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Bang, Pop, Ooh, Aah.... is it the 4th of July?! Wrong! It is time for the STEAM Expo. The STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Expo is a chance for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by designing, implementing and creating an exciting project to share with the community. School fairs will be announced by individual schools. January 9, 2015 is our set up and turn in date at McDowell Tech CC. The Community Expo will be held on January 10, 2015 from 3pm-6pm with awards beginning at 6:00pm in the MTCC auditorium. For more information and assistance check out  
Upcoming Events
Repeating EventGEN - Cabinet Meeting
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
GEN - School Nurse Meeting
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
GEN - Truancy
3:00 PM - 5:00 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.


Nebo’s Joyce Poplin Named Principal of the Year
Nebo principal Joyce Poplin has been named the 2014-15 Principal of the Year for McDowell County Schools. She previously received this award in 2007 and was also the MCS Teacher of the Year in 1991.  The announcement was made by Superintendent Mark Garrett during the monthly Leadership Team meeting in the Board room on Wednesday. Poplin stated “it is always an honor to be recognized by your peers, especially a group that you think so much of.” 
Ms. Poplin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UNC Charlotte in 1976 and began her career as a teacher at Nebo in August of that year. She taught both Kindergarten and First Grade for 25 years. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degrees in Elementary Education and Administration from Gardner Webb University, and later earned certification in Early Childhood from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 1998.
In 2001 she was named principal at Nebo and has served in that role ever since. “My heart and soul is at Nebo. I grew up in this community and have spent most of my adult life here at the school. I love the people of this community. I have received so much wonderful support over the years, and our community is always so supportive of the school. I want the students here to know that they can accomplish whatever they want as long as they are willing to work hard in order to do so.”
Ms. Poplin will represent the district in the Region 8 competition in Asheville. “We are very proud of Joyce and her leadership at Nebo. We could not have a better representative for McDowell County Schools at the regional level” added Garrett. Ms. Poplin will be recognized at the November meeting of the MCS Board of Education. She closed with a personal reflection: “my father graduated from Nebo High School, and I am always so proud to represent the staff and students of Nebo Elementary.”
Governor Pat McCrory at Universal Advanced Manufacturing Center
Officials and dignataries from McDowell County and beyond gathered at McDowell Tech's innovative new Advanced Manufacturing Center in Marion NC to join with Governor Pat McCrory in opening the building, and applauding the new initiative, dedicated to providing technical and manufacturing skills to the future workforce of McDowell County.

Read more at the McDowell News
Schools Will Have Added Counselor Support for Students and Staff at MHS
The MCS family is deeply saddened by the loss of McDowell High senior Eleck Hensley. We will have additional school counselor support on hand at MHS for Monday morning to assist students and staff as we deal with the tragic loss of a classmate and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hensley family.
Broadband Satisfaction Survey
In today's world, internet connectivity is crucial to the development of educational opportunities for all, as well as essential in keeping businesses and recruiting jobs. In order to find out information about demand for internet service in McDowell, the county is conducting a Broadband Satisfaction Survey that will end on Oct 31, 2014.

The NC Department of Commerce developed the survey and will report the results. The survey has five simple questions and can be taken online at Paper copies are also available at the following locations: the McDowell County Libraries in Marion & Old Fort, the Senior Centers in Marion & Old Fort, Job Link, and the YMCA. 

Results of the survey will enable McDowell County to learn where broadband is needed and wanted. This information will be presented to potential service providers as McDowell attempts to expand internet services and improve existing areas. This information may also be used to apply for grants that would help fund broadband projects.

Answering the survey does not guarantee that service will be provided. However, the identification of the problem areas will give McDowell the information necessary to try to get broadband expanded. 

As you can understand, it is very important citizens of McDowell County take the survey and be heard.
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.​
Nebo Elementary Celebrates 110 Years with Heritage Day
Nebo Elementary School celebrated Heritage Day on Friday, September 26th.  The school had guest speakers, demonstration booths, and storytellers for students to learn what life was like in the past.  This year Nebo School is 110 years old.  Alumni of Nebo High School from classes 1938 - 1971 also had a reunion and meal the following day.  We are very proud of our school and community.

McDowell High School Fire Technology Students Teach Preschoolers About Fire Safety
Fire Technology Program students had the opportunity to teach preschoolers the importance of fire safety and prevention.    Their experience was featured in a recent article in The McDowell News.  View article HERE.
Farm Bureau Makes Donation to MHS Agriculture/FFA Program
The McDowell County Farm Bureau made a $1500 donation to the new McDowell High School Agriculture/FFA program at their yearly meeting.    

Pictured from left to right:
Wayne Miller, Terry English, Allen Ingram, Bob Brackett, Mark Garrett, and James Nations.
Board Names Mr. Nakia Carson the new Principal at West Marion
Mr. Nakia Carson has been hired as the new Principal at West Marion Elementary School. The McDowell County Board of Education approved the recommendation of Superintendent Mark Garrett during a special called meeting on Thursday evening. Mr. Garrett stated, “Mr. Carson’s record of proven leadership as an educator and engagement in the community gives me great confidence in his ability to continue to move West Marion forward in the right direction.” Board Chair Terry English shared that “We as a Board are very proud of Mr. Carson as a McDowell County native and look forward to working with him in his new leadership role.”  
Mr. Carson has served as Assistant Principal at West Marion since August of 2012. He has served in various roles in the district for the past nine years. Mr. Carson earned teacher licensure in 2005 and began as a social studies teacher at East McDowell Junior High School. In 2007 he was reassigned as a plank holder teacher at the newly established McDowell Early College. He taught there until his promotion to assistant principal in 2012. 

Mr. Carson is a native of Nebo and a 1993 graduate of McDowell High School. Upon graduation he reported to Parris Island, SC for Marine Corps Recruit Training. He served as a Marine for seven years and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant before leaving active duty in 2000. He returned to McDowell County and served with the Department of Corrections from 2000 through 2005. During this period he earned an Associate of Arts degree from Western Piedmont Community College in 2002 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 2005. Mr. Carson earned his Master of School Administration degree from Appalachian State in 2009.   

Ms. Kay Medford has been in place since the beginning of the school year as the interim principal. Garrett added “we are very thankful to have had someone of Ms. Medford’s quality and capability to serve as principal at West Marion in the interim.” Mr. Carson and Ms. Medford will begin their transition process immediately. 
Parent Conference Schedule
McDowell County Schools will be hosting Parent Conferences on the following dates and times:

Elementary Schools - Wednesday, November 5th from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Middle Schools - Monday, November 3rd from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

McDowell High School - Thursday, November 6th from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
McDowell Students Attend Student Leadership Academy
Representatives from HOSA, SkillsUSA, FCCLA, FBLA, & DECA attended the 9th Annual Student Leadership Academy today at Biltmore Estate.

After an inspirational welcome from Mr. Bill Cecil, Jr., President & CEO of The Biltmore Company, students attended sessions on business etiquette, communications, & public speaking. Lunch was provided by Biltmore at the Lioncrest facility.

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