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Today’s Email Announcements

Healthy Heart Collaborative Events Happening February 21-23

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce  is pleased to announce a schedule of events for the Healthy Heart Collaborative. In its second year, this alliance was formed to serve as a vehicle for local awareness regarding sudden cardiac arrest and furthering education regarding CPR training, AED awareness, cardiac health, and local cardiac treatment options.

The collaborative was created through a partnership between Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, The Omar Carter Foundation, Appalachian State Athletics, and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.

The following events will take place February 21-23 in Boone and are welcome to be attended by the media. In addition, any one-on-one requests to interview Omar Carter can be routed through the Chamber office.


12:00-1:30pm – HHC team to offer bystander CPR training at Watauga Medical Center Auditorium for select businesses.


9:50-10:40am – Omar Carter, Dr. Donna Denier & Appalachian Regional Healthcare staff present to students at Watauga High School

11:30am-12:30pm – Omar Carter, Dr. Donna Denier present lecture to Appalachian State students, faculty, and staff at Beaver College of Health Sciences

12:30-1:15pm – Hands on CPR & AED training for students, faculty, and staff at Levine Hall


2:00-5:00 pm – App State vs. Georgia Southern basketball game at Holmes Center – Hands on CPR & AED training stations set in concourse for CPR demonstrations & information handouts.

Any additional questions can be directed to David Jackson at 828-264-2225.

Water Advisory Committee to Meet February 25

A special meeting of the Boone Town Council will take place on Monday, February 25 at 9 a.m. at the Council Chambers located at 1500 Blowing Rock Road, Boone. 

The purpose of the meeting will be to allow council members to attend a meeting of the Town of Boone Water Advisory Committee. 


WCC Invites Public to SkillsUSA Northwest Region 7 Rally and Career Showcase

Wilkes Community College will host the high school SkillsUSA Northwest Region Rally & Career Showcase on February 25, 2019. The public is encouraged to attend the event to witness the advanced professional skills demonstrated by the high school students. The event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Walker Center. The awards ceremony takes place at 1:30 p.m.

“I would love to have our community come and support this event. They will be impressed by the skills these students demonstrate based on the high-school, and college-level classes they are taking. It’s also a great opportunity for business and industry to scout for new talent,” said Hardin Kennedy, WCC SkillsUSA advisor and organizer of this annual event. “These students are future leaders in business, industry, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and the skilled labor workforce.”

All SkillsUSA members and advisors and Career and Technical Education (CTE) students can participate in this annual educational and professional development activity. Many business and industry partners attend to participate in or view the contests to see the talent level of potential future employees. Educational partners attend to compare the skills level of other schools and to talk with other educators about best practices. Media outlets are welcome to cover the large event.

The 2018 regional event included over 900 high school students, advisors and industry partners. Of those, 437 students competed in the skills contests.

Last year over 75 business and industry representatives attended, and elected officials from the local, regional and state level came to the event.

For more information about the SkillsUSA program, contact Hardin Kennedy at 336-838-6219 or [email protected]du.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps students excel in their respective trade areas. SkillsUSA provides an opportunity for students to showcase the skills they received at their educational institution and see how their education compares to other schools in our state and nation. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.

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.

Caldwell Arts Council Hosting Watercolor Society of North Carolina Regional Exhibition

The Caldwell Arts Council is pleased to host a showcase of artwork by western region members of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina March 1-30, 2019.

An opening reception will be held Friday, March 1, 2019, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, hosted by Caldwell County Schools Association of Educational Office Professionals (CCSAEOP). The exhibition will continue through March 30, 2019 – free and open to the public – Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm.

The Watercolor Society of North Carolina, Inc. (WSNC) is a non-profit art organization founded to encourage and recognize professional and artistic excellence through competitions and by elevating standards in water media to increase the visibility and stature of watercolor as an artistic medium.

WSNC strives to strengthen and promote watercolor throughout the state by hosting workshops featuring nationally recognized artists, by sponsoring juried exhibitions, and by educating artists, collectors, art enthusiasts, and the people of North Carolina through informational programs. Programs and activities provide stimulating interaction and technical information to watercolor artists from the novice to the professional.

