This category is for recognitions article content.
Coach Will Robinson, a 1972 graduate of Cumberland High School, has coached the game of basketball for over 30 years, having been a coach for both girls and boys at the high school and collegiate (George Mason University) levels. During his high school years, he was a three sport standout athlete. He attended Mansfield College in Pennsylvania on a basketball scholarship and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Upon graduation Robinson returned home to Cumberland County High School, where he was a teacher. He joined the Cumberland HS basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach to then Head Coach James “Jimmy” Johnson. The Dukes went on to win consecutive State Championships. After taking a leave from education, Robinson returned to Cumberland to become the head coach of the “Dukes.”
Coach Robinson is recognized as both an educator and an accomplished coach who is praised for his ability to teach the game of basketball to others. He says that it is his passion for the game and for those who share it that motivates him to encourage, inspire, and build confidence in those who desire to become a better player and person.
Currently Coach Robinson serves as an Academic Facilitator as well as the Community Engagement Coordinator and head Boys Basketball Coach at Vance High School in Charlotte, NC. In this position, he has a career coaching record of 161-32 and has had 16 players sign full scholarships to play collegiately during his tenure.
On November 7, 2012, Coach Robinson reached a coaching milestone by winning his 500th game. Coach “Rob” has been rewarded for his efforts both on and off the court. He is often called upon to speak and was the keynote speaker at NC Teacher Cadet Program, the keynote speaker at University Meadows Elementary School, was the featured speaker at the Chris Paul Basketball Camp, was a speaker at 100 Black Men Youth Program, and was the featured speaker at the YBM Program of Charlotte. Some of his accomplishments are as follows:
Kailyn Gilliam, a Cumberland High School student, was recognized by the School Board for being selected to attend Girls State during the summer. Delegates to ALA (American Legion Auxiliary) Girls State programs have completed their junior year in high school and are selected by American Legion Auxiliary units. The units work with local high school educators to identify young women who have demonstrated leadership qualities.
Girls State delegates are described as a diverse group of young women with a shared desire to learn and lead. Girls State “citizens” come together from small towns, big cities and rural areas to hold Girls State elections, and their varied backgrounds set the stage for a week of spirited, experiential learning. The number of Girls State citizens varies by state and is determined by each state’s American Legion Auxiliary resources.
Virginia Girls State was held on June 16, 2013 at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia. The theme for the session was “Take Flight Towards the Future.” Ms. Gilliam made a presentation to the School Board to show what she learned from the program. The Board members congratulated Ms. Gilliam for attending Girls State.
Ariel Hampton, a student at Cumberland High School, was recognized by the School Board at the August 2013 meeting for attending the Dream It, Do It Virginia Manufacturing Technology Camp. The week-long camp was held at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, VA, during the summer. At the camp older youth were introduced to the manufacturing design process in a fun and interactive format. During the camp, students had an opportunity to use a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) router, CNC lathe, laser engraver, and digital imaging. Camp activities also included touring both the Riverstone Energy Center and the Center for Coatings Research and Education (C-CARE), and hearing a presentation from ABB Lead Process Engineer Patricia Ricketts on ABB’s global operations, manufacturing processes, and career opportunities.
This year’s students were participants in the Workforce Investment Act youth program. Participants had to write an essay to be accepted into the camp. Students that take part in the manufacturing technology summer camp learned techniques involved with creating a clock by participating in a hands-on activity.
Justin Reid, who graduated from Cumberland High School in 2005, was very active when he was a student here. He said he participated in anything and everything that he could, including Governor’s School, yearbook, FBLA, SCA, track, and cross country track. He recalled playing tenor sax in both middle school and high school and thought he would be the next John Coltraine. He has other interesting memories of CHS. He said, “I remember losing Prom King by one vote to my cousin. That’s one of those funny things that only happens in Cumberland.” He noted that he voted for his cousin. He also remembers riding in an airplane for the first time his junior year and touring France during spring break—which he says was a life changing event.
After high school, Mr. Reid attended and graduated from The College of William and Mary. He reported being a student activist in college: “I spent a lot of time working with administrators and admissions to improve campus diversity and student financial aid, which we did. I also mentored and tutored in local schools, and worked as a history teaching assistant.”
Mr. Reid has traveled overseas several times. In college, he spent two summers studying abroad, first in Southern France and later in South Africa. He also spent two winter breaks working in Tanzania (East Africa). Most recently, he vacationed with his brother-in-law’s relatives in London.
Currently Mr. Reid is the Associate Director for Museum Operations at the Moton Museum in Farmville, a position he has held since April 2012. As part of his job, he oversees the programming, tours, and outreach of the Moton Museum. The Museum is Virginia’s sole National Historic Landmark of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. The Museum explores Prince Edward County’s leading role in producing the 1954 Brown decision (the Supreme Court ruling that desegregated U. S. public education) and the 1964 Griffin decision.
Mr. Reid remains active with the Youth Ministry at Sharon Baptist Church and volunteers with the Buckingham and Cumberland 4-H. His hobbies include water sports, fishing, traveling, studying history, and spending time with close friends and family—especially his six nieces and nephews. He had this to share with others: “Cumberland County has so much potential. I really hope to see more young people return to the area and invest in our community—raise their families here, start businesses, take on leadership roles in local government. I think the future of Cumberland really depends on young people with deep roots in this community branching out and bringing back the best of what they’ve learned.”