By: Elise Heglar
Ashley High School welcomed a new addition this year when Kenneth Bowen was brought on as principal. Kenneth found out that he had been hired for the position early this July and officially began work on July 15.
Kenneth said that he decided to start looking for jobs in North Carolina because he wanted to move back to his home state. After doing research about schools that were hiring, he decided that AHS would be a perfect fit school and location wise.
“I’m a North Carolina native; all of my education had been in North Carolina. I had a desire to be back and work in my home state,” Kenneth said.
Before coming to AHS, Kenneth worked as a high school principal in Malboro County in South Carolina for four years. He is currently working on his doctorate at East Carolina University, which is part of the reason he decided to move back to North Carolina. Kenneth says that he has been very pleased with all of the staff members at AHS and has been excited to meet the students. He visits classrooms in the school on a daily basis and says that the progress of the students is extremely important to him.
“Thus far everything has been great. This is a great school system and a great school with dedicated staff members who are committed to the students,” Kenneth said.
Kenneth says that he does not plan to make any drastic changes to how AHS is being run but has put in some small changes since starting the school year. In order to put an emphasis on reading and writing, every class is required to have students participate in silent reading for the first 15 minutes of class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 minutes of writing work every Friday.
Kenneth believes this is important because writing is a foundation in every subject and every test a student will encounter.
“First and foremost, every test students will encounter will have reading and writing on it. We want to improve students’ academic performance. I truly believe that writing it a strong indicative of a persons’ intelligence,” Kenneth said.
Kenneth said that raising student performance on tests is a priority for him as principal. He created a new acronym to go with the school’s vision statement, SOAR. The “s” stands for seek input, the “o” for overcome obstacles, the “a” for analyze data, and the “r” for revise and evaluate. Kenneth believes that this will help students at AHS work and achieve throughout the school year.
“It’s important to me to get everyone, not just in the school, but in the community, involved in what we do,” Kenneth said.
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