Dr. Tipton began his career in 1985 as a 5th and 6th grade social studies and physical education teacher at Bowman Middle School in Mitchell County. In 1987, he returned to his hometown of Burnsville to teach 7th and 8th grade physical education at East Yancey Middle School. He remained there until 1991 when he was hired to teach social studies at Mountain Heritage High School.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Tipton was a middle school basketball and football coach for six years, and he coached various high school sports including girls’ basketball and track in his nine years at Mountain Heritage. He was also athletic director at Mountain Heritage for three years and was honored three times as the Western Highlands Conference Coach of the Year.
Dr. Tipton transitioned to school administration in 1999 as assistant principal at Cane River Middle School in Burnsville. He returned to Mountain Heritage High School as assistant principal in 2002 and became principal at Madison High School in 2007 where he was recognized as the Madison County Principal of the Year in 2010. He was named superintendent in Yancey County in 2011 and retired in 2018.
Dr. Tipton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Intermediate Education from Mars Hill College in 1984 and a Master of Arts in Education Degree from WCU in 1989. He received an Education Specialist in School Administration Degree from WCU in 1994, and he completed his Doctor of Education Degree at ETSU in 2007.
He has been married for 41 years to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Dr. Tipton has always tried to be a voice for all children. His favorite quote is from Dr. Seuss: "To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world."
Mr. Buchanan began his educational career in 2001 teaching social studies at Smoky Mountain High School. He became assistant principal at Scotts Creek School in 2010. He served the district as director of middle and secondary education in 2012 prior to becoming principal at Smoky Mountain High School in 2013. Under his leadership, Smoky Mountain moved into the top 5% of high schools in North Carolina in both academic growth and graduation rate.
Mr. Buchanan completed his Bachelor’s Degree in History from King College in 1999. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education Social Studies in 2001 and a Master’s Degree in School Administration in 2009 from Western Carolina University. In 2017, he received an Education Specialist Degree from Clemson University and is currently working on his Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Mr. Buchanan received National Board Certification in 2005. He was selected as the Jackson County Teacher of the Year in 2007 and the Jackson County Principal of the Year in 2015. He became assistant superintendent in June 2018 and deputy superintendent in March 2021.
Former Superintendent Dr. Kim Elliott said, "Mr. Buchanan is a true asset to Jackson County Public Schools. He shares my vision for safe schools and excellence in teaching and learning. Mr. Buchanan cares deeply about students and their success. Students have always come first and will continue to do so in Jackson County."