McDowell County Schools

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Group shot of 14 people that are each the teacher of the year at their school

Teachers of the Year 2019-2020

Class of 2019 Senior Walk at Nebo Elementary School

Class of 2019 Senior Walk at Nebo Elementary School

students with race bibs

North Cove Run Club about to race in the Old Fort Super Leader 5k

East McDowell Middle School students at the Outer Banks


Students on Wright Flyer Model

WMMS at the Outer Banks

Superintendent's Message

Superintendent Mark Garrett Behind Desk
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 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 2017-18.  State accountability results are up. On-time graduation rates are at record highs.  Dropouts are decreasing. Students are earning both academic and industry 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 2018-19.
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

Renata Crawley of West Marion Named Teacher of the Year

Superintendent Mark Garrett is pleased to announce that Renata Crawley has been selected as the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Ms. Crawley is on staff at West Marion Elementary. Additionally, MaryAnn Basney has been named the Secondary Teacher of the Year. Ms. Basney teaches Math at East McDowell Middle. Ms. Crawley was in tears upon the news and was happy to celebrate with her students in a parade down the hall led by principal Nakia Carson. She shared “I am so blessed to be a teacher in McDowell County, and I love each and every day with my students here at West Marion.”

Superintendent Garrett, Ginny Rhodes of the McDowell News, Courtney Intres of Wells Fargo, and members of the district staff visited West Marion and East Middle today to make the announcements in front of Ms. Crawley’s and Ms. Basney’s students and colleagues. All of the 14 school winners were honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Celebration last night at VenYou 52 in Pleasant Gardens, which was sponsored again this year by Wells Fargo Bank. Garrett shared with the guests at the event, “Everyone here is worthy of this honor. I want all of you to enjoy tonight’s celebration because, no matter who is announced tomorrow, you are all deserving.”

The faculty at each school in the district selects a school winner each year as part of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Teacher of the Year process. Each school winner is then judged based on professional portfolio, classroom visit, and an interview with the district selection committee. The district honors an Elementary and a Secondary Teacher of the Year. One of those two is selected as the MCS Teacher of the Year and represents the district at the Regional level.

Ms. Crawley began her teaching career in 1992 as a 4th Grade teacher at West Marion. She currently teaches Science and English Language Arts in 5th Grade. She was most recently a recipient of the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Charlotte in 1991.

Ms. Basney earned her BS degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Special Education from Western Carolina University in 2013, with minors in Math and Psychology. She attained licensure as a Math teacher later that summer and joined the staff at East Middle as an Inclusion and Resource teacher. She currently teaches 7th Grade Math. She shared “I love what I do and I am so humbled by this honor.”

Ms. Crawley will represent the district at the NW Regional level in November.

Michelle Baker Completes Leadership Program

Michelle Baker, principal of Eastfield Global Magnet School, recently completed the Distinguished Leadership Program (DLP), a year‐long leadership development program for practicing school principals designed and provided by the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principal’s Association and sponsored by the American Express Foundation through the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD.)

Free Weekend Meals from the Corpening YMCA

Free Weekend Meals!
Every Saturday
11 am —1 pm
Corpening Memorial YMCA

Join the YMCA for healthy food and
fun activities:
arts and crafts
book club
and rock climbing!

Free for anyone under 18.
Y membership not required to participate.
For more information on accessing food and/or volunteering with the program visit:

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Events Photo
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/19/2019
No School-Teacher Workday (PD) District Meeting Day
Date: 8/20/2019
No School-Teacher Workday (PD) Convocation
Date: 8/21/2019
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/22/2019
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/23/2019