CARY — The Public Schools of Robeson County’s Migrant Education Program received the 2023-2024 Migrant Education Outstanding Program Award from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction during the North Carolina Migrant Education Program Summit held Tuesday in Cary.


The award was given to the school district for its excellence in the Migrant Education Program, setting it apart as the best Migrant Education Program in the state.


“In addition to their incredible non-stop high-quality performance in data accuracy and program implementation, this district MEP stands out for its innovative and effective programming to the needs of all migratory children, and paying special attention to Priority for Service, Pre-K and out-of-school youth students,” said Alex Charles, Consolidated Section Chief, Federal Programs West, NCDPI.


Charles presented the award to the PSRC Migrant Education Team. The PSRC Migrant Education Program Team led by Superintendent Dr. Williamson and Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Freeman includes Philip Oxendine, PSRC Federal Programs Director; María Hilario Patricio, Migrant Recruiter; Sandra Lopez Greenfield, Migrant COE Reviewer; and Glenys Vasquez, ML/Migrant Program Assistant.


The award comes after the program received the Continuous Program Improvement Award in 2023. Freeman also was recognized in 2023 for her outstanding leadership, commitment and dedication to improve the district’s Migrant Education Program.


It is very important to highlight that this MEP district is the first in North Carolina MEP Summit history to earn an award back to back, which is a testament to their enduring commitment to excellence with high standards set by leadership and their relentless pursuit of positive outcomes for migratory children and families,” Charles said. “Please join me in congratulating the Public Schools of Robeson County for the 2024 Outstanding MEP Award!”


Jennifer Freeman, assistant superintendent of Student Services, Intervention and Support, shared words of gratitude for the recognition.


“It is an honor to receive the NC DPI Migrant Education Program Most Outstanding Award,” Freeman said. “I am very fortunate and grateful to have such an outstanding team of staff members who strive for excellence daily. Student success is our top priority and the desire to see students succeed fuels our work each day.”


PSRC Migrant Recruiter Maria Hilario Patricio said she is proud of the MEP Team.


“This award is a byproduct of all the recruitment and services that we are able to provide for our Migratory students. I am thankful for the support of Dr. Williamson and proud of the work of our MEP Team as we continue to remove barriers that our Migrant children face due to frequent moves,” Hilario Patricio said.


Charles commended the district for its “creative initiatives, exemplary summer programs, and  non-stop high-quality performance in data accuracy and program implementation.”


“This district increased its MEP population by more than 50% in only a year and a half, which reflects the meticulous attention to detail and the high standards of professionalism upheld by this district’s staff and leadership, ensuring that the MEP resources allocated reach those who need them most efficiently and effectively,” Charles added.


PSRC Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson attended the event and beamed with pride as the school district’s Migrant Education Program Team was recognized.


“Mrs. Freeman and her team work diligently each day to ensure we are reaching all students and providing the support needed for them to thrive academically. I would like to congratulate our Migrant Education Program Team for their daily commitment to student success. This award is truly a reflection of their excellence and leadership,” Williamson said.