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The blockbuster hit movie, "The Hunger Games," pits unknowing and unexpected individuals against one another at a chance for survival. At the end of the death defying challenge, only one victor can emerge, leaving the others to suffer a dreadful fate. According to Education Attorney Dean Shatley, as he has visited districts across the state to offer legal advice regarding the legislation changes, teachers have given him the analogy that the legal changes resemble that plot of "The Hunger Games."

With only 25 percent of teachers in any given district being eligible to receive a contract and bonus that could total $5,000, educators are forced to compete again each other in hopes of being recognized by the board as worthy of the contract.

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Wearing her cap and gown for Southwestern Community College’s GED graduation ceremony, Tonya Hensley grinned nervously while recalling the moment she decided to turn her life around.

Her son, Calvin, had come to her one evening asking for help with his homework at their home in Whittier. Hensley had dropped out of Cherokee High years ago as a teenager, so she simply had no way to help Calvin with his studies.

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Duke Energy recently gave $1,200 to Southwestern Community College’s New Century Scholars (NCS) program.

Each year, seventh graders from throughout SCC’s service area (Jackson, Macon and Swain counties) are identified as New Century Scholars. Students receive last-dollar tuition assistance at SCC so long as they fulfill program obligations throughout their middle- and high-school careers.

The program is funded entirely by annual donations like Duke’s.

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North Carolina residents are invited to enter the NC 529 Scholarship Contest from now through April 30, 2014. Information and entry forms are available through CFNC.org/NC529. 100 winners, one from every county in North Carolina, will be selected by a random drawing from all entries in each county.

Scholarships will be awarded in the form of a $529 contribution to an NC 529 Plan college savings account owned (or opened after the drawing) by the entrant whose name is drawn. The owner of the NC 529 account must be at least 18 years of age and can name a child, grandchild or anyone else in or planning for college (even him or herself) as the Account Beneficiary. Winners will be announced on May 9, 2014 – which is College Savings Day, 5/29.

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published: 10/18/2013
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