Recent News

Cheryl M. Shuffler
Public Relations Officer
[email protected]
828-438-2989

Grant takes middle school teacher ‘over the moon’
03/20/2023
Andrea Gladden has dreamed of going to Space Camp since she was in the sixth grade. Some 30 years later, Gladden, who now teaches sixth graders, will have the opportunity to make that dream come true. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has named Gladden a recipient of the 2023 Career Award for STEM Teachers (CAST). The East Burke Middle School technical education and Project Lead The Way teacher will receive $175,000 over the next...
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Patton Band Director honored with prestigious award
03/01/2023
Patton High School Band Director Chad Higdon has received the Award of Excellence by the Northwest District of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association. The award was bestowed on Higdon at the recent All District Honor Band Clinic.
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Archery teams, students compete in state, qualify for nationals
02/22/2023
Burke County Public Schools archers made a great showing at the 2023 NC State NASP Bullseye Tournament in Winston-Salem Feb. 17 and 18, with teams and individuals qualifying for Nationals. East Burke High, East Burke Middle, George Hildebrand Elementary and Icard Elementary teams qualified for Nationals as did students who scored in the top 10 of their division. Nationals will be held in Kentucky May 11 - 13. Individual qualifiers are:
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BCPS annual food drive nets 47,200 pounds of nonperishables
02/21/2023
Burke County Public Schools completed its ninth annual Souperintendent’s Souper Bowl Canned-Food Drive on Feb. 10. Last week, 47,200 pounds of food collected in the drive made its way to five local charities benefiting from the food drive: Burke United Christian Ministries, Glen Alpine United Methodist Church,
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Elementary students awarded at science fair
02/17/2023
Burke County Public Schools recently held its annual Elementary School Science Fair awards ceremony at the Old Rock School in Valdese. There were a total of 56 projects representing all 14 elementary schools and Burke Virtual Academy. The science projects showcased unique experiments including bridge strength, phases of the moon, burn time of different candles and more.
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BCPS earns statewide recognition for outstanding communication
02/16/2023
The North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA) has honored Burke County Public Schools for excellence in communications. Burke County Public Schools earned a total of seven Blue Ribbon Awards for outstanding and effective communication. NCSPRA presented the awards during a special ceremony held in High Point, North Carolina on Feb. 10, 2023.
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Energy savings program hits the $30 million mark
02/13/2023
From something as small as a lightbulb to something as large as a heating and air system, going green has paid off for Burke County Public Schools. Since 2009, the school district has teamed up with Cenergistic to partner in energy conservation. And over the past 13.5 years, the savings have added up to more than $30 million.
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BCPS adds the Pig Rig to cafeteria lineup
02/07/2023
Burke County Public Schools is adding a new chef to the kitchen, the Pig Rig. This mobile propane grill will travel to schools serving smoked meats for lunch on Premium Days, a monthly event when BCPS cafeterias offer students a premium entree choice at regular price. Burke County Public Schools Child Nutrition Director Daniel Wall said, “Feeding students healthy, delicious meals is our main goal, and we’ve found some cool ways to do that.
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Young archers compete at East Burke Middle
01/26/2023
East Burke Middle School hosted the second annual Eastern Burke Archery Tournament on Saturday. The tournament featured 556 archers from 26 schools, including 10 elementary schools, seven middle schools and five high schools. There were 255 female archers and 301 male archers.
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Patton names Goggio as head football coach
01/24/2023
Patton High School Principal Dr. Dillon Sain announces Ryan Goggio as the Panthers new head football coach. Goggio was most recently the varsity defensive coordinator at East Lincoln High School, where the team had an undefeated 16-0 record last year and finished first in 3A with a State Championship. Goggio started his teaching career in 2017 in Lincoln County and football coaching career 12 years ago.
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Drexel’s Gravel named Regional Principal of the Year
01/04/2023
Drexel Elementary School Principal Jessie Gravel has been named Regional Principal of the Year for the Northwest Regional Education Service Alliance (NWRESA). The surprise announcement came during a student assembly at Drexel Elementary School, where Gravel has been the principal since 2019.
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Young scientists compete in annual fair
12/12/2022
Is curry calming? Are bees colorblind? Can color change tastes? Burke County middle schoolers asked these and other intriguing questions as part of their projects in the annual Continental Middle School Science Fair. Burke County Public Schools, in partnership with Continental, hosted the annual middle school science fair ...
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Middle, elementary school speech contest winners announced
12/05/2022
Middle and elementary school students took to the stage this week for the annual Burke County Public Schools Speech Contest. The two separate speech contests were held at the Old Rock School in Valdese on Tuesday for middle school and Wednesday for elementary school. A panel of judges scored the contestants’ speeches and delivery based on volume, posture, clarity, expression, etc. Three students were awarded first, second or third in each category.
