By Anna Fletcher
Courier-Times Staff Writer
Longtime Person County school counselor Connee White has been named a new trustee of Piedmont Community College, to take the place of outgoing trustees board member Linwood Cates, whose term expires on June 30.
White was elected in a three-to-one vote by the Person County school board at a meeting Thursday night. The other nominees were Anita Banks, Randy Eakes and Mindy Moore-Satterfield.
PCS board member Margaret Bradsher endorsed White for the position, commending her work in the school system that often crossed over into the PCC community.
“She speaks our language, and she speaks their language,” Bradsher said. “I think [she] would make an outstanding representative for us on their board of trustees.”
Currently retired, White was a counselor at Person High School for more than 25 years. She worked in the prevention counseling field before moving into more gradelevel counseling.
“I’m familiar with the partnership between [PHS and PCC] and with the value of high school students taking classes at the community college,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
She sees the community college as one of the greatest economic tools that Person County has, because it provides training, life-changing programs.
“They’re just wonderful programs at such a reasonable cost,” she said. “I see how important a community college can be to a county. It impacts the quality of life for the students.”
The goal of continuing to strengthen the partnership between PCC and the PCS system is one White shares with the rest of the board, PCC President Dr. Pamela Senegal says.
“We work together to create opportunities for the students in our communities,” Senegal said “Connee will certainly assist us as we look to strengthen these relationships and better serve those interested in earning college credit while in high school at no cost.”
Though she’s retired, White stays connected to the education world and sees this position as an opportunity to give back the skills and knowledge she cultivated in the local school system.
Her experience is a benefit also seen by PCC Trustees Board Chair Bayard Crumpton.
“Connee brings to the board a broad knowledge of public education as well as good eyes and ears in the community, being a native of Person County,” he said. “On behalf of the current board, we welcome Connee to the PCC family.”
When considering what she’s looking forward to as a new trustee, White cites working with PCC’s current board and administration, as well as continuing “programs that are working successfully and meaningful.”
“I love the college transfer program,” she said. “I think that’s just a program that not enough people take advantage of – that people in high school can do two years of college in high school and then roll over and continue their programs at the university.”
The new agri-business program at the college is another initiative that she’s excited about, because it’s a great match for the county that highlights its strengths, she says.
“I’m just looking forward to exploring things and keeping the wonderful faculty and personnel here,” she said. “I’m a lifelong resident of Person County, [so I hope to] continue to see it be a vibrant community with interesting people, interesting events [and] interesting employment.”