Beth Hollars, of Belmont, was recently awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Beth is a fourth generation native of Belmont and has lived there most of her life. The award was presented by her husband, David, who is the Executive Director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board, at a gathering of friends and relatives celebrating her recent retirement and her birthday.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina. The award is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the State of North Carolina. There is not just one single path to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Those who earn the honor have blazed their own special trails. Beth has certainly done that.
Beth started as a teacher in the public schools of Gaston County, where she was also educated. She taught at Belmont Junior High School, touching the lives of hundreds of seventh, eighth and ninth graders. While teaching, she was selected to co-author and implement the new North Carolina history curriculum. In 1985, Beth was selected to be one the of the State’s first trainers for a brand new, ambitious project: NC Effective Teaching Training Program. She and two other colleagues trained all Gaston County principals, mentor teachers and new teachers the next 18 months. This work grabbed the attention of the NC Department of Public Instruction staff and State leaders. Beth was hired by DPI in 1987 and was promoted while there. In 1996, the NC General Assembly made massive changes to DPI and downsized over 800 in DPI, so Beth sought a new career by opening her own training firm. She provided training for educational and corporate partners in personality styles, leadership, learning styles, conflict management and lots more.
In 1997, Beth was hired by MB Kahn Construction Company, a 100 year old construction management firm out of Columbia SC. But even in this role, Beth continued to serve over 10 counties in NC ( and counties in other states) by overseeing a revolutionary new apprenticeship program, sanctioned by the US Department of Labor. This one-of-a kind, ground breaking program touched the lives of many NC students looking to a career in the construction and construction management area. She provided training, guidance and counseling for students, parents, teachers, principals and school board members in many
NC counties. Once again in 1999, Beth was caught in an economic downsizing and left MB Kahn.
Beth was hired at Gaston College in 2000 and remained there as the Director of Continuing Education until her retirement on October 1, 2016. While at Gaston College, Beth implemented, directed, developed and managed existing programs, new initiatives and responses to state and federal mandates to provide the citizens of Gaston and Lincoln Counties with quality continuing education courses. At Gaston, Beth was a member of the Leadership Gaston Class of 2001, Gaston United Way Loaned Executive and Trainer for Fund Allocation, Staff Senate and nominee for Gaston County Woman of the Year.
This final career marks 35 years of service in many different capacities to the citizens of North Carolina. In each and every role, Beth Hollars has demonstrated exemplary leadership, future-thinking ideas, and lots of hard work.
In Belmont, Beth is an active member of her community. She has been a board member of the Belmont Historical Society, and Keep Belmont Beautiful. She is an active Rotarian and past president, like her great grandfather, grandfather and father before her. She serves on the Board of Page Primary PTO, the Gaston County Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee and the Fellowship Committee at her church, First Presbyterian. Beth, her husband and her granddaughter, Jilliana, call Belmont home.