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Monday, June 27–Wednesday, June 29 | The Rizzo Center, Chapel Hill

                Generously sponsored by the North Caroliniana Society



NEW APPLICANTS WHO WOULD LIKE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE WAIT LIST CAN DO SO BELOW. (If you would like to be added to our e-mail list so that you receive immediate notice of future events, send a request to

For another workshop option, check out REACHING ACROSS: History, Humanities & the Promise of America (with IN-PERSON or VIRTUAL participation options!)


To say it has been a challenging two years for K-12 teachers is an understatement. From serving on the front lines during a pandemic while managing unprecedented needs, to being expected to do more with less, we know that many of you are holding on by a thread during increasingly divisive and politicized education climates. We see you, we appreciate you, and we are ready to lift you up this summer at the annual William Friday Teachers Retreat! Join Carolina K-12 and the North Caroliniana Society for two-nights, three-days, ALL-EXPENSES- PAID at the beautiful Rizzo Center in Chapel Hill, where we provide space to you to reconnect with your role as a scholar yourself, and with your passion for the art of teaching. This widely acclaimed event is designed to educate and equally appreciate our state’s hard-working educators for the valued and critical work you do!

Part content knowledge, part pedagogy & resources, and part earned “stay-cation,” teachers will enjoy a snapshot of some of the most captivating events, people, culture, and literature of North Carolina and the South throughout these three engaging days, all while experiencing 5-star accommodations and dining at the Rizzo Center.

Click here to view the tentative agenda, which will integrate:

  • A “potpourri” of NC/Southern history, literature, & culture, with presentations from engaging scholars, authors, performers, artists, etc. Highlights include:

    • A workshop with NY Times best-selling author Wiley Cash (teachers will also receive a copy of Cash’s newest novel, “The Last Ballad,” which beautifully tells the story of North Carolina’s Ella May and the Loray Mill Strike)
    • Inspiration from and pedagogical exploration with award-winning performer Dr. Sonny Kelly
    • “Sounds of Freedom: From Slavery to Civil Rights,” a performance by acclaimed vocalist Mary D. Williams (teachers will receive a free copy of Mrs. Williams’s CD of spirituals and freedom songs)
    • Hands-on art exploration & relaxation with artist Karen Lynch Harley, member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe in NC
    • A private screening of “Tales of the American South,” a full-dome short film, to be followed by a discussion with the film’s producer & legendary Southern folklorist, Dr. Bill Ferris
  • Coordinating lesson plans and resources
  • Constant affirmation and appreciation for your work as a PROFESSIONAL who is making NC a better place each day you enter the classroom!
  • A celebratory Teacher Appreciation Dinner (on Monday evening) at 411 West, where we will dine on delicious Italian food and toast each of you into the evening; delicious meals and snacks will also be provided each day.
  • Teachers Fun Night Out on Tuesday evening, including a free ticket to the movies!
  • The important chance to meet, share ideas and recharge with other teachers from all around the state.

Teachers participating in this FREE retreat and teacher appreciation event will receive:

  • 2.0 CEUs
  • Beautiful, FREE accommodations (Monday and Tuesday night) at the beautiful Rizzo Center

    • On your application, please note whether you prefer a single-occupancy room, OR if you would like to sign up with a friend/colleague and share a double Queen room.
    • If you want to apply for a double occupancy room (with two Queens), your chances of being accepted may be slightly elevated. Each applicant will need to list their preferred roommate’s name on the application when applying. Please do NOT apply for a double occupancy unless you have confirmed with your preferred roommate first, as they will also need to note this same preference in their application. You should each submit your applications on the same day & no later than 24 hrs. apart. (Failure to do so can delay review of your application and result in spaces being filled.)
    • Teachers who attend but do not need accommodations can receive a $75 travel stipend post-attendance. (Before selecting this option, use mapping software to ensure you can comfortably arrive at the Rizzo Center by each day’s start time. The agenda is here.) Stipends will be provided via direct deposit 6-8 weeks post-event.
  • Numerous teacher appreciation “treats” along the way!

Application Requirements:

  • This event is open to any currently practicing K-12 teacher in North Carolina who teaches or integrates North Carolina history and literature into their course (i.e., Social Studies, English/Language Arts, arts/humanities, etc.)
  • Teachers must be able to attend ALL HOURS of EACH DAY of the event in order to register, including Monday’s dinner. (Conflicts that require leaving early, arriving late, or missing any session, activity or meal cannot be accommodated.) See the agenda here for specific start and end times.
  • Past participants of Friday Retreats are ineligible (i.e., Colonial Inn, Hillsborough in 2021 or Hotel Indigo, Asheville in 2019.) If you are unsure of your eligibility, feel free to contact to inquire.
  • BEFORE applying, please ensure you have checked your schedule and are committed to attending if accepted. Cancellations create additional administrative work and can result in materials/funding waste.
  • We will follow up-to-date CDC guidelines that are in place as of the event date. (Currently, masking at UNC-CH is optional.) If you have questions or health concerns, please feel free to contact us at
  • Due to high demand, enrollment is not guaranteed. If your application is accepted for either IN-PERSON or VIRTUAL participation, you will receive notice via e-mail. A response is required to confirm your intent to attend & finalize your enrollment.
    • Expect a response to your application within 2 weeks of your application, and no later than June 1.
    • Please make sure you add the domain “” to your safe senders list to ensure notification of acceptance or wait-list goes through.
    • If after June 1 you have not received a response and a message is not in your junk/spam folder, please contact us at

Credit Card & Cancellation Policy

If your application is accepted, you will receive notice via e-mail. (Please make sure you have added the domain “” to your safe senders list, as failure to receive/reply to your acceptance e-mail can result in your spot going to the next teacher on the list.) A response is required to confirm your intent to attend, and you will need to provide a credit card number via phone or fax to secure your space. YOUR CARD WILL NOT BE CHARGED and NO HOLD is placed on your card to participate in this FREE event.

In the event that a cancellation is unavoidable, we request that you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance of the event start date to allow us the time to fill your spot. We are committed to providing services to hardworking teachers for free, but failure to cancel, last minute cancellations, and “no shows” result in extreme waste and prevents wait-listed teachers from attending. This event is valued at over $1,000 per teacher. Thus, failure to cancel/participate may result in a $75 “no show” fee applied to your credit card (except in the case of emergencies or sudden illness.)

This charge is ONLY applied for a registrant who does not cancel their registration and/or does not show up. (This charge is not applied in the cases of unavoidable emergencies and sudden illness.) We take your privacy very seriously; all credit card information is kept in a locked safe and then shredded after the training date. Credit card information should NOT be sent via e-mail.

If you have any questions, or do not have access to a credit card, please contact Paul Bonnici at or 919.962.1544.


This form will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Answers cannot be saved, so make sure you have all of the information requested before starting. Please remember that due to extremely high demand, filling out this form does not guarantee your registration. (Requesting a shared room does slightly elevate your chances for acceptance.)

Funding for this event is generously provided by the North Caroliniana Society.