Our Schools

District Leadership

Dr. Dana Ayers, Superintendent

Photo of Dana Ayers
Dr. Dana Ayers’ began her educational career in 1999 at Battleground Elementary School in Lincolnton, NC where she taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades.  In 2005, she moved to Lincolnton Middle School where she taught 6th grade math and science. 


Dr. Ayers transitioned to school administration at West Lincoln Middle School where she served as Assistant Principal of Instruction from 2010 to 2014.  She then became Principal at Lincolnton Middle School and was named Principal of the Year in 2017.

After relocating to Jackson County in 2018, Dr. Ayers was hired by Asheville City Schools as Chief Academic Officer.  She commuted to Asheville until 2021 when she became Superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools.

Dr. Ayers received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Belmont Abbey College in 1999.  She was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in School Administration in 2008 and AIG licensure in 2009 from WCU.  In 2016, she completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at UNC Charlotte.

In her personal life, Dr. Ayers prioritizes faith, family, and community.  She has participated in many service projects with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, 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.  Dr. Ayers and her family are also active supporters of WCU athletics.

 

Jacob Buchanan, Deputy Superintendent

Assistant Superintendent, Jacob Buchanan

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."
 

Directors & Coordinators

Dr. Kevin Bailey

Executive Director of Human Resources
Dr. Kevin Bailey
Executive Director of Human Resources
 
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Grievances
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Beginning Teachers
  • Personnel Records
  • Title IX
  • District Athletics
  • Contracts


(828) 586-2311 ext. 1925

Laura Cabe

School Nutrition Director
Laura Cabe
School Nutrition Director
 
  • Food Production & Service
  • Purchasing & Contracting
  • Equipment & Facility Management
  • Federal Compliance Monitoring

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1936

Sarah Davis

Student Data Coordinator
Sarah Davis
Student Data Coordinator
 
  • Student Data Management
  • Federal & State Compliance Reporting
  • Transcripts

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1932

Angie Dills

Chief Academic Officer
Angie Dills
Chief Academic Officer
 
  • Director of Career/Technical, Middle & Secondary Education
  • Curriculum, Grades 6-12 & CTE
  • College & Career Readiness
  • STEM
  • Title II
  • School Improvement
  • Impact Aid & Indian Education
  • Beginning Teachers

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1954

Laura Dills

Executive Director of Federal Programs & Elementary Education
Laura Dills
Executive Director of Federal Programs & Elementary Education
 
  • Elementary Curriculum
  • Title I
  • Title II
  • Title III/LEP
  • AIG
  • Homeless
  • Beginning Teachers

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1950

Kelly Doppke

Director of Student Support Services
Kelly Doppke
Director of Student Support Services
 
  • Exceptional Children
  • School Counselors
  • School Nurses
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • 504 Compliance

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1928

Photo of Woody Dotson

Woody Dotson

Transportation coordinator
Woody Dotson
Transportation Coordinator
Josh Francis

Josh Francis

Transportation Director
Josh Francis
Transportation Director
 
  • Routing
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Driver & Vehicle Assignment

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1802

Adam Holt

Director of Testing & Accountability
Adam Holt
Director of Testing & Accountability
 
  • EOG/EOC Testing
  • NCFE, ACT
  • MTSS
  • Benchmark Assessments
  • Compliance Monitoring
  • SchoolNet

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1940

Jeremiah Jackson

Chief Technology Officer
Jeremiah Jackson
Chief Technology Officer
 
  • Network Operations & Infrastructure
  • Network Applications & Related Services
  • Digital Learning Initiatives
  • Purchasing & Inventory
  • Technical Support

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1947

David Proffitt

Chief Communications Officer

David Proffitt
Chief Communications Officer

  • Public Communication
  • Media Relations
  • Content Development
  • Media Production

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1937

Photo of Brent Speckhardt

Brent Speckhardt

Director of professional development & teacher growth

Brent Speckhardt
Director of Professional Development & Teacher Growth

  • Beginning Teachers
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Professional Development
  • Instructional Resources


(828) 586-2311 ext. 1971

Kristie Walker

Finance Officer

Kristie Walker
Finance Officer

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1945

Jason Watson

Director of Operations & Logistics

Jason Watson
Director of Operations & Logistics

(828) 586-2311 ext. 1927