Cherokee County Schools Exceptional Children Program

2017 – 2018 Professional Development for Teaching Exceptional Children
*Trainings located at Murphy Elementary, Middle or High School will be in the Media Center.

*If you are interested in attending a local workshop, please email Anne Boring at, as space will be limited.
September 13th: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Drug Related Birth Defects Effects on Student Learning & Behavior by Michael Peasant, MSW, LCSW Coordinator, FASD Diagnostic Clinic at Fullerton Genetics at Murphy Middle School, 3:30 – 5:30. Register online at

October 13th: 4th Annual EC Parent Event at Tri-County Community College, 8:00 – 11:00. Communication between Parents and Teachers by Exceptional Children Assistance Center, ECAC, Anne Johnston    Register online at

October 20th:  Deep Dive into Dyslexia presented by NCDPI at Tri-County Community College, 8:00 – 3:30. Register online at

February 14th:  Using Technology in the Classroom to Meet EC Student Needs by Rachel Payne, Murphy Middle School, 3:30 – 5:30
February 26th: Seizure Disorders: Characteristics of seizures and how seizures affect student learning & Angleman Syndrome by Pat Gibson, Wake Forest Hospital, Murphy Elementary School, 3:30 – 5:30
March 14th: Transition Meetings and Student Led IEP Meetings, Murphy Middle School, 3:30 – 5:30
April 27th: Special Olympics, Murphy High School, 8:00 - 1:00pm ~ Rain Date is May 4th
May 2nd: End of Year EC Staff Meeting for All EC Staff at Murphy Middle School, 3:30 – 5:30. Testing Students with Disabilities

May 16th: Special Needs Fishing Derby, Cherokee Lake, 9:00 - 11:30am

June 6th: Autism 101 with Kathy Dolbee at Hiwassee Dam School Media Center, 9:00am - 2:00pm

Exceptional Children Department

Anne Boring
EC Director

Elaine Penland
Compliance Specialist / Data Manager

911 Andrews Road
Murphy, North Carolina

Phone: 828-837-0945
Fax: 828-837-4351

Mission Statement

"The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to assure that students with disabilities  develop mentally, physically, emotionally and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education in the least restrictive environment."

Revised June 2017


Within the Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities (Department of Public Instruction), are detailed procedures that outline the rules and regulations that Cherokee County Schools must follow for the delivery of special education services.  Services are provided under the following areas of identification:
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (AU),
  • Deaf/Blindness,
  • Deafness,
  • Developmental Delay (DD),
  • Serious Emotional Disability (SE),
  • Hearing Impairment (HI),
  • Intellectual Disability (ID),
  • Multiple Disabilities (MD),
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI),
  • Orthopedic Impairment,
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD),
  • Speech or Language Impairment (SLI),
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI),
  • Visual Impairment including Blindness (VI).


If you are new to Cherokee County and have a child who has been receiving special education services, contact the Exceptional Children Teacher of the base school in your attendance area to provide them with documentation of your child’s special needs (i.e., a copy of the student’s Individual Education Plan).  When school is not in session, you may contact:            
              Exceptional Children Department            
              911 Andrews Road        
              Murphy, NC 28906            
              Phone: 828-837-0945        
              Fax: 828-837-4351

If you are concerned that your child might be in need of special education and/or related services, you should contact the EC Department.

School Contact Information

Andrews Elementary 

Phone: (828) 321-4415 Fax: 321-0401

EC Teachers:

Krysta Huskins

Jason Johnson

Summer Hedrick

EC Teacher Assistants:

Misty Davenport

Marsha Phillips

Speech Language Pathologist: Nicole Gibson

 Andrews High

Phone: (828) 321-5415  Fax: 321-3986

EC Teacher:

Sarah Tatham

Natalie Wilson Keown

Speech Language Pathologist: Nicole Gibson

Andrews Middle

Phone: (828) 321-5762  Fax:321-2009

EC Teachers:

Morgan Figliola

Jenny Dalton

EC Teacher Assistant:

Tammy Roberts

Speech Language Pathologist: Nicole Gibson

Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle

Phone: (828) 644-5115  Fax: 644-9463

EC Teacher: Amber Wills

EC Teacher Assistants:

Debbie Reid

Joe Simonds

Speech Language Pathologist: Deborah Southworth

Hiwassee Dam High

Phone: (828) 644-5115  Fax: 644-9463

EC Teacher: Connie McClure

EC Teacher Assistant: Diane Hamby

Martins Creek Elementary/Middle

Phone: (828) 837-2831  Fax: 837-0023

EC Teacher: Cynthia Postell

EC Teacher Assistant: Cindy Thrasher

Speech Language Pathologist: Deborah Southworth

The Oaks Academy & High School/Middle School Day Treatment

Phone: (828) 837-6775  Fax: 837-7979

EC Teacher: Mary Beth Cornwell

EC Teacher Assistant: Adele Parker

Murphy Elementary 

Phone: (828) 837-2424  Fax: 837-3887

EC Teachers:

Paulette Smithmeyer

Heather McClure

Sandra Campbell

Jessica Sheppard

Margaret Jordan

EC Teacher Assistants: 

Shehnaaz Adam

Dianna Peterson

Brenda Phillips

Michael Verola

Speech Language Pathologist: Cheryl Barry

Murphy High

Phone (828) 837-2426  Fax: 837-2555

EC Teachers:

Doug Andrews

Michael Brantley

Melissa Dockery

Aneka James

Jay Raxter

EC Teacher Assistants:

Mahzabeen Adam

Davis Bryant

Sandra Carroll

Kathy Cope

Erica Luther

Kristie Oliver

Speech Language Pathologist: Cheryl Barry

Murphy Middle

Phone:  (828) 837-0160  Fax: 837-5814

EC Teachers:

Natalee Palmer

Rachel Payne

Jenessa Kuykendall

EC Teacher Assistants:

Carolyn Cordell

Heath Curtis

Speech Language Pathologist: Cheryl Barry

Peachtree Elementary

Phone: (828) 837-2479  Fax: 837-6494

EC Teacher: Susanne Parker

EC Teacher Assistant: Katrina Woss

Speech Language Pathologist: Wendy Adams

Ranger Elementary/Middle

Phone: (828) 644-5111  Fax: 644-9828

EC Teachers:

Jacky Egli

Josh Griggs

EC Teacher Assistants:

Peggy Mashburn

Ally Murphy

Amber Hayes

Speech Language Pathologist:

Wendy Adams

Tri-County Early College

Phone: (828) 835-4318  Fax: 835-4319 

EC Teacher: Jane Ware

                                               Pre-School Services 

Phone: (828) 835-8054 Fax: 837-3924

Pre-K EC Teacher: Donna Collins

Pre-K Speech Teacher: Brandy Joyner

County-wide School Services

School Diagnostician:

Cynthia Waldroup 

School Psychologist:

Sherry Barnes

Occupational Therapists:  
Laurie Jones 

Jerry Morgan

Physical Therapist:  
Amy Coffey

Physical Therapist Assistant:
Afton Conner