The Watauga County Board of Education announced the appointment of three new principals at a special called meeting held Aug. 1. The new hires are set to fill vacant positions at Mabel, Green Valley and Valle Crucis Schools.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said the appointments were a result of the district’s exhaustive interview and vetting process that takes feedback from parents, teachers, students and staff at each school to develop a leadership profile of traits each school would like to see in a leader.
“We’re so excited for this new group of leaders to join our team,” Elliott said. “We have a lot of faith in our process of selecting candidates for leadership positions and the community feedback we receive. Each one of our schools represents a diverse and unique environment, so a great deal of effort goes into making sure we get the right candidate in the right place. We feel strongly that we’ve found the right fit for each of these schools.”
Mr. Gordon Prince is set to take the principal position at Green Valley School. Prince is a native of Watauga County who is currently employed as the assistant principal of Blue Ridge Elementary School in Ashe County. He was previously a middle grades science teacher and an assistant principal at both the middle and high school levels. He earned his Master’s Degree in School Administration from Appalachian State University and is a graduate of Watauga County Schools.
Mrs. Elin Reuben will take the principal position at Mabel School. Reuben is currently employed as an assistant principal at Parkway School where she has served over the past two years. Reuben has experience as a classroom teacher in middle school language arts and gifted education. She earned her Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy Education from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Dr. Bonnie Smith will take on the principal role at Valle Crucis School. A former middle grades teacher, Smith comes to Watauga County with seven years of assistant principal experience at the elementary level in Cleveland County. Smith earned her undergraduate degrees from Western Carolina University and an Education Leadership Doctorate from Gardner-Webb University.
“All of these educators were highly rated by the school-based interview committees,” Elliott stated. “We had a really strong applicant pool for these positions, but the selected principals have the right combination of experiences and skills to support their respective schools and maintain the high standards we have in our system. I am very excited and optimistic for the future of these three schools.”