Fueled by the great food provided by Lummie Jane Locklear’s advanced food prep class and the warm hospitality, the relationship did indeed grow stronger. At the invitation of SPHS Principal Hoyt McCormick, the Chamber will meet every other month at the high school, beginning in January.
At the meeting last week, the Chamber, led by Vice-President Doris McLean, took care of some business, but mostly heard from representatives from the school, including Mr. McCormick.
“Being involved in the community is a good thing for the school, for the students, those here now and in future, and for the community itself,” Mr. McCormick said, “and that is why we are here today. SPHS is actively looking to become more involved, and in the case of business, it might help get more of our students into more of your businesses as interns and employees. If you would like to partner with the school, then let’s do it. My door is always open and I will try to be available as often as possible to anyone who would like to help strengthen the relationship between St. Pauls High and St. Pauls. It is a win-win situation.”
Also on the Chamber’s agenda were Lugenia Hunt, the school’s High Schools That Work program coordinator, and Jansen King, the school’s year-round Chamber of Commerce board member, and the school’s CareerReady program coordinator.
“The High Schools That Work program is all about student success, improving graduation rates, and job placement,” Mrs. Hunt said. “There will be a team coming in March to evaluate High Schools That Work, and assessing 60 students in February, and we ask the community’s support.”
Mrs. King said that the CareerReady program is seeking representatives from area businesses to visit the school on Fridays to talk about their professions and to share insights with students who may be interested in learning more about those professions. If you are interested in becoming a job-related speaker, please call Mrs. King at 865-2165.
“St. Pauls does, by far, more to work with the students and the school than just about any other community,” she said. “I thank you and I commend you for doing a wonderful job doing that. Mrs. Hunt, Mr. McCormick and I and others are all very eager to see how we can bond even more with our community.”
The Chamber also heard a report from the school’s very active FFA Chapter, led by President Andrew Johnston, Junior Advisor Dillon Matthews and Advisor Jason Bullock.
The FFA trio invited all members of the community to support FFA by becoming a member of its Alumni Association. If you are interested in becoming a member of the FFA Alumni Association, please call Mr. Bullock at 865-2978. Mr. Johnston and Mr. Matthews also informed the Chamber that the FFA Chapter is busy tutoring 96 third graders at SPES, as part of the PALS program. As part of that program, the FFA needs financial assistance with purchasing 100 small pumpkins for the grade school students to decorate for Halloween and 100 large pinecones for them to decorate for Thanksgiving. Call Mr. Bullock if you are interested in supplying either.
The Chamber, after hearing these school-related reports, learned that the marketing magazine is finished and between 2,000 and 3,000 copies are being printed and will be available for distribution soon.
The Chamber’s board of directors also learned that the next Downtown Night Out will take place on Halloween night, from 5 until 8 pm along Broad Street,
The group approved the purchase of a quarter page ad for the high school yearbook at a cost of $201.
In a final matter, the Chamber and the school will again work together to build floats to be purchased by area businesses, churches, and groups for the Christmas Parade, which will be held on Saturday, December 5 at 3 pm. The theme is “A Christmas Carol.”
Chamber members present for the October meeting were: Libby Ferguson (Foxridge Apartments), Sonya Johnson (Town of St. Pauls), Grady Pardue (Mueller Steam), Andy Canady (Lumbee Guaranty Bank), Betty Biggs and Beverly Weeks (Betty Biggs Salon), Jimmy Taylor (First Bank), German Carmona (Prestage Foods), Dickie Burchette (WOW), Rebekah Allen (MSA/Paraclete), Bill Millar (DD McColl’s), Paul Terry (SP Review) and Doris McLean (SP Drugs).