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    Welcome to Asheville Middle School!  

    April Collins

    I am so very excited to have the chance to continue to build on the legacy of Cougar Pride as the Principal of Asheville Middle School.

    I want to welcome you to the 2021-2022 Cougar school year!  Your teachers and myself are so super excited to work with you for this upcoming in person school year.  We have been working hard all summer to get all of the things ready for you and can’t wait to see the greatness that is going to come from you!  COUGARS CAN DO ANYTHING!  

    You are valued.  You are capable.  You are important to each of us.  You are a part of our Cougar family and I can’t wait to see you safely return to face to face learning. Please reach out to me or any of our admin team if you have questions! 

    A little about me:  When I am not cheering on the Cougars or fully keeping AMS on the right track, I enjoy running and traveling - I’ve been to six of the seven continents! I’m also a Mom and love spending time with my kids….I am married to Chris Collins, and together we have four children.  Mia is 21; Addi is 17; Canaan is 16, and Cade is 6. 

    Looking forward to our time together….Cougars come back stronger! 🐾❤️🐾

    ~Important Information~ 

    We are working hard to prepare the building for a safe return of students. This includes deep cleaning and preparing plans with safety as our first priority. At Asheville Middle School, we will be wearing face coverings on buses and in all school buildings regardless of vaccination status. This will help slow the spread of the delta variant within our community. We will also be continuing our rigorous hand washing and health hygiene practices.

    Student Schedules and Teacher Assignments

    ***Super important information*** Please see the attached letter about how to set up and/or log in to your Parent Portal account to complete the Annual Student Information Update and all beginning of the year paperwork.  

    Meet the Teacher/Open House

    Open house will take place on Wednesday, August 18th on the AMS football field from 4:00-6:00.  Students will be taken on tours of the building in shifts while parents receive pertinent information from teachers and staff outside. Please make sure your child has a mask for the tour.

    School Day

    This year we are excited to begin the year on a regular schedule and renew our commitment to excellence with equity. We are committed to high quality instruction that is challenging, relevant, and engaging with a continual focus on relationship building. The school day runs from 8:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. Students cannot be dropped off prior to 8:00 A.M. Car rider drop off will be at the front of the school.

    Restorative Practice

    Asheville Middle School is leading the region with our implementation of Restorative Practices (RP). Restorative Practices maintain school order by building a web of relationships throughout the school community that supports individuals in making responsible decisions and holds individuals accountable for harmful behavior. We do this through extensive community building in classrooms and through responsive practices including circles and conferences with family members. Our ultimate  goal is to eliminate out-of-school suspensions and build strong systems of support at AMS. We look forward to offering more in-depth sessions on RP for parents/guardians and caregivers soon. 

    Cell Phone

    AMS student cell phone policy states that cell phones should be turned off and put in lockers throughout the day. Cell phones can be very distracting in class and asking middle school students to monitor and manage their cell phone use in class has not been effective. Please help us by working with your students to ensure they keep their phones off and away throughout the school day. 

    Dress Code

    Another important policy update we need support with is the AMS dress code. 

    • Clothing depicting offensive, violent, graphic images, or references to illegal activities are prohibited. 
    • Shirts must cover the student's stomach.
    • Tops must have fabric on the sides (under the arms) and front side (midriff) unless a student is wearing a tank top underneath.
    • Pajamas, slippers, blankets, onesies, and nighttime attire is prohibited.
    • Masks that cover the nose and mouth will be worn by all students.

    I look forward to working with you to make Asheville Middle School a community school where each and every student receives the care and education they deserve. Please email or call me if I can be of any service to you or yourCougar Scholar!

    6th Grade Assistant Principal - Blair Johnston - blair.johnston@acsgmail.net

    After graduating from Appalachian State, I moved to Asheville and started my teaching career at Lucy S. Herring Elementary School where I taught 4th grade for ten years.  From there, I completed a year-long administrative internship at Jones Elementary and Asheville Middle.  I fell in love with AMS and its focus on educational equity, leading me to become the sixth-grade assistant principal. I am going into my 3rd year in this position.

    I am passionate about engaging, inquiry-based instruction that puts every child at the center of their own education. 

    Beyond school, I have two amazing kids, Ella Jane (8) and Cohen (4). In my free time, you can find me playing basketball, soccer and frisbee.

    7th Grade Assistant Principal - Dr. Randall Johnson - randall.johnson@acsgmail.net 

    We are excited about our students and staff returning to Asheville Middle for the 2021-2022 school year! Hopefully, everyone has had a restful and exciting summer, and is now ready for high quality teaching and learning. 7th Grade teachers, counselors, and admin are looking forward to reconnecting with you all! Mark your calendars for August 23, 2021 as we prepare for your return to school and best year ever! 

    Outside of school, I really enjoy traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. My crew is made up of my wife Jessica and our three kids Tyriq (18), Amya (8), and Adonis (1). Together we enjoy good food and roller coasters! Also, we are Panther fans and we keep pounding!!!

    8th Grade Assistant Principal- Brian Powchak - brian.powchak@acsgmail.net

    Welcome to the 8th Grade! My name is Brian Powchak and I am your 8th Grade Assistant Principal. I will work tirelessly to ensure that your student has the opportunity to excel and reach their potential this year! This is my second year as AP here at AMS and I have over 20 years of educational experience.  I am committed to equitable opportunities for students and I am driven to disrupt systems that perpetuate inequality. One of the hallmarks of our administration at AMS is the determination  to make AMS a zero suspension school. Please be on the lookout for more information about how restorative practices are transforming how we do business at AMS! On a personal note, my amazing wife is a reading specialist and Asheville City Schools employee as well. My daughter Ava graduated from Asheville High last year and is preparing to leave for UNC-Charlotte and my son Luke is a sophomore. Cougar Pride!