 The Caldwell Arts Council presents the arts in all its forms to the people of Caldwell County. Located at 601 College Avenue in Lenoir, the Caldwell Arts Council is open Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm, free to the public. Phone 828-754-2486; Website www.caldwellarts.com.

Commitment to Conscience: March, 2019 Happenings at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

On Saturday, February 9, seven members, friends, and staff of Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship attended the Moral March on Raleigh and Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly inspired by the fellowship’s current worship theme, Commitment to Conscience. The fellowship marched in solidarity with the coalition, comprised of over 125 NAACP branches, college chapters, and youth councils throughout North Carolina and members from more than 200 other social justice organizations.  

Following this event, BUUF is hosting activities designed to educate attendees about a variety of social action topics and local initiatives, and to energize support while connecting participants with meaningful ways to contribute.

In March BUUF is teaming up with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) organizer, Shawn Fischer and Blue Ridge Mutual Aid by holding space for a community workshop on the principles of Mutual Aid, local mutual aid networks, and opportunities for involvement. The following Sunday will hold a special service on Citizen Activism, presented by Aylett Colston of EveryVoiceNC.


Blue Ridge Mutual Aid Workshop: The Principles of Mutual Aid and Mutual Aid Networks of Western NC
March 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Mutual Aid is a survival imperative in times of catastrophe. It is a strategy of community support built upon a reciprocal exchange of social and economic resources between those affected, while also addressing systemic and historical causes of harm affecting communities and people through collective organization. Core to Mutual Aid practices are solidarity, autonomy, and collective strength. 

This workshop will highlight the regional mutual aid work that is being done in North Carolina and Central Appalachia, and engage community members in identifying ongoing and future mutual projects in Western North Carolina.

Sunday Service: Citizen Activism
Presented by Aylett Colstin, EveryVoiceNC
March 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM

“Aylett Colston is an attorney in Raleigh who is committed to restoring democracy in her home state of North Carolina.   Aylett is a graduate of Davidson College and Washington & Lee Law School.  She practiced corporate and securities law for over 15 years, primarily representing venture-backed technology companies.  Aylett writes about redistricting and voting rights for several grassroots organizations in North Carolina, and regularly speaks about fair elections at rallies and events.” –evervoicenc.org

LOCATION: All events held at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
381 East King St.
Boone, NC 28607

Contact: Beatrice Murray, Community Life Coordinator, Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Phoebe Pollitt Lectures on the Careers and Contributions of African American and Eastern Band Cherokee Registered Nurses

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum would like to invite the public to join us for Thursday Art and Culture (TAC) Talk: African American Nurses in Western North Carolina on Thursday, March 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

At this TAC Talk, there will be a guest speaker, Dr. Phoebe Pollitt, who will lecture on the careers and contributions of African American and Eastern Band Cherokee registered nurses, to show the quality of health care for minorities in the Appalachian region during the Jim Crow era.

Few career opportunities were available to minority women in Appalachia in the first half of the 20th century. Nursing offered them a respected and relatively well-paid profession. Their work was important in challenging health care inequities in the region. From practicing in modern surgical suites to tumble-down cabins, these women created unprecedented networks of care, managed nursing schools and built professional nursing organizations while navigating discrimination in the workplace.

Untold thousands of black North Carolinians suffered or died during the Jim Crow era because they were denied admittance to white-only hospitals. With little money, scant opportunities for professional education and few white allies, African American physicians, nurses, and other community leaders created their own hospitals, schools of nursing and public health outreach efforts.

Dr. Pollitt focuses on the careers and contributions of dozens of African American and Eastern Band Cherokee registered nurses, this first of its kind study of minority nurses in Appalachia documents the quality of health care for minorities in the region during the Jim Crow era. Racial segregation in health care and education and state and federal policies affecting health care for Native Americans are examined in depth.

About the speaker

Dr. Phoebe A. Pollitt of Boone serves as a Professor in the department of nursing. Prior to coming to Appalachian, Dr. Pollitt served as early childhood education instructor at the Watauga campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI). She also was the school nurse and health education coordinator for Watauga County Schools in Boone and adjunct professor of nursing for Winston Salem State University.

