North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson explained the importance of the role of education and jobs that serve people Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Campbell's School of Education Convocation. Relating a story about the originality of kindergartners, Atkinson said one child completed an old platitude by saying, "If at first you don't succeed then get new batteries." "That's what you'll be doing," she told the education, psychology, Social Work and Family and Consumer Science majors who will be graduating from Campbell's School of Education this year. "You will be helping people to get new batteries so that they can face a tough new world, a world of competition in a global society." The world is getting smaller and smaller every day, and what happens in one part of the world affects another. "So how will you help the people you serve develop their dreams?" she asked, "by encouraging them, having high expectations and providing the concern and support to meet those expectations." There are over 10,000 homeless students alone in North Carolina public schools today and approximately 30-40 percent of the students who begin the 9th grade do not graduate, Atkinson stated. "They need our help to stay in school. They all need to be served by me and you." Long time educator and Harnett County Commissioner Beatrice Hill was honored as the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award presented by the School of Education. Hill taught social studies and English for over 21 years and worked with the Cook County, Il., Department of Social Services prior to becoming a teacher. She has served as a Harnett County commissioner for 16 years and as vice chair of the board since 1992. "This is a beautiful group," said Hill looking out over the seniors. "I even see some of my former students here. Campbell University has been there for the community and will continue to go forward and we will go forward with it," she said. Cecilia Gregory, a Campbell graduate and director of personnel for the Harnett County Schools said the school system is eager to hire Campbell graduates. "Our Campbell grads are so well prepared, we welcome them into our school systems," she said. "We know what they've been through and we feel fortunate we have a university with a fine School of Education right here in Harnett County."
Photo Copy: Dr. June Atkinson, North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction, speaks to students in Campbell University's School of Education Tuesday, Feb. 14.