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LOCAL BRIEFS: EHHS grad racks up scholarships; Council on Aging, new jailers, Carolina Village leadership

EHHS valedictorian Allison Pridmore, who is heading to UNC at Chapel Hill, won five scholarships. EHHS valedictorian Allison Pridmore, who is heading to UNC at Chapel Hill, won five scholarships.

Allison Pridmore wins PEO scholarship

Allison Pridmore, valedictorian of the East Henderson High School class of 2022, has received the prestigious STAR scholarship of $2,500 from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.). Nominated by local Chapter H, Pridmore will receive the grant for the upcoming academic year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., where she plans to major in biomedical engineering.

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship is based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and the potential for future success. “The daughter of Christi and Kenny Pridmore, Allison also received the James P. Grey Scholarship from Community Foundation of Henderson County, the Mickey Marvin Athletic Scholarship, the Athletic Scholar Award for softball at EHHS and a Covenant grant from UNC.

Auburn grad student wins Trout Unlimited scholarship

Auburn University graduate student Nathaniel Steffensmeier has been named the 2022 recipient of the Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited William L. Arbuckle Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.
Established in 2006 by Bonnie Arbuckle and The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited to honor the memory of William “Bill” L. Arbuckle, the award is granted through a scholarship fund of Community Foundation of Henderson County. Arbuckle was an avid angler, supporter and former director of the Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited who contributed much of his time, talent and resources to the success of the chapter.
Steffensmeier completed his undergraduate degree in forest, fisheries and wildlife at Ohio State University in December 2020 and began his post-graduate studies at Auburn University in January 2021. He is serving as a graduate research student working towards a master’s degree in fisheries, aquaculture, and aquatic science.
“The fields of fisheries, aquaculture and freshwater biology are important because they encompass the natural world and provide conservation tools for a plethora of diverse species,” Steffensmeier said. “These fields work toward making the world a better place and ensure the continued existence of aquatic organisms for future generations to appreciate.”
The $1,000 Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited William L. Arbuckle Memorial Scholarship opportunity is offered for any student accepted to an accredited degree granting college or university within the Southern Appalachian Region. Recipients must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the field of fisheries, aquaculture, freshwater biology, or other related fields. Applications are accepted each spring and are posted on Community Foundation’s website at

Hulsey and Baker join Council on Aging board

The Henderson County Council on Aging announced the appointment of two new board members and a new chair.

New board members Brett Husley and Eric Baker have deep experience in communication/publishing and law. Hulsey is president/publisher of Hulsey Media and has more than 20 years of experience in digital and print media. Baker works at McIntyre Law as an attorney in Hendersonville.
Hulsey Media’s publications include Aging Resources of WNC, Hendersonville Magazine, Healthcare Resources, The Real Estate Book of Asheville/Hendersonville & NC Blue Ridge, the WNC Homeowners Resource Guide, and Asheville Apartments. All his publications are freely distributed to consumers and can be found throughout Western North Carolina.
Baker received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Roanoke College in Salem, VA. He earned his Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration degrees from Elon University. Eric enjoys volunteering in the community, kayaking, and hiking in his spare time.

The Council on Aging for Henderson County also welcomed Sally Buchholz, who has served on the board since 2019. as the new board chairperson.

The Board of Directors for the Council on Aging is made up of Buchholz, Vice Chair Karen Preston, Secretary Barbara Kenney, Treasurer Wesley Jones; Jill Hart, Realtor; Laura Crago, financial advisor at Edward Jones; Lorin Page, president of Page Legal LLC; Jim Smeaton, president and director of Client Care; Leslie Winner, retired attorney and executive director of Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; Hulsey and Baker.

Detention officers earn certification

The Blue Ridge Community College Detention Officer Certification Course hosted a graduation ceremony for its summer 2022 graduates on July 7 at Thomas Auditorium. 

Graduates included Jacob R. Allen, Jonathan P. Baldwin, Samuel E. Garrett, Melisa L. Kane, Gracie N. Nix, Joshua A. Rankin, and Steven A. Starling. 

The ceremony included a welcome by Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura Leatherwood, who introduced the keynote speaker, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Captain Todd W. McCrain. 

Certificates were awarded by DOCC School Director David Hensley, who congratulated the graduates on their hard work earning their certification. 

“As with other aspects of Law Enforcement, we are in great need of professional Detention Officers with integrity, pride, and professionalism to help safeguard those in our detention facilities, and in turn, safeguard the community. It is a great responsibility, and this class has proven they are up to the challenge,” he said. 

Following closing remarks by Dean of Public Safety Training Philip Hosmer and a retrieval of colors by the Henderson County Law Enforcement Honor Guard, Hosmer concluded the event by presenting the students as the graduating class of 2022.

Stokes elected president of Carolina Village board

Trina Stokes has been elected president of the board of Carolina Village, the retirement center announced.

Stokes, strategic planning manager at AdventHealth Hendersonville, has served as Executive Director of the Council on Aging for Henderson County as well as South College. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She serves on other community boards, including Henderson County Partnership for Health and the Transportation Advisory Committee.

“We are looking forward to Trina’s leadership as we plan and direct the future of Carolina Village,” said Kevin Parries, executive director of Carolina Village. “Her experience leading non-profit organizations and her experience in health care will be invaluable as we move forward.”

Stokes takes the helm following the retirement of Dr. Kohlan Flynn, who has been a board member since 2007 and board president since 2015. During Flynn’s tenure, Carolina Village has expanded services and operations several times, including:

  • The addition of the Independent Living E-Wing and Care Center in 2008
  • Dining expansion and renovations in 2012
  • The addition of a central amenities “Main Street” in 2013
  • The construction of 54 cottages and 36 apartments in Independent Living in 2018
  • The current dining expansion and renovation, which is slated to open this November.