Mayle earns inaugural Perry Scholarship

Published 5:36 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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GATESVILLE – When Gates County lost one of its most admired and respected educational leaders on Dec. 29, 2021, an effort began to pay tribute to John E. R. Perry Jr.

Rylee Mayle

Last month, the first-ever John E. R. Perry Jr. Memorial Scholarship was presented to Gates County High School senior Rylee Mayle. She was worthy of such recognition as Mayle was a member of the Beta Club, Health Occupations Student Association, and the varsity volleyball team each year at GCHS. Mayle also earned CAN certification while completing nursing classes at the high school.

Additionally, Mayle completed several dual enrollment classes with College of the Albemarle.

Mayle will continue her education by attending The University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the fall where she will pursue a degree in Exercise Science. She plans to earn a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy.

Warren Perry, who presented the scholarship on behalf of the Perry family, stated that his dad would have appreciated Mayle’s work ethic, which included managing part-time jobs while excelling in both academics and athletics.

“Being very involved in school activities and being a good role model for others was important to him,” Perry said about his late father. “He liked to see students well-suited for a rigorous curriculum and a demanding environment.”

to him,” Perry added. “He liked to see students well-suited for a rigorous curriculum and a demanding environment.”

A 1949 graduate of Gatesville High School, John E.R. Perry Jr. earned his Bachelor’s in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 1953, later received his Master’s in Education from East Carolina University, and had additional study in School Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was recognized with Advanced Certification as a Public School Superintendent.

John E.R. Perry Jr.

His entire career in education was spent in Gates County, first teaching Math and Science at Gatesville High School and later, when the doors opened on the new Gates County High School, he taught Biology, Physics and Chemistry. In 1967 he was named the Principal at the High School and served for 10 years, at which time he became the county’s public school superintendent until he retired in 1989.

In addition to teaching, he coached both baseball and basketball, and assisted in coaching football.

Mr. Perry also served his country.

Upon graduating from NC State, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army at Fort Benning, Georgia. Deployed to Korea as the war was reaching its end, he taught English in the Demilitarized Zone to South Koreans for 16 months. When he returned to the States, he joined the North Carolina National Guard, rising through the ranks until he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving for 26 years.

A life member of both the National and North Carolina National Guard Associations, he served his community as a member of the Gates County Lions Club and served his Lord through his faithful membership in the Gatesville United Methodist Church, holding many leadership positions through the years.