DOBSON — Surry Community College employees are digging into their pockets once again this year to help the Surry County Educational Foundation, but this year they also are honoring a long-time school system employee.
This year, the college is recognizing retiring employee Pat Widdowson during its annual fundraising event to help out the county’s schools.
Widdowson is retiring after decades of service to the county school system, and she serves as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
“We picked Pat because of all her years of service to Surry County Schools and her dedication to the education of county students,” said Melissa White of the Surry County Educational Foundation.
The fundraising event is an annual campaign involving the employees of the college, White said.
“Employees are given the opportunity to support the educational foundation, and can choose to do it as a payroll deduction or a one-time contribution,” White said.
Last year, the college raised about $11,000 during the campaign.
The money collected is used to benefit the foundation, whose mission is to raise the level of education in the Surry County Schools.
“The money often is used to assist with academic programs like the Battle of the Books and Math Counts,” White said.
And the collected money comes in handy every year, she added.
“It makes such a difference in Surry County, because our schools received over $12,000 last year to assist with our academic programs,” she said. “When our students compete in these events, whether it’s the Battle of the Books or Math Counts, sometimes we have students participating who can’t afford to go on to the next level, so the foundation is there to assist with that.”
But community college employees aren’t the only ones who can honor Widdowson with a contribution.
“This is something that anyone can contribute to,” White said.
White said she can’t think of a more deserving employee to honor with the fundraiser.
“She has been such an integral part of what has made the Surry County school system what it is today,” she said. “When you think about Surry County Schools, you think of Pat.”
Widdowson has been employed by the Surry County school system for 30 years. During her career, she has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, supervisor, director and assistant superintendent.
She was honored during the 2009-2010 school year by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, where she was given the Distinguished Educator of the Year award.
A native of Surry County, Widdowson graduated from Surry Central High School, Mars Hill College and the University of Georgia.
She lives with her husband Bruce in Pilot Mountain. The couple have two children, Seth and Hannah.
Widdowson is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Pilot Mountain, where she serves as a Sunday school teacher.
Widdowson was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Surry Community College effective on May 7, this year.
This year’s fundraiser is under way, and will end on Oct. 31.
Anyone who would like to contribute can contact the foundation at 386-8211.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.