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Princess Pressley selected as new Rashkis Elementary School principal

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Princess Pressley smiles outside of Rashkis Elementary School on Friday, August 18, 2023. Pressley was appointed the new principal of Rashkis Elementary School.

Princess Pressley has been hired as Rashkis Elementary School's new principal after 27 years of educational experience across North Carolina.

Rashkis, located in the Meadowmont neighborhood of Chapel Hill, enrolls around 400 students from pre-K through fifth grade.

Pressley began her career as a third-grade teacher in Guilford County, according to the Rashkis Elementary School website. She relocated to Raleigh soon after and continued her work as a teacher there for the next 10 years. After teaching, she served as an instructional facilitator in Wake and Durham counties for another 10 years.

She began her administrative career in her hometown of Winston-Salem as an assistant principal and is coming to Chapel Hill after two years as principal at Southwest Elementary Global Academy in Lexington, N.C. 

Shannon Goss, a teacher at Southwest, said that even after only two years in Lexington, Pressley left an impact as their principal.

“The school has experienced growth since she's been there," Goss said. "This is not official since the data is not yet out, but based on what the preliminaries are saying, we have grown even a letter grade."

Kenneth Jordan was the principal at Hall-Woodward Elementary School while Pressley was the assistant principal there. He said that Pressley was in charge of implementing their new curriculum at Hall-Woodward.

“I would describe Princess as hardworking, very intelligent, good work ethic and very knowledgeable of the curriculum," Jordan said. "She's flexible. She's able to lead with a clear vision and mission.” 

Goss said Pressley is not only data-driven toward academic success for her students, but she also sees the importance of fostering a sense of community among students, staff and families. 

“She impacts not only the school but the community, families and even teachers there," Goss said. "The culture of the school is so different from what I saw when I went there in 2021."

She said during the two years Pressley was at Southwest, she initiated activities that brought the community closer together. The school hosted a global showcase where parents could come see their students’ performances in different cultural activities, Goss said. She also said Pressley started a school garden where the school planted crops from different cultures.

Pressley said she plans to continue fostering community with families and staff with her arrival at Rashkis Elementary.

“My goal this year is just creating good solid relationships with those stakeholders and creating memories together here at the school,” Pressley said. 

Pressley said she is hosting a back-to-school picnic on Sept. 16. She said she is arranging a time for families to come to the school field with packed lunches and get to know each other.

She said that she does not intend to make any administrative changes to the school this year. Pressley said it will be more of a "listening and learning year" for her. 

Pressley said she wants to take this year to acclimate to the school environment and learn about the community. She said she has already received a warm welcome from the school during her first week on the job and is excited about the upcoming school year.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 

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