|Mayland Community College held DREAM (Dreams Realized Every Day AT Mayland) Day on November 6 at the college’s Main Campus. This event celebrated 40 years of service for the college as well as recognized outstanding alumni and community members.
Speakers for the event included Elaine Boone of Yancey County who was one of Mayland’s first typing instructors when classes were held upstairs in the Fortner Insurance Building in downtown Spruce Pine. Recalling her time with the college, Elaine says, “Mayland was always so good to me.” Boone and her husband David participated in Mayland Foundation’s Dream Home Tour this October and shared the history of their community and home with tour guests.
A second speaker, Austin Elkins of Yancey County, is a 2011 graduate of Mountain Heritage High School. He is currently enrolled in Mayland’s Horticulture Program. He plans to earn his AA degree at Mayland and then transfer into NC A&T’s online horticulture program or might study theology.
“It’s for God to decide,” he said.
Elkins has received three scholarships: the Don Polk Scholarship, the Yancey-Mitchell Board of Realtors Scholarship, and Mayland’s Earl and Esther Wright Memorial Scholarship. He is the son of Russell and June Elkins.
Robert Bailey and Buck Stove were presented the 2011 President’s Award.
Bailey has worked quietly and tirelessly to strengthen, support and encourage the growth, development and livelihood of his community. 40 years ago, just as Mayland had its beginnings, Bailey created a nationally respected industrial enterprise that is still growing, thriving and hiring. As one of Mitchell County’s native sons, Bailey exemplifies mountain independence and resourcefulness. Bailey and his company, New Buck Corporation, continue to invent new, beautiful, useful (and green) products, all made only in America. Bailey’s commitment to family, community, hard work and giving back made him a clear choice for this award.
Martha Guy was presented with the first Founders’ Award during DREAM Day. She is one of the original Mayland Trustees, and her visionary leadership in the beginning years of the college set the stage for Mayland’s future role in serving Mitchell, Avery, and Yancey Counties. Over the past 40 years, Guy has committed considerable time, talent, and financial resources in fulfillment of that initial vision. Her passion for the college continues in her service as an active board member of the Mayland Community College Foundation.
Mayland’s Board of Trustees also presented their annual distinguished alumni and citizen awards.
The Yancey County 2011 Distinguished Alumni is 2008 graduate, Cathryn Hughes. While at Mayland, Hughes served as a Student Ambassador, and was selected Outstanding Graduate of the Associate in Arts program.
She received a degree from Mars-Hill College in December, 2010, and is now earning her Master’s degree in library science at Appalachian State University. Her success has come full circle as she now teaches in Mayland’s Human Resources Development Program, also teaches social studies at Mountain Heritage High School, and is an assistant with the MAGIC afterschool program at Cane River Middle School. Hughes has two passions: football and education.
Hughes has been filming games at Cane River Middle School for the last eight years; her dad has been coaching football there for the past 28 years.
“I have grown up with football all my life and know of the positive breakthroughs that occur within the youth of our area because of it,” Hughes says. “As an educator, my goal is to help students down the path of success and instill a love of both history and learning.”
Since 2006, Hughes has also worked as a radio announcer at WKYK in Burnsville and WTOE in Spruce Pine.
In Yancey County, the name Larry Howell is synonymous with education. His longstanding dedication to the students of Yancey County has earned him the title of the 2011 Yancey County Distinguished Citizen.
Anyone wanting to know anything about the history of education in Yancey County just needs to ask Howell. For 34 years, Howell worked in the Yancey County School System, spending six years as a high school teacher/counselor and 28 years in administration at Burnsville, Micaville, Cane River and Mountain Heritage.
He attended the 1st class of Principals Executive Program, initiated the Tech Prep Program at MHHS, and mentored many future administrators in Yancey County. Howell’s passion is student success. He is Chairman of Yancey County’s Traditional Voices Group and continues to be involved with the schools and the music and history preservation of Yancey County.
Howell is married to Mary Howell; they have two sons, Jeff and Brent Howell.
Other award recipients from Avery County included alumnus Anthony Pollygus and distinguished citizen Edwina Sluder, and from Mitchell County alumnus Wanda Duncan and distinguished citizen Phillip Byrd. Service awards were presented to Jim Greene, William Ellis, Kristabell Kennedy, and Dr. John Boyd.