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Alumni Daugherty and Rogers inducted into the Reich College of Education Rhododendron Society

By Heather Brandon

BOONE, N.C.—Appalachian State University alumni James Daugherty ’93 ’94 and Julia Kay “Kay” Rogers ’69 ’76 were inducted into the Rhododendron Society on July 21 at a brunch held on campus.

View larger imageAppalachian State University alumni Kay Rogers and James Daugherty were inducted into the Rhododendron Society on July 21, 2017, at a brunch held on the university campus. Photo by Kenneth KirkseyView larger imageJames Daugherty is pictured with Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, left, and Reich College of Education Dean Melba Spooner, right. Photo by Kenneth KirkseyView larger imageKay Rogers, center, is pictured with Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, left, and Reich College of Education Dean Melba Spooner, right. Photo by Kenneth Kirksey

The brunch was attended by the award recipients and their guests; past winners; Reich College of Education (RCOE) Advancement Board members; and, college and university leadership, including RCOE Dean Melba Spooner and Chancellor Sheri N. Everts.

The RCOE established the Rhododendron Society in 1999, Appalachian’s centennial year. It is named for Appalachian’s onetime yearbook “The Rhododendron,” that captured the university’s historic moments, activities and accomplishments.

As the highest honor given by the college, the award honors alumni for their exemplary service to education and to their communities. The society recognizes RCOE graduates whose service as teachers, librarians, human service professionals or administrators has reflected credit on themselves, the field of education and the university. Daugherty and Rogers joined a distinguished group of 58 Rhododendron Society members.

Society members give back to the RCOE through an annual scholarship, which is awarded to an undergraduate and a graduate student who are outstanding in their courses of study.

RCOE encourages Rhododendron Society nominations of Appalachian alumni currently working in the field of education as well as those who have retired. To learn more about the Rhododendron Society or to view nomination materials, visit

About James G. Daugherty

James Daugherty, originally from Ashe County and now a resident of Lexington, received a prestigious North Carolina Teaching Fellows scholarship and attended Appalachian to study music education. He graduated cum laude in 1993 and stayed on to complete a master’s degree in music education with a concentration in band directing, which he earned in 1994. He later went on to complete an Educational Leadership and School Administration certificate from High Point University in 2010.

After graduation from Appalachian, Daugherty accepted a position as director of bands with Central Davidson High School in 1994, a position he held for 21 years. Daugherty received numerous awards during this time. He was named Central Davidson High School Teacher of the Year in 1996 and 2013, as well as Davidson County Schools Teacher of the Year in 1997. He received the 1998 Outstanding Young Educators award from Lexington Jaycees, and the 2007 Northwest North Carolina Bandmasters Association Award of Excellence for which he was nominated by his peers. Daugherty also was nominated in 2006 for an Appalachian Young Alumnus Award.

In 2015, Daugherty accepted a position as instructional program specialist for fine art and distance learning for Davidson County Schools, allowing him to provide support and leadership for fine arts education, something for which he advocates both in and out of the classroom.

Daugherty’s legacy also includes a commitment for more than 25 years to Appalachian’s Cannon Music Camp. He started as a counselor while a student. He served as dean of men for 20 years and was named director in 2015. In his new role, Daugherty provides leadership to over 200 students and 60 staff and faculty during the three-week summer camp, held annually on the campus of Appalachian since 1969.

Daugherty actively serves the Lexington community where he volunteers as a marching band event adjudicator and guest conductor as well as the assistant music director for his church, Coggins Memorial Baptist Church.

About Kay Rogers

Kay Rogers of Statesville earned two degrees from Appalachian: a B.S. in social science in June 1969 and a M.A. in guidance and counselor education in August 1976. After graduation, Rogers was first employed as a social worker with the Iredell County Department of Social Services. She then became a learning lab coordinator, first for Mitchell Community College in Statesville and then at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1980, Rogers accepted a guidance counselor position with Statesville High School. Her duties included college admissions counseling, personal counseling, testing coordination, data compilation and reporting, and graduation planning. She retired in 2007.

Roger’s nominators described her as dedicated, hardworking and devoted to the students she served – traits that, according to colleague Wanda W. McConnell, “epitomize the spirit of an Appalachian education.”

Rogers’ commitment to children was reflected in all her efforts both in the school and the community. She is a former member of the North Carolina Association for School Counselors. She received training for counseling domestic abuse and rape victims, and she worked with students to raise awareness of the dynamics of abuse. Rogers also served as a volunteer counselor for abuse victims and as a member of a women’s organization committed to combating domestic violence.

About the Reich College of Education

Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina.

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 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.