McDowell County Public Schools Home Page
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Upcoming Events
Repeating EventGEN - Cabinet Meeting
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
GEN - BOE Work Session
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Welcome to McDowell County Schools
INSPIRING SUCCESS: Student-centered, Mission-driven

The McDowell County School System is located in the foothills of beautiful Western North Carolina, about 30 miles east of Asheville. McDowell County Schools consist of 13 schools (one high school, one early college, one alternative education center, two middle/junior high schools, eight elementary schools) and nine pre-school sites. The school system has approximately 6,500 students, nearly 1,000 employees, and around a $55 million budget.

Mission Statement
The mission of McDowell County Schools is to deliver excellence in education where all are engaged in collaboration, communication, and innovation so that every student graduates ready to achieve success and positively shape the future.


SkillsUSA Awards

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students,teachers, and industry working together to ensure that America has
a skilled work force.  SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) that is recognized as
an integral part of the classroom.  Five students from the EMT program and three students from the Fire program traveled to this year’s event.​  To compete in the event, students had to submit a resume and complete an application.  At competition, they had to go through an oral interview, practical scenario and complete a written exam. During the practical scenario, students had to use logic and what they had learned to help a patient during a simulated emergency.  Students also had to evaluate the patient they were given, diagnose their ailment and treat them in front of spectators.
​Placing in the event were Mackenzie Burnette, who received first place in the EMT competition; Austin Robinson, who placed fifth in the EMT competition; and Ben Mace, who placed fifth in the First Aid/CPR competition.
State Science Olympiad Tournament

North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. NCSO hosts annual tournaments across the state that are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions. Teams of middle and high school students participate in a series of challenging hands-on events that include the various disciplines of biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering and technology.  

This year North Carolina Science Olympiad hosted 13 regional tournaments in which approximately 13, 000 students and 800 teams competed for the honor of competing at this years state competition. On February 28, 2015 the EMMS Science Olympiad Team earned a bid to the state tournament bringing home four first place medals, three third place medals and three fourth place medals at the varsity level and coming in fourth place overall.  

At the State North Carolina Science Olympiad Tournament held April 25, 2015 EMMS completed for honors against 148 state qualifying teams.  The team earned a first place finish in Disease Detectives and epidemiology event - team members Hayden Vaughn and Christopher Boyette; and also brought home two tenth place medals in Bridge - team members River Price and Bea Sewell; and Elastic Launch Glider - team members Joe Cadwell and Kearstin Buchanan.  Other top 20 finishers in It Matters (Tyler Young and Sydney McEntire) , Anatomy (Roger Moomaw and Hayden Vaughn) and Fossils (Roger Moomaw and River Price).

Congratulations to all!  You have worked hard and made us all very proud.
McDowell Health-e-Schools was honored to present Mr. Mark Garrett with the Superintendent of the Year Award

McDowell Health-e-Schools was honored to present Mr. Mark Garrett with the Superintendent of the Year Award from the Healthy Schools sponsored by North Carolina Healthy Schools.

This award is given to a Superintendent or former Superintendent that has shown extraordinary support to the school-based/linked health center(s) in his or her district and who works tirelessly to support the center. The recipient has demonstrated, over a period of time, his or her support of the goals of the North Carolina School Based Health Alliance. The Superintendent of the Year understands the connection between health and education and believes that school-based/linked health centers keep students healthy and in school and makes them more successful learners who are more likely to graduate.

Mr. Garrett was presented this honor on May 5, 2015, at a luncheon in Winston-Salem at the NC School-Based Health Alliance state conference.
Marion Elementary, East McDowell Middle School and Old Fort Elementary Celebrate International Bike (or Walk) to School Day on May 6-7, 2015

Marion Elementary, Old Fort Elementary, and East McDowell Middle School joined schools from around the world to celebrate International Bike (or Walk) to School Day on May 6 and 7, 2015.  The events were organized by the school principals, school resource officers and staff, with help from community volunteers including the McDowell County Catalyst, City of Marion Planning Director and the Active Routes to School Program Coordinator. 

Bike (or Walk) to School Day events are being held nationwide on Wednesday and throughout the month of May. In 2014, 2,222 events registered for Bike to School Day, a 30 percent increase from the previous year. To browse names and locations of registered 2015 events, visit
International Bike and Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.  The event also builds greater connections between families, schools and the broader community.
 For additional local information, please contact Mary Smith, Coordinator for Active Routes to School at 828-460-7328. 

For additional information, please visit these websites:

Walk to School Day in the USA           
National Center for Safe Routes to School 
International Walk to School Day  
MCS Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to John Ballard, West McDowell Middle School Band teacher.  Mr. Ballard was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year & MCS County Teacher of the Year

Congratulations are also in order for our Elementary Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Jennifer Carroll, Old Fort Elementary.
Summer Lego Camp

Bricks 4 Kidz is bringing a summer LEGO camp to Old Fort/Marion this summer!!

Join us for a week of Lego Brick-A-Palooza, filled with fun and learning!
Campers can choose either the 9am-12pm camp or the 1pm-4pm camp. (both camps will be the same).

CAMPS ARE THE WEEK OF AUGUST 10-14, and will be held in the media center at Old Fort Elementary School.

Kids will spend their days doing all things LEGO. Camps are for both boys and girls. Campers will enjoy Lego free building, Lego Ninjago, Lego race cars, Lego movies, mosaics, 3D Builds, Lego sets (including Lego Friends), crafts and more!!

These camps are for children who are rising 1st graders and up. Camp is led by a certified teacher.

Register online at: and click on “view classes” to search for Brick-A-Palooza Marion Camp!​

Cost is $125 for the week. 3 hours a day/5 days
Email with any questions.

Link to Flyer (PDF)
MY Health-e-Schools

MY Health-e-Schools is improving access to healthcare for students in McDowell County through telemedicine. The technology is based on high-definition videoconferencing using specially equipped stethoscopes and cameras so that a centrally located health care provider can examine students at multiple schools without traveling. We collaborate with primary care physicians to provide many services, including addressing acute issues such as the common ear ache or stomach ache, chronic disease management, medication management, well-child check-ups, sports physicals, adolescent medicine consultations, and telepsychology / telebehavioral health.​

Recently, Heather Ray, the School Nurse at West Marion Elementary, and the telemedicine program was featured in The Duke Endowment.


You can read the story here:

You can also read the story that appeared in the McDowell News here:
You can read more about the telemedicine program, including how to enroll, at
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