Exceptional Children


Helping Exceptional Children Reach Their Potential in the Least Restrictive Environment

At Mountain Discovery, we strive to create an environment that celebrates inclusion and diversity and that allows each child to discover their own unique potential. We pride ourselves on serving the whole child along the full continuum. We collaborate as an integrated team with teachers, parents, related services professionals, support staff, and the students to develop effective Individual Special Education Plans for each student.

The E.C. Department’s goals are to provide innovative research-based strategies and interventions to support all of our students’ academic, social, and functional growth. By utilizing a least restrictive inclusion model of services, exceptional students are in the regular classrooms with their peers as much as possible. This allows all students to participate as active classroom community members. We are here to provide the support and tools they need to successfully access and navigate the North Carolina Curriculum for their grade. Extra support, small group and one on one instruction are offered as needed and on a regular basis. Each student is provided the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and insight to lead productive lives.



If you are new to Mountain Discovery and have questions about special education, please contact Tracy Wharton, Coordinator for EC Services via email at twharton@mountaindiscovery.org. 

In order to make your student’s transition into Mountain Discovery go smoothly, it is very important to provide  copies of the following information during registration:

  • Most recent psychoeducational report, eligibility, evaluation, and/or reevaluation report;
  • Current individualized education program (IEP);  
  • Contact information for your student’s previous school and school district.

Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards

NCDPI Exceptional Children Division

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

This handbook is designed to support families with the understanding of the rights and responsibilities specific to the special education process. Acronyms and terms often used in special education and resources can be found in the appendices. 

If at any time, you suspect your student may have a disability and is in need of special education and/or related services, you may request an evaluation, in writing, to your student’s school principal, teacher, or MDCS EC Department.

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for Families

MTSS For Families 


Weblinks for parents:

National Center For Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities and ADHD
504 Grievance Procedure


Lendy Ayers - EC Coordinator
Lendy is from Graham County, NC where she has spent the majority of her life. She currently lives in Almond with her husband Andy and their German Shepherd Rush. Spending time with her family is her favorite thing to do. She also enjoys activities such as, hiking, mountain biking, camping and fishing.  Lendy is completing her 25th year in education. She received her bachelor's degree in education from Western Carolina University. Her career in education includes teaching Special Education at all grade levels, 7th grade math, 2nd grade and 3rd grade. Lendy is very thankful  to be a part of ...
Tammy Powers - EC Lead Teacher
I am Tammy Powers and I teach Exceptional Children.  I am so excited to be back at MDCS. I have taught since 1988. I have taught Band, Chorus, and Exceptional Children. I began teaching in Buncombe County and moved back home to Bryson City in 2011 with my son and daughter. I have a 28 year old daughter and a 23 year old son. My son attended school here at MDCS and graduated from Swain High School in 2018. My daughter attended and graduated from Swain as well in 2014.  I graduated from Swain High School in 1984 and Mars ...
Chloe Plesset - EC Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Chloe Plesset. I was born in LA, California, but was pretty much raised outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my 3-legged mutt named Roo. We go on long hikes, take trips to the dog park, and chase sunsets! Dogs have always been a great part of my life and I started volunteering/fostering dogs when I was about 12 years old and to this day continue to help where I can. My goal is to contact animal shelters in the area in order to set up teen volunteers for ...
Brittany Morgan - Self Contained  EC Classroom Lead Teacher
"I grew up in these mountains and I love these mountains. We are all extremely lucky to live here together. My passion is kids, it's as simple as that. This school is definitely something special and you can feel that when you're here. As the EC teacher, I have had the privilege of working with some pretty extraordinary kids. My number one goal as a teacher is to promote key life skills to our students such as kindness, independence, empathy, communication, and making connections. I strive for our students to feel safe, comfortable, and engaged in our classroom." Brittany has ...
Mountain Discovery School