His Donations Come Like Clockwork

Cassie Herndon Tarpley

SHELBY - Always a tinkerer, long-retired Reid Sipe knows how to fix most any kind of broken clock. He enjoys the intimate interaction with all those tiny, complicated parts and whiles away hour after hour in his backyard workshop.

More than 10 years ago, he started channeling his skills into fixing a broken heart.  He had just lost his 23-year-old grandson, Justin Sipe, to the ravages of cystic fibrosis, and healing came slowly.

In his shop filled with ticking clocks, there seems to be a world of order and reason. So in memory of Justin, he decided to donate whatever customers paid him for their clockwork to The Salvation Army.

Two years after losing his grandson, Sipe’s wife, Betty, succumbed to cancer and now his gifts serve a dual purpose. Many thousands of dollars later, he’s still donating and now serves on The Salvation Army’s advisory board.

Asked what the work and contributions do for him, Sipe said, “It gives me the satisfaction of helping people who are less fortunate than I have been all my life.”

Why did he choose The Salvation Army to receive the money?

“A lot of my family members had been officers in the Salvation Army,” he said. “I know that every dollar that goes to the Army is spent very wisely.”

“Generosity like Sipe’s is why the Army can do what it does,” local commander Sgt. Les Ashby said, “helping people in our communities when they’re in crisis situations.”

Money raised now is not just for Christmas needs, but will help serve needs for rent, utilities, prescriptions and more well into the coming year.

Send checks to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1764, Shelby, NC 28151
The Salvation Army is a United Way agency.
Call Reid Sipe at 704-734-5527

Meghan LeFevers of Bessemer City High School is this year’s recipient
for North Carolina of the Milken award and $25,000 prize

Gastonia, N.C. – Gaston County Schools has this year’s recipient of the coveted Milken Educator Award. Meghan LeFevers, assistant principal at Bessemer City High School, received the prestigious national honor on Monday, December 18 during a school assembly program.

The 2017 Milken Educator Award is presented by the Milken Family Foundation to recognize promising educational leaders. It comes with a $25,000 prize. The award honors LeFevers for her diligent work with students with special needs and students who are considered ‘at-risk.’

“I am surprised, overwhelmed, and very appreciative,” said LeFevers, who accepted the award from State Superintendent of Schools Mark Johnson and Milken representative Jane Foley. Johnson was among a full slate of elected officials, dignitaries, and others who attended the presentation, which was promoted as a visit from the State Superintendent to ensure that the award was kept a secret.
The Milken honor is the second significant recognition for LeFevers. Last month, she was named the 2018 North Carolina Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year, an award presented by the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA).

“We have known it for some time, but now everyone knows that Meghan LeFevers is one of the best public school educators in our state and our country,” stated Gaston County Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker. “We are extremely proud of her, and we are grateful to the Milken Family Foundation for its commitment to honoring exemplary educators across our great nation.”

Booker added, “The Milken Educator Award recognizes Ms. LeFevers’ outstanding talent and contributions to the education profession and her ability to motivate students, be an effective advocate for them, and bring about change that is beneficial. She is to be commended for her efforts to ensure that all students experience success regardless of the challenges they face.”

LeFevers joined Gaston County Schools in 2007 and has served as an assistant principal at Bessemer City High School since 2014. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, she was a science, math, and social studies teacher at W.C. Friday Middle School in Dallas (2007-2013) and spent the 2013-2014 academic year completing a North Carolina Principal Fellows internship at Bessemer City High School.

A native of Cherryville, LeFevers graduated from Cherryville High School in 2003. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University in 2007 and a Master of School Administration from UNC-Charlotte in 2014. She completed her undergraduate and graduate coursework with ‘summa cum laude’ academic status and was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society at Appalachian State. She also received the North Carolina Teaching Fellows scholarship.

As an emerging leader in K-12 public education, LeFevers created professional development series about poverty and at-risk students and inclusion practices for students with disabilities. She has served as a presenter at numerous conferences and seminars, including the Winthrop University Inclusion Conference, the Conference on Education Leadership in Greensboro, the Council for Exceptional Children National Conference in Boston, and the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia.

The Milken Educator Awards program began in 1987, and it is often referred to as the “Oscars of Teaching.” The program’s goal is to reward, retain, and support the highest caliber professionals for the nation’s schools. Nationally, more than 2,700 K-12 teachers, administrators, and other school personnel have been named Milken Educators, and they make up the Milken Educator Network, which provides expertise and serves as a valuable resource for educators, school boards, legislators, and others in determining the future of education.

Hospice Cleveland County Honors Area Veterans

Patriotism ran high, as did emotions, recently at Kings Mountain Care Center, as Hospice Cleveland County honored 6 veterans with a special Recognition and Pinning Ceremony. Kings Mountain Care Center, Inc. is an assisted living and special care unit located at 115 Ferguson Dr. in Kings Mountain, NC.

Hospice Cleveland County’s “We Honor Veterans” program routinely recognizes veterans living in nursing and assisted living facilities with patriotic pinning ceremonies but this ceremony was special. Mr. John Smarr, a residence of the center, was honored for his service as a United States Army Veteran followed by a party to celebrate his 88th birthday.

Also recognized were the father and two brothers of Kings Mountain Care Center owner, Debbie Crocker. Luico Wilson, an Army Veteran, is Debbie’s father and a resident of the center. Debbie’s two brothers, Denorris Wilson, Sr. and Fedrick Wilson also received special recognition for their service in the United States Army. “It was a blessing to have my family recognized in this way,” said Crocker. “The ceremony was a moving recognition of veteran’s service and sacrifice.”

In addition to these, Chris Dye, the grandson of employee Patti Dye, was recognized for his service in the United States Navy. Jackie Delamonico, a staff member at Kings Mountain Care Center, was also recognized for her service in the National Guard.

“It is our hope and goal that our Veterans know we appreciate them and the sacrifices made to maintain the freedoms that we hold so dear. We recognize the hardships that all veterans have endured as a result of their willingness to risk their lives to maintain our freedom” said Rev. Dr. Terry Floyd, Hospice Chaplain who presented each with a special pin.

In addition to Recognition and Pinning Ceremonies, Hospice provides patriotic wreaths. Volunteers donate their time and materials to make wreaths that are presented to each Veteran Patient of Hospice Cleveland County upon admission as a small gift of appreciation as well as paying tribute to the men and women who have served our country. Many times the wreaths are displayed on the door of the patient’s home or room.