Return to Headlines

Blair Johnston Appointed as Principal of Asheville Middle School

Asheville City Schools is pleased to announce that Blair Johnston has been selected to serve as Principal at Asheville Middle School effective July 1st. For over seventeen years in Asheville City Schools, Blair has demonstrated keen leadership, educational excellence, innovative pedagogy, and a steadfast commitment to equity, which makes him the ideal leader for the reconfigured Asheville Middle School. 

Mr. Johnston studied Elementary Education at Appalachian State University and later obtained his Master’s in School Administration at Western Carolina University (2019). His professional experience includes serving as ACS Curriculum Consultant (2017-2018), becoming a North Carolina Principal Fellow Intern at Asheville Middle and Ira B. Jones Elementary (2018-2019), and co-directing the Middle School Magic Summer Program at Asheville Middle School (2019). 

He first joined the ACS community as a science teacher at Vance Elementary School, now known as Lucy S. Herring Elementary. During his time as a science teacher, he advocated for the reform of science curricula to encompass more STEM and project-based learning, which helped secure over $11,500 in grant awards over 3 years. This allowed for more engaging and interactive educational experiences in the classroom, fostering in students a love for science and learning.

After teaching, Mr. Johnston went on to serve as Assistant Principal at Asheville Middle School for grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. During his time as Assistant Principal, he was also the director of athletics and electives. Mr. Johnston has extensive experience in restorative practices and in advising, encouraging, and counseling students as necessary. “I love Asheville Middle School because of its focus on student voice, belonging, and commitment to equitable and relational practices. Students are more than a data point, and AMS teachers and staff are committed to holistically supporting students' growth personally, academically, socially, and emotionally,” said Johnston.

He is committed to engaging all stakeholders and fostering a student-centered school culture that is grounded in common, agreed-upon expectations. His efforts to ensure that all voices are heard in the process of developing a new school community at Asheville Middle School are observable through his years of building trusting relationships with students, staff, families, and community. When asked what is special about working at Asheville Middle School, Mr. Johnston said, “I love AMS because it feels like home. It feels like home to me because I've formed meaningful relationships with kids and families where we can joke one minute and have difficult conversations the next. It feels like home because I see students and families at the grocery store, at sporting events, and in the community where I live. I love being part of this community”.

As we embark on the Asheville Middle School and Montford North Star Academy reconfiguration, we are confident that Mr. Johnston’s steadfast and tenacious approach to the unification of two school communities will blend the best of both schools and ensure that every student and staff member is cared for, supported, and resourced to reach their full potential.