The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody’s recommendation to name Dr. Kelly Withers as the new Associate Superintendent for Schools to be effective June 1, 2020. This announcement follows the June 1, 2020 retirement of Dr. Julie Morrow, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
Dr. Withers began her career as a high school science teacher at West Rowan High School in 2000 and then moved into the position of Assistant Principal at Jesse Carson High School in 2006. She became principal at Carson in 2010 before moving to South Rowan High School where she has served as principal since 2014. Dr. Withers was twice named Rowan-Salisbury’s Principal of the Year in 2012 and again in 2018. Withers went on to be selected as the Northwest Regional Principal of the Year in 2012.
Dr. Withers also received the NCTIES ‘Outstanding Leader Award’ in 2015 for her demonstration of leadership in implementing technology to improve education. This illustrates how eager she is to adopt and lead new initiatives in our district and schools.
Withers received her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from UNC-Greensboro in 2019. She received a Masters in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University in 2006 and a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1997.
“Dr. Withers is looked upon throughout Rowan-Salisbury as a model leader,” says Dr. Moody. “She provides teachers and administrators with professional development following the outline of the district’s directional system, all the while focusing on personalization of learning for students. Students are the core and heart of her passion for education. It is contagious to be around her.”
While at South Rowan High, Dr. Withers moved South from being an underperforming school to a school that is showcased regularly to visitors from around our country for demonstrating effective teaching and learning. Here is a brief listing of accomplishments and improvements made by Withers while at South Rowan High:
- Collaborative Space transformation throughout the school to change the learning environment and create a student-centered culture
- Classroom space transformation into a collaborative environment - Extreme Classroom Makeover Contest
- Implementation of South Block/Advisor Program for all students
- Student-focused PLC - data driven culture - data room - multiple visitors inspired by this space and the why behind it
- Intentional, deep professional development on Instructional Mindset - blended learning, guided instruction through modeling
- Principal coach and mentor to impact other schools within the district
- Community principal to develop relationships between community and community schools
- Purpose Prize Ceremony to honor community supports
- Design and implementation of the Communications Academy
- Design and implementation of Flexible Schedule to meet student needs
Among the many duties as Associate Superintendent for Schools, Dr. Withers will be responsible to provide leadership to the 34 school principals in the district in accordance with all laws and policies. She will oversee all hiring and evaluations of principals, in addition to acting as the leader to the district’s 6 community principals. Withers will ensure that principals are putting into practice at their schools the three components of the RSS Renewal Directional System: Academic Skills, Interpersonal Skills, and Unique Life Goals, as well as implementation of the district’s core values. Withers will serve on the Superintendent’s Senior Leadership Team and will present information and updates to the Board of Education. She will serve as a liaison between the school system and the community as well as presenting at local, state and national conferences.
Dr. Withers acknowledges that, “I am excited about working with schools throughout our district to continue our forward progress in meeting the needs of all students.”
Withers is married to Lee and is the proud mother of three children – Carson, a junior at South Rowan High and twins Cailynn and Campbell, sixth-graders at China Grove Middle.