• August 21, 2019 

    On behalf of the Asheville City Board of Education, a summary of the Superintendent Search process is outlined below:   

    Campbell Shatley, PLLC Consultants, the acting board attorneys for Asheville City Schools, is facilitating the search process and providing additional support to the Board as it conducts a rigorous, nationwide search for the new superintendent.  The law firm will provide information to the Asheville City Board of Education about each candidate once the Superintendent Search Application closes on September 16th. Campbell Shatley, PLLC will also provide the Board with detailed background checks on each finalist prior to the superintendent interviews - including but not limited to criminal history, prior employment verification, education verification, reference checks, professional license and certificate confirmation, as well as social media and internet screenings.  

    Although the Asheville City Board of Education is not contracting with the North Carolina School Board Association for its 2019 Superintendent Search, NCSBA has shared the Board’s advertisement with all its state and national contacts as well as ensuring that the district’s application inquiry is listed in trade publications.  Other professional education organizations in the state are also assisting in advertising the position.  

    As part of its search, the Asheville City Board of Education is also calling on district staff, students, and community members to share the skills, qualifications and characteristics they most desire in our next longterm leader.  A Superintendent Search Community Survey was open from June 24th - July 28th. It yielded 1,020 survey takers, the majority of whom are current ACS parents. The results were shared during the August 5th Board of Education Meeting, and a community survey analysis can currently be found on the district’s 2019 Superintendent Search webpage.  Asheville City Schools staff members have until September 1st to complete their survey; those results will be shared during the September 9th ACS Board of Education Meeting. 

    Because the Asheville City Board of Education wants to continue to engage with its community throughout their search, they are holding 10 community forums throughout the months of August and September.  A list of the forums is available on the 2019 Superintendent Search webpage.  

     The Asheville City Board of Education understands a candidate’s current position may not allow them to leave mid-school year.  Therefore, if necessary, the Board is fully prepared to appoint an Interim Superintendent. As posted to the Superintendent of Schools Advertisement, “the successful candidate should be prepared to take office no later than July 1, 2020.”  

    Board Attorney Chris Campbell has stated, “now is the best time to advertise and attract the best candidates for the position.  Highly-qualified, successful superintendent candidates typically decide to accept a job offer just after the new calendar year.” 

    Utilizing gathered community, staff, and student input, the Asheville City Board of Education will conduct interviews and pick the candidate best suited to serve our district.

  • August 15, 2019 

    Good Afternoon Asheville City Schools Families, 

    On behalf of the Board of Education, we would like to update you about our Superintendent Search. 

    Several of you have suggested that we try a time a different time or format for our Superintendent Search Community Forums.  Therefore, we have added four additional forums to our upcoming calendars. 

    On Wednesday, August 28th, we will hold three Facebook Live forums at 9:00 AM,  1:00 PM and 7:00 PM. To “attend” simply click on Asheville City Schools’ Facebook page during one of the Facebook Live forum times.  The format will be very similar to what we are using for our neighborhood forums.  

    After a brief snapshot of Asheville City Schools, we will use a fun and interactive online process to capture your ideas regarding our next longterm leader.  

    Like all our Superintendent Search Community Forums, the information we gather from the Facebook Live forums will be shared with the Asheville City Board of Education that very same day.  

    Please know that an additional forum has been added on Wednesday, September 4th.  It will be held at Vance Elementary School and will be facilitated completely in Spanish.  Doors will open at 5:15 PM, and our discussion will start promptly at 5:30 PM. 

    As a reminder, additional Superintendent Search Community Forums include:  

    • Thursday,  August 22nd at the Arthur Edington Center
    • Monday, August 26th at Hall Fletcher Elementary School 
    • Thursday, August 29th at the North Asheville Library 

    For those of you who have already attended one of our forums, thank you.  If you are planning to attend one of our future input sessions, please know we are looking forward to hearing from you soon. 


    Ashley-Michelle Thublin and Charlie Glazener 


  • August 5, 2019 

    Hello Cougar Family!  This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, your Executive Director of Communications. 

     And, this is Charlie Glazener, your former PIO.

    We’re really pleased with how last Thursday’s Superintendent Search Community Forum turned out.  Thank you to all who attended! You provided us with excellent feedback about the qualifications you’re most looking for in the district’s next leader and left us with several potential questions the board can pull from when interviewing candidates.  

    And by the way, we’re utilizing an online platform that instantaneously displays and captures your feedback throughout the forum.  We’ll have a few Chromebooks handy, but, if possible, please come with your cell phones charged.  

    Yes! Our Community Forums are certainly something special, which is why we’d like to invite you to share your thoughts during our second Superintendent Search Community Forum. It’s happening this Wednesday, August 7th at Ira B. Jones Elementary Schools.  Doors will open at 5:15 PM, and our facilitators will begin promptly at 5:30 PM. Please come if you can or check our web site for a list of several other forums scheduled throughout August.