Dr. Pollitt has authored and co-authored numerous articles and chapters in various publications. She also was a member of the research and writing team and appeared in on-camera interviews for the video “A Century of Caring.” She also worked on the calendar “NC Nurses: A Century of Caring” 2003.

Scholars & Scones is a monthly educational program which invites patrons to spend a morning sipping coffee, eating locally-baked goodies, and learning about the latest research, writing, and creativity taking place in our region. Complimentary breakfast goods from Backstreet Bakery and fresh cups of Hatchet Coffee Co. Dangerfield Blend will be served.

Heritage Hall News From Mountain City

On Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m., Johnny Cash Tribute, For the Love of Cash with Gary West will be the performance taking place. West is NOT a Johnny Cash impersonator; he is an ENTERTAINER, an impressionist, musician, comedian, and has been nominated for several awards including, Tribute Artist of the Year (2017), Americana Artist of the Year (2017). Entertainer of the Year in the Traditional Catagory (2018) and Song of the Year 2018 in the Classic Country Category. Gary has been touring across the country for the past three years as one of the top billing tribute shows in the country. The show is a tribute to Johnny Cash and the legends of country music. The band is made up of legendary Nashville musicians that have played for dozens of country music legends and Grand Ole Opry stars. (www.garywestmusic.com) Sponsored by Redden Realty, Danny Herman Trucking, and Farmers State Bank. Advance tickets $25/ Door $28.

Heritage Hall is also excited to announce that they have partnered with Tix.com to offer you the convenience of purchasing tickets online. It is important to note that as with all online ticketing services there will be processing and transaction fees added to your order. “On sale” dates for online ticket purchases for each event will be announced on their website, through social media sites, and by email. Online tickets will go off sale at 2:00 PM on the day of each event. You may still purchase walk-up tickets at the door for each event (CASH ONLY).

As always, you may still purchase event tickets at the box office, open Tuesdays through Fridays from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. Please call 423-727-7444 and leave a message; a staff member will return your call within 48 hours. For more information, check heritagehalltheatre.org.

Leading Minds in Water Quality, Ecological Design Visit WNC

Water is essential to life. Whether you consider the recent widespread drought in California or the lack of clean water in developing nations, the availability, quantity, and quality of water touches all beings. As the climate changes and humans seek solutions to sustaining the systems on which life depends, looking to effective water cycling and improved water quality can have ripple effects that create functionality on multiple levels. John Todd and his son Jonathan have been working in ecological design with an eye toward the world’s water for over eighty years, collectively. In March, leading organizations in regenerative agriculture in WNC bring the Todds to Asheville to share knowledge and techniques for both small-scale landholdings, and overall planetary health.

John and Jonathan Todd spend their lives re-designing the way water flows through systems, both manmade and natural. A short list of their projects includes the development of ecological wastewater treatment systems for the likes of The Omega Center for Sustainable Living and Oberlin College, as well as municipalities in Vermont and California. If that isn’t enough for you, consider their installation of what they call “living machines”- biologically active feedback systems made up of plants, fungi, fish, and other beings on a canal in China, or a water treatment lagoon in Saudi Arabia.

Jonathan Todd, who lives in California, is currently implementing systems he developed for controlling the disastrous outbreak of golden algae causing fish kills in coastal waters, rivers, and lakes. “No one has been able to control it using copper, or other typical treatments,” Jonathan says, “but we’ve developed an ecological solution that we can use effectively at much less cost.” And while the Todds have garnered enough science and installed their systems for large companies and city-level projects, the essence of their work has implications for management of all scales.

For this reason, Living Web Farms and the Organic Growers School are bringing John and Jonathan Todd to the Asheville area, March 8-10, 2019, to discuss their panoply of ecological design tenets as applied to smallholder food production. Their first presentation, on March 8th is at Living Web Farms, and will explore holistic nutrient and water management on a local watershed farm scale. The class will use the example of an on-farm pond as the focal point for discussing a range of regenerative design concepts, such as erosion control with plants and mycology, rain gardens and bioswales, to name a few. Then, on March 9 and 10, the Todds will present condensed sessions at the Organic Growers School Spring Conference about the critical importance of water cycling and water quality in food systems.

