Rowan-Salisbury Schools names new North Rowan High principal, new chief of schools

Published 1:47 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education on Friday announced the new principals of North Rowan Elementary and North Rowan High School, along with a new chief of schools and other positions.

The board met in a closed session before making the announcement. Per Superintendent Tony Watlington’s recommendations, the board appointed Michael White as the new principal of North Rowan High School, which currently has two retired interim principals in place since Meredith Williams’ resignation on Dec. 31.

White is a North Rowan High graduate, a licensed social worker and an administrator with Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. In a letter to the board, Watlington said White emerged as the top candidate out of a pool of 17 due to his extensive experience leading social-emotional learning for students. White was a school counselor at North Rowan High School from 2002-2011 and dean of students for the Freshman Academy for three years.

Board of Education Chair Dean Hunter told the Post White being from North Rowan is exciting.

“It’s been a priority to make sure we have some principals in the North (Rowan) area because that’s been vacant for a while so we’re excited to have them,” Hunter said.

Greggory Slate will serve as the district’s new chief of schools. In November, former Chief of Schools Kelly Withers was named deputy superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools after a 21-year stint with RSS.

Slate has served as executive director of secondary schools for Rockingham County since 2015. Past positions for Slate also include executive director of student services, principal, assistant principal, curriculum facilitator and history teacher. Watlington said Slate has worked to reduce the number of low-performing schools in Rockingham County from seven to one between 2015-18. Additionally, the graduation rate was increased from 75.5% to 89.2%, which includes closing the graduation gap for students of color.

Slate also helped the district lower the drop-out rate from 3.7% to 1.48%, Watlington said.

Slate was one of 22 applicants for the chief position.

Both White and Slate have a start date of April 11.

Rebecca Rolfsmeyer, the current assistant principal at North Rowan High School since 2017, was named principal of North Rowan Elementary School beginning April 1. Watlington says Rolfsmeyer has implemented positive behavior interventions and support models that have resulted in a 50% reduction in discipline referrals and developed a tutoring program with Rowan Literacy Council to allow for one-on-one instructional assistance for students.

There were 10 applicants for the North Rowan Elementary principal position.

Angela Alford was promoted to director of diversity, equity and inclusion, effective March 14. Alford is the current assistant principal of North Rowan Elementary School and was one of seven applicants. Watlington says while at North Rowan High, Alford developed attendance and at-risk monitoring systems that led to increased graduation rates and helped boost dual enrollment course participation by 40%. At North Rowan Elementary, Alford is credited with working with students to decrease discipline incidents by 50%.

Additionally, Angela Basinger was promoted to director of mathematics, also beginning March 14. She’s currently the instructional coach at Landis Elementary, where’s she’s been for eight years. Before then, she was an elementary teacher at Knollwood Elementary and Landis Elementary.

During Basinger’s time at Landis Elementary, Watlington said she has helped improve end-of-grade performances for students, including an overall increase from 43% proficiency to 65% from 2015-19. From 2016-2021, Landis Elementary has met or exceeded its end-of-grade assessments. And in 2017, the school was no longer in low-performing status.

There were a total of 29 applicants for the director of mathematics position.

All contracts were for two-year terms.

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About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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