Rufus Edmisten Donates $5,000 to Mabel School, Donation Becomes Annual Tradition

Published Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 9:50 am
Dr. Elliott&Rufus

Rufus Edmisten (on right) with WCS Supt. Dr. Scott Elliott

Former North Carolina Attorney General and Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten has donated $5,000 to help families pay attendance fees for the Mabel Elementary School Extended Learning Center (afterschool) program, marking the eighth year in a row he has made a substantial donation to support afterschool services for Mabel families.

Mabel Principal Mark Hagaman said that Edmisten is “a true and generous friend of Mabel School. His support is especially meaningful to us because he started right here in Watauga County and has gone far and achieved much in life. He continues to give back and we are very grateful for his support. We are fortunate to have such an energetic and far-sighted friend of the school community.”

Edmisten told Hagaman “I am very proud of the wonderful work you and your great staff, especially Patricia Sperry, do for worthy kids…You have set a great example for those who will follow in the education of our most precious resources, our children.”

Mabel Principal Mark Hagaman and Rufus Edmisten

Mabel Principal Mark Hagaman and Rufus Edmisten

Patricia Sperry is the program coordinator for Mabel’s afterschool program. She has twice been selected as the school system’s afterschool Program Coordinator of the Year, the only person to win this honor more than once. Under her leadership, Mabel was the first afterschool program in Watauga County to attain a rated license from the NC Division of Child Development. It achieved a four star license in 2010 and became the first program to attain a five star license – the highest possible rating – in 2012.

In his letter announcing the gift, Edmisten looked back with gratitude to his school days in Watauga County. “As a Watauga County native, I appreciate the caring education I received from so many dedicated teachers growing up in Watauga County.”

Edmisten has proved an excellent role model for using his education in Watauga County as the foundation for success in higher education and a career. He is an honors graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and completed his law degree at George Washington University.

In addition to his generous grants to Mabel, Edmisten’s Foundation for Good Business also awards funds to help high school students attend college. These donations have assisted students at Watauga High School and at other high schools across North Carolina.

In recognition of his generous and longstanding support for students in the Watauga County Schools, the Watauga County Board of Education presented Edmisten with the Education Partnership Award in 2013.

Edmisten was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1984 and won national attention as chief legal counsel to U.S. Senator Sam Ervin on the Senate Watergate Committee. In the latter role, he personally served the subpoena for the Watergate tapes to President Richard Nixon, a key development in the investigation that eventually led to Nixon’s resignation in August of 1974. Edmisten currently lives in Raleigh where he is an attorney in the firm of Edmisten, Webb, and Moore.

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