“Smallholder farmers are really where the rubber hits the road when it comes to effective water management,” Jonathan Todd continues. “Farmers understand the correlation between water quality and food quality, and they have a powerful ability to make change in the world.”

Even if one doesn’t possess a farm, or a pond, the event will provide perspective on water issues that are a reality for everyone. “Who hasn’t experienced flooding?” asks Todd. “What we have developed is a collection of safe, ecologically-friendly options that can be applied in lots of different situations to initiate positive change.” A follow up session in early June will bring the Todds back to WNC to implement the design plan for Living Web Farms’ pond, for a hands-on continuation of their March daylong event.

“We could not be more excited for this collaboration,” says Living Web Farms Education Coordinator Meredith Leigh. She asserts that the Todds have been implementing world class, cutting edge biomimicry to heal ecosystems since before there was a consciousness of human-induced environmental change. “At a time of large scale environmental controversy and urgency, proven positive approaches to management are critical at the grassroots level.”

To register for Water and Agriculture: Critical Consciousness for Healing the Planet on March 8, 2019 at Living Web Farms, and the March 10-11 sessions at Organic Growers School Spring Conference, visit https://organicgrowersschool.org/conferences/spring/register/

BRAHM and the Blowing Rock Historical Society Marker Program Committee Announces 2019 Recipients of Historical Markers 

The public is invited to the presentation of markers. The presentation of the Markers will be Monday, March 11, 2019, at 3:30 pm at the Blowing Rock Town Hall in conjunction with the Town’s annual Birthday Celebration.

This year’s recipients are the Craig Cottage/Knitters Rest, presently owned by Dr. and Mrs. Bunky Davant, and the Miller/Robbins House, presently owned by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

The marker program is a partnership program of BRAHM and the Blowing Rock Historical Society. The purpose of the program is to identify and recognize buildings and sites, within the community of Blowing Rock, that is significant because they are examples of a particular architectural style; may be of historic importance or simply deserving distinction by their design or a relationship with the Town’s legacy. The mission statement of the program reads, “The Blowing Rock Marker Program will assist in educating the public about the rich history of Blowing Rock, provide an atmosphere to our downtown and add distinction to individual homes, commercial buildings and sites of significance.” The Town of Blowing Rock endorsed the program in 2008 and the first plaques were presented in 2009. The program has eligibility guidelines for building recognition and a uniform marker design. The red, oval markers relate, among other things, the year of initial construction; original owner or builder and key elements of the property’s significance. The marker committee has identified over 125 properties in the downtown area alone that are 50 years or older.

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
Located at 159 Ginny Stevens Lane on South Main street in Blowing Rock, NC, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, please call (828) 295 – 9099 or visit www.blowingrockmuseum.org.

BRAHM hosts talk on ‘The Way Watauga Works’ on March 14

Blowing Rock & History Museum would like to invite the public to join us for Scholars & Scones: The Way Watauga Works, on Thursday, March 14th. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

During this session of Scholars & Scones speakers, Ashley Warren and Willard Watson will be discussing how Watauga County has always been home to hard-working people, from early homesteaders to modern day entrepreneurs. Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Or how they chose their path? In the Winter of 2017-18 BRAHM embarked on finding answers, and what we ended up with was the profile of a community of dedicated individuals who have found their calling in the High Country.

The Way Watauga Works is an exhibition exploring the history and essence of work of individuals in Watauga County, featuring portraits and oral histories collected from 31 entrepreneurs, artisans, public servants, and others working within our community. The participants’ ages ranged from 24 to 78. Each oral history is accompanied by a full-color portrait of the subject captured by local Boone photographer Ashley Warren of Natural Craft Photography. The Way Watauga Works oral histories were collected and transcribed by Willard Watson with assistance from undergraduate students at Appalachian State University.

