Thirty of Warren County Schools’ new teachers and other school personnel learned more about local history and points of interest during the annual New Teacher and School Staff Tour sponsored by the Warren Education Fund and Heritage Quilters on Friday.
Jereann King Johnson, tour coordinator, said that the local organizations began the tours in 2008 as the result of a conversation series focusing on student success. People involved in the discussion raised concerns that teachers may not be familiar with or understand the local area, its assets and history.
Johnson said that the Heritage Quilters decided to hold the first New Teacher and School Staff Tour in 2008 to introduce educators to the community. She added that the annual tours allow educators to learn about the local community, its history, its changing economy, the long history of education in Warren County beginning with its earliest libraries and academies, and the thirst that local African-Americans have always had for education.
Following a welcome breakfast at Warrenton Rural Volunteer Fire Department, the day began with a tour of Warrenton that featured historical markers, the Warren County Courthouse, the Hendrick House, Warren County Community Center, local churches, Jacob Holt House, John S. Plummer Hook and Ladder Company, Oak Chapel AME Church which housed a freedman’s school, Warrenton Male Academy/John Graham High School, Vance-Granville Community College Warren Campus, Warren County Memorial Library, and John R. Hawkins High School/Warren County Senior Center. Outside Warrenton, the tour focused on Soul City, a small farm operation on the Warren-Vance County line, the Ridgeway Opry House, Northside Elementary School, Hundley’s Greenhouses, Warren County Training School/North Warren High School, Buck Spring at Lake Gaston, Lakeland Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, the Haliwa-Saponi community, Vaughan Elementary School, the PCB landfill, South Warren Elementary School, Coley Spring Baptist Church and surrounding community, Cherry Hill Plantation in Inez, the Warren County Recreation Complex and Kerr Lake.
Johnson said that the annual tours introduce teachers to resources in the local area that can assist them as they begin their Warren County educational careers, and to activities available in the community.
The Heritage Quilters and Warren Education Fund members hope that this year’s tour left educators excited about their tenure in the local area.
“We are letting teachers know that there will be great opportunity for them here,” Johnson said.