July, 2016 will mark fifteen years as an employee for Glendora at CIS. With a degree in Human Services, she began in 2001 as a program coordinator for the Friends of Youth program. Glendora recruited, screened, trained and monitored mentoring matches made between youth and adults. She remained in that position until 2005 where the program grew from 9 matches to 50 matches. In 2005 she was appointed interim director for the organization. As interim director she had oversight of the staff, attended community events and led monthly board meetings. In 2006 she was tapped as executive director where she remains today. Under her leadership the organization has grown to include expanding programs and services that currently includes serving over 650 students with direct services and over 8,000 students with indirect services. The growth also includes expansion by brokering programs and services into Alexander County. In her spare time, Glendora enjoys, spending time with her family, teaching Sunday School and quilting.
Jettie Walker has been on staff at Communities In Schools since 2007. With a background in customer service she made the transition from for-profit to non-profit and serves and manages both adult volunteers and students as a mentoring coordinator. Under her leadership the Lunch Buddy program and Friends of Youth program were combined to form mentoring options. In the Lunch Buddy program she provides selected k-3rd grade students with a much needed friend and mentor for lunch visits. In the Friends of Youth program she provides selected 4th-8th grade students with a mentor who spends time with the student/mentee outside of school.
Since coming on the team of Communities In Schools, Mrs. Walker has obtained several certificates as on-going education pertinent to her position as mentoring coordinator. They include: Safe-Serve Certified, a graduate of Wilkes Leadership Program, and a certified Darkness to Light trainer.
Mrs. Walker is a native of Wilkes County where her passion to help others is the driver for both her professional and personal life. On her off-time Jettie thoroughly enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Melissa has been employed with Communities In Schools since 2006. With a background in Early Childhood Education, she is currently the program coordinator of the New Century Scholars program. From 2006 until 2015 the program has grown from 105 scholarships given to 337 scholarships given. Due to the positive relationships Mrs. Higgins has developed with the students over the past 10 years, many return to her office after they graduate from college.
Mrs. Higgins married her high school sweet heart; both were born and raised in Wilkes. They have one daughter who is a senior in high school and the joy of their lives. Mellissa and her family are active in their church. Her hobbies include cooking, canning and family activities such as boating, fishing, camping and spending time at the beach. In her spare time Mrs. Higgins managed a travel soccer team for eight years, served on the board for Wings of Wilkes Soccer as Discipline and Appeals Coordinator, served as Volunteer Coordinator for EWHS Athletic Boosters club, and Parent representative for East Wilkes High School Superintendent/Parent Advisory Council meetings.
Caitlin has worked for CIS since 2012. She served as a Site Coordinator at Wilkes Central High School for four years. In 2016, Caitlin became the Resource Development Director for the agency. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Sociology with a concentration in Family Development. Because she volunteered for CIS before becoming a staff member, she new right away that Communities In Schools was the place for her. Caitlin has a true passion for helping students overcome boundaries and achieve in life.
Angie Yates currently serves Communities In Schools as the Program Director in both Wilkes and Alexander Counties. Her experiences, both professionally and personally, have led her to this position, one in which she is able to affect an area that is a passion in her life — helping to ensure that all students receive opportunities that will allow them to create the best possible lives for themselves. She holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University and has always chosen to use her education and devotion to positively affect people’s lives.
Prior to becoming the Program Director, Ms. Yates served as a Site Coordinator in Alexander County, first at West Alexander Middle School and then at Alexander Central High School. With a very full and rewarding personal life as well, Angie has one daughter, Darby, who is a junior in high school. In fact, she considers her daughter to be her greatest accomplishment. With lots of outside interests, Angie enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends, shopping, and traveling.
Tiger joined the CIS staff in 2011. He has held many roles with the organization, starting as the Wise Guys Instructor, providing services as a site coordinator at Moravian Falls Elementary and North Wilkesboro Elementary, and he is currently the Volunteer Recruiter. Tiger goes to great lengths to support the youth in our community in every position he holds.
Erica is the Finance Director for Communities In Schools. Erica is a native of Wilkes County and a West Wilkes High alumni. She has an Associate’s Degree in Human Services Technology. Erica served at Communities In Schools during and after college for five years as the Lunch Buddy Coordinator and started the Stuff the Bus Program during that time. As time and life changed, Erica left Communities In Schools and pursued other opportunities in the Human Service field. Erica is very grateful for the opportunity to return to Communities In Schools as the Finance Director.
Erica resides in Roaring River with her husband, Bruce and four daughters. They are active members of Charity Hill Baptist Church in Thurmond. Erica enjoys reading, board games, kayaking, fishing, hunting, and swimming.
WILKES COUNTY SCHOOLS
Dana Zacharias – High School Student Support Coordinator
Dana currently serves Communities in Schools as the Student Support Coordinator for Wilkes County High Schools. Through her passion of being able to encourage and empower people to be successful, she has played an extremely active role in helping our community the past few years. Dana has served in the areas of workforce development, domestic violence, rape crisis, mentoring families out of poverty, drug abuse prevention and helping businesses with marketing. Dana has attended Black Hills State University, Western Dakota Institute, University of the Nations- Kona HI and more recently a Wilkes Leadership graduate.
Dana is a native of Custer, South Dakota but considers Wilkes County her home after 13 years. Dana has four children; one in high school, two high school graduates and one college graduate. Dana enjoys spending time with her children, fishing, working out, playing sports, traveling and helping those in need.
As a Site Coordinator with Communities In Schools at Central Wilkes Middle School, Diane is involved with many aspects of the students’ lives, such as helping students with their homework and being there for them if they need someone to talk to. She is also there to bridge the gap between the student, parents, community and the school. Diane graduated from Lees McRae College in May 2016 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is dedicated to helping others within her community.
Growing up, Jeremy always knew he wanted to spend his life helping people achieve goals. His first intentions were to be a physical therapist. Little did he know, he would graduate from Wilkes Community College with an associate’s degree in Human Services Technology. Three months after graduation, he landed a job working for CIS and he couldn’t be happier. He is now working on a bachelor’s degree through Gardner Webb University and will earn a master’s degree through Appalachian State University shortly after that. He works part time at Lowe’s Foods as a Guest Services Leader, where he has been for 5 ½ years. The verse that Jeremy turns to for guidance reads, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
ALEXANDER COUNTY SCHOOLS
Brittany is a graduate of Wingate University and has worked with Communities In Schools since January 2014. She was born and raised in Alexander County and has always possessed the desire to give back to the community especially to the schools she once attended. That is why East Alexander Middle School was the perfect place for her to become the Site Coordinator. Brittany chose to work with Communities In Schools to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Brittany said, “I have a desire and passion for my students and love watching them grow and learn. Although I have many blessings in life, one would be my students. I believe that each student has their own unique way to grow, and I strive to help students discover those strengths.” Her favorite quote is Philippians 4:13. “For I can do ALL things through CHRIST who gives me strength.”
Jordyn was born and raised in Alexander County. Oddly enough, she is now working at the same middle school she once attended! Jordyn is the Site Coordinator and the Assistant Softball Coach at West Alexander Middle School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Wingate University in May 2014. Just two days after graduation, she started working with Communities in Schools. Jordyn says “It has always been a passion of mine to work with children. There is nothing better than seeing the look on a student’s face when they accomplish something they thought was never possible.” She believes every student deserves to have someone to talk to, someone who is on their side, and someone who truly cares. It is her hope that she can be that person for the students at West through her position as Site Coordinator. The scripture she turns to is: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11