Teacher Assistant of the Year

A little over a week ago, I had the honor and privilege to judge the Teacher Assistant of the Year. Being the son of a 40+ year veteran of the school system-this took on a whole new meaning for me.

When I arrived at Tramway Elementary for the competition, I was greeted by 9 Teacher Assistants.  Not only was I the only male, I was also the only non-teacher assistant as well.

No need to worry, I felt right at home.

We were all given one question to ask and were given the responsibility to grade each of the very deserving candidates answers.

My particular question was, “Why should you be Teacher Assistant of the Year?” Truth be known, they all deserved teacher assistant of the year.  In fact we have over 250 Teacher Assistants in Lee County. Each one serves as a support of the teachers that they are assigned to.

The one thing that really stuck out in my mind just how postitive these influences are on a daily basis. Many of the students that are served by our teachers and teacher assistants do not have a quality home life structure. Without this daily support from people that pour their heart and soul into their work, many of these kids would grow up in a environment free of love, discipline and care.

I hope that we all take time to recognize those who are helping to educate our children. It takes energy, it takes love and it take a lot of heart.  I respect this profession and I hope during this election season, when we are addressing education concerns that we take time out to appreciate those who are “behind the scenes.”

Next time you get a chance to visit with a teacher-don’t forget the Assistants. 

Thanks you Teacher Assistants!



Hawkins “Hawks”

Sanford Herald Billy Liggett, wrote a nice editorial on the efforts of the Hawkins Avenue Concerned Citizens.  A couple weeks ago, Ruth Gurtis, who has been one of the main ingredients holding this group together referred to the Group as the “Hawkins Hawks”.

This group is exercising the fundamental right to voice their opinion. 

During my campaign for City Council, I constantly referred to the need of returning to a “Citizens based government.” I applaud the group for wanting to protect the integrity of their neighborhood.

I have admired their leadership in not only taking this issue to the City Council, but to the County Commissioners as well.

As an elected official, I hope we have more instances where groups of people unite to represent the interests of those where they reside.

Thank you Hawkins Hawks for your activism and defending your rights of Speech….



Coach McCall

I was very saddened this weekend to hear about the death of Campbell Basketball Legend Fred McCall.  Coach meant so much to so many people and I was very honored to call him friend. I met Coach a day or two after I entered my freshman year in the Fall of 1987.

I was fortunate enough to have a job in Sports Information and it was there that Coach McCall entered my life and I was referred to as, “Taylor”.

Seeing Coach and the late E.P. Sauls drive up to the student center as I was leaving the Post Office became a morning ritual.  It didn’t take me long before I would go and sit with them in the snack bar and have some of the best conversations that I would ever have.  Mr. Sauls would take a ball point out and draw on a styrofoam cup and give it to students.  Both had a love for the university and the students whose lives were being altered by the great environment that these two envisionaries played an important role in developing.

Coach made a significant impact in so many ways on the University. The most notable being the Basketball Camp, which at the time was the nation’s oldest and largest.  It was through Coach McCall that I got to meet my childhood hero Coach John Wooden, a friendship that is still present today.

When in college I worked as the News & Observer covering Prep Sports. It seemed like every gym that I went into-there was the McCall rebounder.  A adjustable device that held basketballs to develop rebounding-Coach McCall invented this item so many athletes learned rebounding technique because of this contribution.

In his later years I would always see Coach at a ballgame perched on the second row in tiny Carter Gym. He always wanted to know how things were in Sanford and always made sure that I was still supporting the University.

It is ironic that Carter Gym, which was the birthplace of the Basketball School and platform for many victories for Coach McCall completed its run this season and will no longer house competive basketball. A chapter is closed in the Campbell Athletic History. The chapter on Coach McCall’s life is now complete but both the Carter Dome and Coach McCall’s life have left me with some very indellible memories.

Thanks Coach….

Time for a Skate Park in Sanford???

<Hometown Skate Park>

Another Pic of Hometown Skate Park

Last Monday I was a pallbearer for a dear family friend. While in my hometown, I rolled back the hands of time and went on a tour visting places that were such an intrigal part of my childhood. My travels brought me to my junior high school, where only one or two buildings remain of the mammoth structure that once was. The real surprise came when I drove behind the property  where I played baseball and football. The fields were still in the same condition that I left them back in the early ’80s. The big change however was at the tennis courts. The two courts had been converted to an unmanned skate park.

