Kim Marie McGinnis MAEd is the first female president of Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree, S.C.

Jennifer Beasley Mehaffey was the 2008-09 Teacher of the Year for Haywood County Schools.


Stephen Chandler EdS is principal at Candler Elementary School in Buncombe County. He previously was principal of Barnardsville Elementary and has been with Buncombe County Schools since 1990.


Tara Mull Ryan is beginning her fifth year as a Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleader. Ryan, a line captain and former member of the WCU dance team, said she enjoys the opportunity to volunteer throughout the community as a TopCat. She lives in Charlotte and is employed with Duke Energy.


Heidi Beth Allison MSA is principal of Barnardsville Elementary School in Buncombe County. She previously served as assistant principal at Haw Creek and Hominy Valley elementary schools and has been a teacher and administrator with Buncombe County Schools since 2001.

Charleton Tremayne Grant recently earned a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Winthrop University.

Gary Takacs and his wife, Colby, are parents to Lucas Mason, born June 27. Takacs is a senior recreation specialist for Parks and Recreation of Lynchburg, Va., in charge of planning youth and adult activities.

Keith Tyburski was named head coach of men’s golf at Colgate University after serving as interim head coach last fall. During his collegiate career, Tyburski won the 2004 Western Carolina Intercollegiate Invitational, was named to the Southern Conference All-Academic team four times and was the 2005-06 Student-Athlete Athletic Counsel team representative. Tyburski, who ranks 26th all-time on WCU’s career scoring average chart, played professionally on various minicircuits across the country.


Laurie Calvert MA, who studied English composition and rhetoric, has taken a position with the communications office of the U.S. Department of Education. As a Washington fellow in the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, Calvert is based in the department’s headquarters, where her duties include contributing to speeches for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Calvert’s early career was in advertising before she turned to teaching, which she describes as “the profession that I now realize I was called for all along.” Her professional focus includes teaching students to write critically; raising expectations for students; reaching reluctant readers and rural students from lower socioeconomic statuses; recruiting and compensating effective teachers; and engaging parents and the community in education.

Aaron Camp is an intern with Equality NC, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Randall C. Hall MBA is interim president and CEO of Weststar Financial Services Corp. and Bank of Asheville. Hall has been with the bank since its founding in 1997 and has served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and secretary/treasurer. Hall was with Bank of Granite prior to joining Bank of Asheville and is active with the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and the Western North Carolina AIDS Project.

Kasey Hudson Moore recently completed her first year as an exceptional children’s teacher at Chapel Grove Elementary School in Gastonia and was selected by her peers as best new teacher for the 2009-2010 school year. “I feel WCU has prepared me well for the classroom,” Moore said. “I am continuing to learn more and more about how to teach effectively.” She married Kevin Moore ’07 in July 2009.

Micah M. Ortwein recently graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Recruit Training Center in Cape May, N.J.

Jesse Romine is director of video production for Stellar Media, a division of Mountaineer Publishing Co. based in Waynesville.


Dawn Kurry is a reporter with the Richmond County Daily Journal in Rockingham.

Nicole McRight, a graduate of the communication sciences and disorders program, received an award from the North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association based on academic excellence and merit. “Nicole was consistently present, prepared and willing to participate and help in any way,” said Bill Ogletree, head of WCU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. A resident of Sylva, McRight is the speech-language pathologist at Blue Ridge School in Cashiers.