The Way Watauga Works also features four documentaries made by the 8th grade class of Bethel School as part of the Smithsonian’s Stories YES! program. This project is made possible thanks to The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the National Archives that is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
This project was made possible through the support of the North Carolina Humanities Council, the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Stories: YES! Program, Appalachian State University’s University Documentary Film Services

About the speakers:

Originally from just outside of New Orleans, Ashley moved to North Carolina in 2005. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with a BFA with a concentration in Art History. While at UNC, she focused on film photography and working in the analog darkroom. In August 2012, she became the store manager at the Music & Arts located in Cary, NC, which is one of the chain’s highest volume stores. Steeped in the music, art, and cultural diversity that southeast Louisiana offers, she loves jazz and blues, always wants to know the best restaurants in town and tries to remember that working hard should always be followed up by playing hard. She is also a freelance photographer and musician, frequently traveling across the state for work, new experiences, and to explore. Through her love for art as well as her talent for business and management, Ashley hopes to be a valuable addition to BRAHM and is excited to be a part of the museum’s current period of growth and transition.

Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Willard moved to Boone in 2008, but his roots run deep in Watauga County. He has a Masters in Appalachian Studies with a concentration on Sustainability and a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development both from Appalachian State University. Since 2010 Willard has been an active member of the High Country community through volunteerism and event planning. His academic and volunteer passions intersect on the topic of cultural preservation and community development through the creative arts. He also serves as the Food Vendor and Seminar Coordinator for the High Country Beer Fest.
Scholars & Scones is a monthly educational program which invites patrons to spend a morning sipping coffee, eating locally-baked goodies, and learning about the latest research, writing, and creativity taking place in our region. There are complimentary breakfast goods from Backstreet Bakery and fresh cups of Hatchet Coffee Co. Dangerfield Blend will be served.

Scholars & Scones is free for Museum Members, and $5 for non-members. 

Amateur Radio License Test Session is March 16 at Watauga County Public Library

The Watauga Amateur Radio Club (WARC @ http://wataugahamradio.net) will hold an Amateur Radio License Test Session at the Watauga County Public Library* in Boone beginning at 2:30 pm on Saturday, March 16. Please bring a photo ID, $10 test fee (cash or check), pencils, and optionally a calculator. You must provide either your Social Security Number or (preferred) your Federal Registration Number (FRN). You may obtain an FRN from the FCC before the test; visit https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/html/Register_New_FRN.htm to get started.

Wild fires devastated California during the summer of 2018. Both land-line and cell phone coverage was quickly lost from either power loss or fire damage to the cell towers; ham radio was *the* way to communicate. See “Amateur Radio Emergency Service Volunteers Assist in California Fire Response” (http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio emergency-service-volunteers-assist-in-california-fire-response.)

Become an amateur radio operator and be ready to help in a disaster.

For more information, email Bill Bauldry, WARV VE Team Leader, at [email protected]

* View a map at http://www.arlibrary.org/about-watauga-library/about-watauga .

New Grandfather Mountain Admission Pricing April 1

Grandfather Mountain, home to the world-famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, will see its first admission increase in five years. The adult rate will increase by $2, while children’s and school group rates remain the same. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Starting April 1, guests of Grandfather Mountain will notice a slight increase in the cost of adult admission.

Admission for adults (ages 13-59) will increase from $20 to $22, while pricing for children (ages 4-12) will remain at $9. Children younger than 4 will continue to receive free admission. The new pricing will be reflected in current adult discounts, although membership to the park’s Bridge Club seasonal pass program will remain the same, as will school group rates.

The increase comes during a time of growth for the nonprofit nature park, which draws all of its funding from admission, food and beverage sales, souvenir sales and donations.

“Grandfather Mountain has experienced some wonderful expansion and enhancements over the years,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park.

Such enhancements include renovation to some of the park’s most popular overlooks and trailheads, as well as the cougar and elk habitats.

“We also have some more exciting changes in store,” Pope added.

This marks the first time in five years that Grandfather Mountain has seen an increase in its admission pricing.

“Because we’re a nonprofit organization, everything we earn from ticket sales goes right back into the mountain, preserving it for generations to come,” said Frank Ruggiero, the stewardship foundation’s director of marketing and communications.  

“We try to set our ticket prices at the lowest possible level that will still make the park accessible to guests of all ages,” Pope said. “We want to remain sustainable — both environmentally and financially.”

