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NAACP recognizes school staff

The Cumberland County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) combined King and Queen Valley Pageant and Freedom Fund Banquet recently honored Cumberland County Public School (CUCPS) officials.

The chapter honored more than 30 CUCPS African-American male staff, faculty members and administrators at the Bright Hope Center in the county.

Chapter President Yvonne Earvin said the inspiration to recognize the men within the division came from themes established by the national organization.

Earvin said 32 administrative staff, school resource officers and county employees who support CUCPS, including representatives from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, were among those recognized.

“We were excited about doing it and glad to have the chance,” Earvin said. “We recognized everybody that was connected to the school in that way.”

Dr. Jeffrey Scales, principal of Cumberland County High School and member of the chapter, said those honored ranged from custodians to members of administration.

He said the banquet and its celebration of men of color in the school system was a meaningful experience.

“It was definitely an honor,” Scales said. “All of us were recognized.”

Earvin said not all of the participants were able to attend the event. She said there had been a few men in the division who also coach in the youth league at a game in South Hill during the night of the ceremony.

She said she delivered the certificates to them following the ceremony.

Earvin noted that area churches had supported and gathered resources for the chapter.

The winner of the pageant was Kesha Brown, of Cumberland. Lauraetta Jones-Yates was also honored as a lifetime member of the Cumberland NAACP chapter during the event.

Earvin said she enjoyed that the banquet united people in the county and honored members of the school system who do not look for recognition.

“(It was) many people from across the county coming together with a shared purpose,” Earvin said. “I also enjoyed being able to recognize these men from our school system because they may not have been recognized in any other way. A lot of them don’t look for that level of recognition. They just are doing what they do because it’s part of their responsibilities and to provide safety and protection and educational services for the kids.”

“We wanted to honor them in that way,” Earvin said.