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2020 Speakers

Dr. Angela P. Hairston

WS/FCS Superintendent


Dr. Angela P. Hairston was hired in August 2019 to be the seventh superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Hairston was officially sworn in on September 3, 2019.  She is the first African American and second female to serve as WS/FCS Superintendent.


Dr. Hairston has enjoyed a long and successful career in public education spanning more than thirty years in Virginia and Georgia.  Since 2014, she has served 31,000 students as superintendent for the Richmond County Schools in Augusta, Georgia.  Prior to assuming her current position, Dr. Hairston served as a region superintendent and principal for the DeKalb County School District (Georgia’s third largest school district).  She also previously served as director of human resources, a principal, and an assistant principal for the Gwinnett County Public Schools (Georgia’s largest school district), and as a principal and assistant principal for the Danville Public Schools in Virginia.  Dr. Hairston began her career in public education as a math teacher in Virginia Beach and Danville, Virginia.


Dr. Hairston has an impressive academic background as well.  She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and business management from Averett University in Danville, Virginia.  She went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary school administration from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Dr. Hairston also was selected to participate in the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy in 2018.


Dr. Hairston is married to Lieutenant Colonel Ronald D. Hairston, Deputy Chief of the Danville Police Department. The Hairstons and their adult children are quickly becoming active members of the community.


In talking about her role in Winston-Salem, Hairston said: "I want to focus our energy on creating classrooms that are engaging centers of learning for ALL children, where highly effective and caring teachers hold high expectations based on understanding each student’s strengths.  As we strive for academic excellence, I want to ensure that we support our students’ social, emotional, and mental growth in order to facilitate the development of those skills and abilities necessary to navigate school and life.  Student success in every classroom requires a student-centered approach to leadership in an inclusive school and classroom environment that inspires student learning and celebrates students’ accomplishments."


Dr. Pam Oliver

Vice President of Novant Health

President of Novant Health Physician Network


Pam Oliver is executive vice president of Novant Health and president of Novant Health Physician Network. She has served in various leadership roles with Novant Health, including as submarket leader for specialty practices in the greater Winston-Salem market, physician service line leader of women’s services for the greater Winston-Salem market and senior physician executive for Novant Health Physician Network, supporting clinical and business strategy across the system. She is a board-certified ob-gyn and has been practicing at Novant Health WomanCare since 2005.


Dr. Oliver oversees Novant Health Medical Group operations, Care Connections, clinic quality and safety initiatives, as well as provider education, enrollment, and engagement efforts. She strengthens existing partnerships and develop collaborations with independent providers to deliver high-quality patient outcomes and improved access across Novant Health’s communities.




Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.
Cumberland County Schools

Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. is the superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools (CCS).


Dr. Connelly has enjoyed a successful career in public education spanning over 25 years in North Carolina. From 2013 until 2018, he served as the chief of staff for the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), where he was responsible for the daily operations of the superintendent’s office and for coordinating the functions of the school system across all departments.


Additionally, he served the WCPSS for seven years as the assistant superintendent for student services, where he oversaw the school system’s alternative schools and led the development, implementation, and evaluation of special education, counseling, student, and intervention services. Dr. Connelly also has experience as a middle school and high school principal and as a high school assistant principal.


Dr. Connelly began his career in public education as a special education teacher assistant and teacher, after proudly serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, including time in the 82nd Airborne Division.Throughout his career, Dr. Connelly has received numerous awards, including the NAACP Educator of the Year award, the Administrator of the Year award from the Harriett B. Webster Task Force for Student Success and the Raleigh/Wake Citizens Association Educator of the Year award.


Dr. Connelly has given back by serving on various boards in the educational community, including the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the School Superintendents Association (AASA), NC School Superintendents Association (NCSSA), Habitat for Humanity (Wake) Board of Directors and the Wake County Board of Commissioners – Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Dr. Connelly has a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University. After earning master’s degrees in special education and school administration from North Carolina State University, he went on to obtain a doctorate in educational leadership from East Carolina University. He and his wife, Joyce, have four grown children and nine grandchildren.


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Dr. Randy Bridges, Ed.D.


Creative Education Solutions, INC.


Dr. Randy Bridges has served as superintendent of school districts ranging in size from 5000 to 30,000 students in North and South Carolina and Virginia. He has been a public school educator for over 35 years; holding positions as a classroom teacher/coach, middle and high school principal, associate superintendent of human recourses and public relations.


Dr. Bridges received his associate in arts degree from Louisburg Junior College, undergraduate and masters’ degrees from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a doctorate of education from Fayetteville State University.  During his career he has served on several state and national committees and boards. Dr. Bridges is a former member of the prestigious Schlechty Center Superintendents’ Leadership Network and the Education, Research, and Development Institute.


