- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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“We are blessed to have grown up here in Nantahala, Land of the Noonday Sun,” said Nantahala School’s valedictorian, Lauren Gearhart, when she addressed her class at the school’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 4. “The haven we have here is like a well-kept secret in our lush, green mountains.”

Indeed, the small school in the mountains seems to grow talent like a greenhouse, year after year, turning out more outstanding citizens than it has a right to. The Class of 2011, with nine graduates, has been no exception.

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Nantahala High School valedictorian Lauren Gearhart is the recipient of more than $23,000 in scholarships.

Gearhart, who graduated Saturday, June 4, has been accepted at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Honors College of Engineering, where she will study engineering for four years then transfer to a university in North Carolina to pursue a doctorate degree.

In addition, Gearhart has received the N.C. Veterans Scholarship which provides for free tuition, room and board allowance and exemption for mandatory fees for four academic years.

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This year saw the passing of Robbie Newton, principal of Nantahala School, after a long battle with cancer. Newton, 39, was loved and respected by the students and teachers at Nantahala School, and colleagues spoke of the positive role-model and inspiration he had been.

“It’s a huge loss for the community and the school. He touched the lives of many students and colleagues over the past 15 or so years that he worked at Nantahala School,” said Franklin High School principal Chris Baldwin who had worked with Newton for a number of years.

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Nantahala High School graduation was held June 4, in the Nantahala High School Gymnasium – SECU Foundation, funded solely by State Employees’ Credit Union’s (SECU’s) membership, has presented a $10,000 four-year college scholarship to Justin Lane Solesbee, a senior at Nantahala High School. Justin is the son of Tim and Jennifer Solesbee. This scholarship was awarded for study at Appalachian State University, part of North Carolina’s 16-campus University of North Carolina System.

 

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published: 10/18/2013
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