Dr. Sarena Fuller, the executive director of ArtSpace Charter School in Asheville, is the new 2024 Charter School Principal of the Year. The Department of Public Instruction on January 25 announced Dr. Fuller’s distinction in a press release naming eight other Regional Principals of the Year. All nine school leaders will go on to compete for the statewide distinction of Wells Fargo Principal of the Year, awarded on May 24.
In DPI’s release, State Superintendent Catherine Truitt stated:
Principals are challenged with creating a culture of excellence and advocating for both students and teachers. Though these nine regional Principals of the Year are from diverse backgrounds and different areas of the state, what they have in common is an unwavering commitment to improving student outcomes and making an impact on their communities.
DPI’s release also included this summary of Dr. Fuller:
After nearly two decades in education, Fuller has developed a leadership philosophy guided by the doctrine of charity. By assuming the best intentions and building a culture of trust, her school has been able to avoid the staffing shortages that many others face.
“Truly, the school operates as a dynamic ecosystem, each part of each process depending on another to function well,” she said. “By their nature, educators are some of the most generous, creative, compassionate, hard-working people I know. I see my job as a school leader to support, empower and serve them in a way that allows them to thrive, for it is then that they do their best work for students.”
ArtSpace had a banner year in 2022-23 under Fuller’s leadership. The school was recognized as an ESEA National Distinguished School for its work with students with disabilities, its middle school team won the “Team to Watch” award from the NC Middle Level Educators Association and the school was a semifinalist in the national IMPACT Award in Innovation.
Congratulations, Dr. Fuller! We celebrate your leadership–and its impact on our state’s charter schools.