Superintendent Weekly Update

from the desk of Kathy Amos

March 17, 2023

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Leprechauns Ran Amok Today!

Arts in Our Schools Month!

In celebration of March being “Arts in Our Schools” Month, Yancey County Schools is highlighting the middle school Art class taught by Tracy Stebbeds. His program recently received specialty kilns for glass work. East Yancey and Cane River Middle Schools will both have a glass kiln in the Art classroom which Mr Stebbeds will use to teach warm glass art techniques.

Mr Stebbeds is very enthusiastic about being one of the only school districts in the country to teach glass work at the middle school level. His goal is to teach 6th, 7th, and 8th graders this art form which may develop into an advanced art class.

“We will be doing the "warm glass" method that involves "fusing" different colored and shaped pieces of glass to create items like pendants and other jewelry, as well sun catchers and small sculptural pieces, etc.” said Mr Stebbeds. “Our biggest limit is size as glass kilns tend to be smaller than ceramic kilns. We may expand into using small glass molds in the future.”

Also down the road, Mr Stebbeds is looking into more out-of-the-box types of glass work such as “Freeze and Fuse”. This method involves mixing wet powder glass and water, then packing it into a mold and freezing it. Once frozen solid, the object is popped out onto a kiln shelf and heated to fuse the frozen powder together, forming a solid glass object.

Mr Stebbeds went on to praise Assistant Superintendent Heather Cox for her work in securing the funds needed to purchase the kilns and supplies, stating, “[Mrs Cox] has been very receptive to my ideas and has been a great proponent of the Arts department…. This would not have ever been possible without her.”

YCS continues to seek new and innovative opportunities to expose our students to many different art forms and areas of study that could spark interest in a career previously unknown to them.

North Carolina School Report Cards Released

Catherine Truitt, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, states, “It is an honor to serve as the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a former teacher, a parent, and now an elected leader, I believe it is of utmost importance to share information about the online tools the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides. The NC School Report Cards website contains snapshots of information about our schools, including the school performance grade, students’ academic growth, how prepared our students are when they enter a school, and a number of other measures as well.”

Kathy Amos, Superintendent of Yancey County Schools, is pleased with the test scores results considering this is the first year out of the last four years that we have maintained a traditional school year due to COVID-19. “Despite test scores being down across the state and nation, our students continue to make growth in reading, math and science across the district. We appreciate and celebrate the dedication, commitment and hard work of our outstanding educators at every level across our school district. I am extremely proud of everyone for this incredible accomplishment.”

In comparison to other city and county districts across the state, Yancey County Schools ranked #1 in 8th Grade Science, #1 in high school Biology, and #1 for 8th Grade Math. For combined student proficiency on all state mandated assessments, YCS is now ranked 8th in the state moving up from their 9th position ranking for the previous school year. YCS is also ranked 5th in comparison to the Western and Northwest regions for reading, math and science scores. Additionally, 86% of Yancey County Schools met or exceeded growth for the 2021-22 academic year.

In the charts below, you will notice that YCS scores are higher than the state average.
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Toe River Arts Scholarships for the Arts Application Opens

Toe River Arts Scholarship for the Arts is made possible by an endowment fund held by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. These scholarships are awarded to individuals from Yancey or Mitchell County, North Carolina, who are pursuing higher education in arts or arts education. Each scholarship will be paid directly to the degree- based institution of the applicant’s attendance.


Scholarships ranging from $500-$1000 are awarded annually under the title of the Toe River Scholarships for the Arts.

Awards are open to graduating seniors, and to adult residents of Yancey or Mitchell County, North Carolina, who are pursuing higher education for arts or arts education and who are enrolled or in the process of enrolling. Previous Toe River Arts Scholarships for the Arts award winners are not eligible to apply. If the applicant is turned down for admission, the scholarship will not be allocated. Additionally, if the applicant withdraws from the arts related program, the scholarship will be returned to Toe River Arts by the granting institution.

Link to application:

Link to webpage with more information:

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Way to go, Coach B!

"My Master of Science in Sport Management degree has provided me the opportunity to shape lives currently through coaching (Lees-McRae College Men's Basketball in Banner Elk, NC) as well as teaching (Physical Education Teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary in Burnsville, NC).

As a first-time college graduate in my family, I have been blessed with positive life experiences provided through education & relationships."

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Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

Doc & Ceci Ransom Memorial Scholarship- Deadline April 11th

Claude C. Deyton Memorial Scholarship- March 23rd

Yancey County Farm Bureau Scholarship- April 7th

Ollie Ann Gowen Scholarship-Deadline April 30th

AB-Tech Foundation Scholarships- Deadline March 31st

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