Education briefs: Rowan County Literacy Council adds volunteers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 10, 2021

SALISBURY – New volunteers have completed the training process to become tutors for the Rowan County Literacy Council.  Volunteers take an online class, followed by and orientation and background check before being certified to work with Adult Basic Education students or English learners. Tutors who volunteer in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools system also complete additional training through the Literacy Council’s partnership with Communities in Schools.  

Melissa Gillis is a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Desert Storm.  She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration.  Melissa is currently tutoring two adult ESL students.

Amanda Day has teaching experience in early childhood education and currently is working in the home health field.  She is tutoring an adult ESL student. 

Helen Kichefski is a retired ESL teacher who spent 20 years in RSS district schools.  Kichefski is working with youth in the tutoring center at North Rowan High School.  

Sarah Wooten is a retired nurse who recently moved back to Salisbury after living in the mountains for the past several years.  Sarah is tutoring an adult ABE student and will also be active in RCLC’s youth programs. 

Ana Avila is a former ESL student at RCLC and has now transitioned into the role of a tutor.  Ana has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from her home country of Honduras. She is working with two adult ESL students from Venezuela over Zoom. 

Soila Medina has a bachelor’s degree and is working as a chiropractic assistant.  She is currently tutoring an adult ESL learner.

Katie Kessler currently teaches at a music school and has joined RCLC as a youth program tutor. She is volunteering at NRHS, helping students stay on track toward graduation. 

The Rowan County Literacy Council anticipates that there will be an enormous need for tutors for the youth program when the new school year starts in August. The effects of the pandemic on student achievement are still being measured, but indications are that many students will require one-on-one help in reading after being off campus for much of the 2020-2021 school year. For more information on volunteering, visit

The Rowan County Literacy Council provides one-on-one tutoring in reading and English. Programs are free of charge to individuals in the community.  For more information on enrolling as a student or becoming a tutor, please visit the website at or call 704-840-3546.

Millbridge Ruritan Club awards scholarships

The Millbridge Ruritan Club recently awarded six scholarships at their May monthly meeting. Four scholarships each valued at $500 were awarded this year to high school seniors from South Rowan High School and West Rowan High School. This year’s winners from West Rowan are Seth Brown, and Allison Ennis. The winners from South Rowan are Jackson Deal and Harrison Shell.

The fifth scholarship valued at $1000 is awarded in memory of Curtis Graham, who was a founding member of the MIllbridge Ruritan. Curtis was instrumental in organizing and leading the scholarship program for many years. His son Larry was a member of the club for many years as well. This year’s winner is Jack Wilhelm from West Rowan High School.

The sixth scholarship valued at $1,000 was awarded in memory of Ann White. Ann was a vital member of our Millbridge Ruritan Club for many years. She lost her battle with cancer years ago and will always be remembered for her caring and compassionate gifts to the club and community. This year’s winner is Shelby Harrison from West Rowan High School.

Ruritan is one of America’s Leading Community Service Organizations. If you are interested in becoming a Ruritan member or for further information, contact your local Ruritan Club or the National Home Office, P.O. Box 487, Dublin, VA. 24084; toll-free number 877-787-8727.

Daughters of the American Revolution names good citizens

The Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has presented the 2020-2021 Good Citizen Award to high school seniors. These students have been chosen by their schools for exemplifying the qualities of a good citizen; dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism.

These are the recipients:

Caroline Nance, daughter of Beth and Robert Nance, is a 2021 graduate of North Hills Christian School. She plans to attend North Carolina State University in the fall to major in human biology and use that degree to transition to medical school.

Clara Brown, the daughter of Emily Ford and Charlie Brown, is a graduate of Salisbury High School. Clara looks forward to pursuing a degree in education at Appalachian State or the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Landon Mayhew, the son of Jeff and Karen Mayhew, is a graduate of East Rowan High School. He Plans to attend N.C. State University.

Parker Steele, the son of Jonathan and Susan Steele, is a graduate of Jesse Carson High School. He plans to attend either N.C. State or UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mason Staton, daughter of Kimberly and Jim Staton, is a graduate of West Rowan High School. She plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and major in Biology. 

Dylan Kegeris, son of Darrell Kegeris, is a graduate of Rowan County Early College. He plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and major in Computer Science.

Aniya Lucas, daughter of Latoya Owens, is a graduate of North Rowan High School. Aniya plans to enter the military and pursue an occupational specialty in the field of nursing.

Harrison Shell, son of Kenneth and Wendy Shell, is a graduate of South Rowan High School. He plans to Attend NC State University’s Agriculture Institute and major in Agriculture Business.