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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.


Deanne Oppermann, chemistry instructor at Southwestern Community College (SCC) in Sylva, was named the recipient of the R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching Award for 2012-2013 by the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS).

Oppermann is known at SCC for embracing multiple teaching styles and incorporating mastery learning, the philosophy of providing more than one chance to demonstrate mastery of content or skill, into her courses. However, Oppermann’s passion for teaching goes beyond the classroom. Her passion for teaching is solidified by her interaction with students during the advising process and the countless professional development hours she logs to improve student learning and stay current in her field. Oppermann has been an educator at SCC for 17 years, with six years’ experience in the industry as a research chemist. She also holds a U.S. Patent based on novel chemical surfactants.


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