HPS to Honor Margaret Pope’s Public Service

HPS to Honor Margaret Pope’s Public Service
Posted on 11/26/2019
margaret pope

HPS to Honor Margaret Pope’s Public Service

A reception to honor the public service of Ms. Margaret A. Pope will be held this Monday evening, December 2, 2019, from 5:30 PM to 6:15 PM in the lobby of Hickory City Hall. Pope will retire from official public service on this day, as she has chosen to step down from the Board of Education for Hickory Public Schools. For the past eight years, she has been a vital member of the Board, always placing the welfare and education for all children as her top priority.

During the reception, which includes light refreshments, a string-quartet from Hickory High School will perform a selection of Christmas and classical songs. The musicians include Katheryn Kanipe, violin, Jonathan Hoang, violin, Emily Greene, viola, and Thomas Matias, cello.

Following the public reception, the community is invited to stay for the meeting of the HPS Board of Education which will include special presentations from guests, Mayor Hank Guess and Chief of Police, Thurman Whisnant, recognizing Ms. Pope for her dedicated service. There will also be a presentation from Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications and a presentation from Dr. Bryan Graham, chairman of the HPS Board of Education.

Raised in the historic African-American community of Ridgeview in Hickory, NC, Ms. Pope was one of the first two African-American women to graduate from Lenoir-Rhyne College, now University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Later, Ms. Pope earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, School of Social Work in NY, NY. 

Ms. Pope pursued a professional career of serving others--as she was employed with the NC State Division of Health Services working as a social worker at the Developmental Evaluation Center for nearly five years. Pope went on to work with Catawba County Department of Social Services for more than five years before taking her next social worker position with Catawba County Schools, where she served the students for nearly two decades. Her actual total years of service in the professional arena covers more than 40 years—including social work and assisting with medical, psychiatric, family and child protective services. Ms. Pope has always desired to do “good” for her fellow community members, especially children.

A community activist and volunteer on several organization boards, Ms. Pope, who has no children of her own, has served as a surrogate parent to her five nieces and nephews as well as several children in her life circle.  Over the years, as a member of Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church, Pope has worked with the children and youth. Additionally, she serves as chairperson of the Finance Committee, vice chair of the United Methodist Women, and she is a member of the Health and Welfare Committee and the Senior Fun Bunch.

Other community boards that have received Pope’s dedicated service include: Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Friends of the Ridgeview Library, Carlisle Foundation Board, Hickory Branch of the NAACP, and she has served as Chairman of the Ridgeview Election Precinct.

Additionally, Ms. Pope has received the following honors from the Hickory community:
Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Hickory Community Relations Committee
• Dr. M. L. King, Jr., Spirit of King Award
• Citizen of the Year, Delta Nu Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
• Recognition of Years of Service, Hickory Branch NAACP
• Black Catawba County Special Recognition
• Spirit of Democracy Award, Catawba County Democratic Party

During the past eight years of service on the HPS Board of Education, the children of Hickory Public Schools have come to know Ms. Pope—with her frequent visits to schools and support of special events, according to Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications. “Her love for the children is evident—as she attends weekly events at several schools and always makes the effort to speak with the children (of every representation), even those whom she has never met. She is their instant support and quickly establishes a life-long friendship,” said Snowden.

“In fact, Ms. Pope is a friend to all—from every corner of Catawba County and throughout the State of North Carolina. She has been a voice for those who have none—and she has stood tall in the delivery of equity in education. We are blessed to have witnessed Margaret Pope’s strength, her passion, and her standards of excellence in service to the people of this great State,” added Snowden. 

Following the recognition and awards for Margaret Pope, three members of the HPS Board of Education, including Mike Heard (Ward 4), Amy Monroe (Ward 6), and Dr. Bryan Graham (At-Large), will take the Oath of Office, administered by the Honorable Judge Burford Cherry. Monroe and Graham were recently re-elected to the HPS Board of Education, while Heard was elected to fill Pope’s seat with the HPS Board of Education.




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