Floral 02

Dr. Barbara McCauley Tapscott

February 6, 1938 ~ August 4, 2019 (age 81)


Dr. Barbara McCauley Tapscott of Burlington, North Carolina, passed away from complications of pneumonia on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Alamance Regional Medical Center, Burlington with her family by her side.   Barbara was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, educator and administrator who will be greatly missed by all who know and love her.

She was born February 6, 1938 in Guilford County North Carolina to parents, Harlin and Hazel McCauley and was a graduate of Mebane High School. She began her formal education at Greensboro College.  In 1960, she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Elon College, now Elon University. She received her Masters Degree in education from UNC-CH in 1969, and in 1974 she earned a Doctorate in Education Administration also at UNC-CH.  

Her first teaching experience was in 1960 at Pleasant Grove School followed by teaching in the mid-60s at Turrentine Middle.  After receiving her Masters Degree, she served as Principal of Glen Hope Elementary. Positions she later held in administration at the Burlington City Schools included Director of Elementary Education and Special Projects in Burlington and Director of Secondary Education and Special Projects in Burlington. Throughout her career, Tapscott served on numerous educational boards. In 1977 she was appointed by Governor Hunt to the NC Competency Board, and in 1980 became the first female Chairman of the NC State Board of Education.  She was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine on three separate occasions. 

Other organizations she has been associated with over the years include: the Advisory Counsel to Adult Basic Education for the Technical College of Alamance, the Alamance Executives Club, ex-officio member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee to study Academic Credit for High School Volunteerism, member of Public Education Policy, Alamance County Hospital Board of Trustees, Alamance Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, the Elon Homes Board of Directors, and an active member of Union Ridge Church.  

Barbara is survived by her husband of 61 years William H. Tapscott of the home.  Kent Tapscott, son and daughter in law, Roxanne of Burlington.  Kyle Tapscott, son, of Pine Bluff NC.  Grand children Brett and wife Brooke Tapscott and great grandson Reid of Raleigh, and Heather Tapscott of Burlington.  She is also survived by her brother Garlin and wife Sylvia McCauley of Stanley, NC.

 She leaves behind not only a legacy as a professional and innovative educator but of love and dedication to her family and friends. Barbara made friends wherever she went.  Her favorite thing was spending time at Atlantic Beach, NC with family and friends.    

A celebration of her life will be held at Rich and Thompson Funeral Services in Burlington at 11:00 AM, August 7, with Pastors Dan Ficklin, Fred Grosse, and Phil Hardy officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00 AM prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to Greensboro College and Elon Homes and Schools for children. 

To send flowers to Barbara's family, please visit our floral section.


August 7, 2019

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Rich and Thompson Funeral Service
306 Glenwood Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Memorial Service
August 7, 2019

11:00 AM
Rich and Thompson Chapel
306 Glenwood Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

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