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The second of a threepart guide to the lives and people of Wilson and surrounding areas for 2013 Wilson Transplant Give Back

Making Beautiful Music

Get Fit ‘To the Max’


Healthcare experts change lives for the better every day. ) ! s r u o Y nd A ( Meet Ours. New Hope Primary Care Family Medicine

Wilson ENT & Sinus Center Ken Johnson, MD 252-399-5300

N Nadine Skinner, MD Alesha Akins, PA-C 252-243-0053

Wilson Gastroenterology

Stantonsburg Medical Center Family Medicine

Louis Antignano, MD Cyndi Pilkington, PA-C 252-243-7977

Mary Clark, FNP 252-238-2757 Stantonsburg, NC

Wilson Arthritis & Osteoporosis

Fernando X. Castro, MD 252-399-5304

Choose Well. Choose Wilson. www.wilmed.org Hospital-Based Practices of Wilson Medical Center

Wilson Neurology

Benjamin Thomas, MD 252-399-5306


2001 Downing Street, Wilson, NC 27893 www.wilsontimes.com

Publisher

Morgan Paul Dickerman, III

____________________ Advertising Director Shana Hoover (252) 265-7858 Fax (252) 243-2999 shana@wilsontimes.com

Special Sections Editor Bradley Hearn (252) 265-7848 bhearn@wilsontimes.com

Account Executives Lisa Pearson (252) 265-7827 lpearson@wilsontimes.com

Features 6

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Serving the community

One Wilson transplant dives into the community with numerous volunteer and fundraising positions

Beautiful music at Barton

The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra provides outlet for professionals and a learning ground for students

Theatre vision

Vision Community Theatre offers another alternative in our thriving theater scene

To The Max

One man wants to get Wilson back in shape... one pound at a time

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Fleming grows up

The Wilson landmark has plans for some modern renovation, while still keeping its classic charm

Basketball heats up the Rec

Winter leagues at the Rec remain a popular outlet for the athletic and competitive

‘I Am Wilson’ 12 14 22 24

Mark Peterson

Anthony Matrejek S. Denise Newton Adam Twiss

Plus... Information on area schools, medical and governement contacts An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

Wilson in pictures: snapshots of the people and places that make up Wilson.

Beth Robbins (252) 265-7849 brobbins@wilsontimes.com

___________________

Contributors Writers: Janelle Clevinger, LaMonique Hamilton, Bradley Hearn Art: Gérard Lange | Graphic Design Brad Coville | Photography LaMonique Hamilton | Photography Evan Fulks | Photography Amber McDaniels | Photography Keith Tew | Photography Gray Whitley | Photography

____________________

On the cover Local youth participate in the third annual Wilson Family YMCA Youth Triathlon at Recreation Park last August. Competitors, from ages 5-17, had to swim, bike and run, with varying distances for each age group. photograph by gray whitley March 2013

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Charitable

Area teens stock canned goods as a part of Youth Week, sponsored by Wilson Area Youth Network, which gave participants the chance to worship with students from different church backgrounds as well as with young people who do not go to church.

Photograph by Gray Whitley


Member Agencies of the United Way of Wilson County Wilson Youth United — The SPOT 252-991-4018, 910 Tarboro St., Wilson Director: Matt Edwards S-haring P-ositive O-utcomes T-ogether with kids and families in Wilson, the SPOT serves at-risk youth in a dedicated 30,000 square-foot facility. Seven professional staff, serving youth ages 5-18 in a structured program environment. Teen Center, classrooms, music room, art room and gymnasium with emphasis on education. Year-round programs. www.wilsonyouthunited.org/ Diversified Opportunities, Inc. 252-291-0378, 1010 Herring Avenue, Wilson, N.C. 27893 Executive Director: Cindy Dixon Provides a variety of comprehensive services including vocational evaluation, work training and job placement, compensatory education and adult developmental vocational programs to disabled and disadvantaged adults age 16 and over so that they may live and work as independently as possible. Wilson Crisis Center 252-237-5156, P.O. Box 8026, Wilson Director: Nancy Sallenger Provides 24 hour telephone assistance for callers needing information, referrals, or someone who will listen and care, 365 days per year. Contact number for AA/NA. There is also a separate Teen Help Line providing assistance to teens. http://mypage.cocentral.com/wcc/ The Arc of wilson county 252-237-8266, 509 W. Nash St., Wilson Director: Michael Stanford Advocacy for the rights of persons w/disabilities in our community, as well as summer camps, dances, behavior modification, and training disabled adults to be a self-supporting group. www.thearcofwilson.org/ An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

Girl Scouts, NC Coastal Pines Goldsboro Service Ctr., 108 E. Lockhaven Dr., Goldsboro, NC 27534 / CEO: Lisa Jones Wilson Membership Contact: Tracy Valdez-Patton, 800-558-9297 Provides various scouting programs in character development and personal development. Promotes teamwork through fund-raisers, community service, camping, and various other activities. www.nccoastalpines.org/

American Red Cross, Wilson-Greene 252-237-2171, 2305 Wellington Dr., Suite G, Wilson Director of Operations: Hal Tarleton The Wilson-Greene chapter conducts blood drives, and offers classes in C.P.R., First Aid, swimming and other health and safety skills. Provides assistance to military personnel and their families, assists single family fire victims, and provides shelter and assistance before, during, and after natural disasters. www.redcross.org/

Mental Health Association in Wilson Co. 252-243-2773, 509 W. Nash Street, Wilson Director: Janelle Clevinger Promotion of mental health, prevention of mental illness and improved care of the mentally ill through seminars, workshops, parenting classes, and a lending library. Annually conducts “Operation Santa Claus” to benefit residents of mental health care facilities. www.mha-nc.org/

Continued on Page 9 March 2013

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United he serves

Gary Williamson receives the Marcia Parker Volunteer Award from the United Way of Wilson County for his contributions. submitted photograph

