The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Staff Writer 

Local Schools Get New Principals-Brevard NC

 


As a new school year begins, there will be three new faces of leadership, as Brevard Elementary School (BES), Rosman Elementary School (RES) and Brevard High School (BHS) all start 2013-2014 with new prin-cipals.

The Transylvania Times spoke with each new principal as they discussed their background, what they saw as their role in their new position and what they were most looking forward to in the upcoming school year.

Jason Ormsby, Brevard High School —

Ormsby has a long career of working in education in Western North Carolina. He graduated with a criminal justice degree from Western Carolina Univer-sity but said he went right into the classroom as a teacher.

He worked for four years at Cherokee High School before leaving to work in Macon County for six years, during which time he did graduate work in administration.

Orsmby returned to Cherokee High School where he served as principal from 2008-2012. He served last year as assistant principal of Rosman Middle School (RMS) and RHS.

Question: What was the reason in accepting your new position?

Answer: Orsmby said while he was leaving a great school behind, he was excited about the opportunity to serve as principal of BHS.

“I saw a great opportunity and a great school,” he said. “I’m leaving a wonderful school to come to Brevard. I wanted to stay in the county, and it was just a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Question: What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of BHS?

Answer: Ormsby said he understood there were high expectations of BHS from parents, teachers and the community, and while he didn’t see any outstanding problems, he didn’t plan on resting on the school’s laurels.

“I’m big on collaboration, so what I’ll do is talk to the teachers, as many stakeholders as possible, and if they feel we can tweak something to make it better, great,” he said. “When something is going very well, the only thing you want to do is continue that or tweak it just a bit to make it run smoother.”

Question: What do you see your role being, both academically and in the community, as the new principal of BHS?

Answer: Ormsby said he saw one of his biggest roles as being an advocate for BHS, both in regards to the success of the school, as well as letting the community know about all the hard work of faculty and staff.

“One of my big things is building relationships and getting the word out about some of the great things Brevard High School is doing,” he said. “I want to get out in the community and spread the word about how great these teachers are and how hard they work to educate these young people.”

Question: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

Answer: Ormsby said although the school year has just begun, he was excited to get to know the students, teachers and parents of BHS.

“This is my second week on the job, and I pride myself on getting to know the kids and getting to know the staff, so I’m impatient on that part, but I’m really looking forward to getting to know them and talking to them,” he said. “I want to be able to contribute and I feel if I get to know them I’ll be able to contribute more to the team effort that we already have here at Brevard High School.”

Scott Strickler, Rosman Elementary School Principal —

Strickler was born and raised in Kingport, Tenn., and said from an early age he knew he wanted to work in the education field.

He graduated from Appalachian State Uuniversity and served as a social studies and science teacher at RMS for six years.

He transferred to BMS where he has served as assistant principal for the past three years.

Question: What was the reason in accepting your new position?

Answer: Strickler said he worked to get his administration degree so he could become a principal and felt his time as assistant principal gave him invaluable experience in his new position.

“I got my administrative degree because I wanted to be a principal and being the assistant principal really helped me learn a lot of the parts of what a principal does,” Strickler said. “I’m ready for that challenge to be a principal, and so I left BMS because when I took that position I knew my career goal was to become a principal.”

Question: What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of RES?

Answer: Strickler said he saw the school’s biggest asset being the camaraderie among faculty and staff and the commitment teachers had to their students.

“We really have a family atmosphere at Rosman. Teachers truly care for students and bend over backwards for them and they also care for each other … I feel really fortunate to be in that mix,” he said.

Question: What do you see your role being, both academically and in the community, as the new principal of RES?

Answer: Strickler said he saw his role as serving over the education of the youngest students as vital in providing them a solid foundation to be successful in the future.

“I truly believe that a kindergartener coming in this year, if I don’t ensure that they learn how to read, learn how to write, learn the foundations of math, science and social studies, that by the time they’ve completed fifth grade I’m sending them on with not all the tools they need to graduate high school down the road,” Strickler said.

Question: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

Answer: Strickler said he was excited to start off a new school year and was anticipating meeting all his students when classes started Monday.

“I’m really looking forward to Monday,” Strickler said. “I’m truly excited to think about 377 students coming through the doors of Rosman Elementary School and being excited about school.

“The more kids I talk to, especially at the elementary level. They’re excited about Monday, so I’m looking forward to seeing all those smiling faces.”

Kate Lalor, Brevard Elementary School Principal —

Lalor grew in up a Navy family and traveled regularly around the country but said she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher.

After graduating from college, Lalor taught in three different states before relocating to Brevard with her family.

Lalor worked in Transylvania County Schools for 25 years as a math teacher and assistant principal at RMS, RHS and BHS.

She also served as a lead teacher at BES and Brevard Middle School (BMS).

Lalor takes over as BES principal after leaving her lead teacher position at BMS.

She said she always wanted to be a principal and her relationship with BES (her children attended the school) made for an easy transition.

“Brevard Elementary is a great school,” she said. “There’s lots of good people here, great students and lots of diversity. I’m excited about the opportunity to be a principal and also because of what I know about Brevard Elementary.”

Question: What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of BES?

Answer: Lalor said she saw lots of positives at BES and intended to observe the faculty school operations to see what, if any, problems would need addressing in the future.

“For the first part of the time that I’m here, I’m going to be watching and learning from faculty and learning from families. If we make adjustments, it won’t be right away,” she said.

Question: What do you see your role being, both academically and in the community, as the new principal of BES?

Answer: Lalor said she saw both roles as integral to her success as a principal, as well as to the success of continuing to provide quality education for students.

“Both roles are very im-portant. For me to be here and support teachers in providing excellent instruction and growth opportunities for kids, certainly that is a large part of my role, but we are a part of the community, as well,” she said.

Lalor said BES had an “outstanding OPT” (Organization of Parents/Teachers) and she looked forward to representing the school in the community.

Question: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

Answer: Lalor said she was looking forward to building relationships with students, parents and teachers to learn more about the school and continue to lead BES in a positive direction.

“What makes any position a positive one are the people you get to work with,” she said. “I’m very excited about getting to work with the faculty here and the students and families and looking for all the ways I can to help Brevard Elementary be the place where people want to be.”

 
 

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