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LOCAL BRIEFS: Boyette a Fulbright teacher, Latino essay winner, Edneyville novel, Pardee Team Member of the Month

Anne Boyette Anne Boyette

Boyette awarded Fulbright Teacher teaching stint in Finland

Anne Boyette, the AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) specialist at Hendersonville Middle School, was recently selected as a recipient of a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms award by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, Fulbright is overseen by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Boyette, a Delta Kappa Gamma Alpha Lambda member, completed a 90-hour program on Global Education, attended a weekend symposium, developed a project-based learning unit and created a website for Global Education in Western North Carolina. She observed and taught in Finland Nov. 2-15 with several members from her Fulbright cohort.

Grand prize winner


LatinoEssayChristopher Hernandez-Montero, grand prize winner of Optimum’s Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest, posed with Apple Valley Middle School English teacher Jennifer Summers, Hendersonville Mayor pro tem Lyndsey Simpson and Optimum’s Lisa Stokes after receiving a big check for his essay contest win.

Optimum awarded scholarships of $3,000 to four grand prize winners across its 21-state footprint. Optimum and TelevisaUnivision also recognized the educators who encouraged their students to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by submitting an essay. Special gifts were awarded to educators who sponsored the highest number of essay submissions from their students.

Author will talk about novel based in Edneyville

Award-winning author Rose Senehi will talk about and sign her newest book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, in the community room of the Historic Courthouse. A resident of Chimney Rock and author of more than 10 novels, Senehi will be talking about Falling Off a Cliff: The Story of a Mountain Nurse, which is set in Edneyville. She will talk about researching the 1920s of Edneyville.
FallingOff“Time, like a pendulum, swings the reader between two women born to make a difference with their healing hands no matter what dangers they have to face,” a synopsis of the novel on Senehi’s website says. “In the 1920s, Lula Mae clings to a doctor woman as they gallop horseback all over the steep, harsh Blue Ridge Mountains where fierce pride and guarded secrets define the people they try to help. In the ’60s, Nurse Holly travels the same mountain paths to reach the ill and search for the mother she's never known. Can Holly breach the fortress where mountain folk protect their own and share a code of silence to guard their secrets, or will she be denied the answer that would unravel the mystery and finally give her a glimpse of where she came from?”
Refreshments will be served. The Henderson County Heritage Museum is the sponsor.

Helpful engineering tech honored as top employee

Derek Lancaster, an engineering technician, is Pardee Hospital’s Team Member of the Month, Pardee UNC Health Care announced.
DerekLancasterDerek LancasterAs an engineering technician, Lancaster helps by supporting and maintaining the physical and mechanical condition of buildings, utility systems and facility equipment and making any needed repairs.
Lancaster has been with Pardee for seven years and said that he enjoys working for the healthcare organization because his job provides him with a healthy work/life balance. He expressed his favorite part of his job is the people he works with and his colleagues share the same sentiment, describing him as loyal and a hard worker. “He is always smiling and goes beyond the goals set for the department,” a coworker said. “He performs every task without hesitation and gives the best customer service to every unit and department and cares about the quality of his work and how it affects the team members and patients.”
The Team Member of the Month is selected by a committee of peers and recognized for going above and beyond his or her regular duties to support patients, customers, peers, the organization and its community.


Area Agency on Aging seeks board members

Land of Sky Regional Council Area Agency on Aging is looking for new members to join its Regional Aging Advisory Council. Members will need to be able to join bimonthly meetings 10 a.m.-noon on the second Thursday. The advisory board helps to manage and guide the agency’s work in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties. The board has vacancies in all four counties. If you are interested in learning more, contact LeeAnne Tucker at 828-251-7436 or

Nominations sought for Athena Award

The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2023 Athena Award of Henderson County. The Athena Award is presented by Pardee UNC Health Care, Optimum and Hunter Automotive. Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, March 1.
Nominations are judged and a recipient selected by a panel of professionals based on the criteria set forth by Athena International. Nominators should plan to tell their nominee’s story through rich narrative and details, as judges will have no knowledge of even well-known community members. The nomination forms can be found at
Named for the goddess of wisdom and victory, the Athena Award is presented to a woman — or man — based on professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
“The Athena Program is a way to honor and celebrate the contributions individuals in our community have made to the cause of women’s leadership,” said Lee Henderson-Hill, committee chair and 2018 recipient. “When you look at the history of Henderson County, you see how much of how our community is shaped today as a result of female leadership. We want to celebrate and continue that work.”
The Athena award was originally sponsored and brought to Henderson County by Vanessa Mintz. Mintz was a long-time local business woman, active Chamber volunteer and community advocate. After her untimely death in 2011, the award was and continues to be presented in her memory. The award is co-sponsored by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce. The recipient of the 16th annual award will be announced at the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon in May at Blue Ridge Community College. For more information call the Chamber at 828-692-1413.


Registration now open for June 4 WNC Flyer

Signup is now open for the 19th annual Hunter Subaru WNC Flyer, which will be held June 4 in Brevard. With a start/finish at Oskar Blues, the ride features bluegrass, barbecue and a brew.
Riders will have their choice of a century, metric, half-century, or half-metric ride that winds through the valleys of Transylvania County. Although it is the flattest ride in Western North Carolina, it has plenty of rolling hills to keep all riders interested. There is beautiful mountain scenery without the long mountain climbs. A fundraiser for the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, the Flyer is a ride for everyone from first-time to experienced riders. This is a fully supported ride with well-stocked rest stops and an after-ride party catered by Mayberry’s and including one free beer.