Wilson transplant Gary Williamson is building more than tires at Bridgestone By Janelle Clevinger

There’s a saying that goes, “Whatever you do, give one hundred percent. Unless you’re giving blood.” But anyone who knows Garry Williamson, knows that he would probably try to do that too, if someone needed it. 6

March 2013

Williamson, who works as plant manager at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations in Wilson, is involved in the lives of Wilsonians far beyond the walls of one of Wilson’s largest employers. “If I can’t commit all the way to something and give 100 percent, I don’t do it at all,” Williamson said. “That’s why having such a great staff at Bridgestone allows me to commit myself to all my volunteer work.” Williamson currently serves in one capacity or another with the United

Way of Wilson County, Wilson 20/20, the Wilson and state Chamber of Commerce boards, Barton College board of trustees, is involved in the American Cancer Society and its Relay for Life, the Substance Abuse Coalition, and the Industrial Management Council. “We (Bridgestone) are a huge employer in Wilson and I feel like I represent all our employees,” Williamson said. “I am their voice and I look out for their interests in the community.” Williamson also knows what it’s like


to struggle, having grown up poor in Oklahoma. “I grew up poor, and I had seven brothers and sisters,” Williamson said, “but I never remember wanting for anything. I was the first child in my family to graduate from college. My grandmother is one hundred percent Chickasaw Indian and her father was the chief. She actually lived in a tee pee during her childhood “So I can relate to the situations of those in need here,” Williams said. Williamson became Bridgestone’s lead man in Wilson in August of 2011, previously having served as Operations Manager for Bridgestone in Aiken, South Carolina. In fact, he has been with Bridgestone his entire 32 year career. And how many work days has he missed in those 32 years? Not one. Zero. One hundred percent, remember? “I also graduated high school with perfect attendance,” Williamson chuckled. “12 years and not one day missed.” An Oklahoma native, Williamson graduated from the University of Oklahoma and worked for Bridgestone in Oklahoma before moving to South Carolina. “I left a huge city to go to Aiken and I learned

Gary Williamson leads the United Way’s “campaign train” during a fundraising kickoff event. photograph by United way of wilson

Experience

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March 2013

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that involvement in the community and knowing the leaders was a great introduction to the city,” Williamson said. “And it was the same here, with a great network of city leadership and that helped me acclimate myself to the city of Wilson.” Williamson still marvels at the leadership in Wilson that helps get many volunteer programs off the ground. “The biggest surprise to me here in Wilson is that the support community is so interwoven and so entrenched in the community that they all look out for the betterment of Wilson,” Williamson said. “I haven’t seen any egos in my doings around here.” Williamson, who will be serving as the United Way of Wilson’s campaign chairman this year, has taken part in other town’s United Way campaigns, but has never seen such an enthusiastic response from employees as he has in Wilson.

“I have been pleasantly, pleasantly surprised at our employees here in Wilson,” Williamson said. “Bridgestone’s Wilson donation level was up over $90,000, which is about an 45% increase from last year’s campaign. Our staff is friendly, dedicated, and take a huge amount of pride in what they do.” When asked when he liked to do in his free time, Williamson laughed and responded, “My fun here has been with the organizations I’m involved with. I do have great relationships with my employees. He used to play a great deal of tennis, but has little time for that now. He enjoys riding his bicycle and working in his yard when he finds some extra time. Naturally, those in the community have noticed Williamson’s energy and enthusiasm for the causes he works for . “Gary is an absolute gem to this community,” said Matt Bailey, 2013 United Way of Wilson board president, “an absolute gem. He is ‘all in’ when it comes to this campaign, and so are his employees.” Williamson attributes his giving nature to wanting to see everyone succeed. “Bridgestone is the only job I’ve ever had and they’ve been really good to me and I’ve been really fortunate,” Williamson said. “I believe that when you have that kind of success, that you need to give back. We need to do whatever we can do to help people succeed.”

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Member Agencies of the United Way of Wilson County Continued from Page 5 S.A. Boys & Girls Club 252-243-5443, 316 S. Tarboro Street, Wilson Boys and Girls Club Director: Charmaine Harris Provides recreational and learning activities for children like after school homework study halls, tutoring, one-on-one mentoring, and sports activities. www.bgca.org/clubs/ Wilson Co. Office of Senior Citizen Affairs 252-237-1303, 2306 Cedar Run Place, Wilson Director: Debbie Raper Meals-on-Wheels served by volunteers to homebound individuals, while some individuals are also fed meals at congregate sites. Transportation is also provided to qualifying seniors for doctor visits. Salvation Army 252-243-2696, 316 S. Tarboro Street, Wilson Executive Directive: Major Jim Waller Assists individuals with rent, utilities, medicine, food, clothing and provides character building programs for children and adults. www.salvationarmyusa.org/ Flynn Christian Fellowship Home 252-237-8320, 209 N. Goldsboro St., Wilson Executive Director: Peter Wilkins Provides shelter and assistance to recovering alcoholic or drug-dependent men. Currently operating two homes providing assistance to an average of 25 men. An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

Wesley Shelter, Inc. 252-291-2344 Director: Lynne White Domestic Violence, Rape Crisis & Homeless Shelter. Temporary emergency home, guidance and additional out-of-shelter services for abused women and children. Rape counseling for victims of sexual assault. Shelter for homeless women and their children. Also offers an Adolescent Parenting Program. wesleyshelter.org/

Y.O.U.T.H. of Wilson 252-243-3675, 701 S. Tarboro St., Wilson Executive Director: Tammy Armstrong Serves youth ages 6-17 through referred only programs: One-on-One Mentoring, Court-ordered Community Service/Restitution, Juvenile Court Therapeutic Services and Gang Intervention Programs and After-school Tutoring. www.youthofwilson.org St John Community Development Corporation, Inc. (252) 265-9764 119E. Pender Street, Wilson. Executive Director:Dr. Michael S. Bell. St. John CDC provides educational, vocational, economic and social support to the residents of Wilson through their S.A.Y. - Save A Youth afterschool, vocational, gang prevention and summer camp programs; community food pantry, weekly community meals and transitional housing for the homeless. http://stjohncdcwilson.org

