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'She's really kind of an icon': Carrboro High principal Beverly Rudolph to retire

No-CHS-Principal

Carrboro High School Principal Beverly Rudolph (center) announced her retirement from K-12 education on March 1. She is pictured with students Rekiyah Bobbitt (left) and Louise Lounes (right). Photo courtesy of Beverly Rudolph.

Carrboro High School Principal Beverly Rudolph announced her retirement from K-12 education in a March 1 video on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Twitter account. She will officially leave CHS at the end of the academic year.

Her announcement follows the Feb. 2 news that Chapel Hill High School Principal Charles Blanchard will retire this year. Rudolph said she and Blanchard have supported each other throughout the transition process.

But Rudolph is not planning to stop working. She said she plans to move on to a different phase in her career, possibly at the collegiate level or in research. 

“I love writing, I love researching, I love mentoring students,” she said. “So I still think there'll be something around that, but who knows? It could be something completely different because I'm just wide open to see what's next.”

Rudolph has been in education for 25 years, including spending six years as principal of Carrboro High School, five years as assistant principal at Chapel Hill High School and six years as principal of Culbreth Middle School, which feeds into Carrboro High.

She said her decision to retire came partly because of weariness from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes that schools have gone through.

“This has been my life,” she said. “And I love serving students. I love serving the families... I'll miss the relationships because I have some fantastic relationships with my staff and then with students’ families and then with students, and I'll just miss those daily interactions with them a whole lot.”

CHS senior Gil Rogerson said Rudolph, nicknamed ‘Bev’ by the student body, was a staple of the school and students were surprised by her announcement.

“She's really kind of an icon,” he said. “A lot of people remember her driving a Mustang to school everyday. People from Culbreth remember when she banned fidget spinners in sixth grade and it was a huge deal. And then I remember during COVID we would have to have lunch outside and she would walk around with a little umbrella and hold her umbrella over students for a few minutes at a time.”

Rogerson said one of Rudolph's major policy changes as principal was implementing a block class schedule in 2020, where students would have alternating day classes and a free period every other day to meet with teachers and catch up on work.

The decision was a controversial at the time, according to Ella Terry, a class of 2021 graduate from CHS who had Rudolph as principal from sixth to twelfth grade. 

Rogerson said that, though students have now gotten used to the schedule, he expects there to be policy changes once Rudolph leaves.

Terry also said she appreciated Rudolph’s efforts to communicate with parents and students through the pandemic while also keeping teachers’ best interests at heart. 

“I think she really backed up teachers, because I know there was a point during the pandemic where a lot of parents wanted students to return to school, for teachers to begin teaching in person again, and I think a lot of teachers didn't want to do that," she said. "And I think she really advocated for them during that time,” 

Because Rudolph was principal at CMS before CHS, many students like Terry and Rogerson had her as principal for at least some of both middle and high school.

“These current seniors were my last set of sixth graders at Culbreth, and so to go out with them would be very meaningful to me,” Rudolph said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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