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News Education

Despite the lack of salary raises on the state level, Macon County officials have provided local teachers with a two percent supplement since 2004. The supplement, intended to ease the burden of cost of living increases and the state's salary freeze, has been crucial for area teachers.

For as long as the county has provided teachers with the two percent supplement, the board of education has taken the initiative to provide administrators with the same incentive. Historically paid out of the district's yearly fund balance, the administrators supplement almost didn't happen this year.

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Macon County Board of Education hasbeen approved for $1.5 million in state QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bonds). QZAB funds is a pocket of state monies that is designated for school renovations. The county has utilized these funds in the past when making needed renovations to East Franklin Elementary and this year, the renovation project at Highlands School. The money is available at a zero interest rate to school districts across the state to allow needed repairs to be made. QZAB funds however, require a local 10 percent funding match.

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This month at least, Friday the 13th is shaping up as a lucky day for Jason Wilson. That’s when the Sylva native is scheduled to graduate from Southwestern Community College with an associate’s degree in electronics engineering technology.

Three days later, he’ll start a new career as an industrial technical maintenance technician. He said his starting salary range will be in the range of $50,000-plus. That doesn’t include profit-sharing, which could equal up to 52 percent of base. Not bad for a guy who found himself unemployed just over two years ago.

Wilson will be working in Georgia at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that has more than 400,000 square feet.

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The Macon County Board of Education began its December meeting by thanking members of the Nantahala community who contributed to the construction of a new school sign. After the lack of a sign was brought to the attention of the board, school board members unanimously voted to help fund the purchase of the sign. Members of the Nantahala community donated funds to the project, as well as donated their talents to the development of the rock wall that frames the sign.

“We are thankful for the community and all the work that was done to make sure Nantahala has a school sign, it looks great,” said Board of Education Chairman Jim Breedlove.

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