In 1993, the first North Carolina Great Teachers Retreat (originally called the Great Blue Ridge Teacher Retreat) was first held at Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, North Carolina. This retreat was a direct result of Dr. Kathy Matlock (Dean of Instruction at Blue Ridge Community College) deciding to have Blue Ridge Community College sponsor a retreat after hearing David Gottshall (founder of the GTM) present information about the GTM at a national conference.
Dr. Matlock designated Julie Thompson, Director of the Blue Ridge Community College Career Development Center, to coordinate the event. Retreats were held in 1993 and 1994 with no retreat held in 1995. However, in 1996 the 3rd annual retreat was held followed by retreats in 1997 and 1998. Julie left her Coordinator’s position in 1998 and the responsibilities of the retreat were forwarded to Steve Smith (faculty member at Richmond CC) until he left the college in 2006. In 2007, Kay Crouch (Caldwell CC&TI) assumed duties as seminar coordinator. In 2013, 1st Person Seminars Higher Education Consulting, LLC was formed as an entrepreneurial venture by Steve Smith to provide professional learning in higher education & business settings. Since Kay retired in 2013 from CCC&TI, 1PS handled the registration, payment, and event logistics. In 2017, Sandhills Community College assumed the administrative duties (registration, payment, and event logistics.) The NCGTS is still conducted on a cost recovery basis.
The 2016 seminar was moved from Hendersonville, NC to Salter Path, NC (Trinity Center).
The GTM is based entirely upon oral tradition. Many GTM practitioners have customized seminars to address specific organizational and professional development needs. Various seminars for faculty, staff, and entire institutions have spanned as little as 90 minutes and as long as an entire week.