• Operation Carry the Love Aids Mother of Valle Crucis Kindergartner in Afghanistan

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Nov. 18, 2016. To the public, Jessica Young is a Captain in the U.S. Army, but if you ask five-year-old Kindergartner Atticus Stauffer — she’s Mom. And beyond that, just like the team of Avengers on his Marvel tee-shirt, he’d tell you one more thing — his mom is a superhero. / Read more…



  • From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: ‘Thankful for Our Many Blessings’

    Nov. 16, 2016. As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays, our minds go to the many blessings we have here in Avery County. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In all things give thanks”, and we in the Avery County Schools are thankful for our many blessings. First, we are so thankful for our students. We are fortunate to have some of the best students in the world in Avery County – students who are well-behaved, conscientious, respectful, and who represent our community in a very positive way. By ACS Supt. David Burleson / Read more…



  • School Board Recognitions for November

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Nov. 14, 2016. Several individuals were recognized at Watauga County Board of Education’s November meeting, including more than 20 teachers who were recipients of Watauga County Education Foundation grants to improve their classrooms. / Read more…



  • Service Learning: Kindergarteners at Two Rivers Collect Supplies Destined for Haiti

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Nov. 8, 2016. The Two Rivers Community School kindergarten helped load a truck with clothing, seeds, and school supplies destined for Haiti. The kindergarten class led efforts on campus to collect items for Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. / Read more…



  • From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: Holiday Schedule & High Expectations

    Nov. 4, 2016. As the holiday season approaches, I want to thank you for assisting us in making the Avery County Schools a caring and inviting place for our students. It is an honor for us to work with a community that understands that the mission of our school system is to help and support students and give them every opportunity to be successful. In my opinion, the most powerful statement about the success of any school system is what we do for our students every day and how we encourage them to be the best person they can be. / Read more…



  • 41 Caldwell, Watauga 7th Graders Receive Dream Awards to Attend CCC&TI

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Nov. 3, 2016. In a recent ceremony held at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir, the Foundation of CCC&TI named 41 local seventh-grade students as this year’s Dream Scholars. The Dream Award ensures free tuition to attend CCC&TI upon graduation from high school. The program, offered through the Foundation, is in its 27th year and has presented 1,143 awards since its inception. / Read more…



  • WHS Acting Troupe Pioneer Playmakers Advance To State Theater Festival Nov. 17-18

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Nov. 2, 2016. Watauga High School’s honors acting troupe, the Pioneer Playmakers, carried the program’s long history of excellence into another year at the North Carolina Theater Conference’s High School Play Festival. The group earned a “Superior” rating for their show “Mea Culpa,” and secured the opportunity to perform at the state level festival. / Read more…



  • WCS Supt. Elliott Reminds School Families of Winter Weather’s Impact on Schools

    Oct. 26, 2016. With winter approaching, Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott is reminding parents and families how the school system makes and communicates decisions about school closings and other changes resulting from inclement weather. “We always want to keep schools open on a regular schedule when it’s safe to do so, but winter weather sometimes forces us to change school schedules and bus routes,” Elliott said. “We realize that has a big effect on families and we want them to understand how we make and announce our decisions in response to inclement weather.” / Read more…



  • From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: Time To Start Thinking About Winter Weather

    Oct. 24, 2016. As you well know, our community is one of the most beautiful in the world; however, our unique location and winter weather provide many challenges. As we face the winter, we realize that there is no way to predict how the weather will impact our schools. When considering closings, delays or early dismissals, our goal is to make decisions that are best for students and staff. By ACS Supt. David Burleson / Read more…



  • Football Personalities to Judge Chilis at Grace Academy Chili Cook-Off and Auction Oct. 29

    Oct. 19, 2016. Homemade chili and football go hand-in-hand in the High Country and at Grace Academy’s 8th annual Chili Cook-Off & Auction. As the school’s largest fundraiser, the Cook Off is set for 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2016, at Watauga High School. Literally dozens of chilis will be served, as well as homemade and bakery desserts. From spicy to mild, chicken, beef, vegetarian and gluten free, the Chili Cook-Off offers a variety of choices. Grace Academy is the High Country’s only Kindergarten through ninth grade Christian school. / Read more…



  • Nursing, Emergency Students Participate in Mock Disaster Simulation at Lees-McRae

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 17, 2016. Faculty at the college has been working on the event since April 2016, said Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences and Director of Nursing Dr. Laura Fero. Performing arts students played the role of burn victims—the result of a large explosion. Both nursing and emergency medical service and management students were made aware of the situation only moments before being asked to spring into action. / Read more…



