Couple establishes scholarship in memory of education advocate parents

Published 10:24 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

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This is the seventh in a series highlighting the people and organizations behind the named scholarships administered by the Davie Community Foundation.

“This week we highlight a scholarship created to preserve the history of the Davie County Training School and a scholarship created by a successful student from the school along with his wife,” said Jane Simpson, foundation president and CEO.

“Preserving our history is yet another way that endowments benefit our community. Three students from the Class of 2022 are preparing to leave for college with an investment from these scholarships.

“We believe young people need to know something about the people or organizations for whom their scholarships are named. Hopefully, they will feel even more motivated to succeed,” she said.

Davie County Training School – Central Davie Class Reunion

In 1925, the Julius Rosenwald Foundation provided the impetus and shared the funding for the construction of the “Colored School” on Campbell Road in Mocksville. Rosenwald School, the first name of the school, began with grades 1-8.

By 1934, it had expanded to grade 11, and school year 1946-47 the 12th grade was added.

Extra-curricular activities were limited, books were old and smelly and county and state transportation was not available. Magalene Gaither, former student, said that these limitations provided a respect for learning.

“You had to do the best with what you had,” she said. “It instilled pride and concentrated attention to skills and tremendous social graces.”

Marie Craig Roth stated in her book, “History of Davie County Schools,” that “time goes quickly and unless they are written down and archived somewhere, valuable information is lost forever.”

The original Davie County Training School building burned in 2002 and, to be sure that its memories were not lost forever, former students came together to start a scholarship fund which would preserve the memory of this school and the people who learned and taught there.

Henry Elton and Brenda Mickles Foote Scholarship in Memory of Henry Lee & Evella Blackburn Foote

Charlotteans Henry Elton and Brenda Mickles Foote established their scholarship in memory of Elton’s parents, Henry Lee and Dorothy Evella Blackburn Foote, longtime Davie residents and retirees of Drexel Heritage Furniture. They were strong advocates of education.

With strong support and encouragement from his parents, Elton graduated from Davie County Training Elementary School and Central Davie High School.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University and an master’s of education from Winthrop University. He retired from Cigna HealthCare and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

Brenda is a graduate of Campbell County / Rustburg High School, Rustburg, Va.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, and subsequent CPCU and ARM professional certifications. She retired as a commercial insurance underwriting manager.

Henry and Brenda hope the scholarship will help others obtain an education, and achieve personal and professional success.

To learn more about the foundation, contact Jane Simpson at (336) 753-6903 or or visit