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Heather Reidinger Named SILSA’s New Dean of Students

A familiar face is taking on a new role at the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville, as English teacher Ms. Heather Reidinger has been named the new Dean of Students.

     “I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Reidinger. “I’m looking forward to working with a larger number of students and beginning to strategically think about their whole high school experience from 9th Grade until graduation as opposed to just one class or one subject.”

     A Western North Carolina native, Reidinger has been in education for 14 years.

     Reidinger began her career as a teaching assistant before earning her certification in 2006. She taught English I, II, III and IV, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition as well as AVID I, II, III, and IV at Matthews High School before moving to SILSA in Fall 2018. At SILSA, she teaches both Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition and English IV as well as Survivor, a class dedicated to teaching students the skills of success needed to navigate through high school and prepare them for a thriving transition into whatever they wish to accomplish post-graduation.

     Reidinger may have only been part of the Cougar Family for one complete school year, but during that time she’s certainly accomplished a lot. In fact, she’s the Chair of SILSA’s Vision Committee as well as an active member of both the school’s Multi-Tiered System of Support Team and 9th Grade Professional Learning Community.

     In fact, she credits having a year to learn about the school community, her colleagues and the school’s faculty as well as having the opportunity to form lasting relationships with students as her best asset in beginning her new role.

     “I’ve worked with both our current 9th, 10th and 12th,” she said. “I’ve really gotten to know the kids through the classes I’ve taught, so having good relationships with them and knowing that I have their trust is probably the most helpful thing.”
Reidinger has been a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood since 2014. Additionally, she’s been a Mentor Teacher since 2012 and a member of the Advanced Placement Advocate Program since 2017, a program dedicated to increasing equitable access to and success in AP classes for students from historically underserved populations.

     Reidinger’s personal and professional mantra is Proper, Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. She’s hoping it will catapult her new Dean of Students journey of supporting all students and all members of SILSA’s staff.

     “My hope is to be one puzzle piece in a big picture that’s supportive, productive and facilitates growth,” she said. She’s looking forward to not only leading but encouraging others to take part as “Asheville City Schools is growing, evolving and becoming the best that it can be.”

     Reidinger earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication: Public Relations from North Carolina State University and will begin Western Carolina University’s Master of School Administration in Fall 2020.

     She is replacing Laura Parks who began her new role as Asheville City Schools’ Secondary Director on October 1st.

     When Reidinger is not at school, she enjoys hiking, fly fishing, sewing, painting, traveling, kayaking and reading, for as she says, “I’m an English teacher at heart.”