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Carolina Voices:  Exploring the Tar Heel State through History, Culture & Rejuvenation

Tuesday August 10 – Thursday August 12, 2021 | The Colonial Inn | Downtown Hillsborough
Generously sponsored by the Wayne County Friends of Public Education
Important Information for Registered Participants



Our three day agenda (see updates as of 8/4/2021) will involve a mixture of content, pedagogy, and teacher appreciation! CLICK HERE to see our schedule of events.

Please remember that participants must be able to participate in all sessions listed on the agenda, including meals. (Unfortunately, if you are bringing a guest, guests cannot be accommodated for any events, meals, or our Tuesday evening reception.)

Event Location

Our entire event will be held in the seminar room on the first floor of the Colonial Inn, located at 153 W. King Street, Hillsborough, NC, 27278. Your room at the Inn will be provided free of charge by the Wayne County Friends of Public Education!

Parking, Arrival & Check In (Click here for a map.)
  • Our event will kick off on Tues. Aug. 10 with a boxed lunch from Panera and registration offered between 11:45 – 12:20. Please plan to arrive in Hillsborough no later than 11:30 am, to give yourself time to park and walk to the Colonial Inn.
  • Free parking is available on the top floors of the parking garage directly behind Weaver Street Market (228 S Churton St, Hillsborough, NC 27278.) The garage is accessible by the side street running along Weaver Street, called Nash-Kollock Street. You can park on any open floor in any unmarked/unreserved space. (You do not need to access the floors with keypads.) This parking garage is a .3 mile walk to the Colonial Inn as shown on this map.
  • Some of our rooms will likely be ready between 10:45 am – Noon, if you would like to arrive early and try to check in before our event begins. You will also have a break to check into your room at 5:30 pm. You are welcome to bring your luggage when you arrive and store it in our seminar room until you check in if you like.
    *****Please e-mail if you are unable to navigate stairs. As the Inn is historic, it does not have an elevator between its two floors. There are some first floor rooms available for those who are uncomfortable navigating one flight of stairs, but you will need to contact us by Monday, 8/9 at 4 pm to request one of the ground floor rooms.
Special Accommodations?

Our agenda will include several walking tours, as well as the walk from the parking deck to the Colonial Inn. If you have any type of mobility issues, require handicapped parking, or need any kind of special accommodations to make you more comfortable during the retreat, included the inability to navigate one flight of stairs as explained in the above Check In section, please e-mail Christie Norris ( no later than 8/9/2021 with details of your needs.

Dress Code/What to Pack
  • The dress code for our event is professional/business casual, though wear comfortable shoes since there is a .3 mile walk from the parking garage to the Colonial Inn.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday, you should dress for the weather in comfortable walking shoes, since both of these days start with walking tours. (You will have a break after each walking tour to return to your room and change if desired.)
  • On Wednesday, our day also ends with an active and fun team-building activity, so it’s advised to not wear a dress/skirt (unless floor length) or long necklaces during that session. (If you plan to wear a dress/skirt for the first part of the day to help stay cool on our walk, you can always pop to your room to change for the closing activity.)
  • While August is usually sweltering outside, bring a sweater, fleece, or even a small throw blanket. The seminar room is VERY CHILLY. (Like, really REALLY chilly!)
  • Bring an empty tote or bag – you will be leaving with LOTS of great books and such!
  • Remember to bring/wear your masks – they are now required for vaccinated and unvaccinated people when indoors throughout Orange County (as mandated by our local government), and while inside our seminar room (as mandated by UNC-CH.)
  • Check the weather for Hillsborough, NC before your arrival. You may want to bring a rain coat, umbrella and rainproof footwear pending the forecast, since our walking tours will take place rain or shine!
  • Please bring a voided check and your social security number, both of which will be needed to fill out your paperwork for receiving a $100 stipend post-event.
  • Lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided on all three days of the event.
    • Lunch on Wed. is a delicious BBQ buffet; lunch on Thursday is a salad with your choice of grilled chicken, grilled tuna steak, or steak
  • Breakfast will be provided Wed. and Thurs. mornings.
  • A Teacher Appreciation Reception will be provided on Tuesday evening, where you can enjoy light appetizers, drinks, and words of appreciation from several special guests!
    • Unfortunately, due to the uptick in cases of the delta variant, the size of the private dining room where our Tuesday dinner was to be held, & newly instated capacity restrictions at the restaurant, dinner at Antonia’s has been cancelled and changed to a reception at the Colonial Inn. Your stipend has been increased from $75 to $100 to help cover the cost of the missed dinner, however!
  • Dinner is on your own for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. There are many dining options throughout Hillsborough (within walking distance) and beyond. Go out and treat yourself!


