Dr. Dorwin L. Howard, Sr., retired leader of the Granville County Public Schools, will deliver the keynote address as Vance-Granville Community College holds commencement exercises dedicated exclusively to new graduates of Adult Basic Skills programs on Thursday, May 3. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.
Dr. Howard, a native of Oxford, began his 37 years in education as a classroom teacher at his alma mater, J.F. Webb High School. He later became a school and district administrator, completing his career as the first African American to serve as superintendent of the Granville public schools.
“I viewed each station in my profession as an opportunity to serve the children, their families, school district employees, and members of the community at-large,” he said. Dr. Howard, who retired in July 2017, said, “I worked intently on creating inspiring teaching and learning environments and leading the district in a three-year positive trending in student academic achievement.”
In the 2015-16 school year, the students in his district ranked first among public school districts in the state of North Carolina in the amount of academic growth they achieved in a year’s time.
Dr. Howard earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, a Master of Arts Degree in School Administration and Supervision from North Carolina Central University in Durham, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He also did graduate studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
Still a resident of Oxford, Dr. Howard serves on the Oxford State Employees Credit Union Advisory Board and is a member of the North Carolina Central University School of Education Advisory Board. He is a former member of the Kerr Tar Workforce Development Board, the Granville County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Granville County Human Relations Commission.
Dr. Howard is also an ordained Baptist minister. He has pastored two churches in Roxboro and presently serves as Interim Pastor of the First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony will be Jennifer Pascual of Henderson.
A native of Vance County, Pascual completed her High School Equivalency earlier this month after attending classes on the Main Campus. She plans to enroll in classes at VGCC to become a registered nurse, following a lifelong dream of becoming a healthcare provider. After getting her Associate’s Degree in Nursing, she plans to work on a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to be able to care for the sick and disabled and to educate people on disease prevention.