Wilkes Community College has recognized the exceptional service of two employees, Keith Casey, recipient of the 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty Award; and Wanda Shore, recipient of the 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Staff Award. Each received a $500 gift for their contributions to the college.

The purpose of the Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards is to recognize, honor, and celebrate exceptional faculty and staff members who are making a difference in and out of the classroom. The Burns’ sponsor these annual $500 faculty and staff awards which will be awarded in perpetuity. Dr. Burns served as president of Wilkes Community College for 18 years from 1996-2014.

Keith Casey was nominated for his love and passion for teaching. His colleagues speak very highly of him and describe him as dependable, respectful, honest, caring, hard-working, and above all willing to do the best for students. He started teaching Electronics at WCC in 2000 and became the lead instructor of Computer Engineering in 2006. Casey will be retiring as the lead instructor of Electronics and Computer Engineering and lead instructor of Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Technology at the end of this year. Prior to WCC, he taught at Durham Tech for 7 years and taught part-time for Surry Community College and Forsyth Tech. Casey is leaving with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the program and over 28 years of teaching experience. Casey is the pastor of Mt. Jefferson Baptist Church in Ashe County. Retirement will include more time with family, grandkids, and growing closer to our Lord and Savior. Keith’s favorite verse is Ephesians 3:8 – Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Wanda Shore, admissions and placement testing coordinator, was nominated for her willingness to always help and answer questions from students, faculty, and staff. Shore’s colleagues describe her as always having a smile on her face, very professional, and a pleasure to work with.

“Wanda gives 110% each day,” said Elisabeth Blevins, associate dean of admissions and advising. “Her position can be very monotonous, with tasks that are very detail-oriented. She comes in early each morning and starts all tasks with a positive attitude. She embraces change and does whatever is needed to get the job done; learning new processes to ensure the admissions office provides excellent customer service.”

l-r: Dr. Jeff Cox and Wanda Shore
Not pictured Keith Casey