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News Education

Construction crews are three months in to the projected 13-month long renovation project to the Smoky Mountain High School gym and performing arts center. The contractor began laying concrete masonry units for the auditorium walls in late January. Jackson County officials held the groundbreaking ceremony in November 2012 and anticipate the project to be completed by the end of this year.


The goal of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia is to support and encourage youth in honoring and preserving local Appalachian heritage. Therefore, this year CSA will provide four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for “Appalachian Studies,” to be presented to four deserving seniors within four Western North Carolina counties: Jackson, Swain, Haywood and Macon. Each scholarship is focused on a different aspect of Appalachian heritage, and established in honor of someone locally who has made a difference.

Scholarship # 1—The Annie Lee Bryson Memorial Scholarship will be presented to a student from these counties who has declared a major or minor in Appalachian Studies or related studies with an interest in “traditional crafts."


In honor of President's Day, Read2Me is teaming up with the Rotary Club of Franklin and the Macon County Public Library for the second annual essay contest. This year's essay theme is “Great Presidents.”

The contest is open to public school and home school student in grades 3-8. Students are encouraged to choose one president from the following list and write an essay on why he was a great president: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan. Each student is encouraged to follow the guidelines for their respective grade level and to do research and use writing skills to convince readers why their choice was indeed a great president.

“Communication is one of the keys to success in your professional and your personal life,” said Gary Dills with the Franklin Rotary Club. “These essays give young people in the community an opportunity to relay their thoughts and in the process, learn about the people who helped make this country great.”


Jackson County is joining school districts from across the country who are focusing on school safety. Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., law enforcement officers have been working with school officials to ensure that public schools are as safe as possible.

During January's regularly scheduled Jackson County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mike Murray informed board members that he believed additional school resource officers (SRO) should be considered for school sites that currently do not have them. “The school system's role is to work with county commissioners and the Sheriff's Office in a collaborative effort to ensure that we keep students safe and to look at all avenues when doing that,” said Murray.


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