- Clover School District
- Alumni Spotlight
In each newsletter, the Clover Schools Alumni Association spotlights a Clover High School graduate who has contributed in some way to the improvement of our community, state, and/or world. Each of those spotlighted individuals are listed on this page. If you would like to nominate someone to appear in the "Alumni Spotlight" section, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1955, Stanhope Sifford "Stan" Spears left the halls of Clover High School to do amazing things for his community, his state, and his country. After graduating from high school, Major General Spears went to the University of South Carolina in Columbia where he played football for the USC Gamecocks. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Air National Guard and served two years before his acceptance to the South Carolina National Guard's Palmetto Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1962. Upon his graduation,he was commissioned as second lieutenant and served for thirty-two years, earning the rank of Brigadier General and achieving the office of Adjutant General of South Carolina. Major General Spears administered the affairs of the South Carolina Army and National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, Youth Challenge, and Americorp. General Spears has commanded at all levels, which included his first assignment as an armor platoon leader, detachment commander of the state's public affairs unit, commandant of the weekend training site, commander of the 4th battalion, 118th ingantry division, state public affairs officer, chief of the state's training division, director of the Palmetto Military Academy, commander of joint forces headquarters, as well as his final position as the Adjutant General of South Carolina. Major General Spears served as the South Carolina Adjutant General for sixteen years. During his service to our state, he led and directed more than thirteen thousand five hundred men and women in the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard. He was also responsible for the oversight of operations of the South Carolina Guard and the South Carolina Emergency Preparedness Division. His position as Adjutant General was unique since South Carolina was the only state in the nation to elect its Adjutant General, for which he was elected four consecutive terms. In honor of his distinction as a military leader and public servant of the state of South Carolina for over thirty years, the former National Guard Road in Columbia, SC was renamed Stan Spears Drive.
Mrs. Evelyn Gettys Edmunds left the halls of Clover High School in 1946 to do amazing things to support and improve agriculture at the local, state, and national level. After marrying her high school sweetheart in 1949, she and her husband started a turkey farm in Clover and set their sights on building a family that would eventually include six children. The turkey farm was successful for them, but in 1968 Evelyn obtained 15 head of Angus cows and her focus shifted from turkey farming to breeding and raising Angus cattle. About that same time, Evelyn joined the South Carolina Angus Association and became an active member, serving as director, secretary and voting delegate to the North American Livestock Exposition. Evelyn also helped form the South Carolina Junior Angus Association in 1968 and was one of the Junior advisors for many years. She joined the American Auxiliary in 1980 and served on the scholarship committee as the membership chairperson. In 1984, Evelyn was honored as the National Junior Angus Association Junior Advisor of the Year. Evelyn ws honored later, in 1986, by the South Carolina Angus Association as the first award recipient of the Carolina Angus Futurity, an award given to one who has contributed to the success of the organization and the Angus breed. In March 2007, Evelyn was inducted into the Angus Futurity Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Angus Futurity was dedicated to her for her 17 years of service.
Evelyn Edmunds became active in cattle and farm groups during a time when only men served in such organizations and was the first woman to hold leadership positions with the South Carolina Cattlemen's Association. She served in many organizations at the state level and was the first woman director and treasurer of the South Carolina Cattlemen's Association, director and secretary of the South Carolina Angus Association, delegate for the South Carolina Poultry Commission, and director and financial services chair for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. On a national level, Evelyn was a delegate for the American Angus Association for eleven years. In 2015, Evelyn was presented the Order of the Palmetto on behalf of Governor Nikki Haley.
At the local level, Evelyn has served on the Board of Directors of York County Farm Bureas and the York County Cattlemens' Association. In addition, she has served on the Farm Service Agency board and has been a member of the Clemson Extension Advisory Council. She served as a commissioner for the York Soil and Water Conservation District for 18 years and was named Commissioner Emeritus in 2014. In 1981, Evelyn was chosen as an honorary member of the Clemson Block and Bridal Club. Evelyn served as York County 4-H Livestock club leader for 23 years. Her work in 4-H and the Junior Angus Association has encouraged many young people to pursue farming.
Most people in the South Carolina agricultural area have been touched by Evelyn Edmunds over the years. She has certainly been instrumental in elevating agriculture in the eyes of legislators and other civic leaders.
