Winter 2022-2023

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In each issue of Chatham Magazine, we focus on one or two broad themes that inspire the stories we tell. This winter issue highlights holiday traditions and gift ideas (page 58) and also focuses on our local educators and students. But when I look through the pages, an interwoven thread emerges from among the articles. Even the cookie recipes on page 42 carry special meaning.

On page 76Woods Charter School student Ayana Lupoli-Rojas, 14, shares how she gained a fresh outlook and sense of self by navigating the streets and culture of France’s Occitane region. Another high schooler, Chatham School of Science & Engineering sophomore Mark Crabtree, 15, achieved a new level of self-confidence during his monthslong service project for his Eagle Scout badge. Snapshots from his ceremony start on page 60.

One of Mark’s Scoutmasters, Mack Thorpe, earned his Eagle Scout rank decades ago and strives to live up to the honor, including via his transformation from Scout to Santa. Read about how his role as the iconic Christmas figure brings him joy beyond measure on page 50.

In another long-standing local ritual, nearly every fourth grade student in Chatham County Schools visits the historic courthouse in downtown Pittsboro to enact a fictional case – Goldilocks v. The Three Bears – on a field trip that’s taken place for the past eight years. Turn to page 78 for their lessons in civics and civility.

Sometimes changing your point of view means shifting your position, literally. About 200 fourth and fifth graders at North Chatham Elementary School did just that as they imitated the movements of professional dancers during a three-day visit to the school as part of an artists-in-residence workshop made possible by the Chatham Arts Council (page 82).

The most inspiring story to me is on page 70, where Chatham Central High School history teacher Amy King describes how another teacher she had not met before prompted her to apply for a fellowship that forever changed her life and the way she leads her lessons.

There are more stories inside that may inspire you in different ways, but they all speak to the importance of growing as a human by experiencing another’s perspective. – Anna-Rhesa Versola, managing editor


42 Holiday Sugar Rush
Four festive recipes by home bakers to savor and share

50 Becoming Santa
A Pittsboro grandfather brings joy and glad tidings

54 Let Us Entertain You
Ideas for celebrating with family and friends


60 Badge of Honor
Local boy scout achieves the organization’s highest rank

66 Who’s Who in Town & County
Supporting students and teachers is music to Tony Jackson’s ears

70 Lessons of the Past
Amy King leads her high school students in learning from history’s teachings

76 Learning Through Immersion
A Woods Charter School sophomore reflects on her travel experience in Toulouse, France

78 History Comes Alive
Fourth grade school field trips engage young students in lessons of civics and civility

82 The Art of Learning
Students engage with professional artists through Chatham Arts Council program

86 Directory of Independent, Regional, Boarding and Charter Schools


100 A Wonderful Life on Legacy Falls Drive
This family of athletes settles into a new home in Pittsboro

116 Wedding & Reception Venue Guide
An overview of where to celebrate your big day in Chatham


4 Letter from the Managing Editor 

8 Five Events
You won’t want to miss

28 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

114 Here We Grow Again
Commercial development updates, plus a look at upcoming projects

120 Wedding
Hudson & McNeill


10 Chatham Works
Celebrating the people behind Chatham businesses

35 The Big Give
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved

58 Holiday Gift Guide

65 The Plant
Your destination for food, beverages, live music and more

96 Health Care
Meet local dentists and providers


16 PepperFest at The Plant
18 Fearrington House Restaurant’s 40th Anniversary
22 Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention at Shakori Hills
24 Hispanic Heritage Fiesta in Siler City

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