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News Education

Retired educator Gary M. Shields has been reappointed to the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees by the Macon County Commissioners and the Jackson County Commissioners. Shields has served on the SCC Board of Trustees since August 2011.

A native of Macon County, Shields served two tours of duty in Vietnam serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Shields earned his Bachelor’s degree from Gardner- Webb College and a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. He also has a Masters in Guidance Counseling from Western Carolina University.


Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Awards for 2012 were presented Saturday, Sept. 29, to Rob Tiger, a Hayesville community leader who has led numerous efforts to preserve that town’s historic and cultural heritage, and the Jackson County Genealogical Society, whose members have been working for more than two decades to advance genealogical research in Jackson County and across the region.

The awards were presented by Susan Belcher, wife of WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher, as part of activities at the university’s 38th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival.


Test scores ‘not even close’ to where they should be.

The Macon County Board of Education got a stern wake up call last week from Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan. He addressed the board regarding Macon County's 2011 test scores.

According to Dr. Duncan, based on the school district's End of Grades test scores, and ACT benchmark test, which is taken in the 11th grade to determine a student's preparedness for college level courses, Macon County is far below where they should be as a district.

“If you look at our test results based on surrounding counties, we are not even close to where we should be testing,” said Dr. Duncan. “There is no reason why we should be testing below average, or even average compared to other districts in the Western region of the state.


More than 100 educators, school staff and parents expected to attend

Like the school gardens it encourages, the Farm to School movement is growing — nationally and right here in Western North Carolina. To provide school staff and community members the training and resources needed to strengthen existing and implement new Farm to School programs, ASAP’s (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) Growing Minds Farm to School Program will host WNC’s first Farm to School Institute Nov. 10, 8 a.m to 5 p.m., at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, home of the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness.


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