Woodie is latest Kirkman scholarship recipient

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

September 7, 2013

Jenna Woodie is the latest student to receive the Kirkman Scholarship, given in honor of a late Surry County educator whose career will be celebrated at the annual Joe Fest musical event today.

Woodie, the fourth recipient of the scholarship that memorializes Joe Kirkman, is a Pinnacle resident who is a graduate of East Surry High School. She now is attending Surry Community College and plans to continue her education at Lees-McRae College in pursuit of a degree in elementary education.

Kirkman died of cancer in 2005 at age 53 after 32 years in the classroom, spent mostly at Franklin Elementary School.

Trinette Kirkman, his wife, launched Joe Fest as a musical fundraiser to honor her husband’s legacy in education and performing while also aiding the academic goals of others following in his footsteps as a teacher.

In all, scholarships were awarded to two students from Pinnacle this year: one of $500 to Woodie to attend the local community college and a $1,000 scholarship to Lindsay Ray to attend Appalachian State University, according to Trinette Kirkman.

Ray also was awarded a scholarship last year as well, with recipients allowed to apply a second time if they choose.

“Each year we are glad to provide more students with financial means to further their dream of becoming an educator,” Kirkman added.

Today’s Event

Joe Fest, now in its seventh year, gets under way at 3 p.m. at Fisher River Park just outside Dobson, and is scheduled to end at 9 p.m.

It will feature live rock music from the park stage by three bands, reflecting an interest of Kirkman’s outside the classroom as a drummer with several area groups.

The bands will perform at varying intervals throughout the day, with The Taylor Vaden Band kicking off the music at 3:30 and performing until 5 p.m.

Also slated to play are RainJacket and Joe’s Jammin’ Band, the last group with which Kirkman performed.

Joe Fest also will include two 50-50 cash drawings, door prizes, a silent auction, a quilt raffle and children’s games. Food is to be provided by Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania.

Fireworks, normally a part of the activities, will not be held this year due to a family illness involving the pyrotechnics provider.

Though admission to today’s festival is free, those attending are encouraged to make tax-free donations to help maintain its mission.

Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or