By Pete Zamplas
Hendersonville – The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) has awarded a scholarship to each of 30 new graduates of Henderson County’s public high schools.
The 30 scholarships total $34,250, to go with $50,750 in renewable scholarships to students already in college. Retired teacher Jimmie Lynn Whitmire chairs the Program Committee that helps HCEF staff manage the scholarships. See a list of the recipients in the sidebar of this story.
The HCEF 2020-21 Executive Board is: Pres. Darla Lindeman, V.P. Jessica Collins, Sec. Susan Thomas, and Treas. Curt Marker. Four people join the board as members at large. They are Melissa Escobar, Mark Russell, Alan Skelton and Amanda Staton.
“We are looking forward to utilizing the talents and experiences these four new board members will bring to the foundation,” Board Pres. Lindeman said. “Each of them has a passion for education. We are happy to have them on our team.”
HCEF Executive Director Summer Stipe said, “I am looking forward to working alongside each of these new members.”
Melissa Escobar is a certified Spanish interpreter with Western North Carolina Interpreter Network and Verbatim Language Solutions. She is an ESL substitute teacher, PTO president of Hendersonville High School, and on the Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee. The Caracas, Venezuela, native is an A.B. Catholic University grad. She has lived in Hendersonville since 1988.
Russell is the general manager of Southern Alarm and Secu rity. The Buffalo, N.Y. native has a communications degree from Wake Forest and has raised funds for Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and the University of Buffalo.
Skelton is retired president of Wilson Learning, a seminar-based training firm. He founded CTI telecommunications company and co-founded Thomas Golf internet-based golf equipment and technology company. He has raised money for the NC School for the Deaf. Hailing from West Virginia, Skelton is a Virginia Tech grad and has lived in Hendersonville for 25 years.
Staton is a Wells Fargo Bank regional services senior consultant. Her business management degree is from Montreat College. She has lived in Henderson County for 18 years.
Stipe, head of the foundation since late 2016, calls it an “exciting time to be a part of the Henderson County Education Foundation board, as we are finalizing our new strategic plan and striving to respond to the emerging needs of our community.”
The Henderson County Education Foundation launched in 1986. Communications and Development Associate Dale Salvaggio Bradshaw notes HCEF aims to “improve the educational experience for Henderson County students and teachers” and toward that goal to “develop resources to support educational excellence in the Henderson County Public Schools.”
SIDEBAR Recipients are listed in alphabetical order of the scholarship fund: Coach Rick Wood Scholarship (Sch.): Madeline Duchesne, Community Tennis Association Sch.: India Davis, Elizabeth Yefremov; Dr. Don Jones Sch.: Erin Price, Education First Sch.: Jose Angel Ramirez-Munoz, Emil F Hager Sch.: Fabiola Moran-Torres, Emil F. Hager Sch.: Janeissa Romero, Hendersonville Lions Club Sch.: Graham Grush, Hendersonville Lions Club Sch.: Keegan Owens, Historic Johnson Farms Sch.: Maggie Cox, Jessie Cassada Sch.: Katie Knox, John P Wold Sch.: Rebecca Hayes, John P Wold Sch.: Anthony Leon, John P Wold Sch.: Erin Blankenship, John P. Wold Sch.: Makayla Cooper, Jones Family Sch.: Shawna Lyda, Kate-Lee Family Sch.: Christine Johnson, Kathleen Leckie Memorial (Mem.) Sch.: Melissa Espinoza-Rojo, Lisa Jo Mummert Mem. Sch.: Robert Tate, Meredith Vaughn Mem. Sch.: Lauren Wilkie, Michael McDowell Mem. Sch.: Augustina Mendez-Agustin, Mickey Marvin Mem. Sch.: Taylor Purdy, Nicole Schedivy, Ashley Rhodes, Steven Davis; Rev. Dr. James A. McMinn Leadership Award: Cameron Patterson, Madison Broome; Ruby Jones King Mem. Sch.: Brianna LaRue, Shirley H. Byrd Mem. Nursing Sch.: Karina Ventura, Tammy Belcher Mem. Sch.: Casey Mentch.