Notes from Yancey School Board Monthly Meeting

The regular monthly meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education was held in the gymnasium of South Toe Elementary School on Monday, April 15, 2024.

STES Change Order

Facilities Director Derek Murphy presented a change order from Harper General Contractors to add a booster pump and leak detection device at South Toe Elementary School to help address the low water pressure and minimize water loss as a result of running water. The Board unanimously approved this change order.

Architect for Barn Project RFQ

Mrs. Amos informed the Board that the Barn project at MHHS is continuing to progress. The next step would be to issue an RFQ for architectural services. The Board was in agreement with this and Mrs. Amos will move forward with issuing the RFQ.

South Toe Fire Department

Mrs. Amos reported that she had met with members of the South Toe fire department along with Chairman Fortner regarding the amount of land used by the fire department. YCS entered into an agreement with the South Toe fire department to allow them to use a portion of the South Toe School property in 1975. Now, the fire department desires to apply for a grant which would provide a new, larger building with more parking space and a helipad. To make this expansion possible, the fire department has requested more land from YCS. Mrs. Amos and her team will continue to evaluate the needs of the fire department, consult with NCDPI School Planning to meet the school district’s future needs and work toward a solution together.


Mrs. Amos reported that more work had been completed over Spring Break at South Toe and East Yancey. Mr. Murphy reviewed a list of items which included new HVAC equipment and duct work, new ceiling grid system and tiles, and new fixtures and lights in a test room at EYMS, and replacement of several exterior doors. New fixtures and lights were installed at STES. The work also included site preparation at Burnsville Elementary for the 23,000 square foot addition to begin this spring.

Orr Building Update

Mr. Murphy reported that the topographical survey at the Orr Building site was completed and had been sent to the CDC for approval. Young & McQueen continues to work with the architect on the plans that will be submitted to NCDPI.

Welcome & Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Edwin Fortner welcomed everyone to the meeting. Students from South Toe Elementary led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Good News

Lego Professional Development

Mrs. Amos reported that Burnsville Elementary had successfully hosted the first round of professional development for the new Lego program. YCS received a grant for $93,488 for this program to be implemented over the next three years. Mrs. Amos thanked Mrs. Andrea Allen and Dr. Brent Laws for their work in securing the funds and implementing this new learning resource for our students.

World Peace Games

Mrs. Amos recognized Ms. Julia Silvers, Mrs. Rene Smith and Miss Danielle Cripps for the World Peace Games they hosted with their students. The game gives children the opportunity to communicate more effectively with each other while learning to “extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity.”

Danielle Cripps

Mrs. Amos congratulated Miss Danielle Cripps for successfully passing the AIG (Academically or Intellectually Gifted) Praxis exam. 

Yancey Fund Grant for Elementary STEM

Mrs. Amos congratulated Mrs. Andrea Allen and Mr. Robert Branch for receiving a grant in the amount of $7,000 for their Elementary Schools STEM Education Enhancement Project. This grant was awarded by the Yancey Fund fromThe Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (“CFWNC”). This grant will provide funding for STEM activities such as Makey-Makey kits and MakerSpace supplies. Our elementary students are learning to problem solve, communicate, think critically, redesign and create while participating in hands-on projects in our MakerSpaces.

Superintendent Updates

Teacher Working Conditions Survey

Mrs. Amos reported that 98.95% of YCS teachers had completed the Teacher Working Conditions Survey. She thanked the teachers for their feedback and taking the time to fill out the survey. This data is used by the school principals and school teams to make overall improvements.

Teacher Leaders Forum

Mrs. Amos thanked the Teachers of the Year for meeting with her throughout the school year and sharing their time, feedback and synergy. The different points of view help to provide impactful results for YCS staff and students.

Thank You to Yancey County Commissioners

Mrs. Amos thanked the Yancey County Commissioners for their support in helping YCS provide a 5% match on a $3 million grant request submitted to NCDPI for the addition at Blue Ridge Elementary School. This addition will provide extra classroom space for Pre K expansion as well as more classrooms for our growing student population.

Pre K/Kindergarten Enrollment Day Success

Mrs. Amos reported that the enrollment day was a great success. YCS had 120 students register for kindergarten and 35 Pre K applications submitted. Please call each school or (828) 682-6101 if you would like to enroll your child in a Yancey County School.

NCDPI Draft Report: State of the Teaching Profession in NC

Mrs. Amos reported that NCDPI has released a draft report regarding the teacher attrition rate statewide and in each school district. Yancey County Schools are ranked #1 and have the lowest attrition rate in the state of 4.2%.  She thanked our teachers and employees for choosing and staying in YCS. 

Old Business

YCS Website

Mrs. Amos requested that the Board approve the purchase of Apptegy software, the website design company that had been presented previously. This approval would allow Mrs. Sonya Wheat and Mrs. Marie Anglin to begin the design process and transfer of documents and information now in order for the website to launch in the summer. The new website will be more secure and meet our required federal guidelines for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA compliance). The Board unanimously approved this purchase.

New Business

Pre K Teachers Supplement

Mrs. Amos requested that the Board approve a supplement for Pre K teachers that would match the state supplement received by K-12 teachers. The state did not include Pre K teachers in their allocation but Mrs. Amos stated she felt they deserved to receive the same amount that the K-12 teachers received. The Board unanimously approved this expenditure.

Public Input


Kim Silvers – CTE Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Amos recognized Mrs. Kim Silvers for receiving the NCCAT CTE Teacher of the Year award for Yancey County. Mrs. Silvers is a Computer Science and Information Technology Instructor at MHHS. She will go on to represent YCS in the region and the state. Congratulations Mrs. Silvers!

Informational Items

MHHS Senior Breakfast and Signing Day will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024 in the gym from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Parents and local business leaders are invited to attend the celebration at 8:30 a.m. in the gymnasium.

The YCS Board of Education will have a Spring Retreat planning session on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the YCS Tech Building from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024 in the auditorium of Mountain Heritage High School. Work Session will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by the Regular Meeting at 6:00 pm.

PUBLIC INPUT – To sign up for public input, please call 828-682-6101 ext. 102 by 3:00 pm on the day of the meeting. A sign-up sheet will also be available at the meeting location from 4:00-5:50 pm prior to the meeting.