Long Named Educator of the Year

Polly Long has spent over 50 years connecting the Mount Airy community. She has the ability to identify a need, find a solution, and make dreams become reality with no budget through her determination and the lifetime of connections she has built. Her career showcases her understanding that children are our future, culture matters, and that our community can do big things. 

Polly works tirelessly to ensure that unrepresented students and marginalized groups have every chance to achieve more than they dreamed. Through her career with NCWorks NextGen Programs and Mount Airy City Schools, she has spent decades meeting the needs of at-risk youth ages 16-24 by connecting them with paid internships in local businesses for work. Polly has been able to provide students with the ability to set and achieve goals, learn employee responsibility, earn money, and begin a career path toward a promising future. She has worked with generations of students and is enjoying the return of graduates wishing to pay it forward by sharing their success stories and resources with the next generations.  She alone has touched hundreds of students and families turning their lives around.

Just a few of her notable accomplishments of recent include the creation of the student-operated Blue Bear Cafe, the Blue Bear Bus, and YESurry (Young Entrepreneurs in Surry County). Mount Airy City Schools is proud of the work Polly continues to do and thrilled that she has been named Educator of the Year through the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.