HCEF Inducts Four into the 2023 Education Hall of Fame
Feb. 8, 2023 (Hendersonville, NC) – The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) today announced the recipients of the 2023 Education Hall of Fame. Each year, individuals who have demonstrated measurable influence or made significant contributions to the growth and development of education in Henderson County are honored with the Hall of Fame Award.
Since 2003, the Henderson County Education Foundation has honored over 140 teachers, administrators, support staff, school board members, and donors with induction into the Hall. One of only five education halls of fame in North Carolina, the HCEF Hall of Fame provides an opportunity for special recognition of the men and women who have led Henderson County’s focus on educational excellence for decades. Members of the Hall are honored in a display at the Central Office of the Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) located at 414 4th Avenue West. The “Wall of Fame” is open to the public during HCPS business hours.
This year’s inductees are:
Patricia Allen: Allen’s 26-year career in Henderson County Public Schools is marked by a series of accomplishments and promotions that landed her the distinction as the first Public Information Officer for Henderson County Public Schools. Prior to that, Allen served as an assistant in the Fletcher Elementary office, media center, and cafeteria from 1988 to 1993.
From 1993 to 1999, she served as a receptionist in the administrative offices of the Henderson County Board of Public Education and Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) following the July 1, 1993, merger of the city and county school systems. As the front desk receptionist, she was the first to greet visitors and answer all incoming calls.
In 1996, while serving in a dual role as receptionist and assistant to the Community Schools Director, she was instrumental in designing a “Welcome to HCPS” packet for new teachers and a general information packet for parents; developing a “Quick Facts” brochure, detailing district information. She helped design annual reports and a “Goals Forum and Public Relations After Merger” document, which resulted in HCPS receiving the first of two Golden Achievement Awards from the National School Public Relations Association.
From 1999 until her retirement in 2014, she served as Public Information Officer where she designed numerous publications, advertisements, and community outreach materials. She wrote press releases and served as the liaison to local media. She coordinated staff and student recognitions as well as several teacher appreciation day recognitions. She wrote, articles, took hundreds of photographs and collected numerous articles about HCPS. She was also instrumental in helping to design the district’s first website and keeping it current. During her retirement, Allen remains an active supporter of Historic Johnson Farm and is a volunteer with the Henderson County Education History Initiative.
Brenda Walker Gorsuch: Ms. Gorsuch served as the English/Journalism teacher at West Henderson High School from 1983-2017. During that time, she was the faculty advisor to the school newspaper, Wingspan, and the Westwind yearbook advisor from 1989-2017. She chaired the English Department from 2001-2017, was a senior sponsor from 1983-2017, and was the chief senior sponsor from 1993-2017. She served on the scholarship committee from 1988-2017 and was a sponsor of the Quill and Scroll Journalism Honor Society from 1983-2017. Additional areas of service included mentor teacher from 1992-1994, the Henderson County Curriculum Council from 1991-1993, the Henderson County Career Development Plan Task Force from 1993-1994, and the School Improvement Team from 1997 to 2017, serving as its chair in 1998-1999.
Throughout Gorsuch’s tenure, both Wingspan and Westwind earned hundreds of awards from state, regional, and national scholastic media organizations, establishing West Henderson’s journalism program as one of the premier programs in the nation. Under Gorsush’s leadership, 9 student journalists earned the N.C Scholastic Media Association and N.C Press Foundation’s N.C. Student Journalist of the Year award, with two advancing to the national level. Throughout Gorsuch’s career, she received nearly every adviser recognition presented by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Scholastic Press Association, including being named the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund High School Journalism National Teacher of the Year in 2004, and the JEA’s H. L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2013 and recipient of the Medal of Merit Professional Service Award in 2015.
She continues to provide assistance and advice to the Westwind adviser and staff. In 2018, the JEA awarded her both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award, recognizing her service. In addition, she serves as a mentor to the advisers of several schools in North Carolina and throughout the country, assisting them in establishing the same caliber of excellence that she built at West Henderson High School.
Ingrid McNair: For thousands of HCPS students, Ms. McNair was the face of Historic Johnson Farm from 1999-2014, serving as its administrative assistant and later farm coordinator. She currently serves as a volunteer, board member, and animal caretaker at the farm.
Throughout her association with the farm, she came up with new hands-on activities to get students involved with the farm’s history. Visiting students tried their hands at making soap and sampling corn mush. In 2007, she suggested that the farm purchase a wagon so students could take rides while on field trips. To this day, the wagon ride is the highlight of the field trip for many students. When financial transportation issues hindered a school’s ability to visit the farm, McNair earned her bus driver’s license so she could transport students to and from the farm.
Not only did she coordinate and lead school field trips; she was in charge of the maintenance of the ten historic buildings and 15 acres of grounds. She served on the committee in 2005 to write and receive a $25,000 grant to help with the restoration of the 1880 farmhouse. She was instrumental in obtaining a $20,000 grant to restore the historic boarding house in order for the Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists to move to the farm in 2008. Thanks to her leadership in this project, students and visitors are able to watch artists demonstrating heritage crafts such as weaving and basket making. In 2010, Ingrid proposed converting the farm granary to a replica schoolhouse so students did not have to cross the street to visit the Rugby School replica. She outfitted the building to look just like the 1900 schoolhouse. Before her long service to Johnson Farm, McNair was a teacher’s assistant at Bruce Drysdale Elementary School from 1980-1990.
Dr. Kathy Revis: Dr. Revis served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from 1998 – 2017, Director of Secondary and Gifted Education from 1997 – 1998, Principal at West Henderson High School from 1993 – 1996, Principal at Tuxedo Elementary School from 1992 – 1993, Assistant Principal at East Henderson High School from 1991 – 1992, and Assistant Principal at West Henderson High School from 1987 – 1991.
As Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for nearly 19 years, Dr. Revis led the district to consistently score within the top 8 districts in the state on all student performance indicators. She implemented a district-wide K-5 literacy framework and K-12 instructional framework that continues to this day.
She placed a focus and expectation on principals monitoring student learning on a daily basis with an emphasis on instructional walk-throughs and providing formative feedback to teachers. Dr. Revis initiated a two-day Beginning Teacher Summer Institute and a two-day New Teacher to Henderson County Summer Institute. She led a collaborative team in designing and implementing the Henderson County Early College School, and she also initiated the first high school Project Lead the Way STEM program in the Western Region. Dr. Revis implemented curriculum calendars for all tested subjects in grades K-12, including writing, to provide scope, sequence, and pacing for teachers. Additionally, she instituted formative benchmark assessments in grades 3-10 tested subjects so teachers can easily disaggregate student performance data and use it for individualized or small group interventions. Dr. Revis initiated preschool transition teams in every elementary school and collaborated with community organizations to implement the community Kindergarten Readiness Rally. She also began the co-teaching inclusion model of instruction for students with disabilities.
Under Dr. Revis’ direction, HCPS was awarded the following grants: Early College High School, Workforce Investment Act for Dropout Recovery, Homeless Education, Reading Foundations, Childhood Obesity Grant (K-8), and Childhood Obesity Expansion Grant (9-12), and a Reading 3D Grant. Dr. Revis was selected as the 2015 Western Region Central Office Administrator to Watch, North Carolina Association of Middle-Level Education, and was also selected as the 1995 Hendersonville Business and Professional Women’s Employer of the Year. She currently serves on the Henderson County School Board.