ARCHIVE About Helen Hayes Wykle (Keeper)

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 00: Archive About



As co-editor with Ann Angel Eberhardt since 2000, I have enjoyed the opportunity to revisit Pine Mountain on a very personal level. I was born in the Infirmary at the School in 1942 and as a child I lived at the School for eleven years. Over the years I frequently returned to PMSS with my parents.

My father, William Hayes, was the Farm Manager from 1939 until 1953 and later a member of the Board of Trustees. My mother, Fern Hall Hayes, served as Secretary to multiple Directors and as a member of the Advisory Board. When my parents retired they kept me in continual contact with the institution over the years as they both contributed countless volunteer hours. My father, the son of a coal miner from the Coxton coal camp, and my mother from Viper, Kentucky, and cousin to the Ritchie “Singing Family of the Cumberlands,” were both students at Pine Mountain Settlement School in the 1930s. They had many siblings and relatives who were advantaged by the education the School provided. An Uncle, Paul Hayes, was a student at PMSS 1936-1940 and a Director of the School 1986-1996.


1992  Possum Trot University School of the Elegant Arts M.E. (Mighty Elegant)
1985-1986  UC Berkeley M.L.I.S. Library and Information Science, 1986. Academic Librarianship
1976-1977  San Jose State University, M.A. Art History, 1977. Southern Renaissance
1970 Tulane University, Coursework. Art History
1968-1969  Sonoma State University, Coursework, 1967-68. Secondary Education, Special Education
1964-1965  Ohio University, Coursework toward M.F.A. Studio Art. Painting.  Assistantship Guidance and Counseling, Office of Dean of Women
1960-1964  Berea College, B.A. Art, 1964. Studio Art
1963  University of Arizona (Guadalajara, Mexico), Coursework 1963. Anthropology, Sculpture, Spanish


*2002-present Volunteer co-editor with Ann Angel Eberhardt, of website
2000 – present Pine Mountain Settlement School Board of Trustees
1996 – 2013 Associate Professor, Librarian, University of NC Asheville
1994 – 1996 Faculty, Art Department, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
1992 -1994 Head Public Services – Library, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
1987 – 1992 Sr. Museum Scientist. Director, Media Svcs., UC Irvine School of Fine Arts
Library Assistant III, UC San Diego, Geisel Library
Library Assistant II, UC San Diego,  Mandeville Slide Collections
1978-1984 Adjunct Instructor – various placements – Art History instruction
·         San Diego City College
·         Gavilan College
·         San Jose State University
·         Maysville Community College (University of Kentucky)
1965-67  American Airlines


Spanish, American Sign Language, French (reading); Research; Grant writing; Painting; Exhibition design; Carpentry; Fly-fishing


Wilma Dykeman Legacy Board, 2012 – 2015
Sondley Award, Asheville and Buncombe County Historic Preservation  2010
Western North Carolina History Award  2009
Buncombe County, NC Heritage Council (2004-2009)
Old Buncombe County Genealogical and History Association Award 2009
Beta Tau Mu, Library Honor Society (Lifetime)
State (NC) Library Digitization Advisory Board (NC ECHO) 1997 – 2009
American Library Assoc. (ALA) Graphics Advisory Board 1991-1992
President ARLIS/Southern California 1990-91
Society of American Archivists (SAA) Education Committee, So. California 1991
Pine Mountain Settlement School Board of Directors 2000-present
Board, Together We Read, Western NC 2008- 2010
ALA Delegation – Russia 2007
ALA Delegation – China 2011


Respondent Pen & Plate Club, Asheville, NC
City of Bits technology conf. UNCA Library, coordinator
Biltmore and Beyond, First Year Experience, UNCA coordinator
 NCLA Conf, Archival Practice – Hidden Collections, Speaker
 ALA.”Asheville 1909 Conf.” coordinator, host
 Exhibitions (with students): Biltmore Industries; Blue Ridge Pkwy; YWCA; Writers & Mountains; North Carolina 1909 ALA Conf.; YWCA Exhibition, etc.
SAA-So. Calif. Annual Conf. San Diego, speaker
ARLIS So. Calif. International Conf. Guadalajara, Mexico, ARLIS So. Calif., coordinator

Retired from UNC Asheville, January 1, 2013


* The return to Pine Mountain Settlement School as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2000 brought me into close contact with the collections of the institution. When I was given permission to browse the collections, my library and archival sensitivities kicked in. It was clear that the collections were in jeopardy. I conspired with Ann Eberhardt to try to remediate the damage of years of neglect and to bring her talents and mine to bear on the holdings. Our first action was to address the physical degradation of the holdings. Ann and I enlisted a corps of volunteers to join us, picked from the community, from former staff, from sororities who had Pine Mountain Settlement as their philanthropy, from relatives, and from professional contacts. It is those collaborators who share in the future of the collections. As with some of our continuing volunteers, the PMSS Archive is a rewarding journey none of us seems to want to abandon.

Did I mention that Ann is my ***second cousin? Did I mention that we are both related across many of the families represented in the collections of the School? Did I mention that our age enabled us to personally know many of those whose biographies are on the website? For the last 17 years, we have served as co-editors of this site and have benefited from the deep immersion in memories, in the community of volunteers who have journeyed with us, and in our discoveries of place. It is within this rich context that we are all continuing to grow in understanding; we are all continuing to share, and are continuing to learn about ourselves and others. It is within this extended “family” that we have found the joy and the reward of community and “place-based education.”

June 18, 2019

***Ann has reminded me: “Second cousin” is defined in this manner online:
First cousins share a grandparent, second cousins share a great-grandparent (Eli Hall, right?), third cousins share a great-great-grandparent, and so on. … Your second cousin once removed is the child (or parent) of your second cousin (Heather!). And your first cousin twice removed is the grandchild (or grandparent) of your first cousin. Got it?

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