During a special called meeting July 31, The Watauga County Board of Education approved the appointment of Brian Bettis as the new principal at Bethel School.
Bettis was recommended to the board after a rigorous interview by a committee of 23 Bethel parents, teachers and school staff, as well as board of education members and central office staff.
The selection process included survey feedback and face-to-face meetings with more than 60 parents, teachers and students who outlined their leadership expectations in order to ensure that a principal is a good match for both the community and the school.
Superintendent Scott Elliott, who lead the selection process, said he heard nothing but good things about Bettis during an extensive check of references.
“We contacted all of the references Mr. Bettis provided to us, but I also researched and personally contacted a number of people who were not listed as references”, Elliott said. “I spoke with several parents of students who were taught by Mr. Bettis. I spoke with former colleagues and supervisors. I spoke with people who attend his church and spoke at length with the senior pastor of his church. Every single person spoke highly of his dedication as an educator and of his strong character and values. He appears to be a person of great integrity who cares deeply for his students and is well respected within his community.”
Bettis, who holds three degrees from Appalachian State, worked in Bethel School as an intern while earning his degree in elementary education. He attributed the discovery of his passion for education to the time he spent working at Bethel.
“I was fortunate to serve as an intern at Bethel while attending App State, and that experience is really what led me to discover my passion for working with children,” Bettis said. “Throughout my experiences at Bethel both as an intern and through the interview process I've been so impressed with the support that the Bethel community gives to its students. I am excited to work with staff, families and community as a whole to continue the traditions of Bethel School and to provide our students with excellent opportunities.”
In addition to his work in administrative roles, Bettis teaches as an adjunct faculty member at UNC Charlotte and Cleveland Community College. He regularly leads seminars for other educators at professional conferences and the the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching.
Bettis plans to relocate to the Bethel community from his current home in Shelby, where he is an active member of Flint Hill Baptist Church. He has served in several youth ministry capacities at the church. He said he looked forward to returning to Watauga County and getting involved in the community.
Bettis is set to begin work at Bethel August 1.