Spectators allowed at Haywood graduations

Graduation ceremonies will be allowed as many spectators as school sporting events this spring, after the Haywood County Schools Board of Education authorized Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte to use spectator rules for non-athletic, end-of-year programs and ceremonies. 

You only get to do this once

 “… one of the most significant facts about us may finally be that we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one.” — The Interpretation of Cultures, by Clifford Geertz

How do we get from here to there, from youthful idealism, optimism and boundless energy where the whole world is your oyster to a rewarding life? Some people  know right from the start where they want to go and what they want to be, but for lot of others, me included, it was a process, a step forward and one backward, but always moving. Do you adventure or buckle down, go back to school or learn life lessons? Stay in a relationship or move on?

COVID-19 spikes force WCU to cancel in-person commencements

In response to concerns about the surge of COVID-19 cases across North Carolina and the U.S. and in consultation with the Jackson County Department of Public Heath, Western Carolina University is canceling the modified in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 10-13 and shifting to a series of virtual ceremonies.

Graduates, you’ll miss this place we call home

By Liam McLeod • Guest Columnist | To the high school Class of 2020, congratulations! There is nothing more exciting than completing high school and preparing to leave and move on toward what comes next.

It was four years ago now that I was in your shoes, a recent grad with nothing on my mind but leaving my hometown. I can tell you this, enjoy this last summer at home and don’t wish it away. College is exciting and extremely fast-paced. These four years at UNCC have felt like one year at Tuscola, though I’ve grown and changed more than I ever could have in high school. I learned many lessons in my first year of college, but there’s one that sticks out the most to me: our home is unlike any other in North Carolina. 

Celebrating a pivotal year

Many are focused on graduations right now. Amidst the pandemic and nationwide protesting, we’re trying to help our young people celebrate this pivotal time in their lives. While the hype is primarily on high school and college graduates, there are other important transitions that have gotten lost due to COVID-19. 

Hiaasen’s graduation book misses the mark

About 15 years ago, I was listening to a female critic discussing the seasons’ upcoming movies. When the moderator mentioned Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” the critic laughed and said, a little bitterly, “Well, we’ll all have our knives out for that one.”

Statewide tour seeks answers for improving post-high school education rate

Educational leaders from across the mountain region convened at Cherokee Central Schools this month for an afternoon of conversation and collaboration around one central question — what can North Carolina communities do to better prepare their children for success against the unknown challenges of the future? 

Make the most of every day

When I was a student at Appalachian State University, I could have made the walk from Anne Belk Library to Sanford Hall in my sleep and often did, or nearly so, on those mornings after a late, coffee-drenched night writing a paper on one of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, or working through the impossible genealogy of a William Faulkner novel, or racing the sentences of James Joyce toward the dawn.

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