Wilkes County Schools (North Carolina)

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Wilkes County Schools
Wilkes County, NC
United States
District information
Grades PK–12
Superintendent Marty T. Hemric
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Schools 22
Budget $ 93,091,000
District ID 3704950[1]
Students and staff
Students 10,374
Teachers 639.52 (on FTE basis)
Staff 690.30 (on FTE basis)
Student-teacher ratio 16.22:1
Other information
Website www.wilkes.k12.nc.us

The Wilkes County Schools system is a PK12 graded school district in North Carolina covering nearly all of Wilkes County. The third-largest employer in the county, the district manages 22 schools that serve 10,374 students as of 2010–11.


The history of public education in Wilkes County really began shortly after the state passed its first common school law in 1839. The state was then divided into several school districts.[2]

As late as the 1930s, Wilkes county had as many as 151 one- or two-teacher schoolhouses. Over the next few decades, a general move toward school system consolidation, as well as racial integration, culminated in the merger of the county system with city school system of North Wilkesboro.[3] Prior to 1975, North Wilkesboro had its own separate school system called North Wilkesboro City Schools. Facing increasing expenses with school construction and repair, the two boards merged on July 1, 1975.[4][5]

The Wilkes County Schools system is the third-largest employer in Wilkes County.[6]

Student demographics[edit]

For the 2010–11 school year, Wilkes County Schools had a total population of 10,374 students and 639.52 teachers on a (FTE) basis. This produced a student-teacher ratio of 16.22:1.[1] That same year, out of the student total, the gender ratio was 51% male to 49% female. The demographic group makeup was: White, 81%; Hispanic, 11%; Black, 4%; American Indian, <1%, and Asian/Pacific Islander, <1%; two or more races: 3%).[7]

Governance and funding[edit]

The primary governing body of Wilkes County Schools follows a council–manager government format with a five-member Board of Education appointing a Superintendent to run the day-to-day operations of the system. Wilkes County Schools currently resides in the North Carolina State Board of Education's Seventh District.[8]

Board of education[edit]

A five-member board of education governs the Wilkes County Schools system. The current members are as follows: Randall "Rudy" Holbrook (Chairman), Darren Shumate, Hardin C. Kennedy III, Rick Lankford, and Sharron N. Huffman.[9]


The current superintendent of Wilkes County Schools is Dr. Marty Hemric. Hemric replaced Dr. Stephen Laws who retired December 31, 2011. Hemric was previously superintendent of Watauga County Schools.[10]


Total expenditures for the district for the 2009–10 school year totaled $ 93,091,000.[1] Public school districts in North Carolina do not have their own taxation authority, they are fiscally dependent on the State and their respective county Board of Commissioners. The county Boards of Commissioners vote on funding levels proposed by the school system.[11] The majority of the funding comes from State sources.[citation needed]

Member schools[edit]

The Wilkes County Schools system has 22 schools ranging from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade, including an early college high school. Those 22 schools are separated into 5 high schools, 4 middle schools and 13 elementary schools.[12]

High schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

  • Central Wilkes Middle School (Falcons), Moravian Falls
  • East Wilkes Middle School (Scorpions), Ronda
  • North Wilkes Middle School (Jaguars), Yellow Banks Road between Mulberry and Hays
  • West Wilkes Middle School (Knights), Millers Creek

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Boomer-Ferguson Elementary School (Bulldogs), Boomer
  • C. B. Eller Elementary School (Trojans), Elkin
  • C. C. Wright Elementary School (Tigers), North Wilkesboro
  • Millers Creek Elementary School (Ravens), Millers Creek
  • Moravian Falls Elementary School (Yellow Jackets), Moravian Falls
  • Mt. Pleasant Elementary School (Blue Hawks), Ferguson
  • Mountain View Elementary School (Dragons), Hays
  • Mulberry Elementary School (Mustangs), Mulberry
  • North Wilkesboro Elementary School (Eaglets), North Wilkesboro
  • Roaring River Elementary School (Blue Jays), Roaring River
  • Ronda-Clingman Elementary School (Panthers), Ronda
  • Traphill Elementary School (Wildcats), Traphill
  • Wilkesboro Elementary School (Eagles), Wilkesboro

Charter schools[edit]

There is only one charter school in Wilkes County: Bridges Charter School in State Road, North Carolina.[13]


The schools for the system are members of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and compete in various sports in the Mountain Valley Conference. East, North, and West Wilkes are 1A schools and Wilkes Central is a 2A school. Wilkes Early college does not field athletic teams.[14]

Achievements and awards[edit]

U.S. News & World Report named Wilkes Central High School and West Wilkes High School in their list of "America's Best High Schools". Wilkes Central High School was awarded a Silver and West High a Bronze.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Wilkes County Schools". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ "History of the North Carolina State Board of Education". NCPublicSchools.org. North Carolina State Board of Education. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Anderson, J. Jay (October 28, 1976). "Wilkes County Is In The National Mainstream". Wilkes Journal-Patriot. 
  4. ^ "Wilkes Schools To Merge". The Mount Airy News. March 7, 1975. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "S.L. 1975-761". North Carolina General Statutes. State of North Carolina. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wilkes County Largest Employers". Wilkes Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Percentage of Students in Each Demographic Group". North Carolina’s School Report Cards. North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "NC State Board of Education Districts". NC Dept. of Public Instruction. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Board of Education and Leadership". Official website. Wilkes County Schools. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Dr. Marty Hemric hired as next Wilkes County school superintendent". Wilkes Journal-Patriot. September 6, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Fiscal Independence Issue Brief" (PDF). NCSBA website. North Carolina School Boards Association. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Our Schools". Wilkes County Schools. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Wilkes County". Office of Charter Schools website. North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "NCHSAA CONFERENCES 2011–12" (PDF). NCHSAA website. NCHSAA. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  15. ^ "America's Best High Schools". Education. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]