Basnight ‘consistently rose to the top at every step’

By on November 16, 2022

New Dare Supt. contract runs through 2026, starts at $190K

Steve Basnight.

Longtime educator Steve Basnight takes the helm of Dare County Schools as its new superintendent beginning Dec. 1, nearly six months after the sudden resignation of John Farrelly and the subsequent appointment of Steve Blackstock as interim superintendent.

Basnight will receive an annual starting salary of $190,000, according to the terms of his contract that goes through June 30, 2026. Under the terms of the agreement, his salary will be reviewed at least once a year and the length of the contract can be extended at any time.

The former Hyde County superintendent was among 22 applicants considered for the post and was hired after an in-house search that included the formation of an ad hoc search committee made up of school board members, three principals representing the three different areas of the county and central office staff.

At the end of June, the Dare County Board of Education voted to conduct the superintendent search in-house, opting not to hire an outside search firm. In the 2017 search that culminated with the board selecting Farrelly, the board paid about $26,000 to an outside firm.

The ad hoc committee, said board of education member and ad hoc committee chair Mary Ellon Ballance, worked to develop the vacancy advertisement as well as a series of interview questions for the candidate finalists. The committee also put together a survey to gauge what the community was looking for in a new superintendent.

“The best part about that process is we were fully involved and fully engaged through the entire time,” Ballance said, adding that with no outside consultant, the board got its information on the candidates firsthand.

After the application period ended, Ballance said, the board of education met for a work session to review the 22 applications and settled on between six and eight top contenders. “We went through every single one as a board…and decided which ones we felt we wanted to hear more from,” Ballance told the Voice.

Those finalists were asked to submit a three-minute video, and based on their responses, the board decided on four candidates to bring in for in-person interviews. Each candidate was asked the same questions developed by the committee.

“The interviews were in front of the full board, and we spent a whole day on them,” Ballance said. “We had two in the morning, we took a lunch break, and then we had two in the afternoon.”  Basnight, she said, “consistently rose to the top at every step” of the interview process.

An educator in Dare County Schools for 28 years, Basnight served as a classroom teacher, coach, principal and administrator. He also was principal of the J.P. Knapp Early College in Currituck before becoming superintendent of Hyde County Schools, retiring from that post in April of this year.

According to Basnight’s contract, the Dare County Board of Education will provide a written evaluation of his performance prior to Aug. 31 of each year. “At the time of its evaluation, the Board may consider increasing the length of the term, salary and benefits paid to the superintendent and consider increasing the superintendent compensation…ranging from $3,800 to $9,500,” the agreement reads.

As part of the agreement, Basnight must give 90 days written notice in the event of his resignation or retirement. If the required notice isn’t given, he must pay $30,000 to the Board of Education for damages incurred. In the event that the superintendent resigns or retires prior to the end of his term of employment, the board may terminate the contract at any time up to the date of resignation or retirement. In that case, the superintendent would be owed all of his salary he would have earned under his employment contract from the date of termination to the date of resignation or retirement, or 12 months salary, whichever is less.

On May 31, former superintendent Farrelly resigned from his post effective June 30. Under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Board of Education, he received a monthly payment, beginning July 1, in the amount of $18,149 for the next 18 months, totaling $326,688.


Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dare EMS – Phase 2 Pre-Bid Conference

Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985

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  • Smurf123

    Wow, what a deal! Must have given the hometown discount…

    Wednesday, Nov 16 @ 12:16 pm
  • Cheetah

    If you combine the Basnight and pickleball stories you end up with the same net result. Retirees yearning for press coverage and a tan.

    Wednesday, Nov 16 @ 9:15 pm
  • Carlhasabro

    Discount? No, he retired making 120k in Hyde.

    Wednesday, Nov 16 @ 9:20 pm
  • Jeff Walker

    Just goes to show it’s not what you know, as anyone who took his AP US History class at MHS can attest.

    Thursday, Nov 17 @ 6:03 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    He has had a few jobs since then, Jeff.

    Thursday, Nov 17 @ 9:34 am
  • obxboxer

    “On May 31, former superintendent Farrelly resigned from his post effective June 30. Under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Board of Education, he received a monthly payment, beginning July 1, in the amount of $18,149 for the next 18 months, totaling $326,688.”
    That jerk Farrelly is getting over $18,000 A MONTH?!?!? There is no way these people are worth so much. Broken system. Very upsetting.

    Thursday, Nov 17 @ 1:54 pm
  • Bronco the Neighbor

    Farrelly’s not a jerk, he’s a neighbor and a great dad. Shame on you haters. He is slick though as he out maneuvered that board for a 325k lottery win. Good for him.

    Friday, Nov 18 @ 5:01 pm
  • Bill

    I like the article about the cold weather better. People don’t usually get into verbal fights about it.

    Saturday, Nov 19 @ 11:03 am