Herbert "Herb" Kirsh
Mr. Herbert "Herb" Kirsh left the halls of Clover High School in 1946 to do amazing things for his community and for the state of South Carolina. During his time at Clover High School, Mr. Kirsh was an active member of the student body, managing the basketball team, playing football, and serving as a member of the block "C" club and paper staff. Mr. Kirsh was also an active member of the debating team, the National Honor Society and was an honor graduate at Cover High. After graduating from Clover High, he attended Duke University and, upon graduation in 1949, returned to his beloved town of Clover.
Herb Kirsh loved his hometown and served his community well. As a business man, Herb owned and operated Kirsh Department Store, a business started by his father in 1937. As a steward of his community, Kirsh was a charter member of the Clover Jaycees, served as chairman of the board for the Clover Community Bank and was president of the Clover Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Mr. Kirsh was an active member of Masonic Lodge 208 and the Shriners. Mr. Kirsh served on the Cover Town Council and was mayor of Clover from 1975 to 1978. He was recognized as Clover Man of the Year in 1976, and in 1999, the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce honored Mr. Kirsh as Citizen of the Year. In 2001, Mr. Kirsh was awarded the Mack E. McCarter Award for citizenship and community service.
Herb Kirsh also loved the state of South Carolina and took his passion for financial oversight to the statehouse where he served in the House of Representatives from 1978 to 2010 and is remembered as the longest serving legislator in the state of South Carolina. Throughout his time in office, Herb received many honors. In 1985, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina Municipal Association. He served as the county delegate to the State Democratic Convention. In 1976, the South Carolina Department of Revenue recognized him as Legislator of the Year. In 2001, the South Carolina Association of Auditors, Treasurers, and Tax Collectors honored Mr. Kirsh with an appreciation award for his service. In 2003, the South Carolina Association of Counties honored Herb with the Home Rule Guardian Award, and the South Carolina Department of Revenue recognized him with an outstanding service award. Mr. Kirsh was honored as Legislator of the Year by the South Carolina Housing Authority in 2005. During that same year, a 357 acre tract of land in York County was designated the "Herb Kirsh Wildlife Conservation Area" by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. In 2006, Mr. Kirsh was once again named Legislator of the Year by the State Retirees Association of South Carolina. In 2008, Herb served as chairman of the House Invitations and and Memorial Resolutions Committee, and in 2009 he was recognized as the longest serving House member in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 2010, Herb Kirsh was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the governor of South Carolina to persons who make contributions of statewide significance. Most people in the small town of Clover and in the state of South Carolina remember Herb as a man of integrity - a man who lived a life of service to his beloved hometown of Cover and to his state of South Carolina.
Frank Falls, a 1994 graduate and history teacher at Clover High School, has led one of the most successful "class projects" in the history of Clover High School. To this day, Moped to Memphis (M2M) is comprised of anticipated events such as the womanless beauty pageant that involves the entire community.
When Frank began working with seniors in 2008, he wanted them to learn the importance of stewardship, so he challenged his class to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. To motivate his students, Frank promised them he would grow a beard as long as they continued to raise funds for the project. As Frank's beard continued to grow, the 2008 class focused on the project and raised $3,200.00 in the first year of the project. The following year, Frank expanded the challenge and told students he would ride a moped to Memphis, Tennessee and deliver the money to St. Jude's if the students could raise $6,200 - $10.00 for every mile between Clover and Memphis. The 2009 students were excited about the challenge and set out selling t-shirts and stickers. They held pizza contests, set up booths at local events, and eventually raffled the moped. By the end of the year, the students had raised $13,000.00 and "Moped to Memphis" was born.
Students in 2010 continued their fundraising efforts and added an event that community members would come to enjoy each year - the womanless beauty pageant. With the addition of the pageant, students were able to raise $30,000.00. A Second Chance Prom was added in 2013 and students were able to add $54,000.00 to St. Jude. That year, during the trip to St. Jude, a patient gave those attending a tour of the hospital. This patient and the tour became a true inspiration for the campaign and when the patient passed away in 2012, a boot drive was added in his honor. In addition to the boot drive, a Little Miss and Master Moped pageant was also held and the students raised a grand total of $99,000.00 that year.
Hoping to continue to increase funds, the 2013 class added a rock concert and a golf tournament to the list of fundraisers, raising $85,000.00 to the mounting total. It would be the class of 2019 that would tie the record high by raising $99,000.00 again.
Students in the 2016 class wanted to do something a little different, so they designed a cuddly moped monkey named "Memphis." Memphis was an instant success, and the students decided that for each monkey sold, one would be given to a child at St. Jude. This class broke all records, raising $127,500.00 that year.
Each year, students have continued to raise funds for St. Jude, and to date $831,000.00 has been raised. Frank's goal has always been to raise $1,000,000.00 by the end of 2020, and he is well on his way. What an amazing learning experience and adventure this project has been. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Frank Falls. For more information about Moped to Memphis, visit their website at https://moped2memphis.com.
Ann Harvey, a 1951 graduate of Clover High School, devoted herself to the betterment of her beloved community. Throughout her life, Ann served many organizations in many capacities.
For many years, Ann worked for Garlock/Chicago Rawhide, and, upon retirement, decided she would serve her alma mater as a substitute teacher. Although she loved her time at work and working with the students of Clover High School, her true passion had always been her hometown. Ann was a faithful ambassador who knew the importance of building and maintaining local businesses. Because of that, Ann was their biggest fan as she volunteered with and attended the Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce events. On Friday nights, Ann could be found cheering on the Clover High football team while selling tickets to the visiting fans. On Sunday, Ann could be found in her favorite pew at the Clover ARP Church. In her spare time, Ann worked to improve our town by picking up litter on South Main Street and later served on the county's study committee, which ultimately led to the creation of the Keep York County Beautiful organization. In addition to these activities, Ann served her community as a member of the Clover Town Council for twenty-four years. Many of those years were served as Mayor Pro Tem. During her time on the Council, Ann was instrumental in securing a reliable water source for residents. She also worked tirelessly to create a relationship with Clover's sister city, Larne, in Northern Ireland. Ann was also involved in the creation of several new parks, including Clover's latest addition, New Center Park. Through her work, volunteerism to her community, and love of her church, Ann touched the lives of many people in our town and across the state, greeting everyone she met with a handshake, hug, and/or a kiss. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Ann Harvey.
Matt Hogue, a 1989 graduate of Clover High School, currently serves as the athletic director at Coastal Carolina University. During his time at Clover High School, Matt was active in organizations such as the French and Bi-Sci-Chem Clubs. In addition, he was part of the Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society. Matt played on the varsity basketball team and the golf team at Clover High, where he was an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. According to his senior yearbook, Matt had his eye on a future in broadcasting when he graduated, and, as one reviews his accomplishments, it seems broadcasting helped pave the way to his success. After graduation, Matt attended the University of South Carolina where he pursued a degree in broadcasting. In his free time, he looked for ways to use his talents and often covered Gamecock women's basketball games on the campus radio station. After graduation from the University of South Carolina, he worked for a variety of radio stations, but finally made his way to Coastal Carolina in 1997. Matt may be best known for his 17-year stint as the "Voice of the Chanticleers" on the Chanticleer Sports Network, where he provided live game broadcasts, features, and weekly programs about Coastal Carolina athletics. In fact, Matt was the play-by-play announcer for the school's radio station when the Coastal Carolina football team won its first game. Although his path at Coastal Carolina has ultimately led him to become the director of athletics, he began his career at Coastal as assistant sports information director. During this time, he continued to work as the play-by-play announcer for the school's basketball team. He was later promoted as the associate athletic director for marketing before becoming the associate vice president of marketing in 2009. In 2013, Matt was named a finalist for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Sportscaster of the Year for the state of South Carolina. Throughout his time, Matt continued to spend his nights and weekends broadcasting. Because of his varied experiences at the university, Matt was the perfect candidate for interim athletic director in 2014, and in 2015 the job became permanent when the "Voice of the Chanticleers" became the "face of Coastal Carolina Athletics." In spite of his accomplishments, Matt Hoghue has not forgotten his roots. In a recent article in "The Herald", Matt said he still considers Clover home. He said "It was a great place to grow up. It had a great school system that I often cherish now. I didn't know how good we had it. There were a lot of great people who led me then. And I think back to going to football games when I was a kid." The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Matt Hogue.
Betty Riddle, a 1959 graduate of Clover High School, left the halls of Clover High to become a distinguished educator, an advocate for students, and a community friend to all. During her time at Clover High, Miss Riddle enjoyed playing basketball, serving as co-captain of the team and lettering all four years. In addition to her love of basketball, Miss Riddle was also part of the Clover High School marching band. She was a member of clubs such as the Bi-Sci-Chem club, the Latin, French, and Spanish clubs and the Library club. Miss Riddle was a superior student honored by the National Honor Society and serving as a Junior Marshal. During her senior year, Miss Riddle served as the senior class vice president and was recognized as Miss Hi Miss.
Upon graduation from Clover High, Miss Riddle attended Winthrop College where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1963 and her Master of Arts in Teaching in 1966. Miss Riddle began her career with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools as a physical education teacher in 1963 and was later principal of a number of Charlotte Mecklenburg schools. She retired in 1997 after holding a number of positions in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School's Superintendent's office. In 1999, Winthrop University awarded Miss Riddle its Award of Excellence, noting that she was "one of the first to champion the need for middle school education."
In spite of her time in Charlotte, Miss Riddle never forgot her love for her hometown. On Wednesday nights, she could be found serving at God's kitchen. Miss Riddle even began a Good Samaritan program at her home town church, Bethel Presbyterian. In addition, she organized a committee to "cater to seniors" with special events, outings and other activities.
It was her hometown of Clover, though, where many remember her as a vibrant and hard-working superintendent giving and expecting the best in return. When Clover School District needed a superintendent, Betty Riddle answered the call, serving her beloved community from 1999 until 2003. During her tenure, Miss Riddle oversaw the opening of Crowders Creek Elementary School and the Applied Technology Center. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Betty Riddle.
The Wright Family
The Wright family is certainly no stranger to education. Amarintha Wright Whitener, Ernestine Wright, Peggy Wright and second generation Frankie Wright Bennett and Millicent Whitener Dickey have devoted their lives to making public education a better place for all children.
Amarintha Wright Whitener graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1955. Devoted to her studies, Mrs. Whitener was valedictorian of her class. In addition to her studies, Mrs. Whitener played basketball and was active in the glee club at Roosevelt High. Upon graduation, Mrs. Whitener attended Benedict College, where she graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies. She later completed her Master of Education from South Carolina State University. Mrs. Whitener went on to teach in Fairfield and Spartanburg Counties. In addition to her service as a teacher, Mrs. Whitener also served as assistant principal in the Spartanburg County School District. Later, Mrs. Whitner found her way back to her hometown where she served as assistant principal and principal at Kinard Elementary School. Mrs. Whitener retired from public education after 34 years of service.
In 1959, Amarintha's sister, Ernestine Wright, graduated from Roosevelt High School. Miss Wright played basketball and was active in many organizations, such as the library club, glee club, and the commerce club. Miss Wright was also an active member of the student council at Roosevelt High. Upon graduation, Miss Wright, too, decided to dedicate her career to the field of education as she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1963 and a Master of Education degree in 1969 from South Carolina State College. Miss Wright loved math and served as a math teacher in Woodruff, Lancaster, and Clover. In addition to her time as a teacher, Miss Wright also served as assistant principal and principal at Clover Middle School. Miss Wright retired from public education after 35 years of service.
Third sister, Peggy Wright, also decided to follow the path to education. A 1961 graduate of Roosevelt High School, Miss Wright was an active member of the band, the commercial club, and the 4-H club. Upon graduation from Roosevelt, Miss Wright went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1965 and a Master of Education degree in 1970 from South Carolina State College. Miss Wright has served in many capacities in education. She served as a media specialist at Roebuck, S.C. and in Mount Holly, N.C. Miss Wright also taught second grade in Great Falls. In addition to her roles as teacher and media specialist, Miss Wright also served as a guidance counselor at East Gaston High and Hunter Huss High School. Miss Wright retired from public education after 37 years of service.
The interest in education did not end with the three Wright sisters. Niece, Frankie Wright Bennet, graduated from Clover High School with honors in 1977. During her time at Clover High, Mrs. Bennett, was a J.V. and varsity cheerleader as well as a member of the band. She was a member of the student council and served as the editor for the yearbook staff. She was also a member of Block C and the French clubs. In addition to these activities, Mrs. Bennett also made time to drive a school bus. After high school, Mrs. Bennett obtained an elementary education degree from Winthrop College in 1981. Later she obtained her master's degree and became a National Board Certified teacher in Early Adolescent Mathematics. Mrs. Bennett began her teaching career in Chester at Dora Jones Gayle School. She later taught at Harold C. Johnson in York and Fort Mill Middle in Fort Mill. Mrs. Bennett eventually found her way back to Clover and spent many years teaching at Clover Junior High School before finally moving to Mid-Carolina Middle School in Prosperity. Throughout her career, Mrs. Bennett has served as a math coach, a curriculum coordinator, and a math curriculum specialist. Mrs. Bennet retired from public education after 35 years of service.
In 1989, Amarintha Whitener's daughter, Millicent Whitener Dickey, decided to follow in the family tradition. A 1989 graduate of Clover High School, Ms. Dickey was active in the band and in the Bi-Sci-Chem club. Ms. Dickey was also a member of the National Honor Society and served as a member and editor of the yearbook staff. Upon graduation from Clover High School, Ms. Dickey attended Clemson University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1994. In addition to her undergraduate degree, Ms. Dickey received her Master of Education degree from Winthrop University in 1997. Ms. Dickey went on to receive her Education Specialist degree in 2011 and her Doctor of Philosophy in 2014 from the University of South Carolina. She began teaching first grade at Griggs Road Elementary School in 1994 and in 2000 she became the assistant principal at Crowders Creek Elementary School. In 2004, Ms. Dickey moved to Kinard Elementary School and continued to serve as assistant principal until 2006, when she was named principal at Crowders Creek Elementary. Since 2013 Ms. Dickey has served at the district level as the director of teacher quality and the director of human resources and currently serves as the Chief Academic officer of Clover School District. Ms. Dickey has spent the last 27 years working in the Clover School District.
What an impact the Wright family has had on education over the years. Working with children and teachers to educate our next generation has been their passion and the Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight each of them.
Dr. Lacy K. Ford
Dr. Lacy K. Ford, who graduated in 1970, left the halls of Clover High School to live up to his senior superlative appointment - most intellectual. During his time at Clover High, Dr. Ford was an active member of the senior class. He was manager of the Athletic Block "C" Club. In addition, Dr. Ford was a member of the high school band and served as president of the Music Block "C" Club and National Honor Society. He was Chief Marshal and a national merit semi-finalist. Dr. Ford was a member of the Clover Hi-Q Bowl Team that appeared on WSPA's Hi-Q Bowl as undefeated champions.
Upon graduation from Clover High School, Dr. Ford attended the University of South Carolina (UofSC) where he majored in history with a cognate in economics. He graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Ford became a professor of history at UofSC and served as chair of the history department from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Ford became the Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at UofSC, where he was responsible for faculty development and evaluation, tenure and promotion, hiring and retention. In addition to these responsibilities, Dr. Ford oversaw the Graduate School, the Distance Learning program, and SEC's Academic Leadership Development program. In 2016, Dr. Ford took the position as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and remained in that position until December 2020. As Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Ford led UofSC's largest college with 9,000 students and nearly 600 faculty.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Ford won the Francis B. Simkins Prize of the Southern Historical Association for his book, Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1960. Later he wrote Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South. In February 2022, Dr. Ford's book, Empowering Communities: How Electric Cooperatives Transformed Rural South Carolina, was released by the University of South Carolina Press. In addition to his books, Dr. Ford edited Blackwell Companion to the Civil War and Reconstruction in 2005. Dr. Ford has also published over 30 journal articles on American and southern history. Over the years, he has granted interviews and prepared commentaries on history and politics for a variety of media sources such as The New York Times, CBS Evening News, CNN, and NPR's All Things Considered.
Dr. Ford has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow twice and an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellow once. His work on Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South won the 2010 Mary Lawton Hodges prize for best book on the South. In addition to his books and essays, Dr. Ford has written a number of essays and book reviews throughout his career.
Dr. Ford has definitely lived up to his senior superlative appointment - spending his career learning and sharing his knowledge of history. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Dr. Lacy K. Ford.
Dr. Dianne Stanton Ward
Although a 1965 graduate at heart, Dianne Stanton Ward was able to graduate early and left the halls of Clover High School during the summer of 1964 to further her education. During her time at Clover High, Dianne played basketball, was in the marching band and dance band, and was a member of the Block C club. Upon graduation, Dianne entered Coker College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1968. By 1979 Dianne had received a Master's degree and an Educational Doctorate degree in physical education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Dr. Ward has been involved in post-doctoral research training in cardiovascular health at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in children's pediatric exercise.
