Dare County Schools Ranked in North Carolina Top Ten

First Flight High School, one of three high schools in Dare County.
First Flight High School, one of three high schools in Dare County.

The kids are about to head back to school and just in time for their return to the classroom we got some great news about out schools. Niche, a research company that evaluates places to live, schools, neighborhoods and the workplace ranked Dare County Schools sixth in North Carolina.

For those of us who live here and have kids in the school system or maybe someone who works with the schools, that ranking is a great validation. There is a lot of support for local schools, and to have a national organization recognize the quality of education our kids are getting is a real feather in our caps.

It is important to note that the Niche ranking is separate from the rankings done by the North Carolina Department of Education.

What’s interesting the Niche evaluation is how inclusive it is, looking at a number of factors, not just test scores and dropout rates that are the traditional ways of evaluating a school’s performance.

The scoring system does place a lot of emphasis on academics, which it should, but other factors are also included.

The Niche system evaluates teachers as well as academics. In the scoring Dare County Schools received an A- in academics but local teachers received an A. 

The teacher grade includes ongoing instruction and advanced degrees. Much of what the teachers have accomplished is because of their initiative, but there is also a lot of support locally that includes grants for teacher training. 

In any discussion of community support for local schools, the Dare Education Foundation has to be part of the mix. One of the most important functions of the DEF is providing affordable housing to teachers at their apartment complexes in Kill Devil Hills and Hatteras Island. It has been an invaluable tool in recruitment.

DEF also is also provides classroom grants and funds for teacher training. 

So, yes. We’re proud of our schools and the support we give them.

The Outer Banks is a great place to live and work. Need more information? Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates website.

OBX Scalawags Fall to Harlem Ambassadors


Playing musical chairs with the Harlem Ambassadors.
Playing musical chairs with the Harlem Ambassadors.

Ambassadors Bring Basketball and Fun to First Flight High

The Harlem Ambassadors came to town yesterday for a game basketball with the local Scalawags. Although game is a loose description of what happened on the court.

Sponsored by the Dare Education Foundation, there was some resemblance to basketball, although it wasn’t always apparent.

There were usually five members of each team on the floor, occasionally the Scalawags had six, and when the ball went through the hoop, points were scored. Not always in a way recognizable by NBA or amateur rules, but a basket did count for something.

Playing before an almost sold out gym at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, the Ambassadors, made up of former college players fresh out of school, were in clearly better shape with better ball-handling skills. It’s very doubtful that any of the Scalawags, mostly teachers with a few youth league coaches thrown in, could still dunk…if they ever could. Except for the lone women, all the Ambassadors were comfortable playing above the rim.

Focus on Kids

But if the day was short on classic basketball, it was long on fun and providing a great time for the kids, and there were a lot of them on hand.

At halftime the kids in the audience came out on the court for a little exercise and a quick basketball camp. Between periods the Ambassadors brought a small group of kids to the court for a different form of musical chairs.

In this version, the visiting team carries the chairs around the floor as the children follow them around waiting for the music to stop. It was still the classic where the floor is always one chair short, but it seemed like a lot more fun than usual for the kids. And the little boy who won was beaming when he realized he was the last one sitting.

Making it a special day for kids and families was really what the event was about. There was some basketball played, and the Scalawags were given a lot of point handicaps to try to keep the game close, but when the final score was posted, it didn’t really matter, even if the Scalawags lost 100-90.

The event was brought to the Outer Banks by the DEF. The DEF supports a number of programs for Dare County teacher and students.

Perfect Conditions Greet OBX Marathon Runners

Marathoners on the multi-use path by Kitty Hawk Bay.
Marathoners on the multi-use path by Kitty Hawk Bay.

It would be hard to imagine better weather for the 11th running of the Outer Banks marathon. Cool temperatures at the start on Kitty Hawk Road, almost no wind for the entire time and beautiful sunshine. 

Blair Teal from Charlotte, North Carolina posted the best time crossing the finish line in Manteo at 2:22. For the women it was Svetlana Pretot from Morristown, New Jersey finishing at 2:53.

A regular part of the Outer Banks Veterans Day mix, the Outer Banks Marathon has become far more than a one race and done race. Organized by Outer Banks Sporting Events, over the past ten years since the first race was run, the event has become a weekend extravaganza featuring the Southern Fried Half Marathon—which had over 2400 participants this year—as well as everything from a Family Fun Run to the Southern 6 Run, which is almost a 10k.

Widely seen praised as one of the most beautiful marathons on the circuit, it is a qualifying heat for the Boston Marathon.

The starting line is on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk under the canopy of the hardwood trees of Kitty Hawk Woods. The route parallels Kitty Hawk Bay, eventually winding through Nags Head Woods.

The finish line on the waterfront in Mateo is adds to the flavor of a unique Outer Banks experience.

The Outer Banks Marathon began its life as an offseason reason for visitors to come to the Outer Banks and a fundraiser for the Dare Education Foundation. Over the years it has grown in popularity and its success has enabled the OBSE to fund two Outer Banks nonprofits—the DEF and the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.