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The Hyde County Board of Education has selected Stephen Basnight III of Manteo, Dare County, as the new superintendent of the Hyde County schools to replace Dr. Randolph Latimore Sr.
Basnight, who will assume his duties Oct. 27 upon Latimore’s retirement, is currently principal of J. P. Knapp Early College High School in Currituck County, said Randy Etheridge, Hyde County BOE chairman, Friday.
“Everyone was extremely qualified, but Mr. Basnight stood out head and shoulders above the rest,” he said. “He’s somewhat local and he could grasp the dynamics of Hyde County.”
Basnight will begin as a contracted employee 10 days before Latimore’s last day, Oct. 26, to get up to speed on Hyde County, Etheridge said. Latimore has served Hyde County for the last decade.
Two receptions will be held for the community to meet Basnight and his family, Etheridge said. One will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Mattamuskeet School cafeteria, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, in the Ocracoke School Commons Room.
Etheridge said Basnight and his family will move to Hyde County as required by North Carolina general statute.
Prior to his current position, Basnight, who has a Master of Arts degree in school administration and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from East Carolina University, has served in a variety of positions from teacher, coach, assistant principal and district curriculum specialist, all in Dare County.
Under his leadership, his schools have received recognition for academic performance and extra-curricular successes in both sports and academics, according to a press release. The J. P. Knapp Early College High School has been recognized as a state performance grade of “A” and for exceeding expected growth for the last four consecutive years. Also, the school was recognized in 2017 and 2018 as “One of the Nation’s Best High Schools” by U. S. News and World Report.
Basnight also is an education specialist, a degree that is designed to provide knowledge and theory in the field of beyond the master’s degree level.
The Hyde County BOE began a search for a new superintendent in May, and Basnight was selected from about 30 applicants.
According to the press release, Basnight has been described as “innovative, dedicated, collaborative, competent, respected and always prepared and whose decisions and actions are driven by what is in the best interest of students.”
Others cite his “exceptional work ethic, ability to empower employees, bring consensus to issues and the support and accolades of different constituent groups as other attributes.”