Principal: Nicole Cush
Nicole Cush comes to SILSA from Green Hope High School in Wake County, North Carolina. As an Assistant Principal, she implemented behavior-based leadership development opportunities and created out-of-the-box systems of support for struggling students. Additionally, Ms. Cush coordinated and implemented curricular programming for the Science, Media/Technology, Facilities, Arts and Career & Technical Education Departments.
“I’m not afraid to learn from my students,” explained Cush. “My mindset is rooted in building relationships and having clear and open communication. I’m committed to building leadership capacity within our students and staff. It all starts with a push for true, authentic mentorships.”
With six years in school administration, Cush also served as the Assistant Principal of Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School and was a full-time Principal Intern during the 2012-2013 school year.
Additionally, Cush has a solid background in equity training, leadership development, recruitment, retention and mediation and is looking forward to utilizing her expertise to continue to move SILSA forward.
“Equity is not just a box I check. It’s something that has run through my blood since I was born,” said Cush. “I’m not afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, especially if the result makes the community better for our students.”
Before beginning her administrative roles, Cush was an English Language Arts and Broadcasting teacher for 18 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Film and Television/Video Production from Montclair State University as well as her master’s degree in Visual Arts from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. She received her Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ms. Cush is excited about beginning year three leading the SILSA team and is dedicated to “getting the word out about the phenomenal accomplishments SILSA students and teachers are earning both in and out of the classroom.”
Outside of school, she enjoys extensive community engagement, spending time with her daughter, Kyrie, who recently graduated with her masters degree in Music from the Berklee School of Music in Valecia, Spain and hiking with her dog Tonelli.
Dean of Students: Heather Reidinger
After 13 years teaching high school English in central North Carolina and here at SILSA, Heather Reidinger is excited to be Dean of Students here at SILSA during her 16th year working in education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and National Geographic Certified Educator with experience working in diverse school communities.
A native of Western North Carolina and graduate of North Carolina State University, she enjoys hiking, fishing, kayaking, watching football, reading, and travelling.