At the front of the room, banjos and fiddles plow through an Appalachian repertoire. Fingers dance across strings, conjuring the history and tradition that have seeped out of the region’s hills for generations.
“Trying to get’em to play together on the same beat at the beginning is kind of like herding cats,” laughed instructor Robby Robertson. “But by the end they get it together.”
Across the audience, parents capture the moment with cell phone cameras. The young musicians focus on their instruments and ready themselves for another song.
It was a pretty normal Wednesday morning was for most students at Tuscola High School last week, but as the school day went on word leaked out that one second-period biology class had involved threats, a call to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and the arrest of 16-year-old sophomore Joseph “Joey” Jacobs.
When summer school starts up at South Macon Elementary this year, a pair of horses will be standing in a round pen outside, waiting for their first playmates. The equines will be helping Macon TRACS, a nonprofit dedicated to providing horse therapy to people with special needs, try out a pilot program bringing horses to the schools.
Alumni Tower is enjoying a late-semester afternoon on the Western Carolina University campus. Its clock keeps watch over students as they hustle between exams or toss a Frisbee on the grass.
A short walk from the tower, a fountain has attracted two sophomores and a puppy named Emma.
Western Carolina University will hold a trio of commencement ceremonies over a two-day period – Friday and Saturday, May 9-10 – to recognize the academic achievements of what is expected to be a record-breaking spring class.
Rocky Peebler’s wearing waders and a white T-shirt as he kneels on the shore of the Oconaluftee River. His boots are dripping from a recent foray into the river, and he’s picking through the critters wriggling across the surface of the net he and his classmates have just finished dragging through the water. It might not look like it, but Rocky is at school.
Haywood Community College is entering phase two of a process it started last spring when trustees decided it was time to clean up the college’s mission statement and come up with some focused goals for the future.
An ordinance designed to keep student housing from taking over the village of Forest Hills is creating an obstacle for a drug recovery program looking to start up there. Mia Boyce, director of the Christian nonprofit Kingdom Care, began her efforts to set up a home there for women in recovery in October. She had been working with her daughter-in-law’s parents, who own the 11-bedroom home, to move her Asheville-based ministry to Forest Hills, so she sought the village council’s blessing.
Four years ago, Haywood Community College launched the first low-impact development program in North Carolina, a new degree to train students in sustainable development and design.
Walking out of the Jackson County Board of Elections offices in Sylva, Lane Perry seemed pleased. A year’s worth of work was about to pay off.
“At the end of the day, we want to be able to get university students to vote where they live for three to five years,” Perry explained on the way to his car.