richard sentelle.jpg

Richard Sentelle

As Haywood County schools transition from retiring Superintendent Bill Nolte, to local teacher-turned administrator, Trevor Putnam, we take a look back at our first school superintendent, a farmer, preacher and teacher who did not set foot outside North Carolina until he was in his mid-40s, and whose lifelong regret was that he never obtained a college degree.

Richard Sentelle inspired many of his students to strive for higher education, however, and was considered by many to be Haywood County’s greatest educator. He was tireless, teaching as well as performing administrative duties, traveling by horseback to visit each school, setting up sessions to further educate teachers, conducting college entrance examinations himself at a time when many of them included a person-to-person interview.

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