Rotary Club of Highlands inspired by Tate Wilson’s RYLA experience

Highlands School tenth-grader Tate Wilson described her 2023 Rotary Youth Leadership Academy experience to Rotary Club of Highlands on Tuesday with contagious enthusiasm.

“I was nervous at first, but it was such a fun experience the entire time,” said Wilson. “I’ve never been with so many teens in one place with so little judgement and so much acceptance.”

Designed as a way for teenagers to learn about themselves and their leadership qualities, RYLA offered a mixture of team building exercises, hikes, guided communication, a dance/not a dance…even a little karaoke.

“We spent time talking to each other and learned to cooperate, trust each other and built respect for everyone in the group.”

Pictured at the top of the article from left are Dave O’Harra, President, Rotary Club of Highlands; Tate Wilson, Speaker and Tracy Franklin, Rotarian and Host.

Rotary Club of Highlands entertained by Stacy Guffey’s mountain talk

From left are Dave O’Harra, President, Rotary Club of Highlands; Stacy Guffey, Speaker; and Ryan Hanchett, Rotarian and Host.

Macon County native Stacy Guffey recently entertained Rotary Club of Highlands members as he explored the dialects spoken in the US, especially “Appalachian English” or Smokey Mountain English”.

Guffey assured his audience that our “Mountain Talk” is a real dialect with its own accent and grammar.

Challenging third and fourth generation Highlanders in his audience, Guffey gave a series of quizzes that highlighted some words, patterns and euphemisms that brought out the mountain folk in many listeners. 

One quiz included a series of pictures that helped to identify “maters, taters, a tar, a far, okre, and warsh”!

Guffey studies languages as a hobby and works on projects to promote and preserve mountain culture. 

He helped establish and run the Arts and Heritage Center at the old Cowee School and founded a consultancy practice to help with economic development and planning projects throughout Western North Carolina. 

From 2004-09 he served as Macon County’s planner and currently serves as a Franklin Town Councilor.

Rotary Club of Highlands honors Students of the Month

Highlands Rotarians recently honored the Students of the Month. From left are Cooper Hall (12th), Mrs. Nicole Lui (Counselor), Krimzon Rathbone (4th), Keeley Bosdell (7th), Mrs. Alyssa DeBois, Highlands School Assistant Principal and Dave O’Harra, President, Rotary Club of Highlands.

Leave a Reply