Avery Mitchell named 2010 Wachovia Principal of the Year

Avery Mitchell

Avery Mitchell

Albemarle Road Middle School Principal Avery Mitchell was named the 2010 Wachovia Principal of the Year for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at a surprise announcement held at the school. Mitchell, who is in her first full year at Albemarle Road Middle, was previously the principal at Crestdale Middle for four years.
During her time at Crestdale, the school was recognized as a North Carolina School of Distinction and made its goals for student academic growth. Mitchell was granted freedom and flexibility with accountability by Superintendent Peter C. Gorman during the program’s first year of implementation in April 2008. Crestdale was named a 2009 National School to Watch, an award recognizing middle schools for academic achievement, adolescent development and equitable education.
In March 2009, Mitchell was chosen by the superintendent to move to Albemarle Road Middle as part of the Strategic Staffing Initiative, which places high-performing administrators in high-need schools.
“This has tested my leadership skills and my ability to make strategic changes that will positively affect the school’s culture and student learning,” Mitchell said. “I am working closely with the administrative team, staff, parents and students to develop a culture that focuses on collaboration, rigor and continuous learning. An emphasis has been on recruiting and retaining strong educators who believe in our students and who work tirelessly to meet their individual needs.”
Part of Mitchell’s success can be credited to her ability to build relationships and motivate others said East Learning Community Area Superintendent Nancy Bartles.
“Avery cultivates a true community of learning that extends outside the doors of the school to families and the community,” Bartles said. “She makes the vision for the school obvious, communicates it often and seeks to involve others in accomplishing the vision. She is a gem in our school system and to this profession. She is a tireless worker and she makes a difference.”
Mitchell now moves on to compete with other local award recipients from the southwest region of the state. Regional award recipients will be selected by February 2010 and the 2010 State Wachovia Principal of the Year will be announced in April 2010 at the state luncheon in Raleigh.
This is the 27th year that Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company, has sponsored the financial awards. District principals of the year receive a cash award and regional winners receive a cash award for themselves and their schools.
Mitchell graduated from North Carolina State University in 1992 and received a master’s degree from Winthrop University in 2000. She is currently in the doctoral program in educational leadership at UNC-Charlotte. She taught seventh- and eighth-grade math at Carmel Middle from 1992 until 2000. She became an assistant principal at that school in 2000 and stayed there until she became principal at Crestdale in 2005.

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