Lees-McRae College announces that Karen Sabo has been hired as the new director of the New Opportunity School for Women at the college. Chosen from a strong field of candidates, Sabo will begin work on November 7 at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia on the Lees-McRae campus.
Sabo replaces Carrie Guy, who has served as director for the past two years. Guy resigned the position to pursue a Master's Degree in Leadership at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Guy presided over the past two summer sessions of the NOSW, successfully raising funds and recruiting classes.
Sabo (pictured right with Guy) comes to Lees-McRae from the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA, where she was the Director of Education. She has earned a M. A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Appalachian Studies from ETSU. She has also worked with the New Opportunity School for Women as a volunteer.
The mission of the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College is to improve the educational, financial, and personal circumstances of low-income women - usually between the ages of 30-55 - who live in or hail from the Southern Appalachian region.
The NOSW is an intensive, three-week residential program that prepares women to advance their lives through a rigorous course of study that includes such subjects as Appalachian Literature, resume writing, computer skills, creative writing and math. Each woman also serves an internship during the program.
In addition to formal classes and internships, participants enjoy weekend and evening activities such as field trips to historic places and museums and attendance at the theater and musical programs in the area. Along with a make-over of hairstyles and make-up, participants in the program learn the kind of clothes to wear in professional situations and get to build a professional wardrobe from clothes that have been donated to the school. The women also participate in workshops on how to continue their education.
"We are pleased to find someone as accomplished and dedicated as Karen Sabo to direct our program and build on the strong foundation established by Carrie Guy and earlier directors," said Dr. Michael Joslin, Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. "The New Opportunity School for Women exemplifies the college's commitment to Appalachia and helps fulfill the mission of service established by our founder, Rev. Edgar Tufts."
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