McDowell County Schools

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News and Announcements

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 www.campinvention.org or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today!
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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!!
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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.
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2018 - 2019 Teachers of the Year

We are pleased to announce the 2018-19 McDowell County Schools Teachers of the Year. The following teachers (in last name alphabetical order) have been chosen as school winners by their respective faculties:

Angela Autrey, MHS
Ashley Bagwell, Nebo
Michael Caparaso, West Middle
Marlean Duncan, Pleasant Gardens
Amy Goodson, AEC
Samantha Hunt, Eastfield
Krissy Loftis, Marion
Stevie Mathis, MEC
Tracey Moss, North Cove
Ruth Pershing, East Middle
Erin Rayfield, West Marion
Rebecca Shuford, Old Fort
Sherry Truesdell, Glenwood
Michelle Tyler, FCS

Congratulations to all!
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MCS Students Compete in State Science Olympiad

2018 State Science Olympiad Competition was held at NC State University April 20-21. EMMS sent 2 teams and competed in Microbe Mission and Ecology. WMMS sent 2 teams and competed in Duct Tape Challenge, Mystery Design, and Optics. MHS sent 2 teams and competed in Forensics, Helicopters, and Aerial Scrambler. Not pictured is FCS who sent one team and competed in Fast Facts.
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MCS Closed for Staff and Students on 12/10/2018

McDowell County Schools will be closed for students and staff on Monday, December 10. Our central offices will also be closed. We will see what the coming days bring, but it will take a while to dig out from this large snowfall. This means you will most likely be hearing from me quite a bit over the next few days.

We would love to see your snow photos. Email them to snow@mcdowell.k12.nc.us and we will share them out via our social media platforms.

Please be reminded that for the safety of all, local authorities are asking that everyone stay off the roadways to allow DOT, Duke, REA, and all emergency services personnel to respond to this winter storm.

Thank you and have a great Sunday.
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Eastfield Principal Michelle Baker is the 2019 MCS Principal of the Year

Michelle Baker, principal of Eastfield Global Magnet, has been selected by her fellow principals as the 2019 Principal of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Baker was humbled by the news: “I am truly humbled to be selected as Principal of the Year by my colleagues. They have all inspired me and are most deserving of this recognition.”



Baker began her career in education in Charleston County, SC in 1992 as an elementary grades teacher. She spent the next 14 years as an elementary teacher in Beaufort County, SC, Craven County, NC, and Escambia County, Florida. She was named her school’s Teacher of the Year in 1994-95 (Charleston SC), 1999-2000 (Beaufort SC), and 2005-06 (Escambia, FL). During this time she was also certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.



In July 2006, Ms. Baker was hired as a 5th Grade teacher at Eastfield Global Magnet School and served in that role until 2011. In October 2011 she was reassigned as an instructional coach for the district and served in that role until 2013. In June 2013, Ms. Baker was promoted to her current position as principal at Eastfield Global Magnet.



Baker earned her BA degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina in May of 1991. She earned a Masters degree in Special Education-Learning Disabilities from the University of Charleston in May of 1995. She completed her Education Specialist degree at Appalachian State in 2013.



Superintendent Mark Garrett had strong words of praise for Baker, stating “Michelle has served the students of McDowell County for 12 of her 26 years as an educator. Her passion for the students and staff of Eastfield is readily evident. Her attention to the success of each student is always clear. We are very proud of her as our representative in this year’s Principal of the Year process.”



Baker stated that there is “not one accomplishment I can take credit for as the principal, everything we do is about the support and unity of our team.” She will compete against 20 other principals in Region 7 for a chance to be the Regional Principal of the Year in December. The eight regional principals of the year will then be considered for the honor of State Principal of the Year later in the spring. Nebo principal Desarae Kirkpatrick was honored as the Principal of the Year for the Northwest Region last spring and will serve in that capacity for the remainder of the school year.
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