Ira B Jones Administration Team
Degrees and Certifications:
Ruafika Cobb - Principal
I am a native of Alabama and started my teaching career in 2000 with the Rialto Unified School District in San Bernardino County, CA. During my time there, I taught Pre-Algebra and Earth, Life, and Physical Science to students in grades 6-8. My husband's job brought our family to Asheville in 2005, and I joined the faculty at Asheville Middle School from 2005-2010. During my time there, I taught Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.
At Asheville Middle School, I took on a leadership position to ensure all students had equal access to the mathematics curriculum. To achieve this goal, I created The Algebra Academy, an after-school and weekend math program aimed at helping students of color master algebra. Algebra is considered a gateway to higher-level math courses and is a predictor of college attendance. The Algebra Academy operated from 2006 to 2010, after which I began working as the math coach for Hall Fletcher Elementary from 2010 to 2011. For my work with The Algebra Academy, I was recognized by Dr. Robert Moses, a prominent student leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and the University of North Carolina's Multicultural Center. The Algebra Academy was featured in an article in the Asheville Citizen Times titled "Project Targets Math Literacy," and it received national attention, being cited on the Algebra Project's website, which Dr. Moses founded.
2008, I was honored with the Asheville City Schools' Outstanding Teaching Award. Additionally, I was recognized by the NC Council of Teachers in Mathematics as the Outstanding Secondary Math Teacher in the State. I hold licenses in School Administration, Middle Grades Mathematics (6-9), and Middle Grades Science (6-9). I am a proud alumna of Tuskegee University, where I earned a BS in Biology. While at Tuskegee University, I was a part of the NASA Research Project. In 2010, I received my M.Ed in Educational Leadership with a focus on Administration from East Tennessee State University.
I served as Assistant Principal at Hall Fletcher Elementary from 2011-2015, Isaac Dickson Elementary from 2015-2018, and Asheville High School from 2018 - 2019.
I volunteer in my community and have served on the board of different organizations that work to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education, and services.
I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization that works to eradicate educational, social, and economic inequalities.
I am a student-focused educational leader committed to developing students and staff. I strive to create a stimulating and engaging learning environment for all students while prioritizing equity and inclusivity. I believe that students must feel safe at school and be provided with culturally relevant and responsive experiences and opportunities for higher-order thinking and authentic problem-solving. Strong relationships are the foundation for student growth and development, and I am dedicated to fostering positive and supportive relationships with all school community members.
I enjoy scrapbooking, baking, cooking, watching movies, and spending time with my family during my free time. I live in Black Mountain with my husband, Demeseh; we have three children: Kokayi, Keyvaun, and Ashanti.
Degrees and Certifications:
Craig Shimer - Assistant Principal
I began my career in Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, just outside of Columbus, Ohio, where I was born and raised. Over four years I taught Mathematics and Social Studies in grades 6 and 7. I grew tremendously with invaluable mentorship and under great leadership during this time.
My wife and I moved to Asheville in 2020 to enjoy an active lifestyle in the mountains and rivers of Western North Carolina. Our first child came along in 2021 to join in the adventures. Upon moving, I joined the ACS family at Montford North Star Academy and taught 7th grade Mathematics. Over the course of three years, I began my path toward Educational Leadership and Administration. In 2022, I was named MNSA Teacher of the Year.
I am finishing my Masters in School Administration at Western Carolina University in the Spring of 2024. Participating in the NC Principal Fellows Programs has led to valuable experiences connecting with administrators across the region and promoting equity-focused school leadership.
Committed to cultivating a student-centered educational environment, I wholeheartedly prioritize the individual needs and growth of each student in my capacity as a school administrator. Infused with patience, I navigate the intricacies of diverse learning journeys, ensuring that students not only receive support but also feel genuinely heard and valued. Infusing positivity into every aspect of our school community, I aspire to create an uplifting and encouraging atmosphere. Furthermore, I hold in high regard the establishment of robust family partnerships, recognizing the pivotal role collaboration between educators and families plays in a student's academic success and overall well-being. By embodying these principles, my aim is to contribute to an exceptionally nurturing and inclusive educational setting, empowering students to thrive and realize their full potential.
I enjoy running and hiking with others, cooking for large groups, and watching the Cleveland Cavaliers. I consistently read The Lord of the Rings, the Ender’s Game, and Vonnegut. I have a Freakonomics podcast playing almost constantly. I live in Weaverville with my wife, Gretchen, and our independent daughter.