Mackey chosen as Spencer scholarship recipient
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
NEW HOLLAND — Hyde County student Preston Mackey doesn’t know how to give up. It’s the one lesson he has never been taught.
Those are the lessons that gave him the backbone he has today, that have allowed him to excel at Mattamuskeet High School and have helped him decide to become a teacher, he said. Mackey, 18, is this year’s recipient of Thomas E. Spencer Memorial Scholarship. He is the son of Virginia Mackey of Engelhard.
This is the 23rd year the Washington Daily News has offered the Spencer scholarship, which was established to honor the Hyde County native who served as the newspaper’s managing editor from 1947 to 1984. The $500 stipend is offered to assist an outstanding English or journalism student from a high school in Beaufort County or Hyde County, with some consideration given to each student’s financial need.
Mackey plans to teach English to middle school or high school students and hopes to return to Hyde County to do so.
Mackey says he enjoys math and social studies, but his strong suits have always been reading and writing.
His senior project, which included a 10-page thesis, audio and video components and a panel presentation, focused on author J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame.
His English grades are stellar and his teacher said he works well with his classmates. He has been recognized as a Shining Star in the Hyde County school system, a designation based on a student’s academic performance, flawless discipline records and demonstrated leadership skills.
Mackey’s endorsement of Dunbar is just as high, and he hopes to be “teaching alongside her” someday, he said. “Just like my family, she never let me give up on myself,” he said. That’s a lesson he hopes to pass along.
Next up for Mackey is orientation at ECU.