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High Country United Way Begins Another Search, New Executive Director Resigns After Less Than Two Months

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 28, 2015. Well, that didn’t last long.

Less than two months after announcing it had found a new executive director, High Country United Way announced on Wednesday that it must begin searching for another leader of the local nonprofit.

Gary Childers, chair of the High Country United Way Board of Directors, said that Mary Beth Scebold, who was selected in late November as the new executive director, is seeking employment closer to her home in Davie County.


“The daily commute from Mocksville presented a significant challenge for Ms. Scebold. We respect her decision, thank her for her service and wish her the best,” Childers said in a statement on Wednesday.

Before she was hired, it was known that Scebold would be commuting to the High Country, but she said she was planning on moving to the area this summer once her youngest child graduated from school.

When her hiring was announced both Childers and Scebold expressed excitement. Childers noted that Scebold was selected from among 15 applicants and five “top-notch” finalists.

In October, former executive director Linda Slade announced her resignation to become the director of development for the New River Conservancy in West Jefferson. Slade had been with High Country United Way since 2008.

For now, Childers will serve as acting executive director during this transition period and until a permanent or interim executive director is selected by the board

“In addition to serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors, Dr. Childers will help guide the ongoing campaign for support and our work with community agencies to help meet education, health, income, and basic needs of Avery and Watauga counties,” High Country United Way noted.