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Purchased by The City of Wilson in 1984 and renovated by a merger of Wilson Community Theatre, Inc. and the Arts Council of Wilson, the Edna Boykin Cultural Center opened its doors in January of 1998, in the honor of Ms. Boykin’s lifetime contributions and service to the arts in Wilson. The landmark houses an art gallery and hosts numerous productions, concerts and events each year. Photograph by Amber McDaniels

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Local Art Galleries arts council of Wilson: 124 East Nash St. Wilson 252-291-4329 Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m to 5 p.m. www.wilsonarts.com •annie boykin gallery •Lowe celebration hall (2nd floor of building)

ARTS UNLIMITED 4232 Old Raleigh Rd. Wilson 252-293-1144 www.Arts-Unltd.com

Mark gordon pottery 808 Woodward St. Wilson 252-399-6474 Studio open by appointment www.markgordon.com/

An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

Studio one 403 and 407 West Nash St. / Walston Center Wilson 252-291-2160 Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call for classes or appointments www.studioone-wilson.com

G.R. Hammond Gallery Boykin Center 108 West Nash St. Wilson 252-291-4329 Open during performances or by appointment

Studio One Home to over a dozen resident artists, the co-operative studio, gallery and teaching center was founded in 2005 by six local artists. There are also many associate artists who share common space in the studio’s classrooms. Galleries and exhibitions within their location at 403 and 407 W. Nash Street allow the public to view and purchase this local art.

Barton Art Galleries Woodard and Whitehead Streets Wilson 252-399-6477 Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. www.barton.edu

HOBSON PITTMAN Memorial GALLERY Located in the Blount-Bridgers House 130 Bridgers St. (Tarboro) 252-823-4159

File photograph

house of van baars Downtown Wilson 252-291-1967 www.fransvanbaars.com

March 2013

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Applied Music As the director of music at Barton College and the conductor of the Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra, Mark Peterson is required to wear a lot of different hats. His versatility, though, is part of what initially landed him in wilson in the first place. In addition to picking out all of the music, arranging it, setting the schedule for the orchestra’s annual concerts, promoting the concerts, organizing the rotating cast of roughly 50 musicians, he is also a full-time teacher. “I guess I’m sort of the librarian, the stage manager, the account executive, in addition to other things,” he says. He also serves as the music director at St. Therese Catholic Church in Wilson. But primarily, he’s the conductor of the orchestra — a well-regarded “teaching orchestra” comprised mostly of professional musicians and a handful of Barton students. However, this wasn’t the career he necessarily envisioned. Peterson, a native of Haverhill, Mass., spent 20 years teaching music at Bradford College in his hometown. Before that, he majored in the organ at Boston University and was almost destined to stay within 40 miles of his hometown forever. Until one day in 1999, Bradford College, “an excellent institution” that he loved, announced that it was closing it’s doors for good. Through a connection with a friend from his undergraduate studies in Boston, he heard about Barton. When the job came up and 12

March 2013

was offered in 2001, he and his family made the move. In addition to the obvious cultural differences, the move south precipitated a professional change that required his versatility. Though it might not seem a stretch from an outsider’s perspective, the change was quite monumental in his line of work: he switched gears from teaching music theory to almost entirely applied music. “For 20 years I taught music theory. I thought that was my career,” said Peterson. “I loved music theory, but it was refreshing to change. It was genuinely a second career for me doing this. I still obviously use the theory for my own personal use. Just not in the classroom with students the way I did.” Turns out, Peterson had been developing the skill set for his current job for years, during his time at Bradford College and also a brief stint at The University of Massachusetts Lowell, while working with large-scale choruses that required orchestration. Additionally, the repeated teaching of sight singing and ear training for singers and musicians trained him almost subconsciously for a career as a conductor. “It really strengthened by ability

Mark Peterson, Wilson Symphony

to read orchestral score,” he said. “I could always teach it. But teaching it and teaching it and teaching it — it just becomes automatic after a while.” From the new town to the new responsibilities, Peterson couldn’t be happier. While he says his new adopted home is similar in size and scope to his hometown of Haverhill, the primary difference is that in the North, all the towns jut up against one another. “You leave Wilson, you’re basically in a rural area. I absolutely love it, but at first I said that I thought I moved to Mars. But it didn’t take long at all to acclimate. I adore North Carolina.” His twin sons even chose to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, where they are currently juniors and, as he says, “are confirmed Tar Heels at this point.” For now, Peterson is excited about the direction the orchestra is going. The professional players come from all over, he says. Some from here in town, but mostly from all over central and eastern North Carolina. “It’s really been growing in size and quality in recent years,” he said. “A very active board of directors has also made my life wonderful. They are vital to its success.”

by Bradley Hearn


The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra The Barton College / Wilson Symphony Orchestra is a teaching orchestra that includes musicians from Barton College and the Wilson community. Its board of directors, in cooperation with the Office of Institutional Advancement, supplements support of the orchestra through fundraising efforts that enable the orchestra to hire professional musicians who perform during concerts and serve as mentors to student musicians. The orchestra provides an extraordinary opportunity for members of the College and Wilson communities to join their musical gifts and talents for the study and performance of symphonic music.

