The Appalachian Center for Community Service at Emory & Henry College recently honored five individuals and one local organization for their service to their communities and the College.
The Center bestowed Hope Awards upon Noah Hayden, an E&H senior; Sarah Gillespie, an E&H graduate; Greg McMillan, the E&H vice president of institutional advancement; Dr. George Stainback, an E&H professor of education; and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol and Washington County, Va.
A senior mass communications major from Raleigh, N.C., Hayden has been involved with community service work since he was in high school. His service work has ranged from working in soup kitchens and involving himself in multiple facets of Habitat for Humanity efforts to teaching at vacation Bible school and coordinating the Emory & Henry men’s basketball team’s participation in the CROP Hunger Walk. He has devoted extensive time and effort to organizing and revitalizing the Glade Spring Habitat ReStore. His efforts have included organizing and pricing inventory, hauling away items that did not sell, and arranging for the pick-up of donated items.
While serving as a member of the board for Girls Incorporated of Bristol, Gillespie began organizing programs for drug and pregnancy prevention, as well as programs to encourage academic success. She helped create Healthy Families Family Farms and works closely with Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Green Building Coalition. She also works with Reclaimed Resources, which is developing a means of collecting garbage and producing fuels and energy products. Her current project with Reclaimed Resources is focusing on building a waste-to-energy plant at the former Raytheon missile-systems facility.
McMillan currently serves as senior warden and former stewardship chair at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Abingdon. He is a former member of the local United Way Board and is a current board member at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol and Washington County, Virginia. Additionally, he is president of the Rotary Club of Washington County and a past member of the Board for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society of Washington County. He was one of the forces behind the first Relay for Life event in Washington County and has been involved with the revitalization efforts in Glade Spring as a member of Project Glade and a member of the Glade Spring Board of Zoning Appeals. McMillan is a member of the Glade Spring Library Committee, which raised funds to move and update the Glade Spring Library. He also is a board member and secretary of the Symphony of the Mountains, located in Kingsport, Tennessee.
After earning a doctoral degree in education, Stainback has dedicated 45 years to helping improve educational opportunities in many regional school systems. During this time, he has worn a variety of hats including teacher, principal, director of administration, and superintendent in many public school systems. Stainback served in administrative positions in King William County, Va., several years before he assumed the role of superintendent in Washington County, Va. After retiring from the school system in 1999, he came to Emory & Henry to teach education courses. He also supervises student teachers. Some of his greatest achievements while serving as superintendent in Washington County include the establishment of middle schools and reducing class sizes to no more than 18 students in early elementary grades. Stainback also made it possible for all schools in Washington County to receive air conditioning by the time he retired. In addition, all high schools received new energy-efficient windows, resulting in a 30 percent reduction of energy costs for the county. His leadership provided for the re-wiring of all Washington County Schools to enable the modern technology programs in the schools you see today.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol and Washington County, Virginia, serves as that symbol of hope for the children suffering from abuse and neglect. In Washington County the rate of founded abuse and neglect is higher than the state average, and, in 2009, the rate of abuse in Bristol, Va., was more than two times the state average. The CAC offers support to victims in two very important phases: intervention and treatment. Through intervention the CAC offer services such as investigations, interviews and case tracking. Through treatment the organization offers counseling for victims and siblings, caregiver support and counseling, and court preparation.