About Us‎ > ‎

District News

Cheryl M. Shuffler
Public Relations Officer
Burke County Public Schools
(w) 438-2989 | (c) 432-6212

Burke County Board of Education Meeting

posted Jan 19, 2018, 12:57 PM by Bcps Bcps

Public Notice:  The Burke County Board of Education will meet on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 6:00 PM.  The meeting will be held in the Auditorium at Patton High School, 701 Enola Road, Morganton, NC.  The Agenda is below

Burke County Board of Education Meeting

posted Jan 12, 2018, 12:00 PM by Melanie Honeycutt

Public Notice:  The Burke County Board of Education

will meet on    

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 6:00 PM.

The Agenda is below

Teacher starts nonprofit to give kids beds

posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:09 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


             Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback has founded a nonprofit organization to give homeless students beds. He said becoming aware of the growing numbers of homeless young people prompted him to take action.

Barnsback said, “After learning about several students that are homeless/transient or sharing beds with adults and younger students, I solicited donations for a set of bunk beds, mattresses and linens. While this made life easier for one family, it revealed the depth and complexities of student homelessness. Requests for beds started coming to me at an alarming rate.”

            When Barnsback learned that one of his son’s friends is one of these families, doing nothing was no longer an option. He said, “How can we expect kids to dream about the future when they don’t even have their own bed?”

Barnsback founded One Head-One Bed as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing portable beds to homeless students in public schools. He said, “No matter where they stay, students should always have the comfort and security of sleeping in their own bed.” Barnsback reached out to a friend at Disc-o-Bed, and a natural partnership was formed.

With the help of generous donations from the Valdese Rotary, One Head-One Bed provided beds for eight homeless students in Burke County Public Schools before Christmas.

Mike Swan, director of student services for Burke County Public Schools, oversees the district’s McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act and delivered the beds to the Burke County students helped by One Head-One Bed. Swan said students who meet McKinney-Vento criteria include those who are living in a shelter, motel, campground or are doubled up with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship. The federal McKinney-Vento act first passed in 1987 and provides educational rights to students no matter their living situation. Those rights include school enrollment, transportation and services.


More information visit:






To contribute:


Contact Tim Barnsback:



Photos: ​Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback and several of his students accept a donation from Valdese Rotary for One Head - One Bed, a nonprofit organization that gives homeless students beds.


Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback and Burke County Public Schools Director of Student Services Mike Swan prepare to deliver beds to students before Christmas. Barnsback started One Head - One Bed, a nonprofit organization that gives homeless students beds.


Burke Middle College’s Lisa Wall named Regional Teacher of the Year

posted Dec 12, 2017, 5:28 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


Burke County Public Schools’ teacher of the year, Lisa Wall, has been named the Northwest Region / District 7 Teacher of the Year. North Carolina’s current Teacher of the Year, Lisa Godwin, made the surprise announcement at Burke Middle College on the campus of Western Piedmont Community College on Monday during a student assembly. Wall is the English Language Arts teacher at Burke Middle College and has 22.5 years of experience teaching.

Godwin told the students at the assembly that Wall is now in the running for the next North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Godwin said, “I don’t know if you realize how enormous this is, but there are over 90,000 teachers in the state of North Carolina, and through this process we found nine teachers, and your very own Lisa Wall is one of those nine.”

Godwin read quotes from students and peers who were part of the Regional Teacher of the Year interview process. They included: “Nobody gets as excited as she does when she reads a book.” And, “She sees the best in everyone and everything.”

Wall also is described as a teacher who makes lessons exciting, inspires students to want to learn, has a contagious, can-do attitude, jumps in and gets the job done when she sees that something needs to be done and is what the school system is all about.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam was among those who surprised Wall with the announcement Monday. He said to her students, “I always say, ‘be passionate about what you want to do, and you’ll figure out a way to make money at it.’ Mrs. Wall is very, very passionate about what she does.”

Wall said it is a “huge honor” to be named one of the nine regional teachers of the year across the state, but told her students, “It’s an honor for me to be your teacher everyday.”

She said, “This is not just a job to me, this is something that I love. In all of the process going through this for regional teacher of the year, I have thought of my students. It’s a blessing to be able to have an impact on your lives everyday.”

Wall has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a National Board Certified teacher and is licensed to teach Advanced Placement classes. She started her teaching career at Forsyth County Schools in 1992 and came to Burke County Public Schools as a high school English teacher in 1998. Wall has taught at East Burke High, Draughn High and Burke Middle. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and the North Carolina English Teachers Association and has been a presenter at various district, regional and state conferences.