  • Sam Nystrom, 4th Grader at Hardin Park, is WCS 2016-17 Spelling Bee Champion

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 14, 2016. Fourth grader Sam Nystrom of Hardin Park School has won the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee and Andy Timmens of Mabel took the runner up spot in this year’s competition. The other school champions participating in this year’s competition included Jeremiah Hodges of Bethel, Oliver Rupp of Blowing Rock, Ellary Maiden of Cove Creek, Kylie Broce of Green Valley, Ellary Smith of Parkway, and Jaidyn Toomey of Valle Crucis. Each school’s champion advanced to the WCS finals of the Spelling Bee by winning a competition among 4th through 8th grade students at their school. / Read more…



  • Watauga Education Foundation Announces Recipients for 2016 Grants Valued at $20,000

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 14, 2016. The Watauga Education Foundation announces grant recipients for 2016. WEF is proud to share that a total of $19,911 will be distributed to 22 educators who are employed by Watauga County Schools. The grant funds will go directly into the classrooms. “Each year, I am amazed with the creativity of Watauga’s educators. This year’s grant requests are very unique and I look forward to seeing the impact on their classrooms,” WEF Board President Charles Crabbe said. / Read more…



  • Spooky, Fun Events at the Watauga County Public Library Coming Up This Month!

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 7, 2016.Check out the October schedule of events for the Watauga County Public Library! There are plenty of activities for all age groups coming up this month. Don’t miss out!. By Emily Willis / Read more…



  • Long-time Friends of Lees-McRae College Fund the Learning Commons Renovations

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 12, 2016.On Friday, Oct. 7, Lees-McRae held the dedication ceremony for the renovated Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons. The event gathered about 70 guests ranging from students, to faculty, staff and architect and construction company representatives. / Read more…



  • Two Leadership Hires Approved at WCS

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 11, 2016. The Watauga County Board of Education recently approved the selection of two local residents to leadership roles at the Margaret Gragg Education Center. Following the Board of Education meeting last night, Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott stated that he was very pleased to announce “the selection of two great folks to positions on our Central Services Leadership Team.” / Read more…



  • Latest Watauga School Board Recognitions

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 11, 2016. At Monday night’s Watauga County Board of Education meeting, the school board members, WCS staff and students were recognized for their achievements. See photos and more information inside. / Read more…



  • From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: Oct. 25 Parent / Teacher Conference Primer

    Oct. 10, 2016. It’s hard to believe that more than a fourth of the school year has passed and that it’s time to send out the first report cards. With the distribution of report cards, it’s also time for the Avery County Schools to provide parents and teachers the opportunity to discuss the educational progress of the students we serve. By ACS Supt. David Burleson / Read more…



  • WHS Marching Band Wins Honors at Kenny Woody Memorial Cup and Avery Viking Classic

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 10, 2016. The Watauga High School Pioneers Marching Band earned the Kenny Woody Memorial Cup for their display of spirit and pride and won second place in their class at the Avery Viking Classic marching band competition on Sept. 24. The band also took first place in Drum Major for the competition. The drum majors for the Pioneers are Autumn Blackwell and Becca Yoblinski. / Read more…



  • See Agendas: Watauga School Board Meets Monday Night, Avery Meets on Tuesday

    Oct. 10, 2016. Both the school boards for Watauga County Schools and Avery County Schools will meet early this week. Watauga County Board of Education meets tonight, while the Avery County Board of Education meets tomorrow night. / Read more…



  • TONIGHT: Stop by the Avery Museum to Celebrate 40 Years of Preserving Local History

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 5, 2016. Since 1976, the Avery Museum has been supplying the community with a unique look into the county’s heritage of railroads. Join the museum on Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. for birthday cake, punch, and coffee to celebrate this milestone! The museum’s 40th birthday is a great time to get to know the people behind and the projects they’re working on right now. By Emily Willis. / Read more…



  • Mabel Students March Against Bullying

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 4, 2016. Students from Mabel Elementary School marched through downtown Boone and the ASU campus Monday morning to send an anti-bullying message to the entire community. It was the third annual “Stomp Out Bullying March” by students at Mabel, a K-8 school serving about 170 students in western Watauga County. Students in second through sixth grades participated, carrying hand-lettered signs with a variety of anti-bullying statements. / Read more…



  • Toomey, Needham Finish First & Second in Valle Crucis Elementary’s Spelling Bee

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Oct. 3, 2016. The best spellers in grades 4-8 at Valle Crucis School competed in a school-wide Spelling Bee Thursday and Jaidyn Toomey won the championship while Tyler Needham finished as runner up. Once all of the individual schools competitions are completed, the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee takes place Friday, October 14. / Read more…



