Lillian Bryant, Polly Hancock named to key positions at Emereau: Bladen

By: By Chrysta Carroll -

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Emereau Foundation, Inc. has named two Bladen County women — Lillian Bryant and Polly Hancock — to top positions at the new charter school.

Slated to open in August, the school will have as its Dean of Operations Lillian Bryant. Bryant most recently served as Bladen Smart Start consultant in 2015. Prior to that, she held the position of Executive Director of Bladen Smart Start from 2003-2014. Bryant has also served as the Delaware Family Literacy State Coordinator in Delaware’s Adult Education program, worked at Pembroke University as an admissions counselor, and served as a School to Work coordinator with the Department of Labor.

“Mrs. Bryant’s expertise will be evident throughout the daily operations as Emereau builds student, family, and community partnerships to further enhance the learning environment,” said Emereau Foundation Executive Director Kate Alice Dunaway.

Emereau has appointed Bladen County teacher Polly Hancock to the dual positions of Dean of Academic Initiatives and fifth grade teacher. Hancock currently teaches fifth grade at Bladenboro Middle School, a position she has held for the last 10 years. Of her 27 years experience in teaching, 25 of them have been with Bladen County Schools, where she has earned National Board Certification in 1999 and 2009. She plans to join the charter school after taking early retirement at the end of this school year.

“I’m excited about this new venture,” remarked Hancock. “I like the concept of Emereau’s inquiry-based learning — it gives the children more hands-on experiences and makes it more real to them than just reading about a subject.”

In her new position, Hancock will be involved in staff development, and she believes her experience in science development with the Bladen County School System for the last seven years will help her train other staff members in curriculum initiatives like the science forestry-based program Project Learning Tree.

“We’ve been getting a lot of applications (for employment),” Dunaway said recently. “We really believe we’re getting the cream of the crop when it comes to staff.”

The Foundation is still accepting applications for both staff and students. More information can be found by visiting, following the organization on social media, visiting its office in downtown Elizabethtown, or calling 910-247-6595. The school building is currently under construction on Airport Road.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools given latitude in their spending in exchange for promises the schools make regarding their outcomes. The schools are bound to their charter outlining how they will spend the money (the same funds that would normally follow a student to the public school system) and what they will accomplish with it.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

By Chrysta Carroll