Both natives of Murfreesboro, NC, Cyndi and Leslie are deeply rooted in the area and have a special interest in the opportunities available to their youth. As mothers and businesswomen, the two recognize the importance of educating children on etiquette, social dance and interactions. The lessons and events associated with NLJC provide valuable training and opportunities not readily available to such a rural area.
Cyndi, a jack-of-all-trades, wears many hats. Her days are spent between multiple offices and endless responsibilities. As a mother of three, ages 9-12, Cyndi has a bird’s eye view at the need for such training among our youth. Through her professional experiences, she recognizes the importance of etiquette and manners when interacting with others. Her passion for this program stems from the desire to improve her own children’s lives, as well as others.
Leslie serves as the Member Services and Events Coordinator for Beechwood Country Club. She and Cyndi began working together through the Country Club, where the need for a cotillion program was recognized. By nature of her job, Leslie is constantly involved in social settings that require knowledge of proper etiquette. She utilizes this knowledge, not only to be successful in her profession, but also as a respected adult. As a new mother, Leslie is excited to educate the older children, and hopes that they will be positive role models for her own child.
Cyndi and Leslie are excited to work with the youth in their home community and watch as they grow into successful adults.
After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Yvette was inspired to open Indulgence Boutique in Ocean Springs, MS. Her boutique specialized in fitting breast cancer survivors with mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis. She was awarded Small Business of the Year 2008, by the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Main Street Tourism Bureau.
Yvette Champagne is the Director of the newly formed Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter. She is very excited to use her experience in leadership and communication to teach etiquette and manners to the youth along the Gulf Coast area. Being able to build and mentor tomorrow’s leaders under the direction of the National League of Junior Cotillions is an honor and privilege that she is excited to undertake.
Paulina Reynolds is a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and is a double major in public relations and political science. While attending St Martin High School, she cheered for four years, served as the secretary of the class, participated in many clubs and service action projects, all while maintaining a 3.98 GPA.
She currently is in the honors program at MGCCC and is on the Reflections team. Paulina works at Ivy Boutique, Sulfur Operations Support, and Blown Haus of Olivares. She plans to move to Austin, Texas where she will attend The University of Texas in Austin and continue her educational and professional endeavors
Austin Cannette Bio
Austin Cannette is a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and is a double major is secondary education and biology.
While attending St. Martin High School, he was the mascot for his senior year, served as the vice president, was appointed a spot on the Hall of Fame, and was chosen to be Mr. St. Martin. He currently is on the Reflections team, Student Government Association, and the Campus Activity Board at MGCCC. He is the vice president of the Reflections Team. Austin works for the admissions department at the college. He plans to attend The University of South Alabama where he will continue his education.
Sydney grew up on her family’s tobacco farm in Wendell, North Carolina. As a middle schooler, she attended Cotillion classes with the Johnston County Chapter under the direction of Mrs. Scott Abee (Marie). Sydney has fond memories of her time in Cotillion and really appreciates the usefulness of those skills, especially now in her professional life.
She discovered the beauty of Edenton and the surrounding counties when she moved there after marrying her husband, Lee. Sydney states, I saw on the NLJC website there wasn’t a chapter anywhere near my new hometown. I knew firsthand the benefits of Cotillion and really wanted to share that with families in our area.
Sydney is truly passionate about etiquette and character education and believes our entire community benefits when its citizens are well-mannered and respectful to their family, friends, and acquaintances.
Sydney and Lee have a one-year-old son, Bear. In their free time they enjoy spending time together as a family exploring the Albemarle Sound and surrounding waters.
Ian’s director, Mrs. Dunn, comments, “I was immediately impressed with Ian’s helpful attitude, pleasant spirit, and willingness to lead. He is such an asset to our team of assistants!”
In addition to dancing, Ian enjoys reading, watching movies, exercising, and learning to play the bagpipes. His future plans include travel and a career in nursing.
The Greater Northern Kentucky Chapter had 54 students from 5th through 8th grade during the inaugural year. The program has grown quickly in one year. During the 2016-2017 season, there will be three classes to include Season I (5th grade), Season II (6-8th), and a high school program. Whitney is passionate about providing the critical skills to young adults which will allow them to succeed in all of their social and professional endeavors over their lifetimes.
