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Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin supports the North Carolina State Board of Education's (SBE) plan announced last Friday to change the current seven-point grading scale to a 10-point scale in high schools across the state.

"The state has made this change in order to allow our students to be more competitive with students in surrounding states when being considered for college entrance and scholarships," said Dr. Baldwin. "I am hopeful that this will indeed be the case. I am also glad that the state decided to implement this for all students next year as opposed to phasing in the new scale over four years. I am concerned that this will affect the class rank of students. The most recent SBE release should address this concern."

The change calls for students who earn between a 90 percent and a 100 percent in a course to earn an A. As it stands now, the scale assigns a "B" letter grade to students earning 90, 91, or 92. The change is expected to be implemented in its entirety this fall.


To help remove financial barriers for students seeking to upgrade or gain new job-related skills, the State Employees Credit Union Foundation recently awarded a $750 continuing education scholarship to each of five Southwestern Community College students.

The five students are enrolled in the Professional Office Management Class at SCC’s Macon Annex in Franklin. The students are learning office skills, Microsoft Office software, Notary Public education, testing for Microsoft Office certifications and working on their Career Readiness Certifications.

The SECU Foundation provides a total of 10 scholarships to all 58 N.C. community colleges every year.


Western Carolina University has been awarded a $10,000 grant to assist students in recovery from substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors.

The grant was awarded through Transforming Youth Recovery, a nonprofit organization founded in 2013.

Transforming Youth Recovery looks specifically at the community, educational and peer networks that influence youth development and achievement, and is both studying and conceiving novel approaches that have the potential to dramatically expand family and school-based prevention, intervention and recovery support services — one community, one school, one student at a time.


Robert Edwards, who is stepping down in December as Western Carolina University’s vice chancellor for administration and finance after 37 years of service to the university, has turned around the age-old notion of “retirement gift.” Instead of merely accepting a gold watch or a rocking chair, Edwards has made a gift of his own to establish a scholarship fund honoring his parents and his high school band director.

Through contributions totaling more than $10,000, Edwards has created the Roy and Hazel Edwards Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide annual support to members of WCU’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band who are from one of the 17 westernmost counties of North Carolina.


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