LUMBERTON —A former Laurinburg city council member has taken the reins on the board of Southeastern Community and Family Services, Inc.
Joy Ellison, a principal intern in the Public Schools of Robeson County, succeeds former board chair Jason King, who will serve as vice-chair. She will serve a one-year term, which began on July 1.
“I am excited about working collaboratively with this organization,” Ellison said in a statement. “Southeastern has weathered the storm and demonstrated resilience. It’s time to move forward and fine-tune our strengths. We provide a valuable service to our counties and I look forward to being a part of progress.”
In addition to Ellison and King, new board officers include treasurer John Ferguson; assistant treasurer Gwendolyn Chavis; secretary Linda McLaughlin; and assistant secretary Scott Witten.
Formerly known as Four-County Community Services, Southeastern Community and Family Services, Inc. is a nonprofit agency based in Lumberton, serving low income residents in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Hoke, Pender, Robeson, and Scotland counties.
Using $16 million in federal funds, Southeastern employs more than 200 people to operate 15 Head Start centers, Section 8 housing, and other programs involving workforce readiness, economic development, and self-sufficiency.
Ellison is a graduate of Scotland High School and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in school administration at Fayetteville State University.
Her work experiences have ranged from sales and marketing to economic and community development. She has served as the Scotland County Democratic Party chair and as a State Executive Council Member and Democratic National Convention Delegate for 2012, representing the 8th Congressional District.
While serving on the Laurinburg City Council, Ellison was an alternate for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission Regional Task Force, and initiated the first City Employee Survey in conjunction with the Employment Security Commission, which has aided the city’s comprehensive employment plan.
Ellison has an interest in global affairs and enjoys studying about cultures other than her own. At The University of North Carolina, she was involved in the UNITAS program, a residential program that allows students from different cultures to live and study together. There, she met numerous friends with whom she is still connected. She has traveled to Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany and plans to continue to see the world.
Ellison has taught exceptional children in The Public Schools of Robeson County for several years, as well as eighth grade language arts. Last year, she completed the county’s Aspiring Administrators Program.
A finalist for the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program, Ellison was appointed statewide co-chairperson of the Educators for Kay Hagan Committee.