Among many awards and achievements, Dr. Bridges is a recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and was named North Carolina Superintendent of the Year by the North Carolina Association of School Boards and the North Carolina Association of Educators during his ten years as a superintendent in North Carolina. In 2015, he received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, which is the highest civilian recognition presented by the Governor of North Carolina.

Bio continued for Dr Randy Bridgers....

In 2013 Dr. Bridges started his consulting company, Creative Education Solutions, Inc.  He has worked with school systems in North and South Carolina in the areas of strategic planning, superintendent-board relations, superintendent evaluations, reorganizing and evaluating central offices staff, and currently serves as a mentor to several superintendents and principals in North and South Carolina.


Dr. Bridges and his wife Vernetta, the former Director of Student Support Services of the Alamance-Burlington School System, are the parents of two children:  a daughter, Dr. Randi Bridges-Raynor, who is the Director of Pharmacy Services for Iredell Health System in Statesville, North Carolina, and a son, Garrett Bridges, who is the Director of Basketball Operations for North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Bridges and his wife have two grandchildren, Grey Lynnette Bridges and Bryce Thomas Raynor.



Dr. Kenston J. Griffin


Dream Builders Communication, INC


Dr. Kingston J Griffin is one of the nation’s most sought after keynote speakers, a best-selling author, and a top performing trainer and coach. Dr. Griffin is internationally known throughout corporate, educational, federal/judicial, and nonprofit organizations for his award- winning addresses that are not only inspiring but transforming.

Doctor Griffin acknowledges and stands firmly behind the belief that “If better is possible ...Good is no longer an option“ for you, your corporation, educational system, or faith-based organization. He aims to educate, inspire, and help others reach and operate at their highest possible potential. Dr. Griffin realizes and knows that for you, “Your Turning Point Starts Now.”




Anthony D. Jackson, Ed. D


Vance County School System


Anthony D. Jackson, Ed.D, Superintendent of the Vance County School System in Henderson, NC, serves at the helm of 17 schools educating 6,229 students, with 1,000 employees. Prior to coming to Vance County Schools, Anthony served for 4 years as the Superintendent for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and 3 years as division Superintendent of the Henry County Public School System located in Collinsville, Virginia.

Dr. Jackson’s career in public education spans 28-years and began as a teacher’s assistant, and has matriculated through the public school ranks as a music teacher, assistant principal, principal, and various central office administrative posts in several Virginia and North Carolina districts. Prior to returning to North Carolina, Dr. Jackson worked as the principal and Chief Administrative Officer of the Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School (ATA), a highly successful public charter school in Washington, DC. He also served as a Regional Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction with a charter school management company.

Since his arrival in Vance County, student achievement has improved positively. The district once designated a low-performing district has now improved performance enough that the designation was removed. The district currently boasts its first A+ School and several schools have improved their performance as defined by the state accountability system. The graduation rate increased from 77.6% to 81.9% and the dropout rate fell to 2.02% from a five year high of 5.25%. The district is currently implementing a full scale digital transformation – training all staff to implement blended learning strategies in classrooms. The WeInspire initiative is being funded by a $200,000 Golden Leaf grant
and a special appropriation of $400,000, from the Vance County Board of Commissioners.


Under Jackson’s leadership, the district has implemented several innovative instructional programs including the Youth Empowerment Academy for at-risk middle school students, the AdVance Academy, a program that provides both credit recovery and credit acceleration opportunities for high school students, and the Vance Evening Academy, a program for at-risk high school students that serves as an alternative to long-term suspension.


The district opened its first Restart school in July 2017. E. M. Rollins STEAM Academy is Vance County’s first themed schools and its only year-round school. Additionally, Jackson, and his team, has led the districts implementation of Opportunity Culture strategies in six elementary schools, the AVID program at the middle school level, World Languages for elementary students, restored music and fine arts programs at the elementary and middle school levels and developed a partnership the Wake Forest Orchestra Foundation that led to the start of the Vance County String Orchestra program at four of the elementary schools.


In 2013-2014, Dr. Jackson was named the N. C. Central Region’s Superintendent of the Year. Jackson is 2017 recipient of the prestigious Friday Medal for his leadership with implementing technological innovation in school systems in North Carolina given annually by the Friday Institute for Innovation at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Jackson has a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from East Carolina University, a master’s degree ineducational leadership from N. C. Central University and a doctorate degree in education from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He serves on the boards of the local Economic Development Commission and the Vance County Public Schools Foundation. Jackson holds membership in many professional and civic organizations including Rotary International and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.


Dr. Jackson is married to Dr. Tawannah Allen-Jackson, a professor of educational leadership at High Point University. He has two adult children and one grandchild. He enjoys singing, playing the piano, listening to jazz, fitness, traveling and spending time with his family.

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