2013-11-02 / The Bullhorn

Former RCS board member proud of school’s accomplishments, looking to future

By Anderson Clayton
Bullhorn Assignment Editor

Ursula Long Ursula Long After serving three years on the Roxboro Community School (RCS) Board of Directors, Chapel Hill attorney Ursula Long stepped down from her position at the October board meeting.

Long became interested in serving on the board when members Dr. Kimmie Yarborough and Donald Long contacted her during the summer of 2010 to ask if she was interested in applying for a vacant position on the board. Yarborough and Long were looking for someone who resided outside the community who had a legal background and an interest in education.

Long said, “I am deeply interested in all things academic. We seemed like a good match and after several meetings my response to their offer was a resounding yes.”

As a group, the board is actively involved in the hiring and recruitment of teachers and principals at RCS. While on the board, Long and other members created the Managing Executive Director (MED) position for Sam Kennington to infuse new leadership and shared responsibilities among the other two principal positions. Also, they brought on Natalie Brozy, who started as middle school principal and was promoted to MED this year.

“Other accomplishments range from physical improvements such as the renovations of the new classrooms, exercise room, and band room, a paved parking lot, and newly installed field lights,” said Long.

“We have witnessed the continuous growth of our student body. The energy at RCS is palpable and although I cannot take sole credit for any one accomplishment …, I feel honored that I played a small part in many different positive changes at RCS,” continued Long.

As the mother of four, Long said she had volunteered countless hours at the elementary, middle, and high school level, but spent the majority of her time volunteering at the Career Information Center (CIC) at Chapel Hill High School. The CIC assists countless students through the task of finding the right college.

Long said, “My kids spent many hours in the CIC, researching schools, meeting representatives from colleges, and sometimes just hanging out.”

When Long started her tenure on the RCS board, she wanted to share her enthusiasm for the CIC concept. She said RCS Guidance Counselor Justin Bettendorf seemed equally thrilled about the idea. Within a year, RCS opened the College Resource Room.

“In no way, shape or form is it my accomplishment. However, I am very proud of it and fully support all the good, hard working staff, students, and parent volunteers at RCS that support it and I know it will grow to be a very vital part of the college and career search components that all graduating students experience,” said Long.

The RCS Board of Directors directly impact the school.

“If we are doing our job correctly, we are constant advocates for the values, missions, and vision of RCS,” said Long.

Long said she was thrilled to have Kennington, who retired last summer, and replaced Long on the board in October “on board.”

She also looks forward to the future of RCS, and its capital development campaign to complete renovations on the historic Roxboro Cotton Mill facility. The final phase will result in a multi-purpose auditorium and gymnasium, along with added classroom space and a facility that will accommodate community events.

She added, “I can’t wait to see the ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign achieve the ultimate goal of putting those beautiful architectural plans in a capable contractor’s hand. I look forward to standing among the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony someday and applauding the entire RCS community for a job well done. I know that day will come. Fellow board members Dr. Tom Long and Teresa Fox are working tirelessly to see this to fruition with the help of our community.

“The future of RCS is bright and I’m anxious and excited to watch it unfold,” concluded Long.

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