An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

Above, a performance by The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra at the Lauren Campbell and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton. Below, a musician makes notes prior to the performance on his sheet music. photography by Keith TEw

The orchestra performs a fourconcert cycle each year, consisting of:

Downtown concert— Held the first weekend in October Location varies fall concert — Held the Sunday before Thanksgiving “love the symphony” — Signature dinner event held on February 14th Wilson Gymnasium Spring concert — Held the last Sunday in April

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Song and Dance Man It wasn’t long ago — only about eight years, in fact — that anthony matrejek was just a nervous nine-year-old kid on stage at the Edna boykin center, appearing in his first pRoduction with act! for youth. He couldn’t even look straight ahead. His head was anxiously shifting back and forth, while his eyes darted around toward the other actors, terrified he wouldn’t get the choreography right. But that night is nothing but an amusing memory now. The 18-year-old Hunt High School senior is now a shining star of the Wilson theater scene and a veteran of over 35 productions with troupes such as Playhouse, ACT! for Youth and North Carolina Theater in Raleigh. He can appreciate how it has all come full circle since that first night he stepped on stage at nine years old, unsure of how it would all turn out. The El Paso, Texas native had just moved here with his family, and his mother encouraged him audition. After that experience, however, he didn’t seem to need any more encouragement. He soon did another play. And then another. It just gradually snowballed until theater and performing became a near constant part of his life. “When every afternoon is taken up with a show rehearsal, you feel like you’re kinda missing something when it’s not there,” he said. But it didn’t stop there. Through seemingly preternatural time-management skills, he also managed to become a captain of the Wilson Barracuda Swim Team and a conference champion for Hunt, in addition to president of the Hunt Chorus and an active member of numerous clubs. He also eventually took up dance lessons, squeezing a couple extra hours into the day that often times, he says, would wake him at 5 a.m. for swim practice and wouldn’t see him home 14

March 2013

Anthony Matrejek, Hunt High School

again to begin his homework until 10 p.m. Not to mention scouting. He started Cub Scouts while still living in Texas, and last month, he received the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Naturally, when he began thinking about what to do for his Eagle Scout project, his mind turned to the theater. His project involved giving the “dungeon” in the Edna Earl Boykin Center a complete makeover. With the help of over 40 people — including family members, fellow performers, fellow scouts — in different capacities, he scrubbed it clean, painted it, provided privacy for actors by installing doors and a room divider, built a costume rack and created a better storage space. Even with graduation (and college) on the horizon, he hasn’t taken much time to slow down his busy schedule. In fact, he is starting to dip his toes into practically the one area of theater he hasn’t experienced: directing. He will serve as an assistant director — under Martha Hale, his director for almost every production for the last four years — for the upcoming production of Save Ferris. He asked for the responsibility, since the show’s premiere falls the same night as Hunt’s prom. But he loves the new role, he says, and cherishes the opportunity to mentor the younger classmates that might need his expertise. “It just gives you a different view of the show,” he said. “And it’s great to help the kids learn their lines, learn to block themselves and just feel the show.” This fall, he will attend the University of South Carolina and plans to major in engineering with

by Bradley Hearn

Angie Walston Assistant Dean, Office of Student Success,

Barton College


At right, Matrejek performs as “Eugene” with the cast of Grease during a rehearsal last month. The production was well received by the Boykin Center crowd. photograph by Anna Batts

Below, Matrejek dons dyed hair for a role in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in 2008. Contributed photo

a minor in broadcasting. As for theater, Matrejek says he’s not sure whether he is going to jump into the theater scene in Columbia. He wants to get acclimated to his new life as a college student and then see if it’s for him. Whatever path he takes, the skills and work ethic he’s methodically acquired over the last nine years as a performer, a swimming champion, an Eagle Scout and a mentor, he’s extremely prepared to take on whatever unknowns await in the next stage of his life. After all, he’s now the one everyone else looks to when they want to make sure they’re doing it right. NEWrived Ar s u t

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Mia Jones sings the Gladys Knight song “If I were your woman,” as Khalid Hudson and Eddie Atkins sing backup during a rehearsal for Vision Community Theatre’s last Motown Revue in 2008. The company will premiere a new Motown Revue this June. File photograph

Theater with a ‘Vision’ Theater company to bring the hits of Motown back to Wilson Toshika Johnson Smith has always had a passion for theater. Whether she participates in the production or engages as a patron, Smith takes her love of theater very seriously. Upon noticing the lack of diversity in many of the local productions in which she either participated or patronized, she decided that something must be done to broaden the Wilson theater community. 16

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In 2007, Smith, along with Johnnie Evans and Janet Conner-Knox, formed the Vision Community Theatre group. According to Smith, the goal of the company is to “provide an opportunity to be involved in community theater in any and all aspects — the writing, on stage, or behind the scenes.” Smith firmly asserts that Vision was not founded to compete with the other local companies, only to enhance the opportunities and types of productions to include a greater crosssection of the community. For example, when the Theater of the American South needed to diversify a production, they were able to call Vision to assist in their casting needs. The Arts Council’s demographics have shown greater minority participation since Vision was founded as well. In addition, both

by LaMonique Hamilton ACT! For Youth and The Playhouse have increased diversity in their companies. The company has not only created opportunities for playwrights to have their works produced, but also for cast members to make connections outside of the theater group. One such connection was made when local band The Monitors played for one of Vision’s productions. There they met Esther Martin Cobb, who has since been a featured vocalist for the band on several occasions. Opportunities have also been created beyond the stage, as many young people who have worked with the company have been able to receive references when applying for programs or jobs. Smith says, “Theater teaches young people teamwork, responsibility, work ethic, and timeliness.”


For the many opportunities Vision has created, running a theater company still presents enormous challenges. Smith says, “We live to see another show. One of the biggest challenges is funding. I’m not sure people are aware of the costs involved for things like publicity, costuming, as well as what the audience sees on stage.” Time is also a major challenge. Smith is currently regrouping the management aspect of the company so they will be working smarter instead of harder. “I have a full-time job, and the work involved in running a theater company is full-time work. You find yourself basically trying to hold down two full-time jobs, and we won’t survive like that.” Still, Vision manages to triumph over their adversity to get to the next show. The show currently in production, Motown Revue, is an encore of the show they produced back in 2008. “People kept asking us about this show, wondering when we were going to do it

again. So, we’re bringing it back in June to commemorate Black Music Month. It’s basically the same show, with some familiar faces and some new talent.” The Motown Revue is a musical that shows the hit-making powerhouse from its beginnings until the 1970s, when Berry Gordy moved the studio from Detroit to California. Smith feels blessed to be contributing to the theatrical legacy of Wilson. “Wilson has always had an appreciation for theater, which is wonderful. What we do is create greater diversity in theater-goers by appealing to a broader audience.” So far, over 100 people have worked with Vision, and hundreds more have been introduced to the art of theater by coming to the shows. “This is a completely volunteer-run theatre company. For us, the show is the payoff. We want people to come out and support our shows. We do this for Wilson,” said Smith.

