CCS Staff In the Know
Congratulations to Our Newest Leaders
On July 16th, the Board of Education approved Mr. Jesse James to serve as a District Beginning Teacher Mentor effective August 5th, 2020.Mr. Jesse James is beginning his 14th year with Craven County Schools. He started his career with Craven County Schools as a tutor at J.T. Barber Elementary School before joining the Warcubs of H.J. MacDonald Middle School where he taught 6th and 8th grade ELA/SS. 

In 2018, Mr. James was named Teacher of the Year for H.J. MacDonald Middle School. Jesse is excited to transition into his role as a District Beginning Teacher Mentor. He is excited to work with the future of the teaching profession and he hopes to make a positive impact on the teachers that he works with.

Mr. James is the proud husband of Jessie James, Clinical Manager at New Bern Family Practice, Urgent Care, and Extended Care, and father of two incredible, energetic little boys. He enjoys time with his family, being outdoors, and playing many different sports.
On August 20th, Mrs. Kelly Williamson was approved by the Board of Education as the new Director of Blended Learning. Mrs.Williamson is a native of Pitt County born to two passionate lifelong educators, her mother Margaret was a high school math teacher and directed the ECU Math/Science Center and her father Jim was an ECU Professor for 43 years. Kelly is beginning her 28th year in education. She earned both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from East Carolina University in Mathematics and is a National Board Certified teacher. She is currently earning her MSA Add On Licensure from UNC-Wilmington.

Mrs. Williamson started her first teaching job at Eppes Middle School in Greenville, NC and went on to teach at both South Central High School and Ayden Grifton High School. In 2012, she came to Craven County to work as a Technology Coach with her most recent position as a Learning Systems Coach. 

Mrs. Williamson looks forward to continuing her work in inspiring and supporting teachers with effective digital and personalized learning cultures that meet the needs of all our students.
The Board of Education approved Ms. Mary Cullen as the new coordinator of ASPIRE effective August 5, 2020. Mary Cullen, from Boone, NC, received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. After completing her degree in Elementary and Special Education, she accepted a position working for New Hanover County schools, where she worked for 6 years in both the middle and high school settings.

A new opportunity presented which allowed her to relocate to Orlando, Florida, where she accepted a position working in an alternative school to further her career and begin her work within administration. While in Orlando, she completed her masters degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Central Florida, and is completing her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from UCF.

She is called and passionate about addressing and removing barriers to student’s learning and believes this mission can be done with a beautiful balance of grace, truth and coffee. She is eager to further her career in Craven County Schools with the Aspire program and continue to make education accessible to all students
At the August 20th, Board of Education Meeting Ms. Ashlee DeCamp was approved as the New Professional Development Coordinator of the District.
Ms. DeCamp is entering into her 12th year as an educator and all of her previous years have been happily spent at New Bern High School teaching Biology.

In addition to serving as a science teacher, she also served as NBHS AVID Coordinator and CCS AVID Co- District Director. These roles have allowed Ms. DeCamp to see the tremendous growth in our district in implementing the AVID instructional system. During her time at NBHS, she served as Teacher Ambassador for 2 non-consecutive years, affording her the opportunity to be a teacher leader on campus.

A long-time professional goal of Ms. DeCamp has been to teach educators and this new role allows her to fulfill this goal. She is very excited and looks forward to working with everyone.
Effective August 13, 2020, Mrs. Caroline Godwin transitioned into the Assistant Principal position at Roger Bell New Tech Academy. Mrs. Godwin has been fortunate to spend 13 years of her 17-year education career in Craven County. After graduating from UNCW in the UNC Teaching Fellows program She taught 5th grade for 4 years in Duplin County. 

During her tenure in Craven County, she has taught 5th grade, AIG, served as a Digital Teaching and Learning Coach, and for the past 2.5 years as an instructional coach at Roger Bell New Tech Academy. Mrs. Godwin had the honor of being Craven County’s Teacher Ambassador in 2010 which afforded her many great learning opportunities. She truly enjoys supporting teachers instructionally and observing the difference they make in their students’ lives every day.

Mrs. Godwin shares, "I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with the amazing teachers and staff in my new role at Roger Bell New Tech Academy. Our school aspires to building a strong community with our Roger Bell families. As 2020 presents unprecedented challenges to education, I am certain we will meet that challenge."
Mrs. Christy Hazlett will continue her journey as an assistant principal at HJ MacDonald School effective August 31st, 2020. Mrs. Hazlett is a New Bern native and graduated from West Craven High School in 1995.  This is her ninth year in education and all of her time has been spent with Craven County Schools.  She has taught kindergarten, fifth, sixth and seventh grade.  During her career in education she has served as a Kenan Fellows Master Teacher, a member of the Governor’s Teacher Network, an advocate for public education with the Hope Street Group Fellows, and was Craven County Schools Teacher of the Year during the 2016-17 school year.

