Turmoil at First Flight High as principal resigns and assistant principal suspended

By on November 29, 2023

Chuck Lansing

There’s been major upheaval at First Flight High School (FFHS) with the resignation of Principal Chuck Lansing and the suspension of Assistant Principal Lela Ingram pending an investigation. As indicated in the letter below that was sent to parents of FFHS and in response to a Voice inquiry, the Dare County School Administration is not providing any additional details at this time.

In 2021, Lansing was named Dare County Principal of the Year. He had previously served as assistant principal at First Flight before being named to the top post. The district’s Director of Secondary Instruction, Denise Fallon, has been named acting principal at the high school.

Here is the letter sent to FFHS parents on by Tuesday, Nov. 28 by Dare County Superintendent of Schools Steve Basnight.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to inform you about a change in the leadership at First Flight High School.

Mr. Chuck Lansing resigned from his role as principal effective immediately. Assistant Principal Lela Ingram is currently on suspension with pay pending an investigation. Due to employee confidentiality, we are unable to provide any additional details at this time.

We want to assure you that First Flight High School’s staff remain committed to providing a high-quality education and nurturing learning environment for your child. Our human resources department is taking immediate steps to fill the principal position.

In the interim, Director of Secondary Instruction, Mrs. Denise Fallon, will assume the role of acting principal. We are confident Mrs. Fallon is well-equipped to lead the school through this transitional period.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the transition plan, please do not hesitate to contact Acting Principal Denise Fallon at fallonde@daretolearn.org or 252-449-7000.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely, Steve Basnight Superintendent Dare County School

The Voice will continue to cover this story.


  • Sandflea

    @Mikey Williams;
    I’d bet my house you don’t even know what woke is. Here, let me help you. It means to be aware of what’s going on around you. That can be true in many different forms. Be woke to the weather, woke to traffic conditions, be woke to someone different than you, be aware that others may not have had the same advantages you may have had without being an assh@le, etc. Are you a little more woke now tough guy; or just content with your head being buried in the sand. I guess the opposite of woke is ostrich.

    Friday, Dec 1 @ 7:31 am
  • Basnightmare

    @Mike Williams- these are the questions that should be asked and boy am i here for the answers- getting popcorn now. seems as though the school district posted very high numbers that someone else is taking credit for vs. Hyde’s low performance under his leadership that he doesn’t take credit for.

    Friday, Dec 1 @ 9:45 pm
  • Sharon

    First of all, what do the words ‘woke’ and ‘progressive’ and ‘fox news’ have to do with FFHS’s principal and assistant principal being suspended/resigning? Both are terms used as political talking points on 24-hr news cycles. What I would like to know is are there people with extreme political opinions trying to high-jack Dare County’s education system? That’s a question all parents, in all grades should want answered. Personally, I want my children to receive a top-notch education at all levels. I don’t want extremism setting the standards of learning or preventing children from receiving the education they deserve and will need to be successful and competitive as adults.
    Secondly, is the problem at FFHS due to a personal relationship between two people as some comments have alluded to or is it a problem that could actually affect the Dare County School Board and consequently our children’s education as others have alluded to? If it is the later, can anyone address that without calling names and making vailed accusations?

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 11:37 am
  • Bunny

    You are giving the current Board of Education too much credit as to what they can effectively do besides wave in Christmas parades. Two of them wear green robes at graduation, which means they have high school degrees only. Two are failed public school employees and 2 are right wing Dare to Share groupies. They have little intellectual knowledge about what’s best for students or how to improve schools. They do know that they get little pushback from Stevie Sneakers whose best attribute is providing teachers who have to work a second job at shoe stores with a commission.

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 4:48 pm
  • A

    So I don’t know a whole lot about Basnights career,but I can tell you some things about his time at Hyde. He took over in 2019, in September Hurricane Dorian completely destroyed Ocracoke School. In April 2020, schools were closed. Much of Hyde County is very impoverished and doesn’t have high speed internet. So he did a lot of work to make sure students even had the option to go virtual. Nevermind that it’s Hyde and the pool of talented teachers is shallow. Dare can’t even retain teachers. The man was dealt a garbage hand in an already garbage district. Our school problems go much deeper than Superintendents. Administrative positions have gone up 87% in the last ten years, while teachers salaries are relatively stagnant. Just like any government entity, the bureaucracy has gotten out of control.

    Monday, Dec 4 @ 10:24 am