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REACH of Macon County has a promising new opportunity for the unemployed or underemployed looking to change their lives.

The New Choices program, which offers free classes in both Macon and Jackson counties, provides participants with the skills, knowledge and resources to transition back into the workforce or school.

New Choices Coordinator Ashley Freeman says participation in the program is beneficial in both the short term and long term.

“The New Choices program is about education,” said Freeman. “Education can change lives, it can improve your life and make it so much better than you thought possible.”


At the Macon County school board meeting Tuesday, May 28, Nantahala School recognized two

Vivian Douthit, who is retiring this year, was honored for serving more than
35 years. She received the Support Person of the Year award that is voted on by faculty and staff.


Last October, Nantahala School received a Macon County Academic Foundation grant to build a marine habitat. Through the grant, donations, and support from other classes, we have established a unique saltwater aquarium that has greatly enriched the learning environment at Nantahala School. This aquarium provides many educational opportunities and allows students to interact with marine life in a way that has never been possible at NHS. Initially, I thought that caring for these fish would be a simple task. I soon learned that it was not.


Monday night, the Macon County Board of Commissioners met in Highlands for its regularly scheduled May meeting. Among items discussed, was County Manager Jack Horton's 2013-2014 proposed budget. By law, Horton must present a balanced budget to commissioners to review as a balanced budget must be approved and submitted to the state by June 18.

With possible state budget cuts to education still to come and the uncertainty of funding sources, the school system was forced to turn to the county in April to request $9,567,455 from county commissioners for the 2013-14 school year; an increase of $2,656,455 from this school year.


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