Greensboro, N.C. – Several Guilford County School principals and leaders will take on new roles beginning this summer.

Eboni Chillis, current executive director of career and technical education, will serve as the district’s interim chief innovation officer. Chillis came to GCS in September 2019 from Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia, where she served as director/coordinator of Career Technical and Agricultural Education. Chillis has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Morris Brown College, a master’s degree in K-12 education from Cambridge College and a doctoral degree in instructional design for online learners from Capella University.

Denise Patterson, the current school support officer for non-traditional high schools, will now serve as the interim chief student services officer. Patterson earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2007. She holds a master’s degree in school administration and a master’s degree in elementary education from Gardner-Webb University and UNC-Charlotte respectively. Prior to joining Guilford County Schools, Patterson was the superintendent of Asheville City Schools, where she was the leader of more than 4,200 students at 10 schools.

Lise Timmons McLaughlin, the current principal at the Academy at Smith, will become the principal of Dudley High. While at the Academy at Smith, Timmons McLaughlin led the successful implementation of the Academy of Biomedical Technology at the Academy at Smith, one of five signature academies in GCS. Under her leadership since 2018, the school has consistently achieved a 100% graduation rate. Before becoming principal at the Academy at Smith, she was an administrator at Page High. Timmons McLaughlin holds a master’s degree in education, curriculum and supervision from the UNC-Charlotte, as well as a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from UNC-Charlotte.

Darrell Harris, who is currently the principal of the Middle College at GTCC-High Point, will become principal of the Academy at Smith. Under his leadership at the Middle College at GTCC- High Point, the school had a 100% graduation for three consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018). Additionally, the number of students earning college credit has continued to increase. Harris has a doctoral degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master’s degree in health and physical education from North Carolina A&T State University and bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Hampton University.

Angela Polk-Jones, principal of the Early College at Guilford, will become the principal of the Middle College at GTCC-High Point. Polk-Jones has been the principal at the Early College at Guilford since 2019 when it was named the number one high school in North Carolina. Before that, she was principal of the Middle College at UNCG, which was the only high school in the country to receive gold-level recognition as one of America’s Best Urban Schools in 2018. Polk-Jones has a master’s degree in school administration and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UNC-Greensboro.

Pete Kashubara, the current principal at Western High, will become principal of the Early College at Guilford. Kashubara has been the principal of Western High since 2010, where he helped create the district’s first Advanced Placement Academy. By the end of his second year as principal there, student performance was the highest in school history. He also served as principal at Weaver Academy from 2008 to 2010. Kashubara holds his doctoral degree in education from UNC-Greensboro, a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina A&T State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Westminster College.

Gregory Newlin will become the new principal at Western High. Newlin comes from Indianapolis Public Schools, where he served as the executive director of schools. Before that, he was principal of Grimsley High from 2011 to 2014, and he has also served as a high school principal in two other districts in North Carolina. During his tenure at Grimsley High, the graduation rate increased from 82% to 85% and the dropout rate decreased from 4.5% to 2.5%. Newlin holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Citadel Military College of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Charleston.

Courtney Blake-Smith, who is currently the principal of Hairston Middle, will become the principal of Pruette SCALE Academy, where she previously served as principal. Blake-Smith comes to Dean Pruette SCALE Academy after having been one of 10 schools in the state of North Carolina to successfully write and receive the Innovative Partnerships Grant (IPG) from the state of North Carolina. Blake-Smith also has extensive experience with 100% implementation of social and emotional learning instructional strategies to ensure her students have a safe and caring learning environment. Blake-Smith obtained her master’s degree in executive leadership studies from Gardner-Webb University in 2014. She also has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Carolina Central University.

Ashauna Harris is currently the principal of Welborn Middle and will become the principal of Hairston Middle. She was the 2018-2019 GCS Secondary Principal of the Year. While she was at Welborn Middle, school achievement improved in all subject areas and all grade levels. Harris has her doctoral degree in educational leadership from UNC-Greensboro. She has a master’s degree in school administration from UNC-Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina A&T State University. 

