Cumberland County educators establish teaching scholarship at Campbell

Joann and Benny Pearce of Fayetteville, NC, have recently established and endowed a scholarship at Campbell University. The Pearces are career educators who served the Cumberland County School System for over 30 years—Benny as teacher, principal, and Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Joann as a teacher and principal. The scholarship will be awarded to prospective teachers who are enrolled in the School of Education at Campbell with first priority going to students from Robeson County.One of 10 children born to the late Mary and Lonnie Pearce of St. Pauls, N.C., Benny needed financial assistance himself to obtain a college education. His sisters, Doris and Mildred Pearce for whom the scholarship is named, assisted him in his quest to obtain an undergraduate degree from N.C. State University. The Pearces want to provide the same kind of assistance to other students.”Our family was a lot like the Walton’s of television fame,” Pearce said. “My sisters Doris and Mildred have been there to help on numerous occasions when family members needed assistance. Financially, I would have been unable to attend college had it not been for them and other persons from St. Pauls who saw fit to help me.”By establishing this scholarship at Campbell University, Joann and I hope that we can help other young people who aspire to become teachers. The education profession has certainly been good to both of us.”Benny retired as Assistant Superintendent in 1996 and went on to spend six years working at Campbell University as the director of Public Information. He was also employed by Methodist College of Fayetteville. Joann retired from her job as principal of Seventy First Classical School in 2006.Both Doris and Mildred Pearce had very successful professional careers. Mildred, who now lives in St. Pauls, NC, was a former chief operator for Carolina Telephone, a career that endured over 40 years. She is also a former chief operator for Dunn, Whiteville, and Fayetteville. In addition, Mildred served her country during World War II as a civilian employee of the U. S. Navy, working in the office of the Naval Inspector of Ordnance as a navy inspector at Elkton, Md.Doris, who lives in Charleston, SC, is a nurse educated at Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, NC. She retired from the U. S. Navy with the rank of commander. Doris was stationed all over the world and served aboard the hospital ship the USS Sanctuary during the Viet Nam War.Campbell University is proud of its Teacher Education Program, said Dr. Karen Nery, dean of the School of Education. In 2006 the university was selected as one of four new institutions to participate in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. Funded by the General Assembly in 1986, the N.C. Teaching Fellows program is designed to attract high caliber students into the teaching profession by awarding $6,500 per year for four years to students who will major in education and agree to teach at least four years in a North Carolina public school.”Programs such as North Carolina Teaching Fellows provide great opportunities for future teachers and strengthen the already strong education program at Campbell,” said Nery. “Endowed scholarships such as the Doris Pearce and Mildred Pearce Scholarship also enhance the program by allowing individuals or families to support prospective teachers with financial assistance on a more personal level.”

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