Members of Vision Community Theatre rehearse a Stevie Wonder number before the Revue in 2008.The show features a live band with Wilson residents singing some of Motown’s hits from the 1960s and 1970s. File photograph

The Wilson Crisis Center invites you to join us for a night of fabulous food and music by The Monitors during our 9th Annual

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Live Music in Wilson Bill Ellis Convention Center Country music, line dancing and other concerts. Call for more details. 3007 Downing St. Wilson 252-237-4372 BUCK’S SALOON Karaoke and dance music every Wednesday night at 9:30. 4301 NE Ward Blvd. Wilson 252-243-4300 OAK TAVERN Call for show details. The Shoppes at Brentwood Wilson 252-234-7747 O’COOLS Tuesdays, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (seasonal). Call for more details. 2801 Ward Blvd. Wilson 252-291-4242 QUINCE: A SOUTHERN BISTRO Music each Friday evening; patio, weather permitted; Seasonal. Call for more details. 2801-3D Ward Blvd. Wilson 252-237-6463 WILLIAM’S OF WILSON 124 Barnes St. SW Call for show details 252-281-5523 COUNTRY MUSIC JAM Each Friday at the Wilson County Senior Activities Center starting at noon. COUNTY LINE BLUEGRASS BARN Open bluegrass picking session Tuesday nights at 7:30 on Hornes Church Road, 1.3 miles from New Hope (N.C. 58). No charge. Family atmosphere. R.A. FOUNTAIN GENERAL STORE Corner of N.C. 222 and U.S. 258 at 6754 E. Wilson St. Fountain call for details — 252-749-3228. TEMPERANCE HALL OPRY Tuesday night jam session. Temperance Hall Opry is located at the intersection of Temperance Hall and Davistown Mercer Road off N.C. 43 S between Rocky Mount and Pinetops. 252-972-3331

Local favorite and music veteran Chet Nichols plays with The Repeat Offenders at numerous venues around town, most recently at the new William’s of Wilson at 124 Barnes Street. File photograph

KENLY COUNTRY JUNCTION Family entertainment with new and old country, beach and old-time rock ’n’ roll featuring Southern Star Band. Every Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. $7 admission 108 N. Railroad St., Kenly.


International Voice

S. Denise Newton, Author by LaMonique Hamilton

In 2005, S. Denice Newton had just returned to Wilson after spending two decades living in New Jersey. She had little besides what she says was a declaration on her life that she was going to have an international voice. Today, Newton is the host of the popular Solutions Now Radio broadcast, which has listeners all over the United States, as well as Germany, Japan, India, and several other countries. After getting her start on local station WVOT, she was introduced to internet radio. Newton readily admits that the idea did not appeal to her at first, but in 2009 decided to try it out anyway. “Now I see how I was meant to have an international voice,” she said. “It’s all coming together.” Newton is feisty, opinionated, and unapologetic. She is aware that many of her views may sound extreme, but feels that they are both warranted and valid. “As a nation, we’ve strayed too far from the truth, and now the truth seems extreme.” Her radio show covers topics such as education, politics, unity, activism, and race relations. She has had the opportunity to interview fascinating figures, such as Prince protégé Denise “Vanity” Matthews, Civil Rights activist Ruby Sales, South African Ambassador Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe, and Antwone Fisher. One of her interviews, with singer/songwriter Skyler Jett, who replaced Lionel Ritchie as the lead singer of The Commodores, went so well that they now co-host the 22

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show each week. Because of the show, she had the opportunity to meet Gertrude Matshe, who organizes a pilgrimage to South Africa once a year. She invited Newton to join her, and the experience prompted her to write her first book, Two Continents, One Hope: Searching The Atlantic for the Souls of Black People. In it, she discusses the beauty of the African continents and the harshness of the AIDS pandemic that has decimated so many villages. She was especially moved by the children, who often walked several miles each day to go to school. “They don’t have shoes. They don’t have underwear. Some of them only get a decent meal every two or three days. To walk into a school with no running water and no electricity was humbling, but when we walked in, all the children said, ‘Good morning, Teacher.’ Then they sang a song about Jesus being good. Even as a Christian, I wondered how they could think that Jesus was good, but they carried a hope that this was temporary, and that really humbled me.” In contrast, when Newton returned to the United States, she noticed how complacent people were about their relative abundance. She knew that she had to share

her experience. She especially wants to impact teenagers, whom she feels are in the best position to become change agents. Still, she is adamant that before any positive change can occur, we must become responsible and hold ourselves accountable, and we must teach our children to be the same. “There are some parents who never show up for school conferences. They’re never available. You call them and every number is disconnected, because they don’t want to hear that their child has a behavior problem. We have to get back to being thinking people.” Newton is currently working on her second book, a work of fiction entitled Interception, which focuses on the spiritual and demonic forces that drive people in ways beyond their understanding. She is a frequent commentator on HuffPost Live, and, along with co-host Jett, is working with the Moms Against Murderers organization in their efforts to address gun violence. She wants people to know that a person’s surroundings does not limit their potential or their impact. She ends her book with a quote by Maya Angelou: “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”


Museum Listings Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum 1202 Nash St. Wilson 252-296-3056 Open Tues. - Sat., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. NC baseball museum Fleming Stadium 300 Stadium St. Wilson 252-399-2261 country doctor museum P.O. Box 34 Bailey 252-235-4165 Open Tues. - Sat., 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with last guided tour available at 3 p.m.

