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Promise Zone Profiles

David Chaltis- Letcher County

david chaltis

By: Colton Ratliff- Letcher County Central High School

David “Butch” Chaltis is an educator, historian and author from Letcher County. He spends much of his time participating in Civil War reenactments and bringing history to life. He is respected throughout the community for the service he provides, and many consider him to be the General Robert E. Lee of the county. Chaltis taught in the Letcher County Public Schools for many years. He developed and directed the Alternative Education School in Letcher County until his retirement. Chaltis also had extensive experience with the Navajo in the U.S. Southwest, developing alternative education programs on the reservation.

Angie Hatton- Letcher County

angie hatton

By: Ashley Vanover- Letcher County Central High School

Angie Hatton has been the state representative for the 94th district of Kentucky for the past eight months. She ran for office because she was concerned about the area in which she loves so dearly. Hatton sees a beautiful area that is made of resilient, hardworking and friendly people. However, she noticed a deteriorating Eastern Kentucky because of drugs, poverty and economic issues. She knew something had to be done. Hatton’s goal in office is to assure that Eastern Kentucky is not being ignored by the state government. She said that she would make sure of this by decreasing the drug issues, improve overall health, bring back employment opportunities, and educate the people to compete with other areas. In the first eight months of her term, Angie Hatton has fought for Eastern Kentucky and will continue to do so throughout her time in office.

Lisa Braswell - Letcher County






By Katie Braswell, Letcher County Central High School

Lisa Braswell, 49, has been teaching at Letcher Elementary School in Letcher County, Kentucky, since 1989. She plays guitar and sings for 7 South, a local bluegrass band she joined in 2009. 7 South connects people back to their Appalachian roots by playing music at local festivals and gatherings. Through education and music, Braswell serves the people and brings light to the community. She said that the heritage of Appalachia is shared through music, storytelling and food. Braswell grew up being taught the value of hard work and respect, and she hopes to pass those values down to her students. “Hopefully, I am instilling a love of learning in my children, and a desire to become productive citizens and further their education. I want them to want something more, something better for themselves,” Braswell said.

Gwen Johnson - Letcher County



By Skylar Griffith, Letcher County Central High School

Gwen Johnson is a mother, grandmother, educator, community volunteer and lover of Appalachia. She devotes her time to connecting people to their Appalachian culture and volunteering at the Hemphill Community Center. Johnson wants to create a community where everyone is happy. She felt a sense of hopelessness for her area, so she and a few others decided to roll up their sleeves to help the community. The “Back to our Appalachian Roots” project was merely a sprout of an idea that Johnson grew into a successful community activity. The project’s objective was to bring people back to their Appalachian roots through activities in the community. These activities include candle making, dancing, bee keeping, canning, quilting and many others. Johnson enjoys bringing her community together and hopes to get more youth involved.



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