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Dozens of students, faculty and staff members gathered last Friday at Macon County Schools Central Office for a retirement reception to celebrate Pam Collins’ 23 years of service and dedication to Macon County.

Retiring from her position as Community Coordinator, Collins began her career in Macon County as a speech pathologist and has since taken on a multitude of different roles.

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Due to the efforts of David and Suzy Norton of Fast Food Mart, Franklin High School has been awarded a $500 ExxonMobil Educational Alliance grant.

This program is designed to provide Exxon and Mobil Retailers like Fast Food Mart, as well as distributors like Bountyland Petroleum, with an opportunity to invest in the future of their communities through educational grants to neighborhood schools. ExxonMobil believes that, as members of the community, local retailers and distributors are best qualified to work with local educators to help identify schools and programs most in need of support.

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Western Carolina University’s Office of Leadership and Student Affairs and the WCU Student Government Association co-sponsored a nonpartisan discussion titled “The Western Carolina University Cuts Hurt Education Forum: Collaborating Toward the Success of North Carolina Education.” The forum was supported by student political groups and the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE).

The event, which was held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center Monday night, Dec. 5, was designed to bring faculty, staff, students, political leaders and WCU community members together to talk about the effects of budget cuts to education and what community members can do to prevent further detrimental changes.

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“We engage our students right from the start,” said Thom Brooks, Southwestern Community College vice president of instruction and student services.

At their very first meeting on campus as a group, new students experienced interacting with each other during Orientation Thursday, Dec. 1, on the Jackson Campus.

“That’s one of the reasons Washington Monthly ranks us a Top 10 USA Community College,” said Brooks.

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