Principal, Mary Nichols
I am orginally from Rome, Georgia and I received my B.F.A. from the University of Georgia. I taught middle school art for 3 years outside of Atlanta before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado, where I lived for 9 years. I earned two master's degrees in both Educational Leadership from Colorado State University and Gifted Education from the University of Northern Colorado. I was the Gifted Education Curriculum Coordinator in Fort Collins for 5 years, and then I moved on to be the Principal/Director of Rivendell School. In 2015, my family moved to Asheville, and I worked at Asheville Middle School as one of two AIG Specialists during the 15-16 school year. I live in Asheville with my husband, Justin, 8-year-old Hazel and 6-year-old Hank and wonder-dog, Otis.
Assistant Principal, Paul Garrity
As an experienced elementary school teacher and advocate for racial equity and social justice, I feel I have found my home at Claxton Elementary. After growing up in Charlottesville, VA, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Elementary Education from The College of William and Mary. Since then, I have taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 3rd grades in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, and here in Asheville. I loved my role as a teacher, and though I miss it, I am excited to continue collaborating with students and families as a school administrator. A few years ago, my wife, Lisle, and I moved back to Western North Carolina to be close to family. She is a child of Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools, attending Isaac Dickson Elementary, Owen Middle, and Owen High. We live in Black Mountain with our seven chickens and two dogs.Since joining the ACS family in 2016, I have had the privilege of working with five schools. I taught 3rd grade at Lucy S. Herring from 2016-2018 and support Project-Based Learning work at Vance and Montford North Star Academy during the 2018-19 school year. During the 2019-20 school year, I served as an Assistant Principal Intern at both Hall Fletcher Elementary and Asheville Middle School. As a North Carolina Principal Fellow, I completed my Master's Degree in School Administration at Western Carolina University in May of 2020. Needless to say, I am excited to continue this journey of educating our precious Asheville youth here at Claxton.