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Deltas celebrate and honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

AHOSKIE – The Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted their 40th annual tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 20 at Piney Wood Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. Gregory K. Ellis is pastor.

Shown here is a collage of photos taken during the 40th annual tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. conducted by the Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Contributed Photo

The theme for the tribute and celebration was, “RISE UP! RESTORE THE DREAM!” “Keep the Light of a Godly Man Shining so the Footprints He Made Will Continue to Radiate from Generation to Generation”. This occasion was a tribute to Dr. King, a great man, a servant for the people, and an advocate for equal justice.

The spirit-filled service was led by Bishop Thomas E. Lee, pastor of the Greater Wynns Grove Baptist Church and music for the evening was rendered by the Mass Choir of Greater Wynns Grove Baptist Church.

During the celebration, the Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter recognized Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service recipients. This award is for those helping hands who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. The recipients are active in the community and are diligent in serving and volunteering. The chapter chose to recognize schools in Bertie and Hertford counties that had outstanding school performance during the 2017-2018 school year. These schools are a shining light in the community and are positive examples for others to follow.

Additionally, local entrepreneurs were recognized for their visibility and positive impact in the community. Kervin Spivey was recognized. Spivey has over 38 years of experience in telecommunications, Electronic Security Systems (ESS), Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS). After being abroad for 35 years, Spivey returned home to Bertie County in 2014 with his business, Jenesia 1 and his foundation, Jen-esis Global Foundation for the Survival of Children (JGFSC). Prior to his return, he acquired the school, C.G. White, for the purpose of reestablishing a community center, aiding the children and families in having a social gathering place for activities and special events. Spivey continues to devote his efforts by overseeing the school infrastructure and computer systems.

Marilyn Watford, owner and operator of Reliable Healthcare, LLC, was a recipient of the MLK Drum Major for Service Award. Reliable Healthcare, LLC has been serving the citizens of Hertford and neighboring counties for over 23 years. Reliable Healthcare makes continuous efforts to support local churches, private and civic organizations in the local community as well as provide greatly needed employment in the rural communities of Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties.

David L. Shields was also a recipient of this distinguished honor. Shields moved back to Ahoskie in 1985 to be the part owner of the Golden Skillet. His experience in the food business and his love for providing excellent customer service gave him the opportunity to make a difference in the community. Shields hopes to be able to continue to serve the community for many years to come. It has been an honor for him and he is grateful to be able to work. He loves to work while also giving his time and his talents to the restaurant and to his employees and his faithful customers.

The four schools that were recognized were C.S. Brown High School STEM, Hertford County Early College, Bertie Early College High School of AgriScience & Biotechnology, and Bearfield Primary School. Local superintendents, Dr. Katherine Edmonds (Bertie County) and Dr. William T. Wright (Hertford County) were present and gave words of appreciation for the recognitions of their schools.

C.S. Brown High School STEM earned an “A” School distinction in September 2018. Currently, the school’s School Performance Score is 88. Their ultimate goal is to earn a School Performance Score of 100. Another indicator of their success is that for their first two graduating classes, the graduation rate was 100 percent, with every student being accepted into college. The school is led by Bobbie Jones, Principal.

Hertford County Early College High School is a four or five year program that helps students graduate high school with a High School diploma, Associates Degree, and/or Certificate (which prepares students for work).

Hertford County Early College has historically had high proficiency and growth for students since it was started in 2008. Last year, the school maintained its School Performance Grade of a B and met growth for students. Hertford County Early College has a 100% graduation rate with all of their seniors being accepted to a four-year university. Lyndsay Britt is the principal of Hertford County Early College.

According to the NC School Report Card, Bertie Early College High School of Agriscience and Biotechnology (BECHS) received a letter grade A for the 2017-2018 school year. Also, according to US News, BECHS is ranked among all high schools in the nation and for the third consecutive year and received the Bronze Medal for its outstanding proficiency of transferable college courses. The principal, Wanda Cofield, and staff hold high expectations of all students and work closely with them individually to ensure successful completion of high school.

Bearfield Primary School (BPS) opened its doors in 2000 as a Pre-K-2 school. In 2004-2005, third grade staff and students joined the family. BPS has a staff of 130 and a student population of 650. They are a big family with a big heart. In 2017-2018, Bearfield Primary School became a C school, with a School Performance Score of 63, a School Achievement Score of 58.5 and a School Growth Score of 79.4. Their growth was 15%. This all happened due to hard work, dedication, integrity, and teamwork of the staff, the students, the parents, and the community. Administrators, Julie L. Shields and Cynthia H. Riddick have the honor and the privilege to lead such an awesome staff and to make a difference in the lives of their precious students.

The celebration sermon was delivered by Rev. Taurean Walston, pastor of the Oxley Hill Missionary Baptist Church. His sermon was entitled, “Respond to What You See” with the scriptural reference of Acts 3:4. Rev. Walston urged the congregation to give thanks in everything. He stated, “Your response should be thank you no matter the circumstance. The Savior came down and saw a broken world and He responded to what He saw. He died on the cross for our sins. When you see God working things out for you, making a way for you, respond to what you see!”

Words of Appreciation were extended by the President of the Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter, Linda McNair-Moore. She acknowledged and congratulated the chapter on 40 years of celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. King. McNair-Moore presented words of appreciation to the participants, supporters, honorees, and attendees at the celebration.