tobacco farm life museum 709 Church Street / US Hwy 301 North Kenly 919-284-3431 Tues.-Sat., 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. imagination station 224 East Nash St. Wilson 252-291-5113 / 252-291-2968 Open Mon. - Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Admission charge)

The Country Doctor Museum Founed in 1967, The Country Doctor Museum is the oldest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of America’s rural health care. The museum is located in Bailey and can be reached at 252-235-4165. photography by Amber Mcdaniels

Imagination Station The popular Imagination Station Science Museum downtown stimulates an interest in science and technology while improving the quality of informal science education through dynamic hands-on science learning. photography by Gray Whitley

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum Founded in 1983, the popular tourist destination seeks to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Eastern North Carolina farm life. Located in Kenly, the museum can be reached at 919-284-3431. photography by Amber Mcdaniels

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Outside the Box Adam Twiss believes Wilson is in the midst of a burgeoning renaissance. With the community’s strong support of community theatre and the outstanding theatre education programs for young people, both in community theatre and the high school programs, he cannot imagine a more exciting time to work, visit, and live in Wilson. As the director of the theatre program for nearly five years and all programs at the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College (known by many informally as “the Black Box Theatre”), he is honored to help mold and build the school’s young program. “We have an emerging program that is only about 20 years old. In that time, we have been mounting terrific productions. We have been having our students engage with professional theatre companies. We really key in on developing actors through experience.” Twiss has used his diverse background in accounting, architectural design and performance art to provide his students with real world tools to build a resume and earn a solid living in theatre. With the program offering concentrations in performance, design and management — and musical theatre being added next year — Twiss seems to be a perfect fit to give students each of these theatrical perspectives. He asserts that the one should not consider a career in theatre because he wants to be a star, but because he has a 24

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true passion for the art. “Training is essential in order to work in the theatre. People don’t go straight to Broadway,” he says. The students who have studied under Twiss have taken his advice to heart and his training seriously. In the relatively short amount of time he has been with the theatre program, he has produced graduates who have gone on to found their own theatre companies in Georgia and the Triangle area, and who are working to bring their original works to the stage. He is extremely proud of the Spring 2013 graduating class. “They are brilliant students, and they really have accomplished a great deal as theatre practitioners, but I love what they have accomplished as human beings. They’re all honor students, and they’re all double majors. I look back at where they were four years ago and can hardly believe they’re the same people.” Twiss hopes to expand the reach of the theatre program by providing more opportunity for collaboration between his department and the greater Wilson community by pro-

Adam Twiss, Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College by LaMonique Hamilton

ducing larger shows that require the pool of talent in the community. He is also developing courses that encourage the exploration of one’s voice, whether it be dramatically, through music, or writing. “I think things like this give a leg up to the community by offering opportunities to perform or have their material performed,” he said. “There is already a foundation here for the appreciation of the performing arts and theatre. Wilson, for its size and demographic, has incredible support for theatre.” Twiss is wildly enthusiastic about Wilson’s important role in North Carolina’s rich theatrical legacy. “There’s more than youth theatre and community theatre in Wilson. There’s passion.”


The Black Box Named for two of Broadway’s brightest stars, Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell, this state-of-the-art black box theatre is home for Theatre at Barton as well as a regional host for two professional theatre companies: Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, headquartered in Raleigh, and Wilson’s Theatre of the American South Series. The black box theatre provides Barton College and its community with a premier teaching facility for the dramatic arts as well as an excellent environment for entertainment and performances of a broad scope. This flexible and functional space is easily adaptable for theatre, dance, symphony concerts, opera performances, and lectures. photograph by Keith Tew

For 25 years Hope Station has been:

• Feeding children and adults who are hungry. • Providing shelter for men who are homeless. • Offering financial support for those who are in crisis. We will give your child the CONFIDENCE to defeat the bully without fighting.

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In 2012, food for over 125,000 meals was given through the Pantry, and over 5,700 shelter nights were provided. The Board of Directors and Staff say “THANK YOU” to the volunteers and community supporters who help make Hope Station a place of hope and compassion in Wilson County. Food donations and financial contributions are always needed to meet the growing need for services. Food donations are received Monday through Friday until 2:00 pm and by appointment.

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Dong’s Martial Arts School 3525-C Airport Blvd. • Wilson • 252-291-4853

Since 1971 in the USA!

www.dongsmartialarts.com An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

P.O. Box 2164 • Wilson, NC 27894 309 Goldsboro St East • Wilson, NC 27893 252-291-7278 March 2013

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Active

Hunter’s Dance Studio is one of several in Wilson that offer dance and exercise classes to all ages. Photograph by Gray Whitley 26

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Get Active in Wilson Gyms Curves 1700 Raleigh Rd. Pkwy Wilson 252-246-0888 Fit 4 Life 3710 Peppermill Rd. Wilson 252-237-9348 1901 Westwood Ave. Wilson 252-234-9113 Regency Athletic Club 2402 Wooten Blvd. Wilson 252-291-7675 YMCA 3436-C Airport Blvd. Wilson 252-291-9622 YMCA Outdoor Pool Facility 2229 Chelsea Dr. Wilson 252-291-5098

65 Wilson girls participated in the national 10-week Girls on the Run program. The after-school program is designed to help girls, in grades 3-5, take charge of their lives. They learn that they might not be able to change their situation or the people around them, but they can change their reaction. The girls also competed in the YMCA’s Robin Run last fall. photograph by gray whitley

