Steve Basnight named new Dare Schools Supt. 

By on November 2, 2022

Pictured (left to right): Carl Woody (DCS Board of Education), Mary Ellon Ballance (DCS Board of Education), David Twiddy (DCS Board of Education Chair), Steve Basnight (DCS Superintendent), Margaret Lawler (DCS Board of Education), and Susan Bothwell (DCS Board of Education Vice-Chair).

Educator had previously spent 28 years in the district

Steve Basnight, a longtime Dare County educator and former Hyde County Superintendent, will return to Dare County Schools as its new superintendent following the unanimous approval of his contract by the Dare County Board of Education during a special meeting on Nov. 2.

Basnight will succeed interim Superintendent Steve Blackstock, who was appointed to that post in July after the sudden resignation of then Superintendent John Farrelly. Blackstock will continue to work as an assistant superintendent in the Dare County Schools.

“This is more than a job,” Basnight, who was accompanied by his family, told board members following the vote. “Dare County Schools is, and always has been, precious to me. I want our school system to be…in Dare County terms, a lighthouse for the rest of the state for how we treat our staff and for the work that we are committed to doing for the students in our schools because they deserve no less.”

Basnight will be sworn in during the board’s Nov. 9 meeting and his contract will be effective Dec. 1. Basnight retired as Superintendent of Hyde County Schools in April of this year, marking a brief pause in a distinguished career in education in Dare, Currituck and Hyde counties.

Speaking of Dare County Schools’ new top administrators, Basnight and Blackstock, Board of Education Member and Search Committee Chair Mary Ellon Ballance told the Voice that, “Dare County Schools, for the first time in a long time, have the right people in the right place to go in the right direction.”

A graduate of East Carolina University, Basnight was an educator in Dare County Schools for 28 years. He was a classroom teacher and coach at Manteo High School for 20 years before moving into administration, where he served as an administrative intern and assistant principal at First Flight Middle School, interim principal at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies, curriculum coordinator at the district level, and principal at the Dare County Alternative School.

Basnight also served as principal of the J.P. Knapp Early College in Currituck before becoming superintendent of Hyde County Schools.

Basnight worked alongside Blackstock in the Hyde County Schools where Blackstock was the Director of Instructional Programs and Assessments. When Basnight retired from the Hyde post in April, Blackstock was sworn in as interim superintendent in that district until he returned to Dare County Schools this summer to take on his current role.

Basnight extended his appreciation to Blackstock during the meeting for the work he has done as interim superintendent. “I would be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity to say thank you for the job you’ve done in not only getting the school year off to a phenomenal start, but in beginning to rebuild some of those relationships that are so very important to everything we want to do,” he said.

Basnight added, “I can’t wait to see some familiar faces and colleagues, meet some new people and get in the schools and work alongside our incredible staff to move Dare County Schools forward.”

In its search for the new superintendent, the board of education chose to conduct an in-house search as opposed to hiring an outside search firm. To that end, it named a superintendent search committee made up of three school board members, three principals representing the elementary, middle and high school levels and three central office staff members. Reportedly, 22 candidates had submitted applications for the superintendent position.



  • Retired Teachers Association Member

    Not a surprise since Ballance and Twiddy have been telling people since June that they were recruiting Basnight. The “search” was a farce and a joke.

    Cute comment from Ballance taking shots at previous administrations when she single handily allowed bedlam in board meetings for 12 months. Teachers and administrators won’t forget that. #ownsomething

    Good luck Steve.

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 6:20 pm
  • Freenusa

    I am delighted to see this news. Sometime after the tragic accident, I commented, I would love to see Steve B, be able to take this position on. Some mistook my comment to mean Steve Blackstock. So thankful it’s Basnight and not Blackstock. I believe Steve Basnight will shine. Thank you Steve for taking on this huge challenge. IMHO, I think we would have to go back many years to have a superintendent as qualified.

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 6:58 pm
  • Roscoe Tillet

    Great choice. Maybe Basnight can figure out how to navigate Dare to Share’s soon to be majority of the BOE under Chairman Cerino.

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 8:07 pm
  • Bunny

    How does Reston’s insulting comments even get posted?

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 8:50 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Bunny, you are right. After consideration, I deleted his comment. Should have done it earlier.

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 10:30 pm
  • Just me

    He should have been Superintendent along time ago! He is wonderful!

    Wednesday, Nov 2 @ 9:19 pm
  • Gem Meyer

    There is a comment on here that I did NOT make. Someone else used my name…spelling my last name incorrectly. I fully support the school board’s decision in naming Steve Bassnight supertintendent. I ask that the comment appearing on here from someone using my name be immediately removed

    Thursday, Nov 3 @ 6:38 am
  • Concerned DCS Parent

    Good. Now the good ol boy/girl network is back in action. No one to hold the board accountable as they pad their pockets with funds that should go to higher teacher salaries.

    Thursday, Nov 3 @ 8:03 am
  • Jason Summerton

    This is an exceptional hire. I was taught by and have been friends with Steve for 30 years. Solid person. Solid family. Solid understanding of Dare county. Solid résumé. With three children currently in the Dare county school system, I am very excited about this new direction. I sincerely hope he is afforded the time and space to right the ship.

    Not afraid to put my name on it.

    Jason Summerton

    Thursday, Nov 3 @ 8:15 am
  • surf123

    So glad they went in house. These outside search firms bring in people who want to rock the boat and who demand ridiculously high salaries given the size of the school system.

    Thursday, Nov 3 @ 2:06 pm
  • Margaret Koenig

    Steve Basnight is indeed an educator. I’m pleased that he accepted the position of Superintendent. I believe he knows Dare County, the people, and some of the issues and can deal with those that will arise during his tenure. I like the comparison of the county to the ship (having just retired from the CGAux after 18 years myself). One has to believe that one can ride out the storms that possibly could arise and stay the course of those educators that have given their lives to this profession and continue to do so daily.

    Wednesday, Nov 9 @ 7:26 am