Buncombe County Schools announces administrator appointments

Full announcement from Buncombe County Schools

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ASSIGNMENTS:

Avery’s Creek Elementary: Ibis Nùñez will replace Malorie McGinnis who is moving to Black Mountain Primary. Nùñez joins Buncombe County Schools from Durham Public Schools where she was the Director of Instruction – Special Education for the past 6 years. Previously, Nùñez served as an elementary school teacher and as an elementary principal in Illinois for 8 years from 1995-2003, and in Chapel Hill/Carboro NC for 3 years, 2003-06. She was also an ESL and Special Education teacher in Puerto Rico from 1979-1985. Nùñez holds a BA in elementary education and a Master’s in School Administration, both from the University of Puerto Rico.

Black Mountain Primary: Malorie McGinnis has been selected to replace Jerry Green, who is retiring. McGinnis has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s in School Administration from East Carolina University. McGinnis is leaving Avery’s Creek Elementary where she has been principal since 2006. Prior to Avery’s Creek, she was assistant principal at Glen Arden Elementary from 2003-2006, and taught at Black Mountain Primary from 1995-2003.

Fairview Elementary: Jennifer Reed has been confirmed as principal for the 2012-13 school year, after serving as interim principal and assistant principal at the school. Previously, Reed served as assistant principal at Emma Elementary from 2009-11, and at Glen Arden Elementary 2008-09. She also taught at Hominy Valley from 2003-08. Reed has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Master’s degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

Glen Arden Elementary: Kristina Specht is returning to Buncombe County Schools to take the helm at Glen Arden, where she taught from 1999-2004. She replaces Jim Erdman, who will become principal at Weaverville Primary. Most recently, Specht has been an assistant principal at Four Oaks Elementary in Johnston County, NC since 2006. Previously, she taught in Louisville, KY from 1986-88, and in Tampa, FL from 1990-99. Specht holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Southern Methodist University, and a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

Johnston Elementary: Charlotte Hipps replaces Pam Fourtenbary, who is relocating to Alabama. Hipps began her career as a teacher in Burke County Schools in 1995, and has taught in Johnston, Haywood and Henderson County Schools. She served as the Career Pathways Coordinator at AB Technical Institute from 2004-06, before joining Buncombe County Schools as assistant principal at Buncombe County Early College from 2006-09. She served as assistant principal at Glen Arden Elementary from 2009-11, and at Estes Elementary from 2011-12. Hipps holds both a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

Oakley Elementary: Michael Benigno will replace Brian Chandler, who will become principal at West Buncombe Elementary. Benigno has been an assistant principal with Buncombe County Schools since 2008, serving at Haw Creek, Candler and Valley Springs Middle. He was previously an assistant principal in Ashe County, and has taught in Ashe, Caldwell, and Henderson Countas well as at A.C. Reynolds Middle. Benigno received both his Bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education and a Master’s in School Administration from Appalachian State University.

Sandhill-Venable Elementary: Carmen Murray will replace Diane McEntire, who is retiring. Murray taught at Sandhill-Venable for ten years, from 1987-97, and was assistant principal there from 1997-2000. She then served as principal of Black Mountain Elementary from 2000-03, and as principal at West Buncombe Elementary since 2003. Murray has both a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in School Administration from Appalachian State University.

W.D. Williams: Kimberly Ward, assistant principal at North Buncombe Elementary since 2006, will replace the retiring Patti Morgan. Ward began her career as a teacher in Horry County Schools from 1990-93, before coming to Buncombe County Schools as a teacher at Erwin Middle School from 1994-2006. She has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina, and a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

West Buncombe Elementary: Brian Chandler will take the helm at West Buncombe as Carmen Murray moves to replace the retiring Diane McEntire at Sandhill-Venable. Chandler has served as the principal of Oakley Elementary since 2006. Previously, Chandler was the assistant principal at West Buncombe from 2003-06, so he is no stranger to the school. Chandler was also a third and fourth grade teacher at North Buncombe Elementary from 1995-2003. He has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Managerial Accounting from UNC-A, and a Master’s from Western Carolina University.

Weaverville Primary: Jim Erdman replaces the retiring Kay Southern, and comes to Weaverville Primary from Glen Arden, where he has served as principal since 2010. Previously, Erdman was assistant principal at W.D. Williams from 2008-10, and at North Buncombe Middle from 1999-2002. Formerly, Erdman taught special education in Wisconsin from 1975-1988, and at Bell Elementary and Claxton Elementary from 1988-1997. He was also principal at Immaculata School-Diocese of Charlotte from 1997-99. Erdman holds a Bachelor’s in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ASSIGNMENTS:

A.C. Reynolds Middle: Jamie Laws is appointed to principal, replacing Dr. Robbie Adell, who is taking on a new role at the central office. Laws has served as assistant principal at Erwin Middle since 2008, where she also taught from 2004-07. Laws began her career in education as a teacher in Henderson County, 2001-03, and in Madison County 2003-04. She also taught in Asheville City Schools 2007-08. Laws has a Bachelor’s in Physical Education from Mars Hill College, and a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University.

Charles D. Owen Middle: Gayland Welborn returns to the role of principal after a year in retirement. Most recently, Welborn was principal at T.C. Roberson H.S. 2010-11, after spending three years as principal at Clyde A. Erwin Middle from 2007-2010. Previously, Welborn was an assistant principal at T.C. Roberson 2006-07, and at Cane Creek Middle 2005-06. Welborn was a principal in Guilford County Schools from 1997-2005, and an assistant principal in Burlington County and Greensboro City Schools 1989-97. Welborn began his career in 1982, spending seven years as a school guidance counselor in Rockingham and Guilford County Schools. Welborn holds a Bachelor’s degree in social studies from Guilford College, a Master’s in School Guidance Counseling from Appalachian State with coursework in School Administration completed at NC A&T University.

HIGH SCHOOL APPOINTMENT:

Community High School: Clifford Owens comes to Buncombe County Schools as principal of Community High School, with a wealth of experience in a variety of capacities. Owens has a Bachelor’s in Speech and Theology from David Lipscomb University, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Georgian Court College. He has also completed coursework in Special Education from High Point University and in School Administration at Appalachian State. Most recently, Owens has been a Regional Detention Principal with the NC Department of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention. Previously, Owens was assistant principal at Griffith Academy High School 2008-2010, and at Alleghany High School 2007-08. Owens taught special education in North Carolina high schools from 2001-2007. In addition to his education background, Owens was a drug and alcohol counselor/senior corrections officer and case manager from 1984-1998 in New Jersey.

ADMINISTRATION APPOINTMENT:

Director of Safe School/Interscholastic Athletics/School-Community Relations:

Dr. Robbie Adell

[Note: This position combines duties previously held by two central office administrators, Bob Washel and Dr. Larry McCallum, into one position.]

Dr. Adell has been principal of A.C. Reynolds Middle School since 2004. Previously, he served as assistant principal at Cane Creek Middle 2003-04, and at Henderson High School from 2001-03. While at Henderson High School, Adell also served as Athletic Director. Adell began his career as a teacher at A.C. Reynolds Middle, 1984-1997, before becoming an assistant principal with Asheville City Schools from 1997-2001. Dr. Adell received a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Western Carolina University in 1984, and his Master’s in School Administration at WCU in 1998. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Cumberland College in 2011.


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  1. Kimberly Moore

    Awesome! Mr. Clifford Owens. On behalf of all the Detention Teachers…..Gaston Juvenile Detention Center will MISS you the most:) You deserve the blessing. We look forward to keeping in close.

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