    Thanks for listening. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday at Jones.  Have a great rest of your Monday, and Cougar Pride!

  • July 30, 2019 

    Hello Cougar Family! This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, your Executive Director of Communications.

    And, this is Charlie Glazener, your former PIO. Interim superintendent Dr. Bobbie Short has invited me to return to the Central Office Team during these next few months of transition and I am delighted to be back working on a variety of special projects on behalf of you and your children.

    Together we are supporting the Board during the Superintendent Search Process by inviting our families, teachers, staff and community to provide input to the Board as they work diligently to hire the best, long-term fit to lead our school district.

    So, we would like to personally invite you to our first Superintendent Search Community Forum. It’s happening this Thursday, August 1st in the Asheville Middle School cafeteria. Doors will open at 5:15 PM, and our facilitators will begin promptly at 5:30 PM. Please come if you can or check our web site for a list of several other forums scheduled throughout August.

    And by the way, I just ordered a copy of the 2019-20 original Old Farmers Almanac. More about that later!

    Thanks for listening. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you Thursday evening. Have a great evening, and Cougar Pride!

  • July 25, 2019 

    Hello Asheville City Schools.  This is your Board Chair, Shaunda Sandford, with a reminder about our Superintendent Search. 

    We want to continue to hear from you throughout this process.  

    Therefore, please consider joining us for our first Superintendent Search Community Forum.  It’s happening a week from today - next Thursday, August 1st - at Asheville Middle School located at 211 South French Broad Avenue from 5:15 - 6:30 PM. 

    And, if you can’t make it to our August 1st Community Forum, please know that we’re having five more throughout the month of August.  Dates and locations for all our Superintendent Search Community Forums can be found on the Asheville City Schools webpage and on our social media outlets. 

    We are looking forward to meeting with you and receiving your input as we look to hire the best, long-term fit for our students, staff members, families and community. 

    Have a great evening, and Cougar Pride!


  • July 24, 2019 

    Good afternoon Asheville City Schools! This is your Board Chair, Shaunda Sandford, with an update about our Superintendent Search. 

    We need and want to hear your perspective!  Please tell us what kind of leadership you want! 

    If you have not already done so, go to our website and find our Community Input Survey.  The survey closes this Sunday, July 28th at midnight, so act now.   

    If you prefer to take the survey on paper, call (828)350-6120. 

    We appreciate your support, and if you have already shared your input, thank you. 

    Have a great evening, and Cougar Pride!

  • July 23, 2019

    You are part of our Asheville City Schools community, and we need you!

    We need your perspective. We need you to share your opinions with us. Please take the Community Input Survey before midnight this Sunday: http://bit.ly/cougarsurvey

    Tell us what you think about our schools. Tell us what you want our new Superintendent to know. We are listening.

    We want to hear from all students, parents, families, staff, and friends of Asheville City Schools.

    Find out more about our community outreach and the process for finding a new superintendent here.

    This online Community Input Survey closes Sunday night: http://bit.ly/cougarsurvey

    Thank you.

    Shaunda Sandford

    Chair, Asheville City Schools Board of Education


  • June 27, 2019 

    Good Afternoon Asheville City Schools, This is your Board Chair, Shaunda Sandford, with some news about our 2019 Superintendent Search. 

    Our Superintendent Search Staff Input Survey was shared with ACS employees earlier today.  The Board looks forward to receiving their valuable feedback as we prepare for our upcoming Community Input Forums and, ultimately, interviews for the district’s next long-time leader. 

    Additionally, the ACS Board approved Dr. Bobbie Short’s Interim  Superintendent Contract during today’s Work Session. She will begin on Wednesday, July 17th.  The Board appreciates the leadership our Assistant Superintendents, Dr. Terrence McAllister and Dr. Mark Dickerson, have shown these past few weeks and looks forward to working with Dr. Short during this transition.  

    We also want to remind you about our Superintendent Search Community Input Survey. A link to the survey was emailed to our families on Monday, June 24th.  So far, 356 of you have already filled one out. Thank you! The Community Input Survey is open now through Sunday, July 28th, and a link to it has been placed on the district website.  Or, if you would prefer to fill out a hardcopy, please call (828) 350-6120.

    Thank you for your continued support during our Superintendent Search, and Cougar Pride!

  • June 24, 2019 

    Dear ACS Community, 

    We have published our Community Input Survey as part of our comprehensive effort to engage the community in the search for the next Superintendent.

    The survey is available online by clicking here. If you have five to seven minutes, please take the survey! 

    All online survey responses are due no later than Sunday, July 28th. 

    Anyone with questions about how to complete the survey may call (828) 350-6120 between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Mondays through Thursdays for assistance. 