Skating is at its peak and it was refreshing to see a small community in Eastern, North Carolina make a progressive decision. I was very suprised at first but also had a sense of pride knowing that the same community I grew up in was adapting to changing times.

The North Carolina General Assembly in recent years has addressed Municipalities getting into the Skate Park business without the burden of liability that has strangled these projects in the past.  I am not advocating converting tennis courts that are currently being enjoyed by the tennis community.  I am interested in hearing what the thoughts are of the community in looking to  build a skate Park with a similar design that is pictured in this blog. Please share your thoughts…..

Issues At Hand

It has been a while since my last post. Basketball Season is over….finally.

My first four months on the City Council has been very rewarding on so many fronts. Recently, with the proposed Gracehouse facility, Ward #2 has been quite lively. I would like to hear from each and everyone of you. I am reminded everyday of the call to serve the residents of Sanford.

The only way we can improve on our level of service is to have your input.

In the next couple of months several projects that I am working towards will be presented. If you have anything that needs to be addressed please feel free to chime in.

Even Family Members Are Entitled To An Opinion

I received a comment on the Take 5 that appeared in Saturday’s Paper. The comment  came in just before midnight on February 13th from the daughter of Linwood Mann, longtime Councilman from Ward #5 .


Take 5 was not the place for you to blow off steam!! Many of the councilmen are getting calls every day and doing something about the problems. I have seen many things being done positive in Sanford every day! Have you taken a survey on employees’ job records of how many are quitting per year?You moved here you must have liked it yourself! Who have you asked on the city council about there calls or anything else for that matter. I hope you are repreminded for this insult madness of yours!! You have no respect for your co-workers to have said what you did about the mayor and councilmen. How can you be respected yourself!! Are you trying to run for mayor? I’m not impressed with your showmanship as a councilman so far!

Feb 13, 11:41 PM

I hope that City Business is not keeping Ms. Porter awake….Freedom of Speech is a wonderful thing!

Here is the first post… « Charles Taylor

Okay…March Madness is nearing and I figured that I might as well pay homage to Tobacco Road.

Many of you might already know that I work as a freelancer for Raycom Sports. I have been a Font Coordinator for over 5 years now for major college and professional sporting events. I have been involved with different phases of television sports since the late 80’s.

Never before have I experienced an ACC Season like this one….

In the last week I have worked  four games, starting with the NCSU-DUKE Thursday a week ago. I then traveled to Virginia-Virginia Tech, which was an overtime game. On Super Bowl Sunday, I had the Wake-NCSU game-yet another one going down to the wire.

This week was the mother of all matchups…UNC & Duke.  The last 9-mile battle that I worked was for CBS and happened to be Sean May’s last regular season game in a Tarheel Uniform. May went out in strong fashion with 26 points and 24 rebounds. 

I figured we were destined for another close one…In fact going into the game 22 of the first 44 ACC games have been decided by three points or less, or in overtime.  (I have had too many of the 22 games this year)

So what happened in this matchup???

Here are the 5 things:

1.  UNC BENCH-Danny Green was the only non-starter to take a shot and he didn’t stop with one shot, another and another and another….you get the point-all but one went clank. Green finished the night 1-10 from the field for 3 points. Duke, which leads the ACC in Bench Scoring won that battle 22-3.

2. Halftime Adjustment-With the Devils holding a slight edge at the intermission, 42-39- I am sure they received a word or two from Coach K as he layed out a well orchestrated plan for the second half, which in my opinion proves that he will be Coach of the Year in the ACC. K should stand for King as in King of adjustments at the half.

Hansbrough & Thompson combined for 27 points and 13-18 shooting in the first half.  Different story after the break-13 points on 4-9 shooting.

3. No Q-Time- Quentin Thomas tied individual season high turnovers-6 in his 35 minutes of play. For the night, the Devils, which lead the league in Forced Turnovers (19.2) had converted 20 UNC miscues into 14 points.

4. The 3-Ball-Behind the stroke of Greg Paulus the Blue Devils won this battle connecting on 13 of 29 3’s including 8 of 16 in the first half. The Heels only hit 3 of 17 on the night.

5. Lawson Loss-The obvious one for last. I honestly felt that Carolina was sandbagging and Lawson was going to come out with the best game of his two-year career. Prior to his injury, Lawson had hit the double-figure plateau 8 of the last 9 games.  Didn’t happen tonight as he sat on the bench nursing a sore ankle.