Blanchard has been recognized as both a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow. He said that he finds being in a high school environment to be “energizing.” He described his administrative style as student- and teacher-friendly, and he tries to avoid being in the office during the day so that he can be visible to students.
“My plan coming in is, I’m going to do a lot of listening and learning,” Blanchard said. “I want an environment that’s inclusive for all students.”
Outside of work, Blanchard spends as much time with his family as possible. The oldest of his three children will be a first-year at Chapel Hill High this fall, and the family has always prioritized involvement in school activities and extracurriculars.
Blanchard said that one of his priorities at his new position will be to oversee the ongoing renovations for Chapel Hill High, which broke ground in June.
“We want to guide that process as smoothly as possible with minimal distraction for students and teachers,” Blanchard said.
Kenneth Proulx (East Chapel Hill High School)
Kenneth Proulx, the incoming principal at East Chapel Hill High School, has worked in public education for 25 years and was the inaugural principal of Holly Grove Middle School in Wake County, which opened in 2010.
“East Chapel Hill has a history of academic excellence, and that is what attracted me to this community,” Proulx said.
Proulx said that he believes in building strong relationships between the community, staff and students. He is looking forward to meeting the school’s staff and making decisions that are best for the student body.
“Being new to the district, right now I’m learning about East Chapel Hill School and working closely with staff to identify areas we might need to address,” Proulx said.
Aisha Howard (McDougle Elementary)
Aisha Howard is the new principal of McDougle Elementary School. Howard formerly worked in Durham Public Schools, where she was the principal of Oak Grove Elementary since 2011. She was a finalist for the Durham Public Schools Principal of the Year in 2015 and 2016. She received her Master of School Administration from UNC.