The Columbus County Schools Future Teachers Scholarship, made possible by the partnership between SCC, Columbus County Schools and UNC Pembroke, was awarded to William Chase Council. A signing agreement ceremony was held in the Cartrette building on July 25 to commemorate the occasion.
“I would like to thank the Columbus County Schools Board of Education, Dr. LaMorris from UNCP and also my family,” Council said to the room after signing the agreement. “I couldn’t have done this without you guys, and I love you. You are my biggest supporters. I can’t wait to come back and teach social studies at Columbus County Schools.”
With this fully funded scholarship up to five semesters, Council pledges to earn his bachelors degree in social studies education from UNC Pembroke and return to Columbus County Schools to teach for at least three years. Signing the agreement with him were SCC President Dr. Chris English, CCS Superintendent Dr. Deanne Meadows and CCS Board of Education member Irvin Enzor.
“None of this would be possible without the leadership of our boards, whether the school board or our board of trustees, but really allowing Dr. Meadows, myself and others to clear the way to remove those barriers to student success,” English said. “This is a great way to visualize that and see that, and we’re just so proud of you, Chase, and what you have done.”
Council is a 2023 Columbus Career and College Academy and SCC graduate, earning his high school diploma and associates of science degree in teacher preparation. At CCCA, Council was a member of the National Honors Society and served as president of the CCCA Ambassadors. In addition to his studies, Council held part-time employment and achieved Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts of America.
“Being a teacher is a meaningful and inspiring profession that enables you to devote your entire life to learning,” Council wrote in his scholarship essay according to Dr. Cassandra Cartrette, Human Resources Director for CCS.
Elizabeth High, Dean of Student Learning and Innovation, explained that SCC, CCS and UNCP gathered in spring 2022 to sign an agreement to “create a partnership and pipeline that would help our county address the critical teacher shortage that is being experienced here in North Carolina.”
“Today, I am so gratified to celebrate the success of this partnership,” High said. “The ‘grow your own teachers’ idea works, and Chase is great proof of that fact.”
Meadows said that Council’s commitment to return to CCS to teach is a testament to the quality of teachers within the school system. She explained that signing the agreement is one of the best ways of growing the teacher population in Columbus County.
“We’re very excited for Chase, and we already see glimmers of his hard work here at the college and CCCA,” said Dr. Sylvia Cox, SCC Executive Vice President. “We just know he’s going to be a phenomenal teacher, and we’re very excited to have the partnership with Columbus County Schools and UNCP.”
Representing UNCP was Dr. LaMorris Smith, Director of Teacher Recruitment for the School of Education. He described Council as an “exceptional individual who embodied the spirit of determination and excellence in education.”
“Chase, today, know that you are not just signing a document, but you are also embracing a world of possibilities,” Smith said. “This scholarship will offer many wonderful opportunities with one being a great deal of financial support. We are confident that this scholarship will serve as a catalyst for your academic and personal development.”