NEWLAND — Kimberley Coleman began the school year as Avery County High School’s new assistant principal.
Coleman, a Lenoir native, spent 19 years as a teacher and completed a Ph.D and certification in administration in 2018.
Coleman said her family looked at moving to the area, touring ACHS and Avery Middle School last spring.
“I just kind of fell in love with the culture,” Coleman said, adding this was definitely where she wanted to be.
In her first few weeks Coleman has learned a lot.
“Any time you move, even within North Carolina from one school system to another, things are different,” Coleman said. “This is a smaller setting than I’m coming from, which just means that it’s more relationship driven, it’s more family oriented.
Coleman took on teacher leadership roles before becoming an administrator proper, and is a passionate teacher advocate. Her dissertation was on teacher retention.
Coleman’s first job out of college was with the State Employees’ Credit Union, where she had the opportunity to work with teachers. Some invited her into the classroom.
“Part of what the State Employees’ Credit Union did was try to give back to teachers,” Coleman said. “And so I would go into classrooms and started working with the kids. It was awesome just to be another support for kids.”
Coleman made a lateral entry into teaching and was also a coach for her first seven years. One of her goals is growing the family and community atmosphere at the high school and the county.
“To me, a school is a family,” Coleman said. “Everybody that works here is part of our family, all of our kids are part of our family.”
Coleman added the schools and the county have been the most welcoming places she has ever been.
“We’re excited about Dr. Coleman and her whole family joining our school and our community,” ACHS Principal Phillip Little said.
In her free time, Coleman enjoys reading, cooking, singing, going to plays and staying involved with everything happening at the school.