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Jack Debnam, Student Zyla Young join Board of Trustees


Jack Debnam is sworn in as a Trustee.Jackson County businessman Jack Debnam recently joined Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees, and Zyla Young has been sworn in as student representative to the board.

Debnam was appointed to SCC’s board by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and was sworn in on Oct. 4.

Originally from Raleigh, Debnam and his wife Gail moved to Jackson County in 1988 and started a real estate business. In addition to real estate, the Debnam’s recently opened the Enloe House Wine Bar in Dillsboro.

From 2010-14, Jack Debnam served as chair of the Jackson County Board of Commissioiners. He then served on the NC Board of Transportation from 2016-21. He previously served as chair of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and was a founding board member for AWAKE Children’s Advocacy Center. He served for 25 years on AWAKE’s board.

The Debnams have been married for 45 years and have two children (Cori and Travis) and five grandchildren. The Debnam’s have been longtime and loyal supporters of SCC and its students, and Gail currently serves on the Board of Directors for the SCC Foundation.

Debnam’s term runs until June 30, 2026.

Of his appointment, Jack said: “I am thrilled about it. I always felt that SCC is one of the best things that ever happened to this part of North Carolina, when you see the number of people’s lives it has touched and who’ve stayed in our area.”

Young is originally from Hildebran in Burke County, and she graduated from Smoky Mountain High School in 2021. She is currently a student in the college’s Arts & Sciences Division.

She was sworn in on Nov. 14, and her current term runs through June 30.

“I want to thank Jack Debnam and Zyla Young for joining our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC’s President. “Jack has been a tremendous friend of the college for years, and I look forward to working with him in this capacity. And even though Zyla’s role is not as a voting member, it is extremely important for our other Trustees to hear a student’s perspective.”

For more information about Southwestern and the career paths it offers, visit, call 828.339.4000 or drop by your nearest SCC location.

Zyla Young is sworn in as a Trustee.

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