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Trio of TA’s gains teacher licensure together
10/28/2022
Three former teacher assistants at Drexel Elementary School now each have a classroom and students to call their own. Kimberly Hogan, Jessica Smith and Amy Smith have recently received their teaching license after pursuing their dreams together. One pathway to becoming a teacher is graduating from high school, getting a four-year education degree and landing a teaching job, but for many in the past couple years that has not been the case.
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Heritage Middle student wins spelling bee
10/28/2022
A student from Heritage Middle School was named winner of the Burke County Public Schools Spelling Bee on Monday evening. Madelyn H, after seven rounds, won the bee by spelling the word “pasteurize”. The event was held at Patton High School with each elementary and middle school bringing their individual school winner to compete.
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Hildebran 5th grader rides his way to a world championship
10/27/2022
It takes about 8 seconds to tie a shoelace, form a first impression or get bored with a video. For Hildebran Elementary School fifth grader William Buff, it takes exactly 8 seconds to win championships. William, 10, has been riding the rodeo circuits since he was 3 years old. He started on sheep and advanced to horses and now half ton steers. Earlier this month, William became a two-time World Champion
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Drexel’s Gravel named BCPS Principal of the Year
10/06/2022
Burke County Public Schools has named Drexel Elementary School Principal Jessie Gravel the 2022-2023 Principal of the Year for the district. Gravel’s fellow Burke County Public Schools principals nominated her for the honor, and she was chosen to represent the district at the regional Principal of the Year level following an interview panel session. Gravel said of the honor, “Burke County Public Schools principals are the best of the best, so it is truly a humbling experience to be nominated by such an incredible group of people.
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East Burke Middle School’s Chris Hanifin named New Teacher of the Year
09/16/2022
Sixth grade social studies teacher Chris Hanifin is this year’s Burke County Public Schools Beginning Teacher of the Year. Hanifin has been teaching since February 2021 and teaches at East Burke Middle School. Originally from Fort Plain, New York, he graduated with a master’s degree in secondary education from Goddard College and a bachelor’s of arts in communication from State University of New York at Geneseo.
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Free Fridays and new options in BCPS cafeterias
09/16/2022
Free Fridays and premium meals are coming to a Burke County Public Schools cafeteria near you. The Child Nutrition Department, in partnership with Chartwells K12, will offer free lunch to all students on the last Friday of each month and is adding more premium entree options and special treats to the serving lines. The enhanced cafe experiences come courtesy of a Child Nutrition budget surplus; therefore, no extra costs will be passed on to the students.
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Nonprofit donates fresh produce, former student returns to roots
09/08/2022
In addition to meeting teachers and receiving school supply lists, Forest Hill Elementary School families received a bonus at the school’s open house: fresh produce to take home. Former Forest Hill student Jenner Wall and the nonprofit she runs – Community Kindness, Inc. – supplied the produce. Wall started the nonprofit almost two and a half years ago in the Charlotte area and wanted to return to her roots in Burke County.
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State releases accountability reports
09/01/2022
The North Carolina State Board of Education released the state’s accountability report today, showing that overall students in the state and in Burke County improved their performance on state tests during the 2021-22 school year compared to the previous year’s COVID steep decline, and schools achieved growth almost on par with pre-pandemic levels.
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Top 10 list for getting the school year off to a great start
08/26/2022
As we prepare to welcome students back to class on Monday, Aug. 29, we have compiled a list that will help you and your family navigate a new school year. 1. Burke County Public Schools officially launched “Our All-in Promise 2023-2028 District Strategic Plan” over the summer. It focuses on people and relationships, academic opportunities for all, all around well-being and all schools connected to the community.
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Trauma Kit Donation
08/23/2022
UNC Health Blue Ridge, in partnership with Burke County Public Schools, has provided compact trauma kits for each school in the district. The kits are equipped with tourniquets, compression bandages and special gauze to prevent excessive blood loss. “We felt compelled to help with the purchase of these kits for our schools,” said Drew Thomas, Chief Ambulatory Officer and VP of the Medical Group. “These kits can be used if a child gets hurt in any situation, like playing sports or...
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Board adopts new cell phone policy
07/20/2022
Burke County Public Schools students will be required to follow a new cell phone policy when school starts on Aug. 29. Student cell phones will not be allowed in classrooms during instruction time, unless they are being used for instructional purposes. The new policy gives teachers authority to confiscate cell phones and turn them over to parents at the end of the school day.
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BCPS approves New Strategic Plan
07/07/2022
The Burke County Board of Education approved the district’s next five-year strategic plan on Monday, June 27. The plan has three main goals and will take effect for the 2022-2023 school year. In his message to the community regarding the plan, Superintendent Dr. Mike Swan said, “In 2017, Burke County Public Schools released its first strategic plan in recent memory. For five years, that plan has served us well.
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In compliance with federal law, Burke County Public Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities, and admissions without discrimination against any person based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.