Shayla Savage, current principal of Union Hill Elementary, will become the new principal at Welborn Middle. Savage has been a principal at Union Hill Elementary since 2015, and during that time, the school’s performance grade improved to a C, and the school met or exceeded growth each year. She has her master’s degree in school administration, bachelor’s degree in special education and bachelor’s degree in social work, all from North Carolina A&T State University.

Therman Flowers will become the principal at Union Hill Elementary. Flowers is a school transformation coach at C. C. Spaulding Elementary in Durham, where he helped raise overall achievement from 49% to 75%. He has been a principal and executive director of schools in other districts across North Carolina and has served previously as an assistant principal in Guilford County Schools. Flowers has a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from North Carolina A&T State University.

Merrie Conaway, principal at Foust Elementary, will become principal at Jesse Wharton Elementary. Conaway has been at Foust Elementary since 2011, and before that served as principal at Lindley Elementary from 2005 to 2011. While at Foust Elementary, Conaway narrowed the student performance gap between the district and school on reading and math interim assessments by 56% and decreased discipline referrals by 73% through the successful implementation of Opportunity Culture Multi-Classroom Leader positions. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership and cultural foundations from UNCG, a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Nicholas Dixon will become principal at Foust Elementary. Dixon is currently the assistant principal at Falkener Elementary, where he has served since 2019. During his tenure at the school, he developed school-wide systems that supported the social and emotional development of students, leading to a 20% decrease in office referrals. He started his education career as a teacher at Southeast Middle and he is a member of the New Leaders Assistant Principal Leadership Academy. Dixon holds a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University and a bachelor’s degree in history from East Carolina University.

Christopher Scott, principal at Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary, will become principal at Northeast Middle. Scott has been at Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary since 2017 and before that was an assistant principal and principal intern at Dudley High. While at Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary, reading and science proficiency increased significantly, and the school exceeded expected growth. He was a finalist for principal of the year in 2019. Scott holds a master’s degree in school administration from UNC-Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University Southeast.

Robin Britt, assistant principal at Bessemer Elementary, will become principal at Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary. Britt has been an assistant principal at Bessemer Elementary since 2017, during which time the school’s overall growth increased and out-of-school suspensions were reduced by 31%. He also was the director of instructional technology and innovation from 2014 to 2017. He taught middle and elementary school and previously worked as an education attorney. Britt holds a master’s degree in school administration from Appalachian State University, a juris doctor/business administration joint master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in history from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Denise Francisco, who is currently the principal of Oak Ridge Elementary, will become the principal of Northwest Middle. Francisco has been the principal of Oak Ridge Elementary for nearly a decade, and the school remains one of the top-performing elementary schools in Guilford County Schools, with proficiency composites over 85% while meeting or exceeding growth. Francisco holds a master’s degree in school administration and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UNC-Greensboro.

Jeanelle Lindsay, assistant principal at Southwest Elementary, will become the new principal at Reedy Fork Elementary. Lindsay has been at Southwest Elementary since 2017 and also was a teacher and reading specialist at Morehead Elementary. In 2019, Lindsay assisted Southwest Elementary with increasing the overall school performance score from 77 to 87 as well as increasing the state letter grade from a B to an A. Additionally, in 2019 Southwest Elementary had the highest growth index in Guilford County. Lindsay has a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from UNC-Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in child development from North Carolina A&T State University.

Dwayne Jordan, current principal of Jamestown Elementary, will become principal at Allen Middle. During his time at Jamestown Elementary, the school’s performance composite increased from 53% to 70% in four years. Jordan began his career with GCS as a fifth-grade teacher at Fairview Elementary. He holds a master’s degree in school administration from Appalachian State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Winston-Salem State University.

Lindsay Traumuller, assistant principal at Ferndale Middle, will become principal at Morehead Elementary. Since 2016 she has been at Ferndale Middle, where she served as head of the English Language Arts department. During her time in that role, school data showed two consecutive years of exceeding growth. Traumuller has been a curriculum facilitator at Pruette SCALE Academy and was teacher of the year for Alamance-Burlington School System in 2007. She holds a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina A&T State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida. 

About Guilford County Schools

Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, and the 47th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves 73,000 PK-12 students at 125 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com.

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