New director takes reins at Folkmoot

Like any organization that brings people together, Folkmoot USA had a difficult 2020. Without the ability for travel or gathering, there was no chance for the annual international festival or any of the other in-person programming planned throughout the year. During that time of cutbacks, former Executive Director Angie Schwab resigned to begin other work. 

Nikwasi Initiative hires first executive director

Nikwasi Initiative, a new nonprofit established in 2018 with the mission of preserving the Nikwasi Mound in downtown Franklin and expanding access and educational activities, has hired its first executive director. 

Mainspring’s story begins new chapter

Sharon Taylor was in her mid-30s when she left her office gig to return to school, hoping to pursue a career that would allow her to spend more time outdoors and less time handling fluorescent-lit paperwork.

After graduating from Western Carolina University with a degree in natural resources management, Taylor found a job at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Macon County, where she worked as a research technician and enjoyed the full menu of retirement and health benefits to which she was entitled as an employee of the University of Georgia. Things were going well, and if she gave UGA the next 20 years, they’d give her a comfortable retirement. 

TWSA hires new director

The Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority will have a new executive director on the job by March 19 after the TWSA board voted unanimously during its Feb. 18 meeting to hire engineer Daniel Manring. 

Harbaugh resigns as TWSA director

After more than seven years at the helm, Dan Harbaugh has left his role as executive director of the Tuckasiegee Water and Sewer Authority. His last day was Friday, Sept. 27, with the TWSA board hiring former Town of Sylva Public Works Director Dan Shaeffer to lead the organization temporarily. 

Elections director wins lawsuit

After years of fighting with county commissioners, a judge has ordered Swain County to fund retirement benefits for Elections Director Joan Weeks.

Shining Rock hires new head of school

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of stories on Haywood County’s public charter school, Shining Rock Classical Academy, which has been beset by a host of academic and organizational problems since opening in 2015.

More than seven weeks after a series of grievances were filed against Shining Rock Classical Academy’s interim head of school, board members voted to offer him the permanent position.

DA declines to prosecute SRCA interim director

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories on Haywood County’s public charter school, Shining Rock Classical Academy, which has been beset by a host of academic and organizational problems since opening in 2015.

Two weeks after holding an illegal meeting to dismiss parent grievances against Shining Rock Classical Academy Interim Head of School Joshua Morgan, the charter school’s board found itself facing questions from parents who want to know what, exactly, is going on at the troubled school. 

New Shining Rock board chair Haynes speaks out

It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Shining Rock Classical Academy, which has dealt with a variety of administrative and educational issues since even before opening in 2015. Anna Eason, one of SRCA’s founding members, served as chair of the board of directors since January 2017. During that time the board has been faced with ongoing personnel scuffles with the founding Head of School Ben Butler resigning in October 2017, the hiring of a second Head of School Nathan Duncan in 2018 and his termination in January 2019.

Jackson seeks homeless shelter manager

Before Jackson County commissioners can answer the question of whether Jackson should have a permanent, year-round homeless shelter building, they’ll have another decision to make: if such a shelter existed, who would manage it? 

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