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Jennifer Teague has joined the staff at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone. Sherrie Norris | Watauga Democrat.

Originally published: 2013-08-23 10:52:50
Last modified: 2013-08-23 11:07:34

Senior Center gets new director

by Sherrie Norris

Jennifer Teague of Boone has been named the new director at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone, replacing longtime leader, Tabitha Thomas, whose family recently moved from Watauga County.

"We are excited to have Jen here and believe that she is a good fit for our agency," Angie Boitnotte, director of Watauga County Project on Aging, said.

Having defined her career path much earlier, Teague said she enjoys working with the senior population and has always wanted to work at a senior center.

"I feel like this is where I am meant to be," she said. "I really look forward to what the future holds for me and our wonderful clients."

Teague is familiar to many in the area, having most recently coordinated marketing and admissions at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living.

She previously worked for High Country Health System Hospice as a bereavement coordinator.

A Wilkes County native, Teague has made her home in the High Country for 12 years, first coming to Boone as a student at Appalachian State University, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's in community counseling.

"From the first time I ever visited the center, I knew this is where I wanted to be," Teague said. "I look forward to coming to work here every day, and I love being able to spend time with the seniors, hearing their stories and learning about their lives."

Teague plans to continue offering "the same great classes that the senior center is known for," while incorporating some of her own ideas to the mix.

First, on the horizon, she said, is planning for National Senior Center month, which is celebrated each September.

"We will be having a party on Sept. 6 to celebrate and then will host the center's annual Walk-A-Thon on Sept. 17," she said.

Teague has heard from some of the center's regular participants that during the walk, it is a standing goal to cover a mile for every year the center has been in operation.

"That means that this year, we will be walking toward a 35-mile goal," she said. 

A full schedule of activities is on the calendar every month, Teague said, but September is expected to be busier than usual.

"It's such a busy place, in general, that we currently have a waiting list for our congregate meals," she said. 

Teague said that she and her husband, a local attorney, are fortunate to live in Boone, with their two dogs, and enjoy being actively involved in the community.

In addition to several senior-related organizations, she is also a board member of the Watauga County Arts Council.

Teague invites area seniors who are not already involved with the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center or those who would like to volunteer their time and talent working with seniors to stop in for a visit Monday through Friday at the center, located at 132 Poplar Grove Connector, or call (828) 265-8090.