Superintendent Dr. McDaris Announces Retirement

Superintendent Dr. McDaris Announces Retirement
Posted on 01/18/2023
Dr. Jeff McDaris

After 40 years of service in public education and the last 14 serving as the Superintendent of Transylvania County Schools, Dr. Jeff McDaris has announced his intention to retire at the end of the school year. 

In an email announcement to staff, “The job of a school administrator is rewarding but tough. It requires a lot of time, energy, critical thinking, and dedication. Many things happen every day. Some are good, and some are not so good. But the good always outweighs the challenges,” expressed Dr. McDaris. 

Dr. McDaris has spent his entire career in education here in Western North Carolina. He began his teaching career in Henderson County at what was previously Hendersonville Junior High in 1983, teaching Industrial Arts Education with Hendersonville City Schools. He continued his career in Henderson County after the merger of the city and county schools, beginning his time with Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) in 1993 at the then-newly named Hendersonville Middle School. While in Henderson County, he spent time as a coach for softball, football, track and field and served as athletic director. 

Dr. McDaris was a product of Transylvania County Schools graduating from Brevard High School, and after 14 years with HCPS, he returned to Transylvania County Schools in 1997, where he has served for the last 26 years. He spent one year teaching at Brevard Middle School before moving into the role of Director of Career & Technical Education, Transportation, and Accreditation in 1998. He was then chosen to lead as Superintendent of Transylvania County Schools in 2009, where he has served tirelessly for the last 14 years.    

I've had the honor and joy of working with Dr. McDaris for nearly 25 years. Throughout his career, he has shown immense dedication and loyalty to Transylvania County Schools, the staff, and the students.  Dr. McDaris has been a mentor, colleague, and friend to me and is someone I admire very much!” shared Missy Ellenberger, Director of High School Curriculum, Student Services, and Safe Schools. 

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brian Weaver expressed how the leadership of Dr. McDaris has been a true asset to the work he has done, “His vision and servant leadership are two qualities allowing him to be one of the longest-serving superintendents in North Carolina. Along with his willingness to bring student voice to the decision-making process.” 


Dr. McDaris has spent his time as Superintendent being a true advocate for the students and staff of Transylvania County through his participation and leadership in local and state organizations.  He has been an active participant and leader with the Transylvania County Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina School Superintendents Association (NCSSA) Executive Board, serving for a time as President and President-Elect of the NC Association for Supervision and Curriculum, Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, and so many more. Honors for his service include Western Region Superintendent of the Year (2014), Western Carolina Peak Performer Award (2011) 

Dr. McDaris stated on the decision to retire that “It is time. I have new opportunities to explore, and my wife Lisa and I have new adventures to consider. I am lucky. I am married to my high school sweetheart; I have two great sons who are married, two wonderful daughters-in-law who have become daughters, and three awesome grandchildren. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family.” 

One thing is for certain when discussing Dr. McDaris, and that is his gift of being a truly respected leader; it was said by School Board Chair Tawny McCoy, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Jeff since he stepped into the role of Superintendent. Transylvania County Schools will miss his leadership and dedication to our staff and, most importantly, to our students and their families.  His commitment to Transylvania County is exceptional and will be difficult to replace. Jeff is a planner, and I am sure he already has plans in place to assist the new Superintendent in continuing the high-quality leadership of our schools.  He leaves us with a great leadership team, and we remain committed to providing excellent teaching and a strong learning environment in Transylvania County Schools.  I have enjoyed working with Jeff, and I am proud to call him my friend.  I wish him all the best in his retirement.  I hope he enjoys spending time with his family and pursuing interests he has placed aside as he focused on our schools for so many years.” 

McCoy said the Board of Education would be discussing the search process during a special called meeting this Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.

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