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Asheville Schools Superintendent Reflects On First Six Months On Job

Matt Bush BPR
Dr. Denise Patterson speaks at a schools community breakfast Jan 16th

Asheville City schools Superintendent Dr. Denise Patterson says she’s learned a lot during her first six months on the job – not just about the school system but the city itself.

Dr. Patterson said she’d spend her first months in the job studying and listening.  What’s she found she says is this – students in the school system have just as many social and emotional needs as they have academic needs.  "There's the piece where they are being taken care of with their behavior.  Are there plans in place for their emotional needs.  Academics are important but we must take care of all those other needs."

Patterson also discovered this about the city she now calls home.  “I think one thing I’ve learned in Asheville is consider all viewpoints.  Let everyone know their ideas are heard – even though they may not be implemented at that time.  Their viewpoints are being heard and their feedback is definitely welcome.”

The school system will be getting a lot more feedback very soon says Patterson.  In April, a team of educators from across the country will come to evaluate the city school system, something that is done every five years.  After observing classes, touring school buildings, and speaking with staff and parents, that group of educators will release a series of recommendations to the school system.

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