The Henderson County Education Foundation has announced the 2018 Education Hall of Fame inductees.

Each year, individuals who have demonstrated measurable influence or made significant contributions to the growth and development of education in the county are honored with the Hall of Fame Award. Since 2003, 124 individuals have been honored with induction into HCEF Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees are:

Norma Welch Bridges, who began her teaching career in Henderson County in 1969 at Dana Elementary, where she taught until her retirement in 1999. She returned to Dana as a tutor from 2003 to 2010 and served the children and families of Henderson County for 37 years.

Bridges was as leader in schoolwide initiatives and also helped other districts improve by leading on school accreditation teams across Western North Carolina. She was also named Teacher of the Year during her tenure.

Lynn Alta Clark, a North Carolina mountain native who began her teaching career in Cherokee County before joining Henderson County Schools in the early 1980s. Clark held various roles in the county including teacher, lead teacher and county office coordinator. She was instrumental in the growth of technological instruction in Henderson County Public Schools.

Clark was a teacher’s teacher; mentoring and and providing demonstrations of high quality instruction to kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers.

James (Jim) Laughter Jr., who started his career in 1959 at Hendersonville High before moving to Hendersonville Junior High in 1964. Laughter then began the Physical Education program at Bruce Drysdale School in 1972, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. He continued to volunteer coach and substitute until his full retirement in 2010, serving for 51 years.

Laughter was instrumental for his contributions to race relations, coaching the first integrated sports team during the 1964-65 school year, and he continued to impact the lives of his students and players throughout his career.

McCrary was a teacher leader and a champion of students, serving on various committees and clubs throughout the school and also at the local state and national levels.

The inductees will be honored at the 16th annual Education Celebration, formerly the Hall of Fame Dinner, presented by Pardee UNC Health Care, on May 1 at the Boone Building at the WNC Ag Center.

In addition to celebrating the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, Henderson County Principal of the Year Chad Auten and the teachers of the year from each school will be honored. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and a program to follow at 6 p.m.

Education Celebration tickets can be purchased online at hcefnc.org/events/educationcelebration or by calling the foundation at 828-697-5551.

For more information about the 2018 Education Celebration or the Hall of Fame, contact Summer Stipe at summer@hcefnc.org.