FYI @ DPI FEBRUARY 10, 2014 NEXT ISSUE: March 10, 2014 |




FEBRUARY 10, 2014

NEXT ISSUE: March 10, 2014 | Submit your questions or concerns (and ideas for articles you would like to see – or an actual article) to

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FYI@DPI is published monthly by NCDPI’s Communication and Information Services.

Do You Feel Safe At Work?

Home and the work place are two places where everyone expects to be safe. At home, we know everything about our surroundings. We know where every door, window and nook and cranny is located. For the most part, we know who lives next door, the type of neighborhood or community we live in, and when something does not look or feel “right.”

We also expect to be safe at work. But are we? Do you know your work area as well as you do your home?

Do you know where all of the exits are from your workstation, or just the one you take all the time? Do you know everyone in the building? Or do you know just those you work with, a few friends you have made along the way and those people you don’t know but smile at and say hello to all the time?


And what about all the things you see every day as you move about the building? What about the boxes just sitting in the corridor or the elevator lobby, or the abandoned chairs, tables and other furniture? In an emergency, do you have an unobstructed way out?

Johnny N. Smith

Communication &


By law, our workplace should be safe. You can help ensure your safety by being aware of your surroundings, making sure you are not blocking accesses, knowing the evacuation procedures and acting when you see a potential issue. There also are some simple things you can do to help keep you and your fellow employees safe such as:

- wearing your state issued photo identification in and around the building as state policy requires;

- asking those without a state badge or “Visitors Tag” if they could return to the lobby and sign in;

- asking individuals who look “lost” if they need directions or help in finding someone;

- properly disposing empty boxes and surplus furniture instead of leaving it in corridors;

- knowing a second or even a third way out of the building from where your workspace is located; and

- periodically reviewing the evacuation procedures for the building.

By taking some personal responsibility for your safety, you also are helping ensure the safety of other employees. The more you are aware of your surroundings and those around you, the safer you will be at work.

Brian Conyers with Human

Resources displays some of the new service awards.

State Employees’ Service Awards’ Program Redesigned

Excellence in Service is the redesigned NC State Employees’ Service Awards program. Excellence in Service recognizes employees at two years, five years, ten years, and thereafter, in five-year increments.

Excellence in Service celebrates North Carolina’s public employees by providing service awards that connect them with the heritage, symbols and traditions of our great state. New service award items have been selected, some of which have been crafted especially for state employees. Items may have been made by inmates through

Correction Enterprises (Dept. of Public Safety). Others are handmade by North Carolina artisans only for this program. You also will find items from the Museum of History, Tryon Palace, the North Carolina Zoo, North

Carolina Aquariums, and even Biltmore Estate. You may preview the items online at

When you reach a service milestone, you will be contacted by Human Resources staff and given specific instructions on selecting a gift. Until then, know that your service to the citizens of North Carolina is valued every day!

When you get a moment, please welcome the following new employees who joined the DPI team in January:

• William Hatch: Accountability Services, Testing Policy and Operations

• Charles Hensey: Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Learning Systems

• Shannon Hickman: Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Learning Systems

• Nicholas Winstead: Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Learning Systems

• Michele Leykum: Exceptional Children, Supporting Teaching and Related Services

• Jennifer Eigenrauch: Exceptional Children, Supporting Teaching and Related Services

• Chanin Davenport: Financial, Business and Technology Services, Licensure

• Joseph Briggs: IT Department Coordination & Data Management, Project Management & PMC/BTM

• Jason Spiess: North Carolina School for the Deaf, Occupational Therapy Assistant

We also hoped you had the opportunity to wish the following employees much happiness and success in their new ventures as they retired in January:

• Janice Ezzell: Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division, Child Nutrition Services

• Rose Harris: Governor Morehead School for the Blind

Celebrating Our Nation’s Diversity

February is celebrated as Black History Month. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), a noted scholar and historian, initiated “Negro History Week,” in 1926, as a way to remember important people and events in the history of African Americans as well as African American contributions to society. For many years, African Americans celebrated the second week of February as Black History Week because it marked the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial, Black History Week was expanded and established as Black History Month. Then President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964.

Want to Get Your Floors/Carpet Cleaned?

Are your division’s floors looking a little grungy? Do you have carpet areas that could use a good steam cleaning? Then you may want to contact the Department of Administration’s (DOA) Facility Services and submit a work order request.

The DOA is now in charge of the Education Building’s floor (clean/polish) and carpet cleaning (steam cleaning, not vacuuming). They will clean your area’s floors and carpets once a year at no cost. To submit a work order request, please call 919.733.2967.

Defunct and Outdated Web Content

Have you ever worked on programs or projects that once were critical to communicate but now are no longer viable, in law or policy, or are now defunct? Recently, for example, we noticed that there is still a Student Accountability Standards website, but those standards are no longer used! The web team is currently working on pulling down this site and tracking down other pages that may have linked to this information.

With thousands of pages of content at, it can be challenging for our limited web team to know of all the content changes that need to be made when programs, personnel, laws and policies change. Please make regular reviews of your area’s web content a part of your work plans and schedules to ensure the information is accurate and relevant. If changes need to be made, please fill out a Web Services Request Form available on the Intranet at so that staff can schedule time to make your changes.

NCDPI Has National Leaders in Career and Technical Education

Currently, three of the Department’s Career and Technical Education staff are serving in leadership roles for national organizations.

Congratulations to the following employees for their well-deserved recognition, and a big thank you to these individuals for representing North Carolina at the national level.

Business, Finance, and IT Education Consultant

Deborah Seehorn is chair of the Board of Directors for the Computer

Science Teachers Association.

Special Assistant for Curriculum Development

Atkins “Trey” Michael is chair of the Board of Trustees for the MBA Research and Curriculum Center.

Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education

Consultant Delores Ali is president of the Executive Committee for the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.

SECU Helps Members Save with Tax Prep Services

Although the dreaded tax season is upon us, the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is ready to help make it a little more tolerable by assisting members with filing their 2013 tax returns.

The SECU is offering the no-cost Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in addition to its own Low Cost Tax Preparation service. “By providing free Volunteer

Income Tax Assistance, while offering a low cost service for those above the $52,000 VITA household income threshold, we are helping thousands of members keep more of their hard earned money,” said Tenesha Carter, senior vice president of SECU Tax Preparation Services.

Jan. 27 marked the start of SECU’s season of preparing federal and state tax returns in all

253 branches statewide.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF NORTH CAROLINA State Board of Education | Department of Public Instruction