Asheville PEAK Academy hires Raul Saldaña as school leader

Press release from Asheville PEAK Academy:

Asheville PEAK Academy, an Asheville area charter school opening in 2021, is proud to announce the hiring of its founding school leader, Dr. Raul Saldaña. Dr. Saldaña comes to Asheville PEAK Academy from El Paso, Texas, with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and measurable results in closing opportunity gaps for students of color and students from low-income homes. Dr. Saldaña, a first-generation college graduate, received his Bachelor’s (Early Childhood Education), Master’s (Education), and Ph.D. (Teaching, Learning, and Culture) from the University of Texas-El Paso.

Dr. Saldaña started his career as a 4th grade teacher in El Paso. He was quickly recognized for his exceptional instruction through his students’ high results. He gained opportunities to lead
professional trainings and work as an academic coach. He went on to serve as a districtwide
Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology coach, writing curriculum, and creating and leading
professional development for teachers. Dr. Saldaña went on to serve as a founding Assistant
Principal of Operations for IDEA Charter Public School in El Paso, responsible for day-to-day
operations, recruitment, and community relations. His most recent experience has been as an
Assistant Principal with Las Cruces Public Schools in New Mexico, where he focused on building positive relationships, increasing teacher capacity through professional development, and improving student outcomes by fostering students’ social, emotional, and academic
development. A committed servant leader, Dr. Saldaña has proven dedication to expanding
opportunity for students of color in every position in which he has served.

Dr. Saldaña separated himself from 60 candidates nationwide during the two-month selection
process. Over the course of three interviews with the Asheville PEAK Academy board, he
displayed relentless determination, a student-centered mindset, and strong instructional
leadership. Dr. Miguel Serrano, Chief Human Resources Officer at Las Cruces Public Schools
states, “Dr. Saldaña is relentless in his quest for educational excellence. He has every kid’s best interest in mind, and makes the learning community’s success his top mission.” Board member Joe Lordi notes, “What stands out to me about Raul is his passion for delivering a high-quality educational experience for all children – regardless of their background. He is a tireless, principled leader that believes that education is the key to unlocking the innate potential in all children. He will advocate for children – and hold himself and his staff to the highest standards and expectations.”

Dr. Saldaña will begin his work for Asheville PEAK Academy this August, 2020. He will lead the school in student recruitment, building community partnerships, school curriculum and operational planning, and teacher hiring before doors open to students in August 2021. To find out more about Asheville PEAK Academy, please visit or email us at

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