TeachNC Logo
McDowell County Schools

McDowell County Schools

Hear from Renata Crawley about organized chaos and life-long learning at McDowell County Schools.

Visit WebsiteSee Job Openings

Meet Renata Crawley

Teacher Ambassador

Quote Bubble Icon

I have lived in McDowell County since I was four years old and attended public schools here where I received the best education from passionate teachers. Every child is different. Every child’s success is measured differently. In McDowell County, we appreciate and celebrate diversity by offering many paths for students to become successful. Our vision is shared through business and stakeholder partnerships, and community outreach, for students to be educated for college, career, and life.

Renata Crawley


  • 5th Grade Science Teacher


  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte


  • 2000- West Marion Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • 2002- National Board Certification
  • 2007- Bright Ideas Grant Recipient
  • 2008, 2009, 2014, 2017- Burroughs Wellcome Student Science Enrichment Grant Recipient to create and sustain after school science clubs
  • 2008-present: Director of Project Wild Thing Afterschool Science Clubs
  • 2011- West Marion Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • 2012- National Board Certification Renewal
  • 2015, 2016, 2017- Duke Energy Science Night Kit Recipient
  • 2016- Awesome Asheville Grant Recipient
  • 2016- Action For Healthy Kids Grant Recipient
  • 2019- Burroughs Wellcome Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers
  • 2019-2015 Facilitator/trainer for North Carolina Inquiry Collaborative Network
  • 2019 McDowell County Teacher of the Year
  • 2020 Smithsonian Science for North And South Carolina Classrooms Trainer
  • National Board Certification Renewal

Teacher Certification Program

Why I Teach

I have been a teacher in North Carolina for 29 years. Every day I go into my classroom believing that all students can learn. I set high expectations for every student. Their life has purpose and I make sure students know this on day one when they enter my classroom. I believe students must be engaged in their environment and connect with nature by becoming immersed in the “Doing” of science. My classroom is lively, busy, and sometimes loud. It is organized chaos where microscopes, globes, field guides, butterflies, and bug boxes are common. I have the greatest job in the world. I get to work with ten year old children on a daily basis. I get to see empathy, compassion, perseverance, and struggles play out as my students grow in their learning abilities. I teach because I have the privilege of guiding students in finding their path in their community and in their world where they can give back to others. My focus is to guide children in becoming life-long learners who are compassionate, confident, and driven to set personal goals for success in life.

McDowell County Schools by the numbers

  • 516

    Dedicated Teachers

  • 6,039

    Engaged Learners

  • $35,000

    New Teacher Starting Salary

About McDowell County Schools

Start Your Journey

Ready to see what steps you should take to become a teacher? Use our tool to create your personalized roadmap!

Create Roadmap