March 14, 2012. Marshall Gasperson, director of human resources, career and technical education, and auxiliary services for the Watauga County Schools, has been appointed principal of Watauga High School effective yesterday, March 13.
“Mr. Gasperson brings a wealth of experience in education, great integrity, a passionate commitment to students and a strong work ethic to the role of principal of Watauga High School,” said Superintendent Dr. Jones. “I have complete confidence that he is the right person for this job and that both our students and our personnel at the high school will benefit from his leadership.”
In addition to his recent position as director of human resources, career and technical education, and auxiliary services, Gasperson has served one year as an assistant principal at Watauga High School, six years as a teacher at the high school, four years as a teacher and coach in the Wilkes County Schools and three years as director of student services and safe schools for the Watauga County Schools. Gasperson has completed a bachelor’s degree in history education, a master’s degree in school administration and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership, all at Appalachian State University.
“I am truly humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as principal of Watauga High School,” said Gasperson. “Our faculty, our facilities, our families and the strength of our pre-K to eighth grade schools give us an exceptional foundation for success here, and I will do everything I possibly can to build on this foundation and make our high school the best in the state. There is no reason to expect or to accept anything less than excellence in any aspect of Watauga High School.”
Gasperson succeeds Principal Michael Wyant, who is taking a leave of absence after three and a half years as principal. Dr. Jones said he had known for about three weeks that Wyant would be taking the leave of absence because he had to finish working on his dissertation.
“Goodness knows the timing was not ideal,” said Jones. “We needed someone who could step in and go to work immediately. [Gasperson] has experience as an assistant principle at the school. He deals with everyone in the system and especially the high school, so he was the natural choice.”
Dr. Jones expressed appreciation for Wyant’s contributions during his tenure as principal, noting that the high school has continued to post strong student test scores, implemented a wealth of new instructional technology and increased the graduation rate over the last four years. He also added that Wyant could return to the school system in some role if he chose to. “[Wyant] needed a break to work on the dissertation, we needed someone to step in immediately, so it was a win-win.”
Gasperson’s successor as director of human resources is expected to be announced later today.