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Dustin Kerley Named Assistant Principal, Athletic Director at Watauga High School

Dustin Kerley has been named an assistant principal at Watauga High School with duties that include serving as athletic director for the high school. His appointment was approved by the Watauga County Board of Education Thursday afternoon during a special meeting to address personnel actions needed before the start of the new school year.

Kerley’s selection was recommended by a seven member committee that reviewed applications from 17 candidates. “We had a very strong pool of applicants and we invested considerable time to carefully consider each one,” remarked high school principal Marshall Gasperson. Four candidates were selected for interviews.

Dustin Kerley
Dustin Kerley

In addition to undergoing the formal interview, reference checks, a background check, and the review of their applications and resumes, each finalist conducted a 90 minute presentation to give their vision of what the position should achieve for students and how they would fulfill that vision. “It was a very thorough process,” said Gasperson. “When all was said and done, we were confident Mr. Kerley was the best candidate and we had great confidence in recommending him for the position.”

In his duties as athletic director, Kerley is succeeding Tom Wright, who retired at the end of the past school year. “Tom Wright was a greatly respected and well-liked member of our team at the high school and we are truly grateful for his service” commented Gasperson.

“We are very pleased to hire someone of Kerley’s caliber to take on that role going forward,” he continued. “Under his leadership, I am certain that our athletic program remains in very good hands and that he will maintain and strengthen our ability to serve our student athletes as well as all of our other students at Watauga High School.”

For his part, Kerley expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve in the position.
“I am very pleased and honored to assume the role of assistant principal and athletic director at Watauga High School. I am looking forward to serving our teachers, coaches, student-athletes and the Pioneer Community in a positive manner as we all move forward in this process together. I couldn’t be more excited to get going in this position.”

Kerley brings substantial experience to his new role, including seven years as a physical education teacher at Watauga High School and eight years of coaching at the high school level. For the last four years, he has served as the head strength coach for the WHS football team. Before serving in that capacity, his previous experience included two years as an assistant football and baseball coach for the Pioneers and a year in the same roles for AC Reynolds High School in Buncombe County, NC.