May 16, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.

Ayers New On School Athletic Association Board

Former principal at Lincolnton Middle
A 25-year public education veteran, Ayers has been in her current post in Sylva since 2021. She began her educational career in Lincoln County teaching at Battleground Elementary as well as teaching at Lincolnton Middle. She transitioned to school administration at West Lincoln Middle, where she served as assistant principal of instruction. She then became principal at Lincolnton Middle and was named Principal of the Year in 2017.
A 25-year public education veteran, Ayers has been in her current post in Sylva since 2021. She began her educational career in Lincoln County teaching at Battleground Elementary as well as teaching at Lincolnton Middle. She transitioned to school administration at West Lincoln Middle, where she served as assistant principal of instruction. She then became principal at Lincolnton Middle and was named Principal of the Year in 2017.

THOMAS LARK | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment
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SYLVA––Dr. Dana Ayers was recently named to a new and prestigious position.

The superintendent of the Jackson County Public Schools, Ayers was approved as a new member of the board of directors for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Ayers’s four-year term begins July 1. She will represent Class III-A, Region VIII. She says that she looks forward to representing Jackson County and Region VIII on the board.

A 25-year public education veteran, Ayers has been in her current post in Sylva since 2021, as she told The Herald on Sunday. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Belmont Abbey; a master’s degree in school administration from Western Carolina University; and, in 2016, her doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Lincoln County residents will recall how Ayers began her educational career, teaching first, fourth and fifth grades at Battleground Elementary School in Lincolnton. In 2005, she moved to Lincolnton Middle, where she taught sixth grade-level math and science for five years. She then transitioned to school administration at West Lincoln Middle, where she served as assistant principal of instruction, 2010-14. She then became principal at Lincolnton Middle and was named Principal of the Year in 2017.

After relocating to Jackson County in 2018, Ayers was selected by the Asheville City Schools as the chief academic officer. In her nearly three years serving the ACS, she had the opportunity to work alongside many community members and fellow educators, and her network grew. Ayers commuted to Asheville until 2021, when she was chosen from a pool of 21 applicants to become the superintendent of the Jackson County Public Schools.

Ayers currently serves in several roles with local organizations. She is a member of the Sylva Rotary Club; supports the Jackson County Department of Aging by delivering Meals on Wheels; served on the board of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Western North Carolina; and presented to the State Board of Education in Raleigh.

In her personal life, Ayers reveals that she prioritizes faith, family and community. She has participated in many service projects with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse. She has volunteered at homeless shelters; served as a team captain for Relay for Life; and collected food for various ministries. 

Ayers and husband Phillip have three children. Their oldest, Josh and Emily, are both married with families, and youngest son Truman is a rising senior at Smoky Mountain High.

Dr. Ayers is eager to join the N.C. High School Athletic Association Board so that she can advocate for and serve western North Carolina. She is a strong supporter of local athletics, and she recognizes the importance of athletics to the success of many students.




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