McDowell County Schools

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News and Announcements

Bus Drivers Needed!

Do you enjoy working with children? Would you consider a part-time job with a starting pay of $14.28 per hour, with no experience required? If this sounds interesting, we encourage you to apply for a school bus driver position with McDowell County Schools. A school bus driver training class is scheduled for December 10, 11, & 12, 2019, at McDowell Technical Community College. Anyone interested in attending class and driving a school bus should apply in person at the bus garage at 7 Reid Street. Please contact our transportation department at 652-7610 for more information.
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Parents of Students with Autism

Come Join Us!

October 29 th from 8:30am until 10am
A Walk in Your Child’s Shoes ~
Making and Keeping Friends
Speakers ~ AU Team Members

Workshop is sponsored by Exceptional Children’s Staff

In Board Room @ Central Office

Donuts and coffee will be served – Child care provided – Advance
Notice Required!

Please call 652-6580 ext. 1203
If you need more information and/or childcare.
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New & Important Online Meal Application Information! Click HERE to Apply.

Apply on-line for your children to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Your application will be sent from a secure web site directly to McDowell County Schools, so you don’t need to worry about filling out a paper form that could be lost or misplaced. has been designed to make it easy for you to know exactly what information you need to provide and to guide you through the process. Once your application has been received the district office will determine your eligibility and send you a letter with the results. If you know your child’s lunch number, this will help to match your application to your child in our system.

To apply simply go to and click “Apply Now” and go through all the questions. The final process is to click the “Submit” button to send it to the central office.

* If you don't have access to the internet at home computers will be available during open house events at your child's school or call 652-5633 for a paper copy of this year's Free and Reduced Meal Application.

** If you have already received a letter telling you that your child was preapproved for meal benefits for the 2019-2020 school year, you do not need to reapply. Please make sure all of the school-aged children living in your household are listed on the approval letter so we will be certain they are also receiving the correct benefits you are eligible for. If not please contact Erin Buchanan at 652-5633 or
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Bus Safety Video

With school starting right around the corner, it's important for parents to help in keeping kids safe at bus stops and for drivers to know the rules. Please watch this NCDOT Bus Safety video for more information.
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Operation Backpack

The 2019-2020 school year will be Operation Backpack’s 21st year assisting students with school supplies.

School supplies will be available at the MAI "GYM",

July 29th - August 12th;

Monday – Thursday;

9am - 4pm

for McDowell County School students, K-12.

If families are unable to come during the summer, once school begins, please see the school Counselor, Principal, or student's Teacher to request school supplies. (Eastfield Global Magnet School had supplies available at Meet The Teacher/Open House on July 10th. If attending EGMS, please request supplies at the school.)

Operation Backpack is only possible because of our giving and caring community working together! From 1 student in 1998 to 1009 students in 2018. How many can we help in 2019?!

Supplies and monetary donations are appreciated and needed! Donations are accepted year-round. Monetary donations may be written to The Endowment Fund, marked for Operation Backpack and/or Classroom Project. Donations may be mailed or brought to McDowell County Schools, 334 South Main Street, Marion, NC 28752.

For more information: Please contact Melanie Dunham at or

828-652-4535 x106
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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.)
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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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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.
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