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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : community : history January 23, 2021

8/31/2020 3:48:00 PM
College Recognizes Three Silver-Anniversary Staffers
Trio serving Gaston College a combined 75 years

Lincoln Herald Staff

Gaston College recently honored three employees, all of whom have put in 25 years each.

And each received a certificate of appreciation and a $150 gift card, according to college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett. Those recognized were Donna English, Gail Hoyle and Ed Stroup. 

Donna English
English is the chairman of Gaston College’s industrial systems technology program.

Prior to joining the college, she worked for 13 years in industry and taught part-time as an adjunct instructor at Isothermal Community College for about six years. She then continued her education at Western Carolina University, earning a bachelor of science degree in education and a master’s in technology. She also earned an education specialist degree at Appalachian State University.

In her program of study at WCU, English met some teachers from Gaston College, who told her about an opening for an instructor. She applied and was hired. Her first position was as an instructor for mechanical drafting and design technology. After about six years, she moved to the position of instructor for industrial maintenance.

At the college, English has served on the faculty senate, multiple hiring committees and the curriculum committee. She served as the industrial division’s student success coach, 2014-15, and she attends yearly career fairs at local middle schools to promote the college’s trade and industrial programs. Those activities contributed to her being named the 2006 Instructor of the Year for the Engineering and Industrial division––one of her proudest accomplishments.

She also takes pride in being active with the college’s Apprenticeship 321 program and, through that activity, “seeing students succeed and knowing (she) was a part of that success.”

English has seen Gaston College evolve much in her 25 years there, and she has been a big supporter of her students and colleagues.

“I have seen many changes in technology in the classroom setting,” she said. “On-line and hybrid classes are a big part of my program now. I have seen many accomplishments, new programs, expanding the Dallas Campus and apprenticeship programs.

“The best part of being a teacher is the interaction with the students,” she added. “So often, they do not see their talent or do not know how to direct it. It takes just a few suggestions to see your students bloom into professionals. I really enjoy the mentorial aspect of teaching. It is very rewarding at the college level. I also enjoy working with the great people here at the college. I love my job, because ev

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Gail Hoyle
Hoyle was a stay-at-home mother, and she wanted to start back to work part-time.

At the suggestion of her husband, Reggie, who worked at Gaston College as a part-time GED instructor, she joined the college as a part-time secretary for the GED and adult high school co-ordinators on the Lincolnton Campus. She became a full-time employee in 1994. In 1996, she joined the continuing education department under the supervision of Dr. John Merritt, then the director of continuing education.

Hoyle represented the college, 2002-04, as a member of the planning committee for the biennial North Carolina Community Colleges Adult Educators Association. She helped plan workshops for spring and fall conferences. She joined the economic work force development division on the Dallas Campus in 2011.

Hoyle says Gaston College is one of the best places she has ever worked.

“The people I work with are like extended family,” she said. “Everyone is so kind. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here 25 years, and I plan to be here for at least 30 years before I retire.” 

Ed Stroup
As a groundskeeper, Stroup performs all the necessary tasks to maintain the grounds at the college’s main campus and satellite locations.

This includes maintenance of lawns, plants, trees, parking lots, roadways and other areas of the campuses. He has been in the grounds department since he joined Gaston College in 1994.

Stroup has seen many changes on the college’s three campuses in 25 years, such as new construction, expansions and upgrades. Through it all, he has gone about his job not looking for recognition or attention and preferring to be a get-it-done type of worker. His quarter-century of hard work and dedication have made him a valuable, important, significant and appreciated staff member and his service has great meaning to the staff, faculty and students at Gaston College.

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