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Last Thursday, Macon County Schools’ new superintendent, Dr. Chris Baldwin visited the League of Women Voter's monthly meeting to give those in attendance an update of the current state of schools in the county.

Baldwin is a native of Nantahala and has been a lifelong educator. He officially took on the role of superintendent on July 1 of this year. He graduated from Nantahala School in 1986 and returned to teach at the small school. Before becoming superintendent, he served as a teacher and principal in Nantahala. He has served as principal of Franklin High School for the last two years. In 2005 and 2008, he was named Principal of the Year.

Of the highlights detailed about the county schools, Baldwin noted that the high school currently graduates 86.1 percent of its students and in doing so produces the highest reading scores in the western part of the state.


Constitution Week is a national observance to remember and recognize the adoption of the United States Constitution. Each year, Sept. 17 to 23 is designated as Constitution Week around the country.

The week of observance was officially enacted on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it was George W. Bush who officially declared the inception of Constitution Week in September 2002.


Macon County Schools announced last week that South Macon Elementary School teacher Melissa Faetz was named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year and East Franklin Elementary School Principal Shirely Parks was named Principal of the Year.

“Shirley Parks has served the students of Macon County for 29 years,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “She began her career as a teacher assistant at Otto School in August 1984 and went on to serve as a teacher at that school and Union Elementary through July of 2000.  She transitioned to South Macon Elementary in 2000 and then on to Cartoogechaye Elementary School in 2003.  She went on to become the Lead Teacher/Assistant Principal of Cartoogechaye in June of 2006.  She continued in this role until July of 2011 when Ms. Parks was named principal of East Franklin Elementary School.  Ms. Parks is well-respected as an outstanding educator who has consistently put the needs of her students first throughout her career.”


During its August meeting, the Macon County Board of Education gave the unanimous consensus for school board attorney John Henning Jr. to draft a resolution for a policy change that would ban guns on school campuses.

Under the new law, G.S. 14-269.2, individuals who hold a concealed carry permit, are legally permitted to bring a concealed gun onto school campuses as long as the gun remains in a locked compartment in or attached to a locked vehicle.

The president of Grass Roots North Carolina and executive director of Rights Watch International, F. Paul Valone, sent a letter to Macon County School Board Chairman Jim Breedlove informing the board that if they choose to move forward with a policy change banning guns on school campuses, GRNC would take action against the county.


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