Asheville City Schools: Cynthia Sellinger becomes new Asheville Middle School principal

PRESS RELEASE (from Asheville City Schools)

Cynthia Sellinger, a 30-year education veteran who has most recently led Vance Elementary School in West Asheville through an unprecedented period of both academic and enrollment growth, will become the new principal of Asheville Middle School on July 1st, Superintendent Allen Johnson announced today.

“Cynthia Sellinger was chosen because she has exactly the skill set we need to move Asheville Middle School forward”, Johnson said. She has an amazing amount of energy and has built a strong sense of ‘community’ through her relationships with students, staff and families. She brings to Asheville Middle her expertise as a veteran principal and a proven track record of continuous improvement.”

Sellinger was appointed as the principal at Vance Elementary in February, 2004. Her public education career also includes a three-year term as assistant principal (AP) of Asheville Middle (1994-97), the AP at William Randolph Elementary (1997-2000, when it was paired with Jones Primary) and the AP at Vance (2000-04). In addition to those 18 years of administrative experience, Sellinger also served Asheville City Schools as a chorus teacher at Hill Street, Hall Fletcher and Asheville Middle Schools from 1982-94. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Mars Hill College (1982) and a Masters in Educational Administration from Western Carolina University (1992).

“I am excited and honored and look forward to working with such a talented community of educators”, Sellinger said earlier today. “Each of us will be dedicated to student success. With families, staff and students working together on common goals, Asheville Middle School can become the best middle school in North Carolina!”

Asheville City Schools will soon form an advisory committee of staff, parents and administrators to help the district find the next principal for Vance Elementary School. Candidates will be sought locally and across the nation. “We will look far and near for exactly the right leader to sustain and advance Vance’s unique educational environment”, Superintendent Johnson tells Vance parents in a message going out late Tuesday afternoon.

“Let me take this opportunity to publically thank Mary Margaret Sullivan,” Superintendent Johnson also tells parents in a recorded phone message. “She has been a dedicated administrator with Asheville City Schools for three years and helped establish innovative programs like single-gender classrooms and the In Real Life afterschool offerings, which now serve more than 250 students. During her tenure, Asheville Middle has grown both academically and in student population.”

Asheville Middle School serves a diverse student enrollment of 715 with a staff of 90 dedicated educators. Enrollment at the school has increased over the past three years by about ten percent and the Buncombe County Commissioners have recently approved funding for development of ‘blueprints’ for a new AMS facility. Asheville Middle students exceeded the state average in both math and reading for almost every student group/grade for the 2010-11 school year. The school will be a focal point of Asheville City School’s new strategic plan; more than 70 parents, staff and community leaders have just signed up for the strategic planning action team that will formulate measurable goals and action steps for the school’s future.

The mission of Asheville Middle School is to ensure that all students reach their full potential by learning responsibility, earning respect, building pride, and achieving greatness

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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