News in brief: Asheville City Schools names new superintendent; candidates announced for APD police chief

Gene Freeman
COMING SOON: Gene Freeman, new superintendent of Asheville City Schools, is now scheduled to start work on April 20. Photo courtesy of Asheville City Schools

Asheville City Schools selects Gene Freeman for superintendent 

Asheville City Schools announced Dec. 19 that the system had chosen Gene Freeman as its new superintendent. Freeman is currently the superintendent of the Fox Chapel Area School District, located in a suburb of Pittsburgh, and has more than 25 years of experience in education. The Asheville City Board of Education began its search for a new superintendent following the resignation of Denise Patterson on June 12 for unspecified medical reasons. Freeman was chosen from a pool of 28 candidates and will start work on Wednesday, July 1. Bobbie Short will continue to serve as interim superintendent throughout the transition. More information is available at

Campbell announces Asheville police chief finalists 

Asheville City Manager Debra Campbell held a public meet and greet on Dec. 17 to introduce the city’s top three candidates for chief of police of the Asheville Police Department. Those choices were David Zack, who works as the police chief in Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Cincinnati Police Department Capt. Maurice Robinson; and James Nolette, assistant chief at the Fayetteville Police Department. The candidates were recruited by research and consulting group Police Executive Research Forum, which the city hired to help fill the position. The search for a new police chief launched in November following the abrupt resignation of former Chief Chris Bailey in September after less than two months on the job ( Campbell said she expects to select one of the candidates in January. 

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson to speak at UNCA Feb. 13-14

Richard Davidson, co-author of “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body,” will give a lecture on how meditation and related contemplative practices improve well-being at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Davidson will then lead a master class at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, in the Highsmith Student Union Blue Ridge Room. Both events are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. More information is available at

APD to add new patrol district

The Asheville Police Department plans to add a new patrol district, known as the Charlie District, that will cover downtown, the South Slope, South French Broad, River Arts District and neighborhoods along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive starting in January. The department also plans to realign its three current patrol districts, located in West Asheville, North and Central Asheville and South and East Asheville, to increase efficiency and response time. More information can be found at


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.