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Gallagher column: New principal ready for Salisbury success

SALISBURY — New Salisbury principal Avis Williams was asked if she was a sports fan and her answer was simply, “Roll Tide.”
Williams attended the University of Alabama and came from that state to replace Windsor Eagle. One of things she inherits is an outstanding athletic program that churns out state champion after state champion.
She seems excited about that.
“That was one of the things I was most curious about,” Williams said. “That was most pleasing to know there’s a tradition of winning. That’s exciting for me because I’m a sports fan. I love being a spectator.”
Williams will also be curious onlooker at Salisbury’s regular-season opener on Friday at home against East Rowan.
She actually attended Granite Quarry Elementary and Erwin Middle before her family moved to North Rowan, where she graduated in 1987. She remembers North’s good basketball teams but said she didn’t play sports.
“I was a bookworm,” she chuckled, adding she is a runner.
When Friday’s game arrives, she’ll be busy.
“Of course, I’ll be pulling for our teams,” she said. “I look forward to meeting the students and greeting the parents.”
She has a good support system, starting with athletic director Joe Pinyan, who was a key to turning this program around when he arrived nine years ago. He took the football team to a state championship in 2010.
Williams also has a tennis coach in Chris Myers, who is going for his fifth straight state title, a golf coach in Dale Snyder, who is coming off back-to-back state crowns and a soccer coach in Matt Parrish, who defends his state championship this season.
Williams knows what the success means.
“Sports are extremely important,” she said. “We educate the whole child. In order to do that, we have to make sure they have extra-curricular activities. In high school, sports play a major role.
“A student needs a place to belong and something to feel proud about. Sports embodies that. It’s going to be exciting watching them go out there on the field and do their thing — do what they love.”
Now, there is this one little thing about being the P.A. announcer during football games. Eagle’s voice could always be hard booming across the stadium.
Will she replace him on the mike?
“I will not,” she laughed. “You don’t want me doing that. Trust me, I’ll make a better spectator, cheering the team on.”
And if things continue as they have at Salisbury, Williams will have plenty to cheer about.
Williams will be easy to spot. She’ll be the one yelling, “Roll Hornets.”

Contact Ronnie Gallagherz at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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