McDowell County Schools

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
McDowell High School teachers and students in chef outfits

MHS Culinary Students

East McDowell Middle School students at the Outer Banks


McDowell County Schools Teachers of the Year 2017

Teachers of the Year

Eastfield Global Magnet School Students in front of the school

Eastfield Global Magnet School

Superintendent's Message

Superintendent Mark Garrett Behind Desk
MCS Family,
On behalf of the Board of Education and our family of educators, I want to welcome you to McDowell County Schools.  Our district is made up of fourteen schools and is fully accredited.  We also have a Head Start program and several NC Pre-K classrooms to serve community pre-school needs.  This means we have the great pleasure of serving students as young as six weeks of age all the way up to high school seniors.
We are excited about the accomplishments of 2016-17.  State accountability results are up.  On time graduation rates are at record highs.  Drop outs are decreasing.  Students are earning more credentials with many completing internships across the region.  Staff turnover is among the lowest in the state.  Buses safely travel over 750,000 miles each year.  School cafeterias serve more than 1.3 million meals annually.  And these are but a few examples of the successes taking place all across McDowell County Schools.  We look forward to even greater things in 2017-18.
Please take time to explore our website to learn more about us.  I encourage you to check back frequently to keep up with McDowell County Schools news and events.  You can also see great things taking place in our schools by following us on our social media platforms:
Twitter: @mcdowell590
We invite you to partner with us to make McDowell County Schools the absolute best place for education.
Mark R. Garrett

News & Announcements

Parents of Students with Autism

Come Join Us!
September 21st, 5:30 until 7pm
“Visual Aids and Prompting”
Guest speaker ~ Ginny Ostgaard
Teacher of Model Classroom
Buncombe County Schools
Workshop is sponsored by
Children’s Staff
In media center @ Marion Elementary
Pizza will be served! – Child care provided with advance notice
Please call 652-6580 ext. 203
if you need more information and/or childcare.

19th Annual Operation Backpack

Operation Backpack started our 19th year by providing 989 students with school supplies this summer. This assistance was only possible because of our giving and caring community! Thank YOU!!

During the school year, please let your school Principal or Counselor know when a student is need of supplies. We will provide the assistance as long as supplies are available throughout the year.

Supplies and monetary donations are very much appreciated to support our year round program! Monetary donations may be written to The Endowment Fund, marked for Operation Backpack, and mailed or brought to McDowell County Schools, 334 South Main Street, PO Box 130, Marion, NC 28752. Supply donations may be brought to this same location.

Originally organized in 1998 and administrated by the Endowment Fund of the Public Schools of McDowell County, the goal of Operation Backpack is to provide all underprivileged children in McDowell County Public Schools with a new backpack and school supplies. Through the gracious giving of our community and others, school supply assistance has been provided directly to over 600 McDowell County School students each year. It is our wish that no child returns to school without the necessary supplies. Although the majority of the supplies are distributed during the a few weeks prior to school starting, Operation Backpack is a year-round project and will supply students all year when needs arise. Supplies that are given to students include, but are not limited to; Backpacks, 3 ring binders, notebook paper, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, erasers, ballpoint pens, pencils: #2 & colored, 24 count crayons, glue: bottles & sticks, safety scissors, markers, and pencil boxes/pouches.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Melanie Dunham at 828-652-4535 x106 or

Summer school assistance to students by year:
2013 623
2014 646
2015 740
2016 802
2017 989

2017 - 2018 Teachers of the Year

Blue Ribbon clipart

We are pleased to announce the 2017-2018 McDowell County Schools Teachers of the Year. The following teachers (in last name alphabetical order) have been chosen as the school winners by their respective faculties:

Jennifer Blake, Pleasant Gardens Elementary School
Stella Brewer, Eastfield Global Magnet School
Freida Burleson, McDowell High School
Andrew Denton, Marion Elementary School
Leslie Hester, Glenwood Elementary School
Hank Hunt, Foothills Community School
Christel Merritt, East McDowell Middle School
Benjamin Moore, West Marion Elementary School
Lori Poteat, West McDowell Middle School
Michael Smith, Alternative Education Center
Jessica Sutton, McDowell Early College
Rhonda Tipper, Old Fort Elementary School
Whitney Vance, North Cove Elementary School
Terra Wyatt, Nebo Elementary School

Congratulations to all!

Show All News »


Events Photo
Board of Education Meeting
Date: 10/9/2017, 6:30 PM 8:30 PM
Location: 334 S Main St, Marion, NC 28752, USA
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 10/30/2017
Board of Education Meeting
Date: 11/6/2017, 6:30 PM 8:30 PM
Location: 334 S Main St, Marion, NC 28752, USA
No School-Holiday
Date: 11/10/2017
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 11/22/2017