  • Jeremiah Hodges Wins Bethel Spelling Bee

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Sept. 28, 2016. Jeremiah Hodges was the winner and Holden Perry the runner-up in the Bethel Elementary School Spelling Bee held Tuesday morning in the school media center. Mabel Elementary kicked off spelling bee season in Watauga County Schools earlier this month, and Blowing Rock Elementary was the second school to hold its spelling bee. / Read more…



  • Women’s Fund Awards $1,000 Grant to Two Rivers for ‘She Hikes Alone’ Program

    Sept. 26, 2016. She Hikes Alone grew organically through Buffalo Cove’s female instructors connecting with female students by providing solicited advice and a safe space for students to ask questions. It’s critical that students feel comfortable during this program in order to grow emotionally, mentally, and intellectually. The partnership with the Women’s Fund is a major step forward for Two Rivers boding well for the future of the school’s female students and the Mountain Adventure Program. / Read more…



  • Korben Anderson Takes First in Blowing Rock Spelling Bee, Three-Way Tie for Second

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Sept. 23, 2016. The Spelling Bee at Blowing Rock School Thursday featured a roller coaster set of final rounds that concluded with eighth grader Korben Anderson winning the title and a three-way tie for second place. The three runners-up included Jayme Greene (8th grade), Oliver Rupp (6th grade), and Zoey Zagst (4th grade). Ten classroom winners competed for the school championship. / Read more…



  • From the Desk of ACS Superintendent: Attendance is Essential for Future Preparation

    Sept. 23, 2016. “The Avery County Schools, through supportive relationships with students, parents and community, will have every student graduate from high school globally prepared for life in the 21st Century”, is the mission of our school system and the focus for all of our employees as we currently serve over 2,000 students every day! Impacting just one of these students in a positive way impacts the future of Avery County as well as our world. By ACS Supt. David Burleson / Read more…



  • Mabel Elementary Holds First Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee Competition

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Sept. 22, 2016. Spelling Bee season in the Watauga County Schools kicked off on Monday as Mabel Elementary conducted its school Spelling Bee, the first of eight school-level competitions. The contestants at Mabel progressed to the school championship round based on their success at the classroom level. / Read more…



  • Pumpkin Patch & Mum Sale Sept. 30, Oct. 1 To Benefit Blowing Rock Eighth Graders

    Sept. 20, 2016. A fundraiser is being held for 8th graders at Blowing Rock Elementary School on Friday, Sept. 30 from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dubbed a “Blowing Rock Pumpkin Patch and Mum Sale,” the two-day event will feature face painting and baked goods for sale. Funds raised will go toward an eighth-grade field trip. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Second-Grader Owen Ireland Discovers Five-Leaf Clover at Two Rivers Community School

    Sept. 16, 2016. Second-grader Owen Ireland, 7, was lucky enough to find one of these unusual green gems just outside of his classroom at Two Rivers on Sept. 1, right by the site of the school’s brand new playground, the final touches on which are being applied this week. Some sources say the chances of finding a five-leaf clover are nearly 1,000,000 to 1. By Cramer Lewis and Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Pre-K Spaces Available at Cove Creek & Valle Crucis, Reflections: Pre-K Changes Lives

    Sept. 16, 2016. The Children’s Council of Watauga County has announced that there are still spaces available for free pre-kindergarten classes at Cove Creek School and Valle Crucis School. The classes are offered as part of the NC Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre-K) program, which provides high quality early childhood education for four year olds from eligible families. / Read more…



  • The Learning Leader: Progress on Teacher Pay, Problems in Teacher Pipeline?

    Sept. 15, 2016. The General Assembly delivered a much appreciated pay hike to teachers this year, one that averages 4.7 percent. However, the actual increase received by individual teachers varies from zero to 13.1%, depending on where they are on the pay scale. / Read more…



  • Latest School Performance Data Includes Record Graduation Rate at WHS

    Sept. 15, 2016. Recent data from the State Board of Education show that the graduation rate at Watauga High School reached a record high of 90.8 percent in 2016 and that Watauga County Schools students continue to exceed statewide averages on nearly every assessment measure used in NC. / Read more…



  • US News & World Report Names Lees-McRae No. 23 Best Regional College in South

    Sept. 15, 2016. LMC was named the No. 23 best regional college in the South, in a new evaluation released by U.S. News & World Report. Defined by the news site, regional colleges focus on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and professional fields such as nursing, education and business. / Read more…



  • Watauga School Board Recognitions

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Sept. 14, 2016. Tracy Markland, an Exceptional Children Program Teacher of Excellence for 2016-17; 2015-16 NC Teacher of the Year Keana Triplett; and students Kyle Hollars and Riley Underwood were honored with Certificates of Recognition for their great success in Beta Club competition. / Read more…



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