Wall has left her mark on Burke Middle College everyday in the classroom as well as through a textbook scholarship program and by composing the school’s alma mater. At Burke Middle College, high school juniors and seniors work to complete their high school diploma as well as a two-year associate’s degree.

Joining in on the surprise announcement on Monday was Wall’s family, including her husband, Tripp, her daughters, Scarlett and Molly, her parents Tom and Mary Keller and her in-laws Trossie and Joyce Wall.

Two years ago, East Burke High School Principal Shane Mace, then at East Burke Middle, was named Region 7 Principal of the Year and last year Putnam was named Region 7 Superintendent of the year. Burke County has had one state Teacher of the Year in its history - high school music teacher James Jerome Williams in 1982. Wall is now eligible for North Carolina Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in the spring.

The Burke County Board of Education Public Notice

posted Dec 8, 2017, 3:59 PM by Melanie Honeycutt

The Burke County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting on Monday December 11, 2017 at 6pm in the Olive Hill Room at the Olive Hill Resource Center, 509 West Concord Street, Morganton.  The purpose of the meeting will be to decide the future of Rutherford College Elementary School.  Action will be taken. 

Burke County Schools to improve outdoor activity spaces

posted Dec 6, 2017, 2:05 PM by Cheryl Shuffler

15 schools to benefit from Healthy Places NC grant


            Fifteen schools in the Burke County Public Schools district will receive funding to add or update outdoor activity spaces for student as well as community use. The funds are a result of a $555,169 grant to Burke County Schools from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam informed the Board of Education of the grant award during the Nov. 27 board work session. Burke County Public Schools will provide a $61,686 match for the grant. In addition to athletic equipment, tracks and courts, the funds will go toward playground equipment, including some for children with disabilities, a football field restroom and a kids fitness course.

Putnam said, “This generous grant will allow us to establish and update areas where our students as well as community members can enjoy the opportunity to walk, play basketball, play on playgrounds and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are very grateful for the folks at the Trust for granting our proposal, and we are looking forward to getting started on these projects.”

This investment is part of Healthy Places NC—the Trust’s long-term commitment to improving the health of residents in the state’s rural, under-resourced counties  

“The improved school recreation areas and walking tracks are just one example of the community coming together to tackle health issues, and the Trust is committed to supporting Burke County on this journey,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “There is a joint use agreement between the Parks and Recreation Department and the local Little League that will open these facilities up to the entire community. That’s the kind of community collaboration and systems improvement we had in mind when we launched Healthy Places NC.”

The timeline for the projects includes starting them during the 2018-19 school year with some going into the 2019-2020 school year. The schools and projects are:

·      Forest Hill Elementary - Install backstops and other athletic field equipment (soccer goals, etc) for community and recreational use. Pave a walking track for families and community members to use.

·      Oak Hill Elementary - Install a walking track for student and community use. Purchase and install new playground equipment for school and community use.

·      Ray Childers Elementary - Install a walking track for school and community use. Install athletic fields for recreational and community use. Install backstops on the softball fields. Install outside basketball courts and goals.

·      Drexel Elementary - Resurface the walking track. Purchase and install new playground equipment for one of the playgrounds at the school.

·      George Hildebrand Elementary - Repave the walking track. Improve the basketball area at the walking track by repaving the surface and installing new goals. Purchase and install updated playground equipment.

·      Glen Alpine Elementary - Purchase and install new playground equipment. Resurface outdoor basketball courts and update goals. Resurface walking track. Install a restroom at the football field.

·      Hildebran Elementary - Install a walking track for school and community use around the football field. Purchase and install updated playground equipment. Update dugout areas at the baseball and softball fields. Resurface small walking track at Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten playground.

·      Icard Elementary - Resurface the basketball courts and replace the goals. Install new backstop on the baseball field.

·      Mull Elementary - Install a walking trail with fitness stations open to the community.

·      North Liberty - Purchase and install playground equipment that is more accessible for students with disabilities. The equipment will be designed to fit the needs of the students.

·      Valdese Elementary - Resurface the walking track located at the athletic field. Resurface and update outside basketball courts and goals.

·      WA Young Elementary - Purchase and install a Kids Fitness Course for the walking track that the students and community may use while walking the track.

