Ashley High gets new principal as part of administrative transfers

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Jackson Norvell. Photos courtesy New Hanover County Schools.
Jackson Norvell. Photo courtesy New Hanover County Schools.

Ashley High is one of four area schools that will soon have a new administrator at the helm.

The New Hanover County Board of Education recently approved the transfers of principals for the upcoming school year, effective July 1.

“Each year, we evaluate where we think our principals will provide the best leadership and what is in the best interest of the district,” Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said. “We believe these principals will provide excellent leadership in their new positions.”

As part of the recent personnel changes, Ashley leader Jackson Norvell, who has been at the school since 2013, is being replaced by current Murray Middle principal Patrick McCarty. McCarty has worked in New Hanover County schools since 2001 as an administrator and previously served as a teacher and coach in Pender County.

Norvell will take over the helm at Wrightsville Beach Elementary to replace current principal Mary Paul Beall, who will become principal of Isaac Bear Early College High. Beall has previously served as principal of both Aldermen Elementary and Williston Middle schools.

Current Isaac Bear principal Philip Sutton, who has worked for the district since 1997, will move to Murray Middle School. Sutton has worked as an assistant principal at New Hanover High and as a teacher at Hoggard High.

According to an annual survey of teacher working conditions, Ashley educators gave low scores to the school’s leadership efforts–between 18 and 20 percent in areas like “mutual respect” and supportiveness–in 2014, one year after Norvell came on as head. The survey showed a marked improvement in teacher satisfaction this year, but results were still far lower than in 2012, when more than 70 percent of educators felt they had a good relationship with school leadership.