BOONE—Three leaders in public education and in their communities are the latest inductees into The Rhododendron Society at Appalachian State University.
They are Chad S. Beasley of Mount Airy, Bill G. Rhinehart of Melville, New York, and T.R. Richards of Winston-Salem. They were honored July 25 during a ceremony on campus.
The honor recognizes Appalachian alumni for their exemplary service as teachers, librarians, human service professionals or administrators. It is the highest honor given by Appalachian’s Reich College of Education.
- Chad S. Beasley
Chad S. Beasley worked in management and sales for seven years before returning to college to pursue a career in education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Appalachian in 1986, teaching certification in 1997 and a master’s degree in school administration in 2003. He currently is enrolled in the Ed.D. program at Gardner-Webb University.
Beasley has served as a teacher, principal and school administrator in Surry and Stokes counties.
He began his teaching career as a marketing education teacher at Mount Airy High School, a position he held from 1994 to 2003. He also coached football, wrestling and baseball and served as the school’s career development coordinator. He served as assistant principal from 2003-08. In that role, he promoted the use of technology to enhance instruction and guided the professional learning communities process.
In 2008 he was named principal at Jones Intermediate School, where he continued to promote technology to enhance student learning, including the use of Smart Boards, computers in the classrooms, and on-line-research programs. Under his leadership, end-of-year test scores improved from a passing rate of 64 percent to more than 80 percent.
He left Mount Airy City Schools in 2012 when he was named director of middle and high schools for Stokes County Schools. He serves as curriculum director, career and technical education director, professional development coordinator and dropout prevention coordinator, among other duties. He also is the liaison between Stokes Early College and Forsyth Technical Community College.
He recently completed the state’s two-year Superintendent Fellows Program, an initiative to increase North Carolina’s pool of potential superintendents.
Beasley’s honors include being named Wachovia Principal of the Year in 2009, and completion of UNC Greensboro’s Executive Leadership Program in 2010.
Currently, Beasley is a member of the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, and the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium for Curriculum Directors. He also serves on the advisory board for Stokes Early College/Forsyth Technical Community College, The Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and the Board of Directors for the King Chamber of Commerce.
- Bill G. Rhinehart
Bill G. Rhinehart earned earn bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and reading education in 1956 and a master’s degree in elementary education in 1957. He worked as a developmental learning teacher at the Charlotte Reading Center and later was an instructor with the U.S. Air Force Dependent Schools, teaching the children of service members stationed in Germany.
After two years in Germany, he returned to the U.S. to teach in public schools in Greenwich, Connecticut, and later in Syosset, Long Island, where he had a 31-year career as a reading consultant, language arts coordinator and later a principal. He left the Greenwich public schools to accept a teaching position at Hofstra University.
His honors include the New York State Jenkins Memorial Award for service to children and parents, the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers Distinguished Service Award and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Award.
Rhinehart and his wife, Maureen, established the Bill and Maureen Rhinehart Collection on British History, which is housed in the Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room in Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian. The room houses more than 1,000 rare books on British history, including texts dating to the 1500s.
He is founding chairman of the University Library Advisory Board, a leader in the Appalachian Alumni Association and a guest lecturer to students studying reading education.
- T.R. Richards
T.R. Richards embarked on a 31-year career as teacher, role model and mentor to students in the Forsyth County School System when he graduated from Appalachian in 1984 with a degree in physical education.
Except for five years as a middle school health and P.E. teacher, West Forsyth High School (WFHS) was his home. In his first year at WFHS, Richards coached football in addition to teaching physical education, science and health. He later added baseball and girls basketball to his coaching responsibilities.
Twelve years into his career, Richards was asked to become the assistant athletic director at WFHS where he also served as chair of the high school’s physical education/health department. He was named the school’s athletics director five years later. As athletics director, Richards was ultimately in charge of the school’s 21 sports and 41 teams.
Richards remains active in his service to the region. He is commissioner of the Northwest 1A Conference, which serves seven high schools, and he works in the summer as activities coordinator of the N.C. Governor’s School West in Winston-Salem.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.