To help cover your gas to/from Hillsborough, as well as your dinners, and because we just LOVE teachers, each participant will be receiving a $100 stipend post-attendance. (***Please note while you were previously to receive $75, your stipend has been increased to $100 help cover the cost of your dinner on Tuesday evening since we have unfortunately had to transition the scheduled Teacher Appreciation Dinner to a Teacher Appreciation Reception. Light appetizers and drinks will be served at the reception, however.)

You will be provided with a form at the event to fill out for having your stipend direct deposited into your bank account; please bring a VOIDED check and your social security number, and you can take care of the form while here and not have to mail anything back. (If you are unable to provide a voided check or a social security number, please contact Please note that your stipend can take up to 8-10 weeks to be direct deposited into your bank account.

Area Information/Things to Do on Your Free Evening
  • Hillsborough’s scenic beauty, relaxing pace and small town charm provides the perfect destination for a retreat. Learn more about downtown Hillsborough here. Hillsborough dining options steps from the Colonial Inn include:
    • Los Altos (right across the street from the Colonial Inn)
    • Antonia’s Italian (across the street on the corner; reservation recommended)
    • Wooden Nickel Pub (one block away from the Inn)
    • Radius Pizza (***CLOSED on TUESDAYS; one block away from the Inn)
    • Nomad (***CLOSED on TUESDAYS; right across the street from the Inn; reservation recommended)
  • Minutes away you can also experience Chapel Hill, home of the UNC Tar Heels. Click here for information about things to do in and around Chapel Hill, including a reserved-seating movie theatre (with food delivery to your seat) if you are interested in catching a film on your free evening (Wed.)
COVID-19 Guidelines

We know that you all have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since it began, so it is our top priority to keep you safe while you are with us!

  • UPDATE: MASKING IS REQUIRED. Given the rising cases from the COVID delta variant, both UNC-CH (where Carolina K-12 is based) and Orange County (the location of our retreat) have recently reinstated a mask mandate to match the CDC’s current masking recommendation. Thus all participants (regardless of vaccination status) must come prepared to mask when indoors. Unvaccinated participants are strongly discouraged from participating in this event given the rising cases of the delta variant. Please contact us at if you have questions or need to cancel given this update.
    • Presenters, when at the front of the room and 6 feet away from participants, will unmask to provide their talks. Please note that all staff and presenters have been vaccinated.
  • The seminar room we will use is spacious, with advanced air filtration system.
  • Participants will be seated six to an 8-foot table. (If you prefer additional space in our seating plan, please feel free to contact and we will do our best to accommodate you.)
  • Our seminar room borders a lovely courtyard, so anyone who feels more comfortable having breakfast, lunch, etc. outside can do so.
  • Please reach out of us if you have any questions or concerns regarding health and safety measures. Your comfort and safety is our priority!
  • If you have any symptoms of illness, have had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and e-mail with your cancellation. Anyone cancelling due to potential COVID-19 symptoms and/or exposure will NOT be charged a late cancellation fee, however providing notice is still very important to help staff plan.


Please remember that this retreat, valued at over $900 per teacher, is being provided FREE OF CHARGE by the Wayne County Friends of Public Education. There is an extensive waiting list to participate, so if you find at any point you cannot attend, it is critical you e-mail with a cancellation notice. Failing to cancel & not showing up, or cancelling last minute, will result in extreme financial and resource waste, as well as prevent another teacher from filling the coveted spot. A “no show” charge may be applied to your credit card provided to hold your spot if you do not show up or cancel in a timely fashion.


If you have any questions, please contact Christie Norris,

Our Generous Donors

This event is hosted by Carolina K-12 at UNC-Chapel Hill, with funding generously provided by the Wayne County Friends of Public Education, a group of Wayne County residents who came together to provide Wayne County teachers with a high-quality, all-expenses-paid opportunity to learn, feel appreciated, and rejuvenate after an incredibly difficult year.