Martial Arts Studios

Dance Studios

Dong’s Martial Arts School 3525 Airport Blvd. Wilson 252-291-4853

Kuntaw Palace 122 Goldsboro St. Wilson 252-206-7900

DANCE STUDIO “B” 1501 Ward Blvd. Wilson 252-291-3363

Megan’s Academy of Dance 2305 Cedar Run Pl. Wilson 252-237-3625

The Kai Thai Academy of Martial Arts 306 Nash St. Wilson 252-373-3204

Tang Soo DO Karate Center 1800-F Parkwood Blvd. Wilson 252-291-8752

HUNTER’S DANCE STUDIO 2602 Tilghman Rd. Wilson 252-237-3578

Toe 2 Toe Dance 3475 Airport Blvd. Wilson 252-237-3302

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To The Max

C.J. Harris, bottom, middle, enthusiastically poses with a group of his students. The positive environment is part of what drives the success of his fitness classes at the Boys and Girls Club. contributed photographs

Local trainer is inspiring Wilson to get fit, one pound at a time by LaMonique Hamilton

Nineteen-year-old C.J. Harris believes in destroying obstacles that keep him from his goals. He knows that in order to be successful, he must do things that most people won’t. He will sprint when everyone around him is jogging. To say that he is driven is a gross understatement. He is on a mission to get people fit, and that mission starts in Wilson with his fitness program, To The Max.

Like Harris, the class is intense. You will sweat, and you will be forced to destroy any negative thoughts about your abilities. There is no room for negativity in that space at the Boys and Girls Club. During any given class, there are people who are out of shape and there are those who are in great shape, each encouraging the other to do more than they thought they could. The beauty of the workout is that it is not a competition. Rather, it is an internal struggle to achieve what you previously believed you could not. Harris asserts that being fit is a choice. He debunks the myth that people are destined to be obese because of family traits. “Only 16% of the causes of obesity are genetic. That means 84% of those causes are comprised of one’s own poor choices. I just want to get people in

the gym, get them to where they like working out, and from there the obesity rates will start dropping.” He’s designed the class for everyone and wants every person who takes the class to work toward the common goal of getting fit. The official tagline of To The Max is: “Getting the community fit, one pound at a time.” And the community has taken on the challenge. In fact, there exists a To The Max subculture that exists on social media. People who are in the class have motivated others to come and join the fun with their infectious status updates and unofficial catchphrases, such as “Don’t cheat your body. Treat your body!” One enthusiastic participant, Darnell Thoms, recently posted, “Thank you, To The Max, for conditioning my MIND, BODY, AND SOUL!”


In fact, many of the class members have started to take the obstacle-destroying mindset created in the class into other aspects of their lives. There are posts of auditions, job interviews, and award ceremonies that proudly boast the TTM hash tag. Harris is humbled by the way people have taken to the movement. “Sometimes it feels unreal, but at the same time, it feels natural. I’ve had other jobs that didn’t feel natural, but when I’m helping people, pumping them up, it’s natural. It feels good to know they’re trusting me to get to their goals.” Harris is eager to take the movement further by serving as mentor and role model for young men in the community. He hopes to create a class specifically designed for them that will give them something constructive to do with their time. “One of the biggest problems in Wilson is that there is too much spare time. Spare time becomes negative time.” He feels that if he can help young men destroy physical obstacles by becoming fit,

they will go on to face other challenges in their lives with the same determination. Harris knows that he is wise beyond his nineteen years. He attributes that to having a supportive family, many of whom, including his mom and dad, come out to every class. He’s also had his share of ups and downs — including an illness that forced him to take a medical leave from college — that have matured him. To The Max is his way of branching out into his community. “I like what I’ve done, impacting someone else.”

To The Max Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Boys and Girls Club of Wilson Contact: C.J. Harris clydeharris34@gmail.com

Ma Fre de Dai sh ly Mon.-Fri. 6am-5pm • Sat. 6am-12pm (Saturday Breakfast Only)

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Athletic

In addition to hosting numerous youth league games, other tournaments and events throughout the year, Historic Fleming Stadium mainly serves as the home of The Wilson Tobs, Wilson’s college summer league baseball team and a beloved annual past-time during warmer months. Photograph by Gray Whitley 30

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City of Wilson Parks Parks and Rec Department: Administration 1800 Herring Ave. Wilson 252-399-2261 J. Burt Gillette Fieldhouse 3238 Corbett Ave. Wilson 252-296-3063 Recreation Park Comm. Cntr. 500 Sunset Rd. Wilson 252-399-2266 Recreation Park Pool 500 Sunset Rd. Wilson 252-399-2269

Tennis Director 500 Sunset Rd. Wilson 252-296-3046 Reid Street Comm. Cntr. 901 N. Reid Street Wilson 252-399-2277 Reid Street Pool 901 N. Reid Street Wilson 252-399-2288 Buckhorn Lake Wilkerson Crossroads 252-235-6563

The J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex hosts baseball as well as soccer leagues. Wilson Times archive photo

Lake Wilson 4641 Lake Wilson Rd. Wilson, 252-237-5704

Golf Courses Happy Valley Country Club 2123 U.S. 264 E. Wilson 252-237-6611

Willow Springs Country Club 3033 U.S. 301 S. Wilson 252-291-5171

Wedgewood Golf Course 311 Old Stantonsburg Rd. Wilson 252-237-4761

Wilson Country Club (private) 4509 Country Club Dr. Wilson 252-291-1144

Short Game A player practices putting before a tournament for the Lions Club at Willow Springs Country Club in Wilson. photograph by Brad coville An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

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Fleming gets an overhaul Upgrades are in the works to give the historical landmark a new, improved look by Rochelle Moore Historic Fleming Stadium will get a new look this year as plans are set in motion to add a new entrance and other improvements to the front of the stadium. The Wilson City Council, which oversees the stadium as part of the city park system, agreed to provide $187,500 toward the estimated $532,500 cost of improvements. 32

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During a recent meeting, Councilman James Johnson III said the project is a good move because 65 to 70 percent of the cost will be paid for with outside funding. “When I go into the stadium, I go into yesteryear,” said Councilman Donald Evans. “I do know there’s a lot of need for upfitting that stadium.” BB&T and the Wilson County Tourism Development Authority each committed $150,000 during the next two years and the N.C. Baseball Museum, located at Fleming Stadium, plans to provide

