Displaying items by tag: education

Among the many gifts my parents gave me, both the most powerful and the most mysterious were the books that lined the shelves on either side of our stone fireplace. My dad built the fireplace as a source of heat in the large room that he added to our trailer, and its heat and light provided an ideal place for a child to read the books that arrived through the mail in boxes with exotic labels like Works by Jules Verne or Disney’s World of Fantasy. Even the books I could not read haunted me with the words I deciphered on their spines, such as Native Son, The Way of All Flesh, and Sense and Sensibility.

That feeling in the pit of my stomach is familiar. I imagine it’s something like what people with ulcers feel — nervous, tightening, churning, almost painful. It’s telling me that there is very likely going to be fallout from a story we are about to publish. I won’t sleep well that night after we send the paper to press. After all these years and so many editions, it still comes with certain stories.

Is what we are about to publish going to hurt a friend? Are we being fair?  Have we told both sides if that’s what the issue demands? Did a community leader I admire do something bad that we are about to report? Are we obligated to publish a story that is going to cost us advertising dollars, taking money away that we could use to invest and make the company stronger? Are we sure this is a public figure we are writing about, because if it’s not we could face libel charges?

The Smoky Mountain Field School was only a couple years old when Joel Zachary came on as an instructor in 1980. Kathy Zachary — then his girlfriend, now his wife — joined him in 1983, and the field school has been part of their lives ever since.

“We like to say that the success of the program is due to the instructors we have that are so enthusiastic about their topics,” Kathy said. “They have a passion for teaching and sharing, so the person who signs up to take a course really gets that contagious enthusiasm that the instructor shares.”

The bad news is that Haywood County Schools failed to improve upon last year’s school district performance ranking.

A legislative majority of House and Senate members have reached a state budget agreement, one that is providing nearly $700 million more in public education spending over the next two years — but not everyone is happy with where that funding is going.

At 37, I’m still sorting out what I want to be when I grow up. 

When I was 8, I sent a children’s book to a publisher in Raleigh. Last Tuesday, I submitted a children’s book to several publishers. In between those two submission dates, I have been a waitress, sales associate, school psychologist, English teacher, essential oil distributor, instructional coach, social media manager and writer.

Advanced manufacturing and machining in Western North Carolina just got a huge boost from a Fortune-500 multinational conglomerate with more than $127 billion in yearly revenue.

A new health sciences building at Southwestern Community College would allow an additional 288 students to prepare for in-demand health careers in Western North Carolina, and while the Jackson County Commissioners are excited about the project, paying the $19.8 million estimated price tag will be a challenge. In the 2016 master plan that first conceptualized the building, the cost was pegged at $16.3 million, but construction costs have since risen, and the county has several other major capital projects that it’s also pursuing.

A collaborative program designed to help students overcome the familial, financial and social obstructions of attending college lacks room to grow and is chronically underfunded, which may hamper efforts to serve more of the county’s most promising students.

Plans are crystallizing for a new middle school in Jackson County, but it’s a race against the clock for Western Carolina University and Jackson County Public Schools to meet the deadline for opening set by the General Assembly. 

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The Naturalist's Corner

Back Then with George Ellison

  • One of the Smokies’ finest poets
    One of the Smokies’ finest poets Editor’s note: This Back Then column by George Ellison first appeared in the Feb. 15, 2012, edition of The Smoky Mountain News. Olive Tilford Dargan is fairly well known in literary circles as the author of From My Highest Hill (1941), a delightful collection of autobiographical…
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