RALEIGH – The State Board of Community Colleges today announced recipients of the President of the Year, Excellence in Teaching, Staff of the Year and Distinguished Partners in Excellence Awards, as well as the I.E Ready Award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the Board.
“The work that our community colleges do is vital to ensuring that North Carolina has a skilled workforce,” said State Board Chair, Dr. Linwood Powell. “The recipients of these awards embody the foundation that North Carolina’s Community College System was built on – providing opportunities for education to all North Carolinians, taking students from where they are, as far as they can go.”
Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President of Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in Hickory, was named President of the Year. During his tenure at CVCC Hinshaw has strengthened the college’s role in economic development efforts, making it a valuable tool in industry recruitment efforts. Under his leadership, partnerships between CVCC and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have thrived, particularly through a program created by Hinshaw, “Education Matters in the Catawba Valley,” which provides services and career education to public school students to increase graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates.
John Neathery, Sociology Instructor at Alamance Community College (ACC) in Graham, is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. Neathery is known for his innovative and engaging teaching methods, as well as his commitment to students, often providing guidance well after they have left his classroom. Neathery has been a full time instructor at ACC since 2003 and is a faculty advisor for Sigma Psi, the college’s psychology and sociology club. He serves on the Advancement Board for the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University, where he and his wife established a secondary education teaching scholarship in 2009.
Dr. Adriane Leché, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Assessment at Halifax Community College (HCC) in Weldon, is the recipient of the Staff of the Year Award. Leché embodies a commitment to institutional excellence and student success. She recently engaged HCC’s constituents in the development of the college’s strategic plan for 2013-17, resulting in a renewed focus on access and student success. Leché fosters an environment built on data-driven decision-making that is student-centered. During her tenure at HCC, she has identified efficiencies and innovative processes to improve a variety of areas, including the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, accreditation efforts and methods for recording student feedback.
James Sprunt Community College (JSCC) in Kenansville and Murphy-Brown L.L.C. were named Distinguished Partners in Excellence. JSCC and Murphy-Brown have a long history of partnership, dating back to 1987 when the company was Murphy Farms, Inc. However, the most recent and significant partnership endeavor involves the college’s decision to implement a diesel mechanics program to address the needs of commercial and individual farms in the area. Murphy-Brown assigned their Director of Fleet Maintenance to assist JSCC with the program design. This partnership has gone beyond knowledge sharing, to include equipment donations and storage, as well as $100,000 in marketing funds to ensure potential students are aware of the career opportunities for diesel mechanics.
George Fouts of Jamestown was named the I.E. Ready Award Recipient. Named for Isaac Epps Ready, the first state director of the North Carolina Community College System, the award was created in 1983 to recognize individuals who have made significant, statewide contributions to the establishment, development or enhancement of the North Carolina Community College System. Fouts began his community college career as a faculty member at Western Piedmont Community College. Throughout his career he served in many leadership roles within the Community College System including Executive Vice President at Western Piedmont, Guilford Technical and Wayne community colleges, and is considered a mentor to many other community college leaders. He may be best known for his appointment by Governor Bob Scott to coordinate the implementation of goals recommended by the Commission for the Future of the North Carolina Community College System. The Commission’s recommendations and their implementation were a pivotal moment establishing the important role community colleges play in post-secondary education and workforce development in the state.
“Lasting partnerships, innovative instruction and visionary leadership are the hallmarks of our System’s 50-plus year history of educating and training the state’s workforce,” said NC Community College System President, Dr. Scott Ralls. “The award recipients announced today are a testament to that proud history and our strong foundation for continued success in addressing North Carolina’s future education and workforce needs.”