Pace-Dickenson announced as chair of the board for local organization

Published 12:07 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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TRYON – Partnership for Children of the Foothills recently announced Jen Pace-Dickenson has stepped into a leadership role as the new chair of the board. 

She assumes the role of chair, replacing Mark Franklin, who completed his term. 

Executive Director Barry Gold knows what an asset she has been to the board and is thrilled to have her step up in leadership. 

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“Jen and I have worked together for several years now,” says Gold. “She’s a tireless supporter of children and the perfect person to advocate for helping families with children ages birth to five, thrive.” 

Pace-Dickenson is looking forward to her new role.

“After serving on the Partnership for Children of the Foothills board for six years, I was happy to accept the role of chair,” Pace-Dickenson says. “I look forward to leading the board over the next two years and working together with the Partnership staff to ensure children in McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties will enter school healthy, safe and ready to succeed.”

Pace-Dickenson fits the bill, currently serving as Youth Services Librarian at the Polk County Public Library. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2004 with her bachelor’s degree in sociology. After graduation, Dickenson pursued her love of travel teaching in Korea and visiting 36 different countries. She returned to school in 2011, attending The University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a Master’s in Library and Information Science. 

Pace-Dickenson’s term is three years and she’ll be leading a 17-member board from the organization’s three-county service area. Her leadership will play a crucial role in the fulfillment of the Partnership’s mission.

With support from the NC Smart Start Initiative, Partnership for Children of the Foothills provides programs for children ages 0-5 and their families in the areas of Child Care/Education and Family Support. The Partnership builds and sustains relationships with community agencies and service providers, offering creative and unique programs for preschool children and their families, licensed childcare centers and family childcare. For more information, visit


Submitted by Desiree Magnant