Buncombe County Schools Superintendent Announces Administrator Appointments for 2024-25 Academic Year

Books, apple, and various school supplies on a student desk.
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Buncombe County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson has announced five school administrator assignments for the 2024-25 academic year.

“Each of these new principals brings a wealth of high-quality expertise and experience, coupled with a genuine desire to serve students and families,” said Dr. Jackson. “I am excited about their commitment and dedication to excellence in education and to ensuring teachers and staff are equipped to help lead our schools.”

Will Thrasher is the new principal at Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy. He has served as an assistant principal at T.C. Roberson High School for the last year. Previously, he spent four years as a principal and assistant principal at Valley Springs Middle School. This marks a return to Nesbitt Discovery Academy for Mr. Thrasher, who worked as the school’s career development coordinator and taught engineering for four years.


Dr. Thea Wilson is the new principal of the Progressive Education Program (PEP). Dr. Wilson joins Buncombe County Schools from the North Carolina School for the Deaf, where she served as the director of admissions and as an audiologist for the past 15 years.

Angela Gwyn is the new principal at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School. She has been serving as the school’s assistant principal. Ms. Gwyn was the assistant principal for five years at Canton Middle School and was an elementary teacher and instructional coach for Buncombe County Schools for 18 years.

Chad Upton is the new principal at Pisgah Elementary. For the last eight years, Mr. Upton has been the principal of Leicester Elementary. He has also served as principal at Woodfin Elementary, and as an assistant principal at Glen Arden, Emma, and Fairview Elementary schools, Enka and Reynolds Middle schools, and Erwin High School.

Penny Caldwell is the new principal at Leicester Elementary School. She is a 24-year educator who has served as the school’s assistant principal and reading specialist. She has also taught at Hominy Valley and Clyde elementary schools, and Western Carolina University.

The new administrator assignments are effective July 1, 2024.

Written by Buncombe County Schools.