Whitney is originally from Knoxville, TN. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee Tech and later earned her radiologic and sonographic certifications, which she practiced until her children were born. She is married to Craig Donnachie, an FBI Special Agent. Craig’s occupation has taken them from New York, to Washington D.C., and to Berlin, Germany. They now live in Ft. Mitchell, KY. They have three daughters, aged 14, 12, and 10. Whitney is an active volunteer in her childrens’ school and loves teaching Sunday school to a sweet group of 2nd graders.
Whitney’s goal for the program is to see her passion for manners better the lives of children in the community, making them confident, aware, and compassionate. In today’s digital environment, it is important to maintain focus on personal relationships and interaction. We want Cotillion to be relevant, but we also want the kids to have fun building new friendships. This kind of training will always be relevant in the ever changing world. Regardless of how interconnected the world becomes, those who know how to build relationships will always be successful. The best part of this job is watching children grow from being anxious to gaining confidence priceless!
Originally she took over the chapter when her 13 year old daughter was invited to take the first class and the director had health issues and could not continue the program. Learning quickly how importantly the NLJC directors work together and support one other, when the Winter Park director, Arlene Wroblicky, came to the aid and finished the year for these first year students. Diane assisted as an interested parent and was given the opportunity to take over the Golden Triangle program and over the years continued to add three additional programs to this chapter. While she admits it is a rather small area and not at all like the big city, parents and students see the advantage of the much needed skills that are taught in NLJC , because the schools just can’t teach everything needed for success. “One advantage is, the community becomes involved and opportunities develop because of the importance of the skills taught in NLJC.” “Our students are asked to help or host community functions, and participate in Symphony events.” The Pre-Cotillion program teaches K – 4th graders, then Junior Cotillion takes over for 5- 8, Premiere sets up the basics for the High School Cotillion. She has seen many students start at Kindergarten and follow through High School. Through referrals and family ties students have come through the Golden Triangle program, which is in Central Florida, as far as Daytona/Ormond Beach on the east coast and Homosassa Springs on the west coast. One proud accomplishment for the Golden Triangle Chapter is being able to state that over a dozen students over the past five years have won the “Sister City Exchange” scholarship allowing them to go to Flores Scotland for the summer to represent Mount Dora, its sister city. “There is an ridged interview process and many applicants apply. Our Cotillion students are confident and prepared and look forward to this opportunity and experience”. “It is exciting to see the growth, confidence and leadership skills develop when a student stays with the NLJC program.”
My eyes are open. Junior Cotillion gives me and advantage in life. I know this because ever since I began I now enjoy deeper friendships, new and exciting social perspectives and most importantly, boldly sharing with others these skills and their importance.
My plan is to continue on with Junior Cotillion until I graduate. After that, I envision that I will be more involved with Junior Cotillion and perhaps one day start my own chapter. It’s important to give more than you receive.”
Britton is originally from Columbia, SC. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism from the University of Oregon and a Masters in Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina. She works in various rehabs and nursing homes around the area. Britton also had the wonderful opportunity of working as an English teacher in Japan for 2 years.
Britton has a passion for the importance of manners and etiquette and their place in today’s world. She brings that passion outside of the Cotillion program to several non-profit organizations. Her favorite is volunteering every week with the Mitey Riders program. It’s is an organization that helps enhance the lives of children with disabilities through equine therapy.
Britton’s goal is to make etiquette and manners as relevant as possible with an eye towards current events, all the while ensuring that the students enjoy the program and leave every event with a smile on their face. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed that I get to wake up everyday having my dream job. I am so excited for the future seasons of this program, and all the wonderful children I get to teach!
Hannah, Abby and Emma are all graduates of the Class of 2016. Hannah will be attending the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland in the fall, where she has been awarded several scholarships based on academic achievements and community involvement (Blink Eyecare Scholarship, Piedmont Scholarship and one of ten ArdreyKell High School PTSO scholarships). She will be double majoring in Neuroscience and Social Anthropology. Abby will be attending NC State University where she received the Park Scholarship, a full academic scholarship that is awarded based on the principles of leadership, service, and character. She will be majoring in biology with an integrative physiology and neurobiology intent. Emma will be attending the University of North Carolina Charlotte where she has been awarded several scholarships from her high school and her church based on academic achievements and community involvement. She will be on the UNCC track team, specializing in throwing field events as well as pursuing a nursing degree.
Overall, these are outstanding young ladies who will continue to use their Cotillion skills to achieve great success. It has been a true honor to have their help as Assistants over the past 3 years.