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News Education

“Status quo” isn’t in Don Tomas’ vocabulary.

“We figured Dr. Tomas would be an excellent leader but we didn’t realize how fast he would hit the ground running,” said Conrad Burrell, chairman of Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees.

When he assumed his duties as Southwestern’s new president on July 1, Tomas immediately plunged into a whirlwind of activity.

That’s just his style, according to the athletic Tomas, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and his master’s in adapted physical education.

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A $15.5 million renovation of a nearly 40-year-old residence hall at Western Carolina University set to begin in mid-July features enough energy- saving and sustainability features to qualify the building for LEED certification.

“As part of our campus planning, we have evaluated all residence halls and determined which facilities need to be replaced and which can be renovated, and Harrill Residence Hall was one we were excited to be able to develop a practical – and also green – design to modernize,” said Keith Corzine, director of residential living. “This renovation is just another step in realizing a better overall quality of student life here at WCU.”

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Local teachers take educational trip to China

Even teachers take part in continuing education.

The Western Region Education Service Alliance (WRESA) sponsors tours for teachers to go to China. China is the only destination offered thus far, however, WRESA wants to expand the program to include more places.

Forty educators in all went on the trip; four teachers from Franklin and three from Highlands.

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Every time a lottery jackpot rings, North Carolina schools receive more funding. But how much money are schools in Western North Carolina receiving, and how are they using the funds?

Last Thursday, the North Carolina Education Lottery made its final transfer of lottery revenues to the state for the 2011 fiscal year. All in all, the Lottery has given more than $2 billion in total contributions to educational systems throughout the state since it was established in March of 2006.

Transfers for the 2011 fiscal year totaled $446.9 million, $5 million more than projected when the NCEL approved its original budget in June 2010.

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