Fayetteville, N.C. (October 31, 2022) — Fayetteville State University (FSU) honored Hilda and Edward Cromartie, Sr., of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and their family as the 2022 Family of the Year during its 155th Founders’ Day celebration. The FSU Family of the Year award recognizes multi-generational families who continue to exemplify FSU’s motto: Res Non Verba, Deeds Not Words.
Hilda and Edward Sr. are both FSU dual degree holders and dedicated their lives and careers to education as teachers and administrators. Their children, NaTale Cromartie (Nelson), her husband, Ryan, and Edward Cromartie, Jr., followed the senior Cromarties’ path to FSU and to the public school system, specifically Wayne County, North Carolina. Nearly all hold master’s degrees in education administration from FSU; Edward Jr. earned his master’s degree from Gardner-Webb University.
“It’s difficult to quantify the depth and breadth of this family’s impact on our University, our schools and the field of education as a whole,” said FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison. “They exemplify what it means to be a Bronco and to uphold our motto: Res Non Verba, Deeds Not Words. Their contributions are immeasurable, and their actions speak volumes about their commitment to teaching and learning. We are honored to celebrate them as FSU’s Family of the Year.”
Hilda and Edward Cromartie, Sr. are now retired from Wayne County Public Schools where he was a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent and she was a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Retirement hasn’t kept them from staying involved. In addition to his service on numerous boards, Edward Sr. also tutored students in the Mount Olive and Brogden area schools. He was recently presented with The Fayetteville State National Alumni Association’s Meritorious Service Award. Both remain involved in the community and serve Wayne County Retired School Personnel, the Wayne County Department of Social Services, the Mount Olive Housing Authority and as tutors for students in the Mount Olive and Brogden area schools.
Edward Cromartie, Jr., is principal of Mount Olive Middle School where his sister, NaTale, formerly served in the that role before becoming principal of Brogden Primary School. Both are Wayne County Public Schools. Edward Jr. mentors young men in his Mount Olive community. His wife, Trelvia, is also an educator and teaches English at Southern Wayne High School.
NaTale Cromartie (Nelson) was recognized as Middle School Principal of the Year when she served at Mount Olive Middle School. Her husband, Ryan, is principal of Goldsboro High School and served on Wayne County Crimestoppers.
“We are humbled and grateful to be recognized as Fayetteville State University’s 2022 Family of the Year,” Ryan Nelson said on behalf of the family. “Hilda and Edward Sr. were born and raised in the Sandhills region, were educated here and dedicated their lives and careers to providing opportunities and uplifting their communities for future generations. I am privileged to be a part of and serve with this incredible family.”
The Cromartie/Nelson family have and continue to serve as community leaders, educators and mentors of youth. They have served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, the Wayne County Department of Social Services, the Mount Olive Planning and Board of Adjusters, the Boys and Girls Clubs Board of Directors, among others.
Above all this is family, and the Cromarties also spend as much time as possible with their five grandchildren.