Up & Coming Weekly

November 28, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 24

8 UCW November 29 - December 5, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM "Education, in every sense, is one of the factors of economic development of all municipalities. No municipality can achieve sus- tainable growth without substan- tial investment in public schools," said Ozturk Ilhan. Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr. of Cumberland County was hon- ored as the 2024 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year. e reward was pre- sented in a collaborative venture of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, North Carolina Superintendents Associa- tion, and National School Board Association and sponsored by Scholastic Education. "I am deeply honored and hum- bled by this recognition, which is a testament to the unwavering dedi- cation of the entire Cumberland County Schools family," he said. "is award reflects our collec- tive commitment to the success of every student. I am immensely proud of our achievements and look forward to continuing our journey toward educational excel- lence for all." Connelly's public education ca- reer includes experience as a spe- cial education teacher assistant, teacher, principal, chief of staff and Assistant Superintendent. He began his tenure at Cumberland County Schools in 2018. ere are thirty-four preschools, fifty-four elementary schools, nineteen middle schools and eighteen high schools totaling in 48,860 students in Cumberland County. e high school gradua- tion rate is 86.9, according to U.S. News and World Report. One of the factors for the award was the Cumberland Commitment Strategic Plan 2026. e strategic plan states that "every student will have equitable access to engaging learning that prepares them to be competitive, collaborative, and successful in our global world." e mission statement reads, "Cumberland County Schools will provide a safe, positive, and rigorous learning environment to prepare lifelong learners to reach their full potential." e Core Values of the Cumberland County Schools Strategic Plan 2026 are excellence, equity, innovation, integrity, col- laboration, and compassion. e concise priorities and action list are implementing a robust learning environment, recruiting and retaining premier profession- als, developing equitable access to human capital, maintaining safe and secure schools, develop- ing behavioral and mental health models, maximizing student graduation rates and building the capacity of schools to serve all students. e Committed Community ac- tion items are developing district- wide family engagement and out- reach programs and strengthening community, business, municipal, university and military partner- ships. Public school funding is based on local, state, and federal dollars. ese dollars will address students in public schools for sustainable economic growth in Cumberland County. NEWS Cumberland County educator named Superintendent of the Year by LENA SIMMONS LENA SIMMONS, Staff Writer. COM- MENTS? editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr., superintendent of Cumberland County Schools, speaks after receiving the Superintendent of the Year award in Greensboro, N.C., Nov. 14. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Whitley)

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