnership with local school systems, starting in the ninth grade. In addition, new Career & College Promise pathways have been developed for students in traditional high schools to earn college credits, tuition-free. “It’s never too early for kids to start exploring their academic and career options,” said Gardner-Ragland.