When asked to share about her educational background and experiences, Mrs. Hazlett states,“my heart is in this for the kids!" She continues," I was once asked to define my job in education with three words.  My response, 'Best. Job. Ever.'  This is such a beautiful career to have because we educate students in academics and character.  We are shaping young minds to be future leaders.  I cannot think of a greater opportunity or more rewarding gift than being an educator.  As I transition into my new role as Assistant Principal at 'THE HJ', I hope to work alongside our amazing staff to create the most magical and meaningful experiences for our students while allowing our community and beyond to see the greatness that exists in public education."

She recently received her Master’s in School Administration from East Carolina University and is in the process of applying for a PhD in Education program with an emphasis in Learning, Instruction, and Innovation.  Mrs. Hazlett and her husband, Daniel, have four children between them and share that their happiest moments are when they are all together as a family.
Craven County Schools welcomes Ms. Tyshaun Bryant as the new assistant principal at Trent Park Elementary School effective September 1, 2020. Ms. Bryant earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in December of 1999 and Teacher Certification in December of 2001 at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. May of 2015, she earned a Masters of School Administration Degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

Ms. Bryant has taught Kindergarten and First Grade for 11.5 years in the Wayne County Public School System. Her remaining 8 years in education have been spent coaching teachers at the school and district level. She loved and enjoyed teaching students as well as coaching teachers to provide students high quality instruction.

She has been honored as her school’s Teacher of the year, Omega Psi Phi teacher of the Year, and Who’s Who Among Teachers Award. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She is an auntie of two wonderful boys, Juan and Caleb Bryant with whom I enjoy spending my extra time with.

Ms. Bryant shares, "I am looking forward to working with my principal, Mrs. Ashley Faulkenberry, serving students, staff, and families of Trent Park Elementary School. It is my hope and goal to mirror and uphold staff and students to the Tiger Pride way. We are Persevering Responsible Individuals Driven to Excellence."
Starting on October 1, 2020, Mrs. Courtney Merkel will transition to the Assistant Principal position at Graham A. Barden Elementary. Courtney Merkel began her career in education 13 years ago. She has taught in Joshua Tree, California and in Craven County. She has had the experience of being a media coordinator and being in the classroom in grades Kindergarten, First, Second, and Fifth grades. 

Mrs. Merkel’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Masters in School Administration with a Curriculum and Instruction endorsement from East Carolina University. She was also recognized in 2017 as Craven County’s elementary math teacher of the year. 

She is happily married to Edward Merkel and has two children. Her son Ryan is a specialist in the United States Army and her daughter Sarah is a freshman at NC State. 

Mrs. Merkel is looking forward to joining the Graham Barden family and continuing to serve her Havelock community that she calls home.
Join the UNC School of Education for an upcoming virtual info session

The UNC School of Education has a long track record of preparing leaders to transform schools and districts. Our graduates acquire the education and licensure to take on prominent leadership roles, and we are excited to continue this tradition through our Master of School Administration and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership programs, which have new flexible options. At the UNC School of Education, our goal is to help prepare a new generation of educational leaders by cultivating their potential and supporting and promoting the development, teaching, and learning of all students in multiple contexts. We invite all aspiring school and district leaders to join us for an upcoming information session. Please find the dates and registration links below. 


Ed.D in Educational Leadership Virtual Info Session
Master of School Administration (MSA) Virtual Info Sessions
Craven LIVE

Enrollment in and withdrawal from Craven LIVE is closed at this time for currently enrolled students. If a student is new to Craven County Schools, the parents should be informed of the educational options of Plan C and Craven LIVE. Currently enrolled students will have another opportunity to enroll in or withdraw from Craven LIVE for second semester, which starts in January. The details and process will be shared in November.
Learning Management System Information & Training

Please use the following Checklists to assist you in making sure you have made the most of your LMS features:

Teachers can register for additional training and support using this form for the week of August 31 - September 4.
Craven County Schools CTE Department was featured as the TOP Story in ACTE's latest e-newsletter. We are so proud of our CTE Department and CTE Educators for this recognition.

Career and technical education teachers in a North Carolina district are using varied approaches to teaching hands-on courses in a remote environment. In some cases, teachers are preparing video lessons or providing supplies so students can learn at home, including Kevin Reese, a culinary arts teacher, who will create meal kits for students so they can complete recipes, like potato soup, at home. Full Story: WITN-TV (Washington, N.C.) (8/27) 
NCDHHS Resources: Helping Families Find School-Aged Child Care
With school now underway, many working parents are facing the added stress of finding a safe place for their children during the day that can also support their remote learning. The good news is that there is ample licensed child care available across the state, and DPI is making it as easy as possible for families to find it. In partnership with Child Care Resources and Referral, the NC Department of Health and Human Services created a free hotline to connect families to licensed care for their school-age children. Families can call the hotline at 1-888-600-1685.
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