Blue Ridge School Education Foundation

Helping Build The Future of the Blue Ridge...


Thank you for logging into our newly designed website highlighting the work and service of the Foundation’s Mission to provide supplemental educational funding to Blue Ridge School and Early College (Pre-K through 12) with an optional 13th year for advanced college credits. We invite you to browse through the various tabs of the site to review the funding grants made to the school supporting “under budgeted” needs of the administration and faculty for the advanced academic achievement of students.

The Foundation was founded in 2002 and was issued a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service in December 2010 recognizing Blue Ridge School Education Foundation Incorporated as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(C)3. The Foundation is administered by a totally volunteer board of directors who are elected based on their experience with children and commitment to better public schooling. Funding for grants awarded to the school come from proceeds of the Annual Nashville Songwriters’ Round and from generous corporate and individual donors who support our mission.

We appreciate your taking a few minutes to review the site and encourage you to support the Foundation’s efforts to expand the educational experiences for the students and staff in order to achieve and maintain a world class education environment at Blue Ridge School AND Blue Ridge Early College.


Carl O. Hyde

Helping Build the Future of the Blue Ridge...

A Message From Jackson County Public Schools

About The JCPS Superintendent

Superintendent 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 June 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 both 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.

A Message From Blue Ridge School

From The BRS Principal

We serve approximately 153 students in grades Pre-K through 6 and share a campus with Blue Ridge Early College. We take pride in the fact that we are a small campus, which allows us to really get to know our students, their families and other stakeholders in our community. Together, we make up a school family of 100% highly qualified faculty, skilled support staff, talented and creative students, involved, supportive parents, and motivated community members and agencies. We are committed to creating a safe, caring, positive, and rigorous learning environment for our students. At Blue Ridge, our goal is to provide students with an educational foundation that will help prepare them for the challenges of school and life in the 21st Century, in Cashiers and beyond.

As a campus, we believe that the foundation for a positive, productive school environment is respect. Together, we have pledged to show Bobcat Pride by showing respect for learning, property, ourselves, and one another. By respecting one another and the goals of the school as a whole, we can create an environment where students can learn and grow in a positive community that supports learning for all students!

As principal, I value the input and support of all interested parties, and am committed to working with all stakeholders to provide our students with the greatest educational opportunities possible. Please browse through our website to find ways in which we can help support you, as well as ways in which you can become more involved here at Blue Ridge. Together, we can make a difference!

- Ms. Kheri Cowan, Principal, Blue Ridge School

A Message From Blue Ridge Early College

From The BREC Principal

Principal Brandon Pendergast

Blue Ridge Early College (BREC) has a long history of providing quality educational opportunities for students within our strong community. We are a member of the North Carolina Cooperative Innovative High Schools Network. Students have the flexibility of taking Southwestern Community College (SCC) courses while at Blue Ridge Early College to complete an Associates degree, or take SCC courses to obtain a workforce certificate, all while completing high school classes for a high school diploma.

We are proud to be one of the few schools across North Carolina to provide the vocational preparation for the NIMS certification for Public Safety and the Fire Fighter Technology program. This program is sanctioned by the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshall. Our partnership with the Glenville-Cashiers Fire Department is dedicated to helping us make our program a success.

Several years ago, Jackson County Public Schools introduced a 1:1 Initiative that provided laptops to all teachers and students in grades 7-13. This allows for individualized learning and access to collaboration that mirrors the workplace landscape that our students will be entering. Our ability to match the digital resources with our content standards is invaluable.

The Blue Ridge School Educational Foundation has been instrumental in supporting our students through grants that elevate the teaching and learning experience for our teachers and students. With its support, we have been able to increase our media and technology resources, host an Artist in Residence, grant scholarships for extracurricular educational opportunities, and much more.

Blue Ridge Early College continues to maintain a high graduation rate with greater than 95% of students graduating. Last year, Blue Ridge Early College graduates received thousands of dollars in scholarships coming directly from the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation. The Foundation also annually hosts our Academic Banquet and Scholarship Night to celebrate our talented students.

Our entire team is dedicated to our students, the ideals that support the whole child and the community of those who are invested in their development. Our team participates in a variety of activities such as Stop the Bleed and Resiliency Training to ensure that our campus is a safe and engaging environment for all students. Each day BREC provides students a small, collaborative atmosphere for learning. Our schools should be rooted in the new three Rs of education: Rigor, Relationships, and Relevance. As we maintain focus on these, BREC will remain the best choice for students! I appreciate everyone who is a part of our BREC family. Go Bobcats!

- Brandon Pendergast, Principal, Blue Ridge Early College

A Message From Southwestern Community College

From The SCC President

"Southwestern Community College is proud to offer all Blue Ridge Early College students an opportunity to complete up to two years of college credit - up to and possibly including associate degrees - at the same time as they earn their high school diplomas."

- Dr. Don Tomas, President, Southwestern Community College