News Briefs

Posted 2/7/20

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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Chatham Community Library continues Black History Month event series

The Chatham Community Library is hosting a month-long observance of Black history in February. 

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Dr. Charles Johnson, associate professor of history and director of the Public History Program at North Carolina Central University, will discuss “Black Chatham: Its People and Institutions.” Johnson was a guest speaker at the 2018 and 2019 Chatham County Juneteenth observances, where his engaging and informative discussions have been audience favorites. 

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, Dr. Freddie Parker, Professor Emeritus and former chair of North Carolina Central University’s History Department will discuss “Enslaved Runaways in North Carolina: 1775 – 1840.” The lecture will include information on Maroon societies of the Great Dismal Swamp and other communities of former slaves. Dr. Parker is a recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in the Social Sciences. He is also a member of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association. 

From 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, the library will pull out the stops with a jubilant celebration of Mardi Gras Nouvelle Orleans. Join us for classic Fat Tuesday music, food, and light hearted fun. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (known as Shrove Tuesday). Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

The Black History Month observance will culminate at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, with a performance by the North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers. The organization promotes and perpetuates Black storytelling as an art form that embodies the histories and cultures of Africans and African-Americans, especially those in North Carolina. Enjoyed by audiences of all ages, these storytellers weave tales of humor, home and hearth in ways that transport and delight. 

The library is located at 197 N.C. Hwy. 87 North in Pittsboro. All events take place in the Holmes Meeting Room and are free and open to the public.

Nominations for the CCS Distinguished Alumni Program easier, phone call away

PITTSBORO — Now it’s easier to nominate individuals for the Chatham County Schools Distinguished Alumni Program. Dialing (919) 545-7975 takes callers to a voicemail where they can leave the name of a nominee. 

It’s that simple. 

“Once I receive their message, I will contact them and complete their applications for them,” said Sarah Campbell, the administrative assistant for CCS’ Public Relations Department.  

Online nominations may be submitted at Forms for handwritten nominations are available at the district’s headquarters and high schools, and they can be downloaded at

The deadline for nominations is March 6. Nominees need to have attended their CCS high school for at least two full academic years and must be at least 10 years removed from their high school graduation. 

CCCC announces SECU Foundation Bridge to Career Scholarship recipients

SANFORD — The Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Career and Technical Education Department has announced the recipients of the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation Bridge to Career Scholarship for the 2019 Fall Term.

Chatham County recipients, listed with course of study, include:

Keona Alston – Nurse Aide I

Kimberly Beck – Cardiovascular Monitor Technician

Rachel Blankenship – Phlebotomy Technician

Melissa Brewer – Phlebotomy Technician

Tyasha C. Holloman – Phlebotomy Technician

Michelle Martinez – Nurse Aide I

Megan Meyers – Nursing Assistant I

Stephanie Scotton – Cardiovascular Monitor Technician

Sabrina Spruiell – Phlebotomy Technician

Jazmine Taft – Nurse Aide I

For more information on the scholarship, contact CCCC Education Navigator Nikia Jefferies at or by phone at 919-545-8071.

Gary Beasley is recipient of CCCC Excellence in Teaching Award

SANFORD — Gary Beasley, Central Carolina Community College Lead Instructor in Laser and Photonics Technology, has been selected as recipient of the 2019-2020 CCCC Excellence in Teaching Award. 

“I feel so humbled and honored,” said Beasley, who was a finalist for state honors. “Especially to be recognized and awarded for something I enjoy doing so much and have so much fun doing it.”

CCCC President Lisa M. Chapman says that Beasley “is well-respected among his peers and known for having a heart of gold. He practices what we preach by engaging students early on — as early as middle and high school — and educating them on career pathways in lasers and photonics as a means to gain a fruitful career and earn a living wage. You will not find a more compassionate, hands-on, and personable instructor.”

“Gary cares for his students like he cares for his own children,” said Brian Merritt, CCCC Vice President of Learning & Workforce Development, Chief Academic Officer. “Gary’s technical knowledge combined with his passion for his students’ lives sets him apart.”

“I loved, and enjoyed, my 30 years of industry, but after retiring from industry, I feel so fortunate to have been allowed a second career teaching, especially working with the caring CCCC family,” said Beasley.

Beasley received his Associate in Electronics Technology at Fayetteville Technical Community College, his Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering at North Carolina State University and his Master of Science in Industrial Technology from East Carolina University.


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