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Rapid Change in Asheville City Schools: Board appoints second superintendent in less than a month

Asheville City Schools

Asheville City Schools has a new superintendent, the second appointment for the top spot in less than a month. During a special meeting Thursday evening, board members approvedDr. Maggie Fehrman for the job, just two days afterDr. Rick Cruzannounced his withdrawal from the position. In a self-recorded video, Cruz, who was named in May, shared that he neededto support an immediate family member who's experiencing a critical medical situation.

Fehrman comes to Asheville from Georgia, where she was superintendent at City Schools of Decatur. A press release from Asheville City Schools says she began her 23-year career in education as a teacher and has held a number of positions, including principal and executive director of schools.

“Research has shown that the school principal is second, only to the classroom teacher as the most critical factor to ensure student success,” said Dr. Fehrman said in the ACS release. “As a former principal and principal coach, I know how hard our school leaders work each and every day. I am committed to ensuring the principals in Asheville City Schools have the support and resources they need to effectively lead their schools while supporting and empowering teachers.”

"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Dr. Maggie Fehrman as our new superintendent,” said George Sieburg, Chair of the Asheville City Board of Education. “Her exceptional leadership, strategic thinking, and unwavering commitment to student success are truly inspiring We eagerly look forward to the positive impact she will have on our students, staff, and entire community."

Dr. Fehrman will take the helm on July 17. She replaces Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby, who filled in when Dr. Gene Freeman retired in the fall of 2022.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.