1000 x 90

Today’s Email Announcements

“Writing for Change” Workshop at Florence Thomas Art School, 2/24


Feb. 6, 2018 – Award-winning author Miles Tager, author of Grandfather Mountain, A Profile will offer a ‘Writing for Change’ creative writing workshop at the Florence Thomas Art School from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. The Florence Thomas Art School is located in beautiful downtown West Jefferson, North Carolina.

“This workshop is not a class; there will be no grades or criticism,” Tager said.  “Instruction will offer positive, practical techniques for both beginning and developing writers to get their ideas onto paper, and if they wish, published.”

His nonfiction book, Grandfather Mountain, A Profile, tracks the mountain’s history from foundation 500 million years ago through evolutionary and human development to the present day. 

Grandfather Mountain, A Profile, was published in 1999, based on research gathered in a successful campaign to save the mountain from a ski resort development.  Grandfather Mountain is the highest, oldest, and most prominent mountain in the Blue Ridge chain, and unique in its history and ecology.

Tager has worked as a journalist and advocate for 30 years, writing for numerous newspapers and magazines, and garnering writing awards from Appalachian State University, the North Carolina Press Association, North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina Writer’s Network.

Grandfather Mountain a Profile won the North Carolina Historical Society Book of the Year award in 1999 and is on the Approved Reading Lists for North Carolina Public Schools and libraries.

“All writing affects change, whether personal, professional, spiritual, or practical,” Tager said. “This workshop will address how to use the written work in both responding to, and creating change in your life and the lives of others.”

To register, please call the Florence Thomas Art School at 336-846-3827. Participants are asked to bring a notebook and copy of a favorite book.


Wilkes Community College Engages in a Comprehensive Strategic Planning Process


WILKESBORO, N.C. – In 2016, the average median household income for Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties was $36,853, with an average poverty rate of 19.9%. In comparison, the North Carolina median household income was $48,256 with a 16.8% poverty rate, and the U.S. median household income was $55,322 with a 15.1% poverty rate. This 3-county region has undeniable economic challenges. A critical ingredient to changing this somber picture is high-quality, accessible educational opportunity. Wilkes Community College is stepping up to the challenge to do their part. 

“We are engaging in a comprehensive strategic planning process for Wilkes Community College. The coming months represent an opportunity to reflect and plan for what we can do to become the strongest possible educational institution for the communities, economies, students, and families of Ashe, Alleghany, and Wilkes,” stated Dr. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College. To kick-off the process, guest speaker Dr. Robert Templin, Jr. of The Aspen Institute, addressed the faculty and staff at a luncheon held on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.

President Dr. Jeff Cox is a member of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. He is one of 40 Aspen Fellows that were selected across the country through a rigorous process that considered their abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams, cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements for greater student success and access.

When invited to participate in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship program in 2017, Dr. Cox stated, “I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in this Aspen Presidential Fellowship program. When I first learned about the program, I thought the work they were doing aligned exactly with the strategic planning process I was wanting to do with Wilkes Community College over the next year. This program will allow us to learn from and partner with some of the greatest minds in community college leadership across the country.”

The strategic planning process was first initiated by Wilkes Community College through a planning grant received from the John M. Belk Endowment in 2017. Through the grant, WCC leadership began to engage a number of community stakeholders in a broad conversation about the need to address the lack of economic mobility of the economically challenged segment of our population in Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany. This initiative is being carried forward in 2018 through funding support from the Leonard G. Herring Family Foundation. “We are committed to do whatever we can as a college to help people who are born in poverty to work toward a better life where they can earn a living wage that can support a family,” stated Dr. Jeff Cox, president of WCC.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.