Second Annual Charlie Adams Scholarship Winners Announced


       CHAPEL HILL – Holly Kristen Monteith of Swain County High School and Gray Burn of Burns High School in Lawndale have been named winners of the second annual Charles Adams Endowed Scholarships awarded by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

       The two outstanding student-athletes will be recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on May 5 at the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The scholarships are made possible through the generosity of donors to the fund in honor of the long-time NCHSAA executive director, who retired in 2010 after 42 years with the organization. He was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 2009 and is also the only North Carolinian ever to serve as president of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Monteith was a four-year member of the Swain County varsity cross-country team and served as team captain during both her junior and senior seasons. She went from being the last runner on her middle school cross country team to earning all-conference honors at Swain and leading her team to qualify and compete in the state championship meet.

       She plans to continue her education at Western Carolina University, where she plans to major in elementary education.

       Burn has played football and wrestled at Burns High School, although he was diagnosed with autism when he was three and was told by some that he would never be able to make it in the public school system. He qualified for the regionals this year at the 171-pound weight class, and the wrestling team had the highest grade-point average of any team at Burns.

Gray has been a very active member of Polkville Baptist Church, where he has been involved in the youth group and on several mission trips. He plans to attend Western Carolina University.

One scholarship award annually recognizes a male wrestler in memory of Charlie and Sue’s son Scott, who was the first individual wrestler from Chapel Hill High School to compete in the state wrestling championships. One goes to a female cross-country runner in honor of Charlie’s daughter Michelle Adams Szwajkun, who participated in cross country at Chapel Hill and ran on the 1984 state championship team. Each recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship to further his or her education at the college level.

       “We are pleased to honor Charlie and his family with these scholarship awards and are proud of the accomplishments that these recipients have achieved,” said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA.