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November 14, 2014 E-News


PENC President, Tim Barnsback, was in the news recently! Read the article here.

In This Issue...

  1. Legislative News
  2. November Member Challenge
  3. Academic Standards Review
  4. Retirement Information
  5. PENC Scholarships and Grants - Accepting Applications!
  6. Events and Workshops
  7. Exciting Opportunities

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues! 

Legislative News 

You all know by now that current State House Speaker Thom Tillis won election to the United States Senate. You also know by now that North Carolina will have three new Members of Congress – Mark Walker in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District; Alma Adams in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District and David Rouzer in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.

What you may not know is how the General Assembly changed; whether and how such changes will affect education policy, which was the topic of so much attention during the past two biennia and the millions of dollars spent on political ads. We’ve summarized those changes below. As you go about life in your community, please take the time to reach out to your State Senator and State Representative.  Get acquainted with them. Share with them your interest in their actions and how they affect your community. Offer to be a resource to them, especially on matters that affect your classroom.

Read the full article here.

November Member Challenge!

Didn't get a chance to participate in October? We have a new opportunity for the month of November! Refer a NEW member to PENC this month and you will be entered into a drawing for a $150 Visa gift card. The more new members you refer, the more chances to win! Remember, you can become a Partner member and earn your membership FREE by referring 3 new members!

Please keep track of who you have referred and send a list to Alex Knepp at [email protected] at the end of the month to ensure all referrals have been counted. 

Academic Standards Review

The Academic Standards Review Commission website is now up and running. It provides an array of valuable information including meeting calendars and minutes and other helpful resources. Click here to visit the website.

In addition, this fall the NC Department of Public Instruction begins the standards review process for the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards.  To gather input, NCDPI is administering two surveys this fall—one in October for educators and one in November for the broader community. The educators’ survey is now live for teachers and other educators to complete: The survey will be available until Friday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m.

Retirement Information

Keep Your Retirement Dollars Where They Are: The NC Total Retirement Plans

Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you have to “retire” your money from the NC Total Retirement Plans. In fact, leaving it right where it is may be your best decision. Click here to read more.

Receive Income for Life through the Transfer Benefit 

When you retire from the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) or the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS), you may elect to transfer pre-tax assets from your NC 401(k), NC 457, or NC 403(b) Plan accounts to the Retirement System in exchange for a stream of monthly payments, guaranteed to last your lifetime. Learn more here.

PENC Scholarships and Grants - Accepting Applications!

We are now accepting applications for scholarships and grants. Please see below for available opportunities and deadlines:

  • Professional Development Scholarships - CLOSED
  • New Teacher Grants - December 13, 2014 deadline
  • Continuing Education Scholarships - January 9, 2015 deadline
  • Children of PENC Members Scholarships - January 30, 2015 deadline
  • National Board Scholarships - January 30, 2015 deadline

Please visit our website at for more information and to apply.

Events and Workshops

PENC National Board Certification Workshops

PENC will be offering 4 National Board Workshops throughout this membership year. The next workshop is scheduled for December 13 at Union Pines High School (Moore County). There will be 2 workshops to follow in the Spring. Please continue to check back at for more details and to register.

HELPS Program Literacy Workshops

The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Program is an easy-to-use reading program that has been demonstrated in numerous, published research studies to improve students’ fluency and comprehension. HELPS can be implemented one-on-one or in small groups, and is shown to be effective when used for only 10 minutes per day, three times per week.  

PENC has partnered with Helps Education Fund and will be offering several HELPS Program Literacy Workshops in the winter and spring. For more information please visit

Exctiting Opportunities

Make History With an Hour of Code.

Please join this effort and/or pass along to others who may have interest…

Last year we made history with Hour of Code with an hour of code. In one week, 15 million students tried computer science! This year, we can make history again.  The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

How Can You Get Involved? 

Sign up to host an Hour of Code this December 8-14 during Computer Science Education Week and help us reach 100 million students by the end of the year. There are new tutorials for all ages and ones that require no computer at all. Watch the video, and ask all educators to give it a shot.

Win Prizes!

Every participating educator will receive thank you gifts, but this is the LAST WEEK TO SIGN UP! 100 classrooms will win tech chats with special guest speakers like tech titans Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates and Tumblr founder David Karp and tech-loving celebrities Usher, Karlie Kloss and Ashton Kutcher.

And in each state, one participating school will win $10,000 in technology for their school! Add your school to the map, go to

2015 Envirothon

The North Carolina Envirothon takes place April 24-25, 2015. The Envirothon is an annual competition in which middle school and high school teams compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. The teams, each consisting of five students from participating schools, home study groups and environmental clubs, exercise their training and problem-solving skills in a competition centered on five testing categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues.

For more information visit

Connect with us on:
Professional Educators of North Carolina (PENC)
P.O. Box 17129 Raleigh, NC 27619