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Board of Trustees Has Three New Members

The start of a new academic year in July has brought Shirley Carraway, Charles Ellis and Gary Evans, left to right, to the PCC Board of Trustees. The 13-member governing board will meet next on Oct. 24.

WINTERVILLE—When Pitt Community College Trustees get together for their regularly-scheduled meeting in October, the board will have three new members, including one familiar face.

With the start of a new academic year in July, Gary Evans returned to PCC’s governing board after a seven-year hiatus. Joining him are newcomers Shirley Carraway and Charles Ellis, who were appointed to the board by Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office last month.

Evans, a former trustees chairman, was appointed by Pitt County Commissioners for a four year-term to replace longtime trustee Walter Williams. Carraway, a retired educator, and Ellis, an attorney, now fill the spots once held by Amanda Tilley and Michael Overton.

“We are fortunate that these outstanding individuals dedicated to public service will be guiding Pitt Community College in the years ahead,” said PCC President G. Dennis Massey.

A 1984 PCC graduate, Evans earned associate degrees from the college in Agriculture Business and Agriculture Chemicals. He later completed a Bachelor of Science at Mount Olive College, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1998 from its Management and Organization Development program.

For the past 14 years, Evans has served as vice president of Alliance One International’s Green Market Operation. He has worked with the Farmville agricultural company since 1982, when it was known as A.C. Monk and Company.

Evans, an Ayden resident, first served as a PCC trustee from 2003 to 2010. He was the board’s chairman from 2007 to 2009.

“As a PCC alumnus and former board of trustees member, Mr. Evans is experienced and ready to deal with a variety of topics, from programs to facilities expansion,” Massey said. “He is a county commissioner appointee and dedicated to serving all parts of Pitt County.”

A Winterville resident, Carraway is a three-time graduate of East Carolina University, having received a bachelor’s in speech therapy in 1975, a master’s in educational administration in 1985 and a doctorate in educational leadership in 2000. One of seven children, she was the first member of her family to graduate from college.

Professionally, Carraway has worked as a speech therapist and in a number of positions in the educational field, including assistant principal, principal and superintendent. In 1992, she became the first minority and first woman to lead a Pitt County high school when she took over as principal of J.H. Rose.

“Dr. Shirley Carraway has been a supporter of PCC for many years, first as a senior administrator with Pitt County Schools and later as a consultant with East Carolina University and their Second Life program,” Massey said. “Her professional experience in education and on local boards will connect PCC trustees with programs and services that benefit our students.”

Carraway, a board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, says years of living and working in the area have given her a chance to “see the significant impact” PCC has on educating the people of Pitt County and eastern North Carolina.

“I am so excited to be a part of the trustee board as it works with leadership to maximize student success and positively influence their lives,” she said.

Ellis, who lives in Greenville, is a lawyer with Ward and Smith, P.A., and has been rated by his peers as being "preeminent" in his fields of law. His practice experience encompasses federal and state court litigation in various areas, including claims for wrongful death and serious personal injury.

“Mr. Charles Ellis brings to the board two important qualifications: a distinguished legal background and an eagerness to promote how PCC’s training can lead to the economic development of Pitt County and eastern North Carolina,” Massey said.

A frequent lecturer who has written about a wide range of litigation topics, Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 before graduating cum laude from Campbell Law School three years later. He has received numerous honors and distinctions as an attorney and has served on a variety of boards in the community, including Literacy Volunteers of America, the Pitt County Health Education Foundation and United Way.

Ellis says his personal motto is, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”

Collectively, the PCC Board of Trustees returns nine voting members with a combined 58 years of experience on the board. Also returning is ex-officio member Maurice Northern, an Associate in Fine Arts student who is in his second term as president of the PCC Student Government Association.

Dr. Peter Kragel, a trustee since 2004, now serves as the board’s chairman. Patti Sanders-Smith, a board member since 2013, is vice chair, and Don Mills, who is now in his ninth years as a trustee, is the board’s secretary.