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Dr. Kelly Withers Named RSS Superintendent

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education named Dr. Kelly Withers as Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ (RSS) next superintendent.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Withers back to our school system. There is a lot of work to be done in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and I believe she has the ability and passion needed to do the job. Our students and our community deserve our best, and I am confident that Dr. Withers will offer nothing less than her best to deliver this,” Board of Education Chairman Dean Hunter said.

Withers is currently the Deputy Superintendent for Cabarrus County Schools, but she is no stranger to Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

She began her teaching career as a lateral entry science teacher at West Rowan High School in 2000. Withers served as principal of Jesse C. Carson High School from 2010 to 2014 and of South Rowan High School from 2014 until 2020 when she was promoted to Chief of Schools.

“Rowan-Salisbury Schools is known across the nation for its innovation and creativity, and I am thrilled to come home to work with the educators who made that recognition possible,” Withers said. “I look forward to working alongside our Board, community, staff, parents and students to stabilize and unify the district so that we can begin to move forward as one team with a vision of making Rowan County a place where students feel valued and challenged and where families are proud to say their children attend.”

Withers has a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

During her tenure in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Withers was recognized as a highly effective teacher and principal. In 2012, she was named the Northwest Regional Principal of the Year, and in 2015, she received the Outstanding Leadership Award from North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES). 

In 2018, she was chosen for the second time as the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Principal of the Year.  Additionally, her work on data-informed instruction and innovation has been featured in EdNC multiple times. Withers' work to build a collaborative, innovative culture while at South Rowan High School was most recently highlighted in Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration by Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards (2022). 

“My educational passion is rooted in my ‘why’ – the students I serve. I am dedicated to creating opportunities for students that engage them and prepare them for the pursuit of their productive passions,” Withers said.

Withers and her husband Lee are proud Rowan County citizens. They have three children - a son, Carson, a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill, and twin daughters, Cailynn and Campbell, who are freshmen at South Rowan High School.

Withers was selected from a pool of 22 applicants.