McDowell County Schools

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle

News and Announcements

Free Summer Meals

Free summer meals are available for children and teens when school is out.
All Children 18 & under
No Registration Required
No ID Required
To find a summer meal site close to you:

1-Text “FOODNC” to 877-877 / Envie “FOODNC” al 877-877
2-Call 1-866-3HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) / Llame1-877-8HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273)
Read More »

Have you signed up for Camp Opportunity?

WHO: Middle grade students (who will be in 6th through 8th grades beginning August 2018) from McDowell County Public Schools

WHEN: June 25-28, 2018 8:30am to 3:00pm

WHERE: McDowell High School, McDowell Technical Community College, and other area locations.

COST: FREE! Includes lunch and snacks!

TRANSPORTATION: Camp will begin each day at McDowell High School; transportation offered through an abbreviated bus route. Transportation to the off-site sessions will be provided.

More Information & Registration: or
Read More »

Camp Invention is returning to McDowell County Schools!

Camp Invention takes summer fun and transforms it from ordinary to extraordinary!

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Pleasant Gardens Elementary School is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades K-6. It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating modules. The week begins on July 9, 2018 with the Fast Forward™ program!

Here is how young innovators will be spending their time:

Dreaming up and designing their very own futuristic smart home filled with gadgets, LEDs, technology and innovation
Using tools to take apart robotic dogs and compare their inner mechanics to the anatomy and physiology of a real dog
Designing tracks for their Optibots to follow while exploring different modes of transportation
Exploring chemistry, non-Newtonian fluids and magnetism as they investigate magnetic slime

All activities give participants the opportunity to explore, discover and achieve while having fun!

Local educators will facilitate program modules and enthusiastic high school students will serve as Leadership Interns, ensuring that one staff member is in place for every eight children.

Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today!
Read More »


McDowell County Emergency Services is excited to announce that registration for Safety Camp 2018 is now open. During the camp, kids will be taught CPR, first aid, ATV safety, pet safety, water safety, along with other safety sessions. Over 20 different agencies assist with this camp, along with numerous volunteers. A special thank you to Columbia Forest Product's Care Team, who will provide breakfast each morning to the campers. McDowell County Child Nutrition will provide the students lunch during the camp.

When: June 19th - June 21st
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. each day
Where: East McDowell Middle School
Ages: 6-14
Cost: $20

To register visit
Online registration is available
Download File

Hydromaniacs Robotics Team win the 2018 Middle School Champions Award at the RoboFest 2018 State Championship

The Hydromaniacs robotics team from the Foothills Community School competed in the RoboFest 2018 State Robotics Championship in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

The Hydromaniacs won the Middle School Champions Award at the RoboFest 2018 State Championship. They successfully competed against 34 of the top elementary and middle school robotics teams from all across the state of North Carolina.

Congratulations to the Hydromaniacs robotics team!!
Download File

Board Approves New Principal at Pleasant Gardens Elementary

McDowell County native Melissa Elliott has been named principal at Pleasant Gardens Elementary for the coming school year. Elliott will replace current principal Mark Robertson who announced his retirement last month. Currently an Assistant Principal at West Middle, she was approved by unanimous vote during Monday night’s regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting for May. Elliott, elated at the news, shared the following: “Being named principal of Pleasant Gardens Elementary is such a privilege and honor. I am so excited and can’t wait to get started! I look forward to meeting all the students, families, faculty and staff at our school!”

Elliott began her education career in 2000 as a 4th Grade teacher At Nebo Elementary. She also taught 5th Grade at Nebo and was the Teacher of the Year for Nebo in 2008. She was reassigned to Eastfield Global Magnet School in 2010 where she taught 1st through 5th grades. She also served as the Academic Facilitator and AIG specialist for the school. Elliott was the 2014 Teacher of the Year for Eastfield, and she was subsequently named the District Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015. In 2015 she was promoted to the position of Technology Facilitator for Middle Schools in MCS and served in that role for both East Middle and West Middle until 2017. She was promoted to her current position as AP at West Middle last summer.

Elliott earned an Associate in Arts Degree from Western Piedmont in Morganton in 1997. In May 2000 she graduated from UNC-Asheville with a BA degree in Psychology and K-6 Teacher Certification. She earned AIG certification and was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2005. She renewed her national certification in 2015. She graduated from East Carolina University with her MA degree in Instructional Technology in 2012 and completed an add-on Master of School Administration in 2016.

Superintendent Mark Garrett has high expectations for Elliott, sharing “Melissa Elliott has 18 years of highly successful experience as an elementary teacher, AIG Specialist, Academic Facilitator, Instructional Technology Facilitator, and Assistant Principal. We expect her to bring the same level of excellence to her duties as an elementary principal. I am very excited about the future at Pleasant Gardens.”

Elliott will officially begin her new role on 1 July.
Read More »

Angela Autrey of McDowell HS Named Teacher of the Year

Superintendent Mark Garrett is pleased to announce that Angela Autrey has been selected as the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Ms. Autrey is on staff at McDowell High in the Science department. Additionally, Samantha Hartley Hunt has been named the Elementary Teacher of the Year. Ms. Hunt teaches 3rd Grade at Eastfield Global Magnet School. Ms. Autrey was in tears upon the news and received a hug from each of her 2nd period students as they departed the classroom. She shared “McDowell County is blessed to have so many hard working, deserving teachers. I am so humbled to be representing such a wonderful group of educators.”

Superintendent Garrett and members of the district staff visited McDowell High and Eastfield Global Magnet today to make the announcements in front of Ms. Autrey’s and Ms. Hunt’s students and colleagues. All of the 14 school winners were honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet last night at the Marion Community Building, which was sponsored again this year by Wells Fargo Bank. Garrett shared with the guests at the banquet, “Everyone here is deserving of this honor. I want all of you to enjoy tonight’s celebration because, no matter who is announced tomorrow, you are all worthy.”

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. Autrey began her teaching career in 1990 at West McDowell Junior High and moved to McDowell High in 2005. She currently teaches Advanced and AP Chemistry, Honors Biology, and Standard Biology. Autrey also serves on the School Improvement Team and the MTSS committee for MHS. She earned her BS degree in Biology and HS Science from Appalachian State in 1989.

Ms. Hunt earned her BS degree in Elementary Education in 2008 and earned her Masters degree in Elementary Education in 2011, both from Appalachian State. She joined the staff at Pleasant Gardens in 2012 as a Kindergarten teacher. She was reassigned to the staff at Eastfield in 2013. Hunt’s students danced with joy as she told them “this happened because you all are such a great class! Thanks for working so hard and being so awesome!”

Ms. Autrey will represent the district at the Regional level in November.
Read More »

2 Hour Delay for Thursday, May 31st

After consulting with emergency services on current conditions around the county and considering the potential for additional rain overnight, McDowell County Schools will operate on a two-hour delay for students Thursday, May 31. This will allow us to have daylight to monitor road and other conditions, as well as give time to make any additional schedule changes that might be necessary. We are aware that there are several roads affected with parts that are potentially impassable, especially in the western part of the county, so please communicate with your student's school to let them know your family's status and if you need any type of help.

The elementary ELA End of Grade tests scheduled for tomorrow will now be moved to Friday, June 1. The middle schools will give the North Carolina Final Exam for social studies for all grades.
Read More »
RSS Feed