Admission to Grandfather Mountain offers more than a trip to the Mile High Swinging Bridge, however. It also includes access to 12-plus miles of premier alpine hiking in the adjacent Grandfather Mountain State Park; a visit to the park’s environmental wildlife habitats, which are home to resident black bears, cougars, bald eagles, river otters and elk; an educational journey through a Nature Museum, featuring exhibits that spotlight the park’s geologic and natural wonders; documentary screenings in the museum’s auditorium; samples of fresh homemade fudge from the park’s environmentally sustainable Fudge Shop; more than 100 picnic areas, where guests can enjoy a packed lunch or takeout from Mildred’s Grill; regularly scheduled nature programs, animals encounters and habitat keeper talks; and a calendar chockfull of special events.

Guests are encouraged to spend at least three hours on the mountain to take in some of the highlights, but Ruggiero said it’s not unusual for visitors to spend a whole day, only to return again that same week for a whole new experience.

“Most importantly, a visit to the park helps support the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation in our goal of inspiring conservation of the natural world,” Ruggiero said.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

Local Montessori School Announces New Head of School

Ellen Lewis

Serving the High Country for 32 years, Mountain Pathways School (MPS) is pleased to announce Ellen Lewis as its new Head of School.

“We conducted a national search and received applications from folks across the country. Ellen’s application clearly stood out from the rest due to her unique combination of vision and experience. She is resolute in her dedication to our ambitious future,” says Board Chair, Dr. Peter Nelsen, Professor of Education at Appalachian State.

Leslie Logan, a former Board Member of the Montessori Institute of Atlanta who served with Lewis and former Head of School at Arbor Montessori School in Atlanta, says, “Strong leaders have the vision to inspire others and the humility to be inspired by them. That is Ellen.”

As an educator and administrator, Lewis’s approach is firmly grounded in Montessori pedagogy. She believes that through hands-on learning, a Montessori education fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development, with a goal of nurturing each child’s natural desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect. Lewis asserts that Mountain Pathways students graduate with resilience and self-confidence to take on any challenge they may come across.

Rachel McKinney, an active Mountain Pathways parent and Boone native, says, “Ellen’s fundamental commitment to our community and the Montessori method validates her ability to strengthen our school and further embrace experiential learning rooted in Appalachia as well as the complexities of our global world.”

Curriculum Coordinator and teacher with a 12-year tenure at the school, Kristy Hackler comments, “Geography shapes humans, not the other way around. Through experiential learning, our academic curriculum centers on sustainability, community, economy, and environment with a focus on practical life skills and science-based agriculture. With Ellen’s support, our teachers will strive to inspire a deeper understanding between our students and their environment.”

As Mountain Pathways’ Head of School, Ellen Lewis says, “I am thrilled to be working with the wealth of talent in our parent community. We have a shared commitment to continue to grow the school to serve the evolving needs of children in today’s society. We know that the world in which our children will live is rapidly changing and calls for engaged people who are collaborative, flexible, curious, and creative. Together with the Mountain Pathways community, our strategic fundraising initiatives and vision promise to allow the school to continue to grow and provide a high quality educational opportunity in the high country for years to come.”

Lewis earned her BS in Business from Wake Forest University and a Master’s in Montessori Education from Loyola University. She received her American Montessori Internationale (AMI) primary training the following year at the Washington Montessori Institute along with her Master’s degree.

Lewis and her husband Mark met in Atlanta, where they lived for two years before moving to Boston for three years, and then Boone where they reside with their two children. Mark is an Associate Professor of Management with a specialty in Strategy and Innovation at Appalachian State University. Their children attended Mountain Pathways for many years and reaped the benefits of the Montessori model- continuing to be engaged learners.

Lewis will assume her active role as Head of School in April and is currently on sabbatical in New Zealand and Australia with her family.

Visit Mountain Pathways!

Visit Mountain Pathways School during our week-long Open House event, February 25 – 28, 9:30-11am, which features a Parents’ Education Night open to the public on Tuesday, February 26 from 5:30-7:00 pm. New and existing families are encouraged to attend. RSVP at Mountain-pathways.org.

Learn about our expanded Summer Programs, Farm Sprouts (ages 3-6) and Farm Community Camp (ages 12-15) launching this June as well as the current Farm Camp (ages 6-12) at the same website