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2024 Hall of Fame Class: The 2024 Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Employee Hall of Fame Class includes (from left to right) Harold Lambert, Brenda Holloway, Helen Harris, Donna Vaughn, Archie Wells, the late Katharine Nicely, represented by her daughter, Mallory Thompson; and Linda Williams. (AHPS Photo)

Initial Class of Seven Inducted Into AHPS Employee Hall of Fame

Low Moor, VA (May 13, 2024) - Seven individuals are in the inaugural class of inductees into the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division Employee Hall of Fame.

The former employees, who have extensive backgrounds in working for Alleghany County, Covington City, or Clifton Forge schools or who were employed at Jackson River Technical Center (JRTC), were announced on May 9 during an induction ceremony and dinner at JRTC.

The 2024 Hall of Fame Class includes:

• Helen Harris, English/French teacher, Covington City Schools.

• Brenda Holloway, attendance, junior varsity cheer coach, guidance, Covington City Public Schools.

• Harold Lambert, director of guidance, science teacher, coach, Covington City Public Schools.

• The late Katharine Nicely, art teacher, at the former Clifton Middle School, Alleghany County Public Schools.  

• Donna Vaughn, counseling director, Alleghany High School, Alleghany County Public Schools.

• Archie Wells, longtime custodian with Clifton Forge and Alleghany County Public Schools.

• Linda Williams, elementary school teacher, Alleghany County Public Schools.

“We are really excited about the seven individuals we are recognizing this year. We think this is a great, great, hall of fame class. We want to thank these seven individuals for the contributions they have made to this community for generations to come,” said Fred Vaughan, director of human resources and pupil personnel for Alleghany Highlands Public Schools.

Vaughan served on a committee that selected this year’s hall of fame class. Other members of the committee were Melinda Snead-Johnson, Pam Hensley, Teresa Gibson, Glenn Spangler, and Mary Tyree. The committee sought nominations from the general public and worked in January and February to choose the 2024 AHPS Hall of Fame Class.

To be considered, an individual must have worked for the Alleghany County, Covington City, or Clifton Forge school divisions or JRTC for at least 20 years. They must have demonstrated outstanding contributions through their work in public education and have been retired for at least five years.

Alleghany Highlands Public Schools was formed in July 2022 through the merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. Each employer had long-standing traditions of recognizing the outstanding contributions of former employees.

“We want to bring forward those traditions in a similar way,” said Vaughan in explaining the rationale behind the AHPS Employee Hall of Fame.

Many of the seven inductees were introduced at the ceremony by the person who nominated them. The introductions were made by: Katie Gibson (Harold Lambert), Asianna Holloway (Brenda Holloway), Linda Venable (Helen Harris), Mallory Thompson (Katharine Nicely), Sonya Howell (Donna Vaughn), Vaughan substituting for Jeff Irvine (Archie Wells), and Roberta Crizer (Linda Williams). 

The seven inductees were presented with glass trophies to signify their outstanding contributions to public education in the Highlands. No matter their specific roles, all of those honored were commended for their kindness to students and staff.  

“It was simply wonderful to hear about the amazing contributions of these inductees,” said Kim Halterman and Snead-Johnson, leaders of AHPS.  

In keeping with the theme of public education, the meal for the induction ceremony was catered by culinary students at Jackson River Technical Center. Students provided a buffet meal with multiple entree choices in a white tablecloth setting.

Jackson River Technical Center is celebrating its 50th year in serving the Alleghany Highlands as a hub of workforce training education within the public schools and adult sectors. JRTC represents the fulfillment of a vision from C.E. Darnell, a former Clifton Forge school superintendent. Darnell garnered local support for creating a jointly-funded vocational and technical education center to serve the Highlands community.

The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division was created on July 1, 2022, through the merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. The school division is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. 

AHPS news and updates are regularly posted on Facebook at AHPublicSchools, and the division website www.ahps.k12.va.us.

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