$45,000. The Wilson Tobs will also sign a 10-year lease with the city of Wilson, an agreement that’s valued at $150,000. Mayor Bruce Rose said the project is an opportunity for the city to upgrade the stadium, which was built in 1939 and contains its original grandstand. Some recent improvements were made, including new stadium lights and ceiling fans in the grandstand. “Aesthetically, we had to make improvements,” said Greg Suire, Wilson Tobs owner. “It will truly reenergize this facil-


To the right, an artist’s rendering shows the new plans for Fleming Stadium, both on the exterior and inside along the first base line. Submitted photograph

ity. “We want to make Fleming Stadium a bedrock of the center city of Wilson where we can use this facility for other things than just baseball. We need to make sure we keep Fleming Stadium and the center city vibrant and relevant.” The chain link fence surrounding the front of the stadium will be removed and replaced with a wrought iron fence and brick pillars. New brick buildings will be added on each side of the ticket booth and a sunshield will provide a covering between the entrance and the grandstand. The building on the right will house a new concession area, which will have a nearby seating area. Landscaping will be added to the front, as well. The building on the left will have items from the N.C. Baseball Museum, which will be prominently displayed from windows and display cases. New restrooms will also be added. The existing baseball museum will remain in its current location, near the Wilson Tobs office at Fleming Stadium. The front display area for the museum will be a new feature anticipated to increase visitor traffic by tenfold, said Robin Hauser, director of sales and marketing for the Wilson Tobs. The area will also allow for more space for the museum, which is in need of an expansion. “Hopefully, the museum will increase the interest of fans,” Suire said. “We want to properly present the N.C. Baseball Museum’s partnership with Fleming Stadium.” A BB&T sign will be displayed at the entrance, along with Wilson Tobs and Fleming Stadium signs. The Wilson Visitors Center will also be advertised. The Wilson County Tourism Development Authority supported the project because of its potential in drawing visitors to Wilson and the stadium. “It’s a great plan and, I think, it’s worthy of our participation,” said Bowie Gray, chairman of the tourism board. “It would improve the facility tremendously. This will help the neighborhood. It will help the baseball museum as An advertising supplement to The Wilson Times

well.” A timeline for the project has not been set but some landscaping improvements could be seen within the next several months, Suire said. Project plans, including architectural drawings, will need to be created as well as a construction contract that will be reviewed by the Wilson City Council. The changes are anticipated to provide improvements in the Five Points neighborhood

area where the stadium is located, at 300 Stadium St., Hauser said. The improvements are also an effort to help make the stadium a location for more events throughout the year, including a training location for college baseball teams, said Thomas Webb, Wilson Tobs general manager. “We want to make Fleming Stadium in Wilson a destination,” Webb said. “This is the start of getting away from our traditional schedule to make it year-round.” March 2013

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Warm up your game Stiff basketball competition heats up each winter through the City of Wilson photograph courtesy of Brian Massey

After over 40 years of head-knocking competition, it’s no secret where one can find a decent game of basketball in Wilson. The City of Wilson’s Parks and Recreation Department offers a highly competitive adult men’s basketball league, which plays it games at both the Recreation Park Community Center, located at 500 Sunset Road in Wilson, and the Reid Street Community Center, located at 901 Reid Street. The winter league usually runs from January 1 through the middle of February. According to Brian Massey, adult athletics supervisor for the City of Wilson, most of the league’s teams are comprised of employees of area businesses. Because of the high number of these teams — usually beteween 16 and 20 — the league is actually broken down into two divisions: Industrial League 1 and Industrial League 2. There is also an “Open League” for anyone who simply wants to join a random team, howev-

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er, this winter there was only one “Open” team, so it was co-opted into Industrial League 1. Though this is Massey’s first year running the program, he has been very impressed with the players and hopeful about the league’s growth. “The competition is actually really good,” said Massey. “It was very exciting to watch.” Much like college basketball, trophies are given away to both the regular season champions (and runners-up), as well the post-season tournament champions (and runners-up). All teams play at least two games each week. Massey says that he would love to start the defunct Women’s League back up, but the interest and feedback just really haven’t been there. With the winter season wrapped up, Massey is already ready for the summer games to start. “This being my first year with the program, it was exciting. Through the season I saw teams progressively get better. The games were made to be on TV.”

How to Get a Team Coaches’ packets are available at the Recreation Park Center. Or you can visit the website for more information for winter sports at www.wilsonnc.org. The coaches meeting for adult basketball will be in late October. Any other questions, contact Brian Massey at 252-296-3361 or bmassey@wilsonnc.org.

Other Adult Leagues: Spring Adult Softball — Meeting March 21st, 6:30 p.m. at Gillette Baseball field house) Spring Adult Soccer (starts Tuesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. at Gillette) Summer Basketball, Fall Adult Soccer, Adult Flag Football , Adult Fall Softball


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“ Barton’s theatre major comes to life in the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre and, with Broadway and regional talent backing this program, the stars are the limit. We will be adding a musical theatre concentration this year in addition to our concentrations in design, management, and performance. Come be a part of something big; share with us, and the world, this thing you do called theatre.” -Adam Twiss, director of theatre, assistant professor of theatre

INSPIRING FACULTY | At Barton, you are not another no-name face in a crowded classroom. With an average class size of 15, your

professors not only become your teachers, but also your mentors, advisors, and partners for your academic goals. Our 71 full-time faculty members bring their educational backgrounds and experiences from schools such as Yale, Duke, and other prestigious universities. Even with their wealth of knowledge and real world experience, they are not out of reach for the students. At Barton, the student/faculty ratio is 12:1. This means your professors are always accessible. Professors here are even known to give out their cell phone numbers! They set high expectations in the classroom, and they challenge you to do your best.

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My Wilson: Experience, March 15, 2013