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Fundraiser for community college president raises $35,800 to support student scholarships

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The North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP) and the North Carolina School Superintendents Association (NCSSA) have partnered to create a scholarship fundraiser in honor of Dr. Darrin Hartness, the president of Davidson-Davie Community College (DDCC).

On May 11, the organizations presented Hartness a check with donations totaling $35,800.

Hartness has dedicated his life to public education. Prior to becoming DDCC’s president, he spent 27 years in K-12 education, with roles ranging from a teacher, principal, to most recently the superintendent of Davie County Schools and Mount Airy County Schools.

Dr. Hartness speaking at DavieLEADS, and initiative to increase early literacy in Davie County in 2017.

In December 2022, Hartness was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

After hearing the news, NCACCP and NCSSA leaders decided to start the fundraiser as a way to honor Hartness’ work. The money raised will be dedicated to scholarships for high school students in Davie County looking to further their education at DDCC.

Jack Hoke is the executive director at NCSSA and has been a friend of Hartness’ for many years. He and other superintendents in the state are thrilled by the results of the fundraiser.

“In February, the original goal was to raise the money for two students to get full tuition –  now enough has been raised for 14 students to receive full tuition to DDCC,” Hoke said. ““In all of my time working with the NCSSA, this one is one of the most satisfying projects I’ve been a part of. Darrin’s a great father, great husband, a great man and a leader – we’re all so happy to support our friend.”

Dr. Jeff Cox is the incoming president of the North Carolina Community College System.

“It’s a great honor to be part of this, and it’s the easiest money we’ve ever raised,” said Cox in a press release. “Our original goal of $5,000 was quickly surpassed, which shows the love for Darrin and the impact he has on so many people.”

The fundraiser has been so successful that scholarships will be given over the next few years.

“It will provide deserving students with the opportunity to continue their education and achieve their dreams, just as Darrin has dedicated his career to doing,” said Hoke. “He is very passionate about serving students and providing a high-quality education for all.”

Hartness expressed gratitude for the initiative.

“I know this will give students an opportunity to build some better skills for a better job and better life ahead for their families and themselves,” said Hartness in a press release. “This is a great investment and will be used well to support our citizens and the future of our community. I can’t thank you all enough.”

Hutch Whitman

Hutch Whitman is a fourth year ecology and journalism student at UC Santa Barbara and contract reporter with EdNC for spring 2023.