Welcome back! School starts Monday, August 26

Published 8:39 pm Sunday, August 25, 2019

Superintendents from Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties have shared the following welcome letters for students and parents. Also, check out our Back to School guide here for safety tips and more.

Welcome message from Dare Co. Schools Superintendent Dr. John D. Farrelly

Dare County Families,

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Summer has flown by! Now, it is time to prepare for the start of another exciting and productive school year. As you read this, many of your children and grandchildren are soaking up the remaining days of summer break. I’m sure you can remember those days when we were kids. For me, the first day of school always brought a particular excitement. I remember wondering who I would sit with at lunch, how I would do in Mrs. Baden’s Math class because she had the reputation of being the strictest Math teacher in seventh grade, and thinking about my gratitude for the chance to start over each year. I’m sure your children are thinking about similar things.

As parents and caretakers, you play one of the most important roles in your child’s education. I want to invite each of you to join us as an equal partner during this academic school year. Your child’s success in school depends on both of us. By working together, I know we can ensure that every child in Dare County Schools has a productive and positive school year.

Recently, a national report listed Dare County Schools as the sixth-best school district in North Carolina, out of 115 districts. I am proud of this accomplishment. However, I know that we have everything we need to be ranked as number one. And, that is our goal – continuous improvement. Together, we can build extraordinary schools. To support our continued growth and improvement, the Board of Education approved a new five-year strategic plan for our schools. I invite you to read the plan and give us your suggestions and feedback. It is a bold and ambitious plan, but our children deserve nothing less.

I want to invite you to join us at your school’s open house. This will be a time for you to meet your child’s teacher and principal. A complete list of dates and times for open house can be found on this website.

I am grateful for the trust that you place in our teachers and administrators. I count it as the greatest honor of my professional career to serve as your superintendent. Please know that my door is always open.

Thank you and take care,



Welcome message from Hyde County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight

To the Students, Parents, and Staff Members of Hyde County Schools:

First of all, let me thank you each and every one of you for the warm welcome I have received since being named Superintendent of Hyde County Schools. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know so many of you and look forward to working with each of you! It is truly a pleasure to work with and for people to whom education means so much!

Congratulations on being a partner in our educational community at this very special moment in Hyde County Schools. You have the honor of being a part of changing the pathway to success for all the students in Hyde County. A point where we will turn the page on the past, set our sights on a brighter future, raise the bar on our expectations of what is possible for our students. Our goal will be to provide all students with what they need, how they need it, when they need it, one student at a time.

With Mattamuskeet Early College already in session, our Beaufort Community College students starting this week, and our staff and students at Ocracoke School and Mattamuskeet Elementary all returning in the next two weeks, we are “chomping at the bit” to introduce the new and improved Hyde County Schools! I am thrilled to show everyone some of the new things we are bringing in to grow our district’s vision of “Growth Mindset”, “Personalization”, and “Doing what is best for students!”

I would like to welcome all of new staff members and thank them for joining us on this wonderful adventure! To our parents and community members, I want to encourage you to reach out to our building level administration and teaching staff to join us in educating your children. Principal Leslie Cole (Ocracoke), Principal Allison Etheridge (Mattamuskeet Elementary) and our newest administrator, Principal Wesley Floyd (Mattamuskeet Early College) will always be open to hearing from you and addressing any questions or concerns about our schools.

Our Administrators and Instructors have been hard at work this summer preparing to introduce our students to the new North Carolina required IStation for Kindergarten through Second grade, our new iReady curriculum for Kindergarten through Eighth Grades, new textbooks for Ninth through Twelfth Grades and a new Middle School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Lab at Mattamuskeet Early College. Our students will be given the opportunity to achieve career certifications from Career and Technical Education courses and/or complete college credits and even an Associate’s Degree through our partnership with Beaufort County Community College.

We will be increasing the amount and frequency of professional development opportunities for our staff to train and equip them with the latest tools necessary to provide the highest quality education for each of our students.

As your Superintendent, I am committed to providing whatever it takes for our students to be successful. I believe in the effectiveness of “Doing what’s best for students!” I believe in the power of teamwork and a personal willingness to grow and improve on a daily basis. Our Growth Mindset initiative will apply to everything we do as a school: academics, behavior, athletics, relationships, anti-bullying, and post-secondary preparation. The only requirement, our only request is that you “try.” Everyone can benefit from this; if you will just try. The turnaround of Hyde County Schools may not happen at the blinding speed I might wish for, but I assure you, it will happen!

I am excited that Opening Day is just around the corner and that all of our staff and students will soon be back in our schools. I look forward to getting into every classroom and watching the learning take place. Have a great last few days of summer break! This is going to be a fantastic year in Hyde County Schools!

Steve Basnight, Superintendent

Hyde County Schools


Welcome letter from Tyrrell County Public Schools Superintendent Oliver A. Holley

Greetings to the Tyrrell County Schools Family:

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! It is a continued honor that I have to serve you. I would like to welcome both our returning families and those who are new to our system.

Our administrators, teachers and staff have spent a great deal of time this summer preparing for the upcoming year and the return of our students. I am confident that this school year will be a success. We’re excited to welcome new staff members and administrators to our great district and look forward to the great things that will come.

The start of a new school year is a wonderful time of year that allows us to develop new goals, build strong relationships and embark upon new challenges. As a district, we are focused on the academic and social development of our students. While improving student achievement is an essential part of our mission, we know that we must focus on the social and emotional needs of our students as well.

During this school year, regular interactions with school staff and students within the school buildings will be one of my priorities. Another priority is to increase communication with our stakeholders through a variety of methods. Communicating effectively and providing quality service to our schools, families, and community will provide great benefits to all of our children.

The motto for the success of our school year is Engage, Empower, Educate. As we begin this new year, I look forward to working together to reach and surpass our goals. Have a wonderful school year!!


Oliver A. Holley




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