Dare Ed Board names Blackstock as interim superintendent

By on June 14, 2022

Steve Blackstock (Hyde County Schools)

Moving to fill a void left by the departure of John Farrelly, the Dare County Board of Education on June 14 unanimously named former Manteo Elementary School Principal Steve Blackstock to serve as interim superintendent of schools. The board also approved a one-year contract with Blackstock to serve as an assistant superintendent in the Dare system.

Blackstock will serve in the dual role while a permanent superintendent search is conducted. Following a May 31 Dare Board of Education meeting at which the board agreed to a more than $300,000 settlement with him, Farrelly is resigning as superintendent at the end of this month. He is currently on leave.

Effective July 1, Blackstock will take over the helm of Dare County Schools and earn a monthly stipend of $5,000 per month, plus mileage, to serve as interim superintendent.

Current Assistant Dare County Superintendent Sandy Kinzel, who was appointed acting superintendent at the May 31 meeting, is also leaving the district. In addition, Dare County Schools Director of Communications Keith Parker will be departing the district at the end of the month to take the superintendent post in the Elizabeth City Public Schools.

A graduate of James Madison University, where he majored in music, Blackstock moved to Dare County in 2002 to teach at First Flight Middle School. He took over the reins at Manteo Elementary during the 2015-2016 school year.

While serving as principal of Manteo Elementary, the school went from being a low-performing school in the 2015-2016 school year with a D on its N.C. School Report Card, to earning a solid C and exceeding growth during the 2018-2019 school year. Blackstock was also named the Dare County Schools’ 2018-2019 Principal of the Year.

In 2019, Blackstock left the Dare district to serve as Director of Instructional Programs and Assessments with Hyde County Schools. In April of this year, he was sworn in as interim superintendent of Hyde County Schools after the retirement of Steve Basnight. Later that month, the Hyde Board of Education hired Melanie Shaver as its new superintendent, effective July 1.





  • Rosie

    Mr Blackstock seems to have great credentials and a good knowledge of Dare Co schools. Is he unwilling to take the job on a permanent basis?I have never understood why we have to spend a fortune on a national search to bring and outsider to the position. That approach seems expensive and ineffective. Not to mention that it takes a good while to figure out the different schools and communities on the Outer Banks. What am I missing here?

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 9:41 am
  • surf123

    Skip the search. We will end up paying an extravagant fee for someone who will just use it as a stepping stone. The job is does not require a rocket science, just someone who knows how the schools work and to provide guidance. These nationwide searches are so overblown when it is the teachers who matter. Promote from within to give employees the confidence of knowing another outsider won’t come in and push their ideas for change only to leave in a few years.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 12:39 pm
  • School Mom

    I agree with Rosie. The search that resulted in the hiring of John Farrelly was a total waste of time and money. Anyone with internet access could have taken 20 minutes to research his record by looking at the data on the NC School Report Card website and by simply googling his name. Any system that he ever served was all-too-happy to get rid of him. It’s a shame that the Board of Ed extended his contract when he was barely through the first 1/2 of his initial contract; that’s why they had to buy out his contract at $300,000+.

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 1:36 pm
  • Travis

    @ Rosie: Possibly he does not have sufficient MD’s, PhD’s, MMA’s, DVM’s, or AARP’s behind his name? Maybe coming from within the Dare education system he would not be sufficiently totalitarian for the current Board of Education’s taste?

    Wednesday, Jun 15 @ 2:03 pm
  • Noneya

    Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss. This guy and his wife are radical leftists. He’s just another woke white college educated liberal who believes in race theory and gender theory and all the other nonsense. You all do understand that reviewing people’s past FB posts isn’t a particularly difficult thing to do? This isn’t a guy who will get disgusting books out of the library because he’s part of the side that believes kids should be taught that if they’re white and straight, they’re bad and they owe a debt for sins they didn’t commit, and if they’re black or trans, they’re victims who need people like him to “help” them. Dare County needs someone strong, with moderate views. Doesn’t even have to be a conservative or Republican, could we not just have someone without radical beliefs on any side?

    Friday, Jun 17 @ 7:07 am
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