Pleasant Gardens school getting new principal

Melissa Elliott

McDowell County native Melissa Elliott has been named principal at Pleasant Gardens Elementary for the coming school year.

Elliott will replace current principal Mark Robertson who announced his retirement last month. Currently an assistant principal at West Middle, she was approved by unanimous vote during Monday night’s regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting for May.

Elliott, elated at the news, said, “Being named principal of Pleasant Gardens Elementary is such a privilege and honor. I am so excited and can’t wait to get started. I look forward to meeting all the students, families, faculty and staff at our school.”

Elliott began her education career in 2000 as a fourth-grade teacher at Nebo Elementary. She also taught fifth grade at Nebo, and was the Teacher of the Year for Nebo in 2008. She was reassigned to Eastfield Global Magnet School in 2010 where she taught first through fifth grades. She also served as the academic facilitator and AIG specialist for the school. Elliott was the 2014 Teacher of the Year for Eastfield, and she was subsequently named the District Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015. In 2015 she was promoted to the position of technology facilitator for middle schools in MCS and served in that role until 2017. She was promoted to her current position as assistant principