Donna Breitenstein, Professor of Health Education and Director of the North Carolina School Health Training Center, has been given the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state of North Carolina. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Among recipients are Maya Angelou, William Friday, Michael Jordan, Coretta Scott King, Charlie Rose, Billy Graham, and Bob Timberlake.
Dr. Breitenstein has taught health education at Appalachian for 41 years, preparing teachers and youth leaders. She has managed grants through the Training Center for 23 years, providing professional development for teachers, counselors, nurses, and administrators. The grants have provided workshops in a variety of topics, including teen pregnancy prevention, suicide intervention, bullying prevention, nutrition education, child sexual abuse prevention, and tobacco prevention. She and Genele Byrd have brought to the campus about $10 million in funding for programs to be delivered across the state of North Carolina.
Breitenstein, who has been recognized nationally as the Outstanding University Health Educator and received the NC Board of Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, was given the award at her retirement party at Camp Broadstone in Valle Crucis on June 18. Her "encore" career is co-owner of Bouquet Florist and Gifts.
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