·      Hillcrest Elementary - Repave basketball courts and update goals. Purchase and install new playground equipment.

·      Table Rock Middle - Total resurface of the walking track due to poor track conditions / large cracks in surface.

·      Hallyburton Academy - Resurface walking track.

The Burke County Board of Education

posted Dec 5, 2017, 8:24 AM by Melanie Honeycutt

The Burke County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting on Thursday, December 7, 2017 to tour Rutherford College and Valdese Elementary Schools. The Board will begin at Rutherford College Elementary School at 11:00AM located at 170 Honeycutt Drive, Rutherford College, NC 28671. No action will be taken.

Board of Education Public Notice

posted Dec 1, 2017, 12:19 PM by Bcps Bcps

There will be a Community Meeting/Public Hearing regarding Rutherford College Elementary School.  The meeting will be held Monday December 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Rutherford College Elementary School, 170 Honeycutt Drive, Rutherford College NC.  The board will hear public comments regarding the future of Rutherford College Elementary School including its possible closure.  Everyone is invited to attend.  A draft study regarding issues related to the future use or closure of Rutherford College Elementary is available on the district webpage at www.burke.k12.nc.us.  

Burke County Board of Education Meeting

posted Dec 1, 2017, 11:57 AM by Bcps Bcps

The Burke County Board of Education will meet on Monday December 4, 2017 at 5pm.  The meeting will be held in the Olive Hill room at the Olive Hill Resource Center, 509 West Concord Street Morganton NC.

Accentuate the Positive Briefs for the week of Nov. 27

posted Nov 27, 2017, 8:39 AM by Cheryl Shuffler

Budding artist receives exclusive training

 A Draughn High School student is getting help honing his art skills and learning soft skills along the way. Jalen K., a junior, was accepted to an art training program through the Old School Studio. He is one of only six people selected to the program.

Jalen’s teacher at Draughn, Peggy Younce, credits Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services and the Burke Arts Council for recognizing Jalen’s talents and connecting him with the Old School Studio.

Younce said, “Jalen’s artistic abilities scream talent. A VR representative noticed those talents and behind the scenes used her knowledge of the local businesses to arrange for the training opportunity. Hopefully it will lead to an internship or apprenticeship for Jalen. Through a VR workshop, Jalen is learning new workplace skills and doing a great job. What a wonderful opportunity that may open doors for his future. Success stories like Jalen’s is why I do the job I do.”

The Old School Studio is an arts advocacy group that seeks to sponsor artist, provide mentors and facilitates projects between community members and students. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides counseling, training, education, transportation, job placement, assistive technology and other support services to people with disabilities.



Mull student holds second annual blanket drive

A Mull Elementary School student who collected more than 120 blankets for the homeless last year is holding his second annual blanket drive now through Dec. 11. William Patrick H.’s goal this year is 150 blankets. The first grader started this project last year as a kindergartener after he saw some homeless people on the side of the street. His mom Angela, Mull's Title 1 specialist, said that moved William Patrick to collect blankets for them to keep them warm. Last year, half of the blankets he collected went to The House of Refuge for men and the other half to The Meeting House a Homeless Shelter for women and children. Both shelters are located in Morganton. Dr. Larry Putnam said, “I am very proud of William Patrick's leadership and the support he gets from the students, staff, and Mull community.  What a great time of the year to help those in need.” Contact ahappoldt@burke.k12.nc.us to arrange pick up for the blankets or deliver them to Mull Elementary School. Burke County Public Schools Superintendent



Freedom student attends Governor’s Page Program

Freedom High School Emma J. attended the Governor’s Page Program in Raleigh the week of Nov. 13. The Governor’s Page Program helps high school students learn about state government in North Carolina and assist staff in the governor’s office. Emma said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to find my way around downtown Raleigh and learn about careers within the government. I shared this experience with six other students that were mostly from surrounding Raleigh counties. While pages, we took tours of the Legislative Building, State Capitol Building, NC Museum of History, the Executive Mansion and many other important buildings in downtown Raleigh. We met with Governor Roy Cooper, Judge Chris Dillon from the NC Court of Appeals, a speaker from the NC Center for Safer Schools, Deputy Agriculture Commissioner David Smith, and many others throughout the week. Talking to and taking pictures with the Governor was an interesting experience as he talked with us about future leaders and how we can help to shape our future. I would have never been exposed to the jobs and people if I hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunity presented to me.” 

1-10 of 195