New administrators announced for three Asheville City Schools

Press release from Asheville City Schools: 

Following today’s Board of Education Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Denise Patterson is pleased to announce three new Asheville City Schools administrative assignments for the 2018-2019 School Year.


Dr. Randall Johnson has been selected as the new Assistant Principal of Asheville Middle School, where he’s looking to “work with students and staff members to build an academic culture of learning.”

“Increasing test scores is coupled with building character; therefore, I’m excited to move forward with Asheville Middle School’s driving principle of Excellence with Equity to ensure all students are learning to the best of their ability and reaching their full potential.”

Dr. Johnson has been in education for fifteen years, having most recently served as the Interim Assistant Principal of Asheville Middle School. Prior to his tenure at the middle school, Dr. Johnson was Asheville High School’s School Safety and Student Support Specialist.

At both campuses, he managed and enforced school behavioral expectations for students across grades as well as collaborated with school counselors and administrators to create and maintain research-based behavioral interventions.

Dr. Johnson began his teaching career as an Asheville City Schools Special Education teacher serving students at Hall Fletcher Elementary School, Asheville Middle School, Asheville High School and Randolph Learning Center from October 2003 – July 2011.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in History from North Carolina A&T State University as well as his master’s degree in Special Education from Western Carolina University. He also received his Doctor of Education, Education Leadership in Policy and Analysis: Administrative Licensure from East Tennessee State University in December 2016.

Dr. Johnson’s dissertation focused on strategies that policymakers and educators can implement to increase the graduation rate for at-risk students in North Carolina. He believes that “regardless of a child’s socioeconomic background or parental status, there is a way for students to grow, learn and succeed given equal educational opportunities.”

In regards to his new position, Dr. Johnson is excited to delve deeper into restorative practices. He’s also looking forward to collaborating with fellow school administrators to create unique leadership opportunities with representatives from each Asheville Middle School community.

When Dr. Johnson is not at school, he enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with his family and friends. He has two children. Tyriq Bowens is a rising Asheville High School tenth grader, and his daughter, Amya Johnson, is five-years-old and starting kindergarten this fall.


Lauren Evans has been named the new principal of Asheville Primary, a Montessori Magnet School for Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd Grade.

Evans currently serves as the Assistant Principal of Vance Elementary School and is “joyful about continuing to serve Asheville City Schools as well as live in the community where [she] serves.”

Dedicated to developing the whole child, she believes that “if you bring joy, rigor and a child’s individual experiences into the classroom, you’re bound for excellence and will see exceptional growth both socially and emotionally as well as academically.”

Evans believes all students should be held accountable to reach their highest potential; however, it’s more than simply doing well on a test. Instead, she is “looking to help foster creative, innovative students who are prepared to interact with their global community.”
Prior to her tenure with Vance Elementary School, Evans was the Director of Curriculum for Charlotte Secondary School. While there, she analyzed student achievement data to determine staff development plans, managed the school’s Exceptional Children’s Department and mentored teachers on classroom management strategies as well as effective instructional and planning practices.

Evans was a Special Education Teacher from 2005-2014. She began her career as a Teach for America Special Education Teacher in Washington, D.C. before moving to Isaac Dickson Elementary School in the Fall of 2007. In addition to fostering community and teaching students with behavioral and emotional disabilities, Evans was part of the Isaac Dickson Elementary School PBIS Team, Courageous Conversations, Title I Professional Learning Community, Intervention Team, Student Support Team and RTI Leadership Team. She also planned and presented a Reaching All Learners district professional development session focused on student engagement and teaching with poverty in mind.

Evans was additionally selected as Isaac Dickson Elementary School’s 2013 Teacher of the Year and Asheville City Schools’ 2014 Special Education Teacher of the Year.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland as well as her master’s degree in Learning Disabilities from American University. In 2018, she too received her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Queen’s University.

Evans is excited about this new opportunity and believes transformational change starts with our youngest students.

“With support from Asheville Primary’s staff and families, we’re working together to create the foundation for the rest of our students’ lives,” said Evans. “I teach, I raise my children because I feel like my life is in service of children, and I hope to only get better at it.”

Outside of school, Evans enjoys spending time with her partner, Tasha Lewis, and their four-year-old twins, Maxwell and Oliver. She also practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


Most recently serving as the principal of Kansas City’s Noble Prentis Elementary School, Sharon Nelson Potts has been selected as the new principal of Hall Fletcher Elementary School.
While at Noble Prentis, she embraced strategies that provided tiered instruction for students, supported resources to ensure both student and staff successes as well as cultivated key community partnerships.

With more than 15 years in school administration, Potts previously served as the assistant principal of three Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools which included Tryon Hills Pre-K Center (2002-2006), Hickory Grove Elementary School (2006-2011) and Clear Creek Elementary School (2011-2013).

Potts possesses a “strong commitment to the development of students,” while supporting “individuality, diversity and high academic achievement that works together to provide a stimulating, safe and motivating learning environment.”

Before going into administration, Potts taught elementary school for 10 years and middle school for three years.

Through her rich educational experience, Potts actively supports the development of unpacking standards to align instruction with best practices to meet the needs of all students.

Potts is excited to begin her tenure at Hall Fletcher Elementary School where she’s looking to “follow suit with the district’s commitment of Excellence with Equity. I truly believe every student can achieve, and Hall Fletcher’s STEM magnet theme is an excellent launching pad to do so.”

In fact, Potts has already begun collaborating with STEM principals across the state to create a network of support and added resources to increase student success and accessibility.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Intermediate Education from Johnson C. Smith University as well as a master’s degree in School Administration from Cambridge College. She received her Graduate Certificate in Curriculum and Supervision from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

When Potts is away from school, she enjoys spending time with family, exploring the great outdoors, reading and traveling.

These assignments were approved by the Asheville City Board of Education during today’s regular meeting. Dr. Johnson, Ms. Evans and Ms. Potts will begin their new roles on Monday, July 2nd.

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