2020 PIE Luncheon celebrates educators with a “virtual” lunch in place event

Over 2,000 educators, community members, business leaders, and elected officials watched the Partners In Education Spring Luncheon on the afternoon of Friday, June 5th, when the luncheon was released for viewing on Craven County Partners In Educations’ social media pages and website. The event was recorded and is still available online on the PIE website at https://cravenpartners.com/.

The annual event raises money for PIE grant programs in Craven County Schools.  PIE is the local nonprofit support organization for Craven County Schools.  During the event, PIE president David Baxter announced that PIE awarded more than $270,000 through a variety of grants and programs during the 2019-20 school year.

Dr. Curtis Jones, 2019 National Superintendent of the Year and Superintendent of the Bibb County School District in Georgia was the keynote speaker.

Dr. Jones began his career in education as a JROTC instructor with the Griffin-Spalding County School System in Griffin, Georgia. He became a high school principal and then advanced to assistant superintendent, then superintendent before going to Bibb County. Before his educational career, Dr. Jones served in the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

He spoke about how our school staff, teachers, nutrition departments, custodians, and administration have had to put “mission first, people always” during a pandemic, to shift their way of thinking from just a few months ago.  He asked, “how do we get better?”  He believes that experiences create beliefs, those beliefs enforce our actions, and our actions get results. He said our students will remember their teachers who got them through this difficult time.  He asked that we not let education come out of COVID-19 the same way it went in.  We have an opportunity now to put in remote learning, to flip the classroom, and to be the facilitators of our students’ learning.  This is a time to expand the way we look at education. His message was one of pride for teachers and what they have accomplished in such a short period of time.

The event featured Thomas Green, a rising senior at New Bern High performing the National Anthem with his father, Bill Green.  Josiah Arnold, a rising senior at New Bern High performed an original piece, Simple Joy. West Craven High students Tabatha Wiggins, a rising senior at West Craven High performed Concertino Op. 107-Chaminade and Carson Lackey, a rising junior at West Craven High performed Centaurus by Vander Cook. Keith L. Davis, assistant principal J.T. Barber Elementary School performed a rousing rendition of You Are My Sunshine, dedicated to our teachers and staff.

After Dr. Jones spoke, it was revealed that PIE would offer a one-time grant of $2,000 to Craven County Schools principals for the 2020-21 school year in Dr. Jones’ honor for speaking.  The focus of the grant will be STEM.

Viewers of the event were encouraged to take photos of themselves watching the event with the hashtag #VirtualPIELuncheon on social media to be eligible for door prizes.

Karen Jones won a $100 gift certificate to Morgan’s Tavern & Grill, Blair Dyal won a $100 gift certificate to The Chelsea, Salla Wagner and Laura Wilson each won a $25 gift certificate to Hobby Lobby provided by Charles Benson with Edward Jones, and Katie Bell won a $20 gift card to Target.

Shout out to Morgan’s Tavern & Grill and The Chelsea for providing a very special menu that allowed our attendees to #LunchInPlace!

This was PIE’s first virtual luncheon, and the 8th annual luncheon, raising over $25,000 for PIE’s grant programs.







For more information on PIE programs or how you can get involved, contact us by email at Darlene.Brown@cravenk12.org or call us (252) 514-6321.  Fax number:  (252) 514-6352.