Currently, Dr. Ward is Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She directs the Children's Healthy Weight Research Group, a team that develops and evaluates evidence-based strategies for obesity prevention and health promotion for children and their caregivers. During her time at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Ward's team developed Go NAPACC (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care), an online program for childcare that supports children's lifelong health and well-being. Go NAPACC is used in more than 20 states and reaches more than half-million children annually. Recently, she was recognized as a "World Expert" in childcare by Expertscape, a service that ranks biomedical researchers. She is noted to be among the top 1% worldwide of published authors in childcare research, and among the top 10% in the U.S. She has published nearly 300 scholarly papers and a book on children's exercise promotion. Currently, Dr. Ward lives in Asheville, NC, working remotely for the University of North Carolina and caring for two grandchildren. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Dr. Dianne Stanton WArd.
Stellie J. Jackson
Renouned poet Maya Angelou once said, "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." By those standards and beyond, Rev. Stellie J. Jackson is a success.
A lifelong resident of Clover, S.C., Jackson attended McKnight High School, where Mr. A.J. Johnson was principal. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, the name of the school was changed to Roosevelt High School. While attending Roosevelt, Jackson played on the basketball team. He graduated in 1950 at the top of his class of five students.
Because Jackson was the oldest male child amongst his six siblings, he sacrificed continuing his education immediately after high school to help his parents maintain the farm on which they lived. This selfless care for his family afforded his sisters opportunities to attain advanced degrees and his brother to join the military. Jackson continued to help on the farm and eventually went to work at a textile mill in Clover. He later worked at two supply companies in Charlotte before acquiring employment with the U. S. Postal Service - a career he cultivated for 28 years until he retired as postmaster of the Beatties Ford Road branch in 1991.
Jackson's devotion to and concern for his family was only surpassed by his devotion to God. He was a lifelong member of Green Pond United Methodist Church in Cover, SC, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, choir member, church treasurer, and a lay speaker. He was later licensed as a United Methodist local preacher through a program at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. However, the divine calling he had tried to squelch for years was finally too much to ignore, and in 1983, Jackson moved his membership to St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church in Gastonia, N.C., to pursue ministry on a full-time basis. In 1984, the North Carolina Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church ordained Jackson as an elder and appointed him to serve at Bynum Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Kings Mountain, N.C. He served as the paster there until 1998 when he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Lincolnton District of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He continued in that capacity until he retired from the ministry in 2006.
In the midst of caring for the wellbeing of his parents, siblings, wife, three children and church family, Jackson felt the need to give more to his community by seeking a term with the Clover School District Board of Education. His first attempt failed, but his next attempt was successful, and he went on to serve four consecutive terms. He was the first African American member of the board and provided representation for portions of the community that had previously felt overlooked. While a member of the board, he served on the building committee that oversaw the construction of Bethany Elementary, Griggs Road Elementary, Clover Junior High, and the Clover School District Auditorium. Jackson also served as vice-chair of the board during the last two years of his final term.
After many generous years of service, one might think Jackson would have had his fill of caring for others, but even after retiring from his positions within the U.S. Postal Service and the ministry, and after no longer serving on the Board of Education, his heart still had a willingness to care in a more intimate was - as a lunch buddy for both Kinard Elementary School and Larne Elementary School. Through the lunch buddy initiative, Jackson connected with some of the youngest residents of Clover's community and became a mentor to a generation younger than his own grandchildren.
Jackson is still an active part of the community as a member of a variety of organizations, including the United Men's Club of Clover, an organization that concerns itself with the improvement of community life in Clover. He served as president of the club for several terms, and he was the organisation's Man-of-the-Year on two occasions. He also served as the treasurer. Additionally, he is a member of the Olive Branch Masonic Lodge and served as the Worshipful Master and later as their treasurer. Jackson is also a life member of the NAACP.
His work in the community also includes being a member of the Roosevelt Community Watch, where he helped the organization administer scholarships to graduating seniors at Clover High School. His involvement with Roosevelt Community Watch and its initiation of an after-school tutorial program led to collaborations with the Clover School District, the YMCA, and the town of Clover; all of which eventually culminated in a center named in Jackson's honor - the Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center. Jackson currently serves as a board member for the center.
Through a life of service to family, God, and community, Rev. Stellie J. Jackson personifies the aforementioned quote from Maya Angelou. His tireless care for his fellow man has made him a pillar in the community and a Clover School District alumnus of true distinction. The Clover Schools Alumni Association is proud to highlight Rev. Stellie J. Jackson.