Below are some photos of people in the Watauga County Schools family that were recently honored or recognized.
The celebration of National School Social Workers Week (March 1-7) brought all five WCS social workers to the March Board meeting for recognition. From left are Student Services Director Dr. Paul Holden and school social workers Megan Gantt, Jennifer Wandler, Kira Cardwell, Denise Presnell, and Amy Michael.
Holden said school social workers are “a very important link between schools and homes and a key element in supporting student learning.” He add that as a veteran of more than 30 years in student services, “WCS social workers are more persistent and passionate than any group I’ve ever worked with in their commitment to student safety and welfare.”
Mabel School Cafeteria Manager Debbie Potter (at center) received the Servant’s Heart Award for March in honor of her exceptional service to students and her team spirit with the school’s faculty and staff. With her in the photo are Board Vice-Chair Brenda Reese and Supt. Dr. Scott Elliott. Elliott quoted Potter’s colleagues as praising “her ability to lift up anyone who needs it with her caring and concern for others.”
The Board of Education recognized Randy McDonough for having been chosen as the South Sectional Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations, an award given to the best high school cross country coach in a region that spans eight southeastern states.
McDonough coaches the men’s and women’s cross country teams and the track and field teams at Watauga High School and also teaches physical education at Hardin Park. He was praised not only for the high level of success his teams have enjoyed over the years, but for fostering a healthy and supportive team atmosphere that helps develop both the talent and character of his students.
With him in the photo is Watauga High School senior Kathleen Mansure, a three year member of the cross country team who has enjoyed outstanding success in the sport. In addition to winning a number of local and regional competitions, she finished second in the NC 4A championship and qualified for the National Footlocker Cross Country Race, where she finished 28th competing against the best runners in the country.
McDonough praised Mansure’s accomplishments and the hard work and determination she has shown throughout her time at the high school.