The Transylvania Times -

Betty Scruggs McGaha Recognized For Service To Education - Brevard NC


November 22, 2018

Betty Scruggs McGaha has served Transylvania County Schools for 45 years. (Times photo by John Lanier)

Members of the Transylvania County Board of Education honored Betty Scruggs McGaha for 45 years of service to the Transylvania County school system Monday evening.

Superintendent Jeff McDaris said McGaha had worked as a teacher and administrator for 34 years, worked another seven years filling interim positions and served the last four years on the Board of Education.

"That's pretty impressive numbers," said McDaris.

He said McGaha made a difference in many students' lives.

"Thank you for that," he said.

"She's always been a real mentor to me," said board member Alice Wellborn. "She always gave wise and reasonable advice."

Wellborn said McGaha is "student-based" and served just about every school in the county.

"I'm going to really miss her," said Wellborn.

Vice Chair Ron Kiviniemi said when McGaha announced her intentions not to run for re-election, he tried to get her to reconsider in order for her to be on the board for the entire construction process.

"That fell on deaf ears for one reason or another," said Kiviniemi.

He said he has known McGaha since they worked together at Brevard Middle School in 1974.

"I have always found her to be a student advocate," said Kiviniemi. "During her time on the board I've found her to be well prepared, asked insightful questions and drove all of us to be better board members."

"I'm going to miss you," said Chair Tawny McCoy. "We appreciate you, your dedication and all that you've done for Transylvania County Schools."

McCoy said she enjoyed working with McGaha on the board and heard many positive comments from McGaha's former students.

"The comment that they all said was 'loved her,'" said McCoy.

Board member Marty Griffin said he first met McGaha in 1969 when he was a freshman at Mars Hill and she was a junior.

He said she made a mark at Davidson River School when she transformed it from a place where "bad kids" went to a place where students received an education in a "different style and manner."

He said that when he was athletic director and she was an administrator, they would often be the last ones to lock up the building after an athletic event.

"If there was a school event, Betty was there," Griffin said. "It didn't matter if it was a ballgame, a concert, a play, she was there. The kids knew she was there, and they appreciated it."

As a school board member, Griffin said any time he had a problem, he would call McGaha.

"I just want to thank you for your help," said Griffin.

"It's just been a blessing to serve," said McGaha. "I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed every position – counselor, teacher, assistant principal and principal – and the people that I got to serve with."

"It's been a privilege. I have always felt, and it's just not because I'm biased, that we're just one of the best here, in this county, our school system, and we've proved it through the years," she said.

McGaha said the passage of the recent bond reflected the county's history of supporting public schools.

She said when she approached people about the bond, she would tell them it was a lot of money, but "they would say, 'Yea, but it's for the kids, and it's for teachers and, of course, I'm going to support the bond.'"

McGaha also thanked her family for supporting her.

"It's all worth it. It's been my privilege," she said. "Thank you."


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