Scott Elliott named superintendent of schools by WCBOE
by Allison Haver
Elliott was most recently the assistant superintendent for Transylvania County Schools in Brevard.
"This is where he wanted to be and this was the only place he applied to and that was impressive to me," Delora Hodges, school board vice chairwoman, said.
"He said he doesn't make decisions in isolation, but wants the input of others," she said.
Hodges said she was also impressed with Elliott's willingness to listen to what stakeholders, such as parents and teachers, think.
"He has a deep understanding of our western mountain culture and he expects excellence of himself and will expect excellence of our schools," she said.
Board member Brenda Reece said she was looking for integrity in regards to a new superintendent and that Elliott would bring a lot of the traits that the Watauga County Schools need.
Elliott, who was joined by his family and several mentors Thursday at the school board offices, said that he was looking forward to working with the school system and serving the community.
The board also thanked David Fonseca for his service as interim superintendent.
Elliott also served as the director of secondary education, career technical education and student services for Transylvania County Schools, and in January of 2010 was appointed to the board of trustees for Blue Ridge Community College.
Elliott earned the master of arts in education, education specialist and doctor of education degrees from Western Carolina University and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
A native of Marion, he graduated from McDowell High School in 1992.
Elliott has been a former teacher, assistant principal and principal for Transylvania County Schools. In 2000, he was named Teacher of the Year for TCS.
Prior to teaching in Transylvania County Schools, he worked as an instructor for Blue Ridge Community College.
More than 20 candidates applied for the superintendent position and the school board met in multiple closed session meetings to review the applicants.
A high turnover rate has been the trend in the past few years for the leading position of Watauga County Schools with two superintendents and two interim superintendents serving.
In September 2011, Marty Hemric, who was hired for the position in 2008, announced he was leaving to head the Wilkes County School system.
Dick Jones, a former superintendent at WCS, came out of retirement to fill the position in the interim until David Kafitz was hired in June 2012.
David Fonseca, Watauga County School's current interim superintendent assumed leadership of Watauga County Schools in late March 2013, when the school system announced a $186,110 buyout of Kafitz's contract attributable to public complaints about his exchanges with community members.
Fonseca's contract expires June 30 and Elliott will take over as the new superintendent beginning July 1.
Elliott's four-year contract, which he signed Thursday, includes a base salary of $130,600 plus standard benefits according to Watauga County Schools.