Henderson County Education Foundation to Induct Three into Education Hall of Fame 

Hendersonville, NC – The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 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, 133 individuals have been honored with induction into HCEF Education Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include:

Hazel Griffin Ashburn spent her entire 38 year teaching career in Henderson County Public Schools teaching at Dana Elementary, Flat Rock Junior High, and Apple Valley Middle School. In addition to teaching, she was involved with Beta Club, Girls Basketball, and was a tireless servant planning extracurricular activities for students. Ms. Ashburn continued her education and spent the last several years of her career as a Reading Specialist where her motto was to “read by example.” After her retirement from Henderson County Public Schools in 1994, she began teaching at Fruitland Baptist College, where she still teaches today. 


Martha Ann Hill
, native of Henderson County, spent the entirety of her 30 year career working in the cafeteria at Hillandale Elementary School. Mrs. Hill’s work ethic was unmatched, and she fulfilled every task with a smile on her face. Martha was a role model for students and coworkers; her heart was for the kids and she went above and beyond to make sure they knew they were loved. It is estimated that Martha served over two million meals from 1975 until her retirement in 2005. 


Shanti A. Kudva, scientist turned teacher, began teaching at Dana Elementary in 1985 where she taught for 27 years before her retirement in 2012. Ms. Kudva taught first, second, and third grades before becoming a Literacy Specialist for the last three years of her career. Shanti was a leader who went above and beyond for her students, colleagues, and school. She received many accolades throughout her career including being named Teacher of the Year three times for Dana Elementary and Henderson County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 1997. 

The inductees will be honored at the 18th annual Education Celebration, presented by AdventHealth Hendersonville, on April 28, 2020 at Jeter Mountain Farm. In addition to celebrating the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees, Henderson County’s Principal of the Year, Dr. John Shepard, and the 2020 Teachers of the Year will be honored at the event. A reception will begin at 5:30 with dinner and a program to follow at 6:00.

Education Celebration tickets can be purchased online at hcefnc.org/events/educationcelebration or by calling the Foundation at 828.697.5551. For sponsorship opportunities or for more information about the 2020 Education Celebration, please contact Summer Stipe at summer@hcefnc.org.