    Our Asheville City Schools staff will have the opportunity to answer every question in the Community Survey, plus additional questions just for them. A Staff Input Survey will be distributed later this week.

    For the first time, ACS is developing age-appropriate input surveys for students as part of the Superintendent search. We intend to have those ready when our students return to school in August. Just like the input collected from adults, the results of those student input surveys will be made public and also shared with candidates who apply to be our next Superintendent. 

    In addition to surveys, ACS will also hold community input forums. It will be a busy summer with lots of opportunities for the school family and the public to be involved.  For additional information about the timeline for the Superintendent, search visit our 2019 Superintendent Search webpage.  

    In determining how to go about this search for our next Superintendent, we looked at what process appears to have worked recently in own community. Our district is located within the City of Asheville and within Buncombe County. With few exceptions, Asheville City Schools students and their families are residents of Asheville, residents of Buncombe County, or both. Many of our staff and their families are residents of Asheville and Buncombe County, with exceptions due to economic and cultural barriers. Therefore we looked at what’s been going on with chief-executive-level public positions right here in Asheville and Buncombe County.  

    The City of Asheville recently faced the need to replace its City Manager after his tenure abruptly ended. There was a lot of turmoil leading up to and surrounding that situation. Buncombe County recently faced the need to replace its County Manager, also abruptly, and there was also a lot of turmoil. The City Manager position, County Manager position, and Schools Superintendent position have a lot in common. Each is the chief executive of its organization, and our Superintendent is the chief executive of our schools. Each organization is part of local government, and our schools are part of local government. 

    In these two high-profile situations, the searches to replace a City Manager and a County Manager, both organizations opted for community engagement through surveys and forums. In both cases, the organizations opted for a confidential process for narrowing the candidates down to the person who was offered the job. The surveys and forums were presented as being for the purpose of engaging the public and collecting information from the public. That information was to be used to inform the decision-makers about what the public wanted in the new hire, according to the process. 

    Both the City Manager position and the County Manager position were filled within the timeframe suggested when the processes were announced. Based on a review of media coverage, the community seems to be pleased with the outcomes of the search processes. 

    We are following the same basic process used by both the City and the County to fill their chief-executive-level positions because our community appears to have responded well to this process and because we hope for the same positive outcome. 

    People got excited about the hiring process for a new City Manager and new County Manager. We hope to generate as much or more interest in our Superintendent search. We are especially counting on our Cougar families to participate. We need you.

    The link to the online survey is here. Thank you in advance for taking the survey.

    Printed copies of the survey are available beginning today. Surveys are available at all schools and at central office. Surveys can be returned to the same locations or dropped off at the central office between 7:00 AM  to 5:00 PM. Monday through Thursday. Hard copies of surveys can be delivered to central office no later than Monday, July 29.

    Cougar Pride, 

    Shaunda Sandford, Chair of the Asheville City Board of Education

  • June 16, 2019 

    Good Morning Asheville City Schools Students, Staff, Families and Stakeholders, 

    As you know, the Asheville City Board of Education is undertaking a search for a new superintendent. Community engagement is vital to our process.

    Therefore, Asheville City Schools is launching an extensive campaign to solicit YOUR input.  We look forward to hearing from our students and their families, ACS alumni and our educators on the characteristics, experience, and skills you desire in your next superintendent.  Additionally, we are seeking community input from educators in higher education, decision-makers and service providers in public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as employers, advocates, new residents and other interested stakeholders.  Indeed, we invite everyone in our community to participate and engage in this process.

    This will be done through both online and written surveys as well as during six public input forums.  For more information, please review the detailed timeline that has been posted to the Asheville City Schools website. 

    Additionally, we've answered several of your frequently asked questions

    Our goal is to keep you as informed as possible throughout this process. 

    We look forward to receiving your survey input and feedback during the upcoming forums. 


    Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications 

  • June 12, 2019 

    Good Afternoon.  This is Shaunda Sandford, Chair of the Asheville City Board of Education with an update about our district.

    Today, Superintendent Dr. Denise Patterson submitted her letter of resignation.  The Board and Dr. Patterson agreed to terms of separation which include two months’ severance pay and approving sick leave for Dr. Patterson until November 15, 2019.  Effective immediately, the duties of Superintendent will be covered by Assistant Superintendents, Dr. Mark Dickerson and Dr. Terrence McAllister.

    At a future Board Meeting, the Asheville City Board of Education will vote on a contract for Dr. Bobbie Short to serve as Interim Superintendent beginning in July 2019.

    By law, the details of personnel matters are confidential.  Therefore, the Board asks parents and stakeholders understand that neither the school district nor Board Members can discuss any personnel issues.  The Board is focused on ensuring a successful start to the 2019-2020 school year and will begin the search process for a new superintendent immediately.

    The Board would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to our families, students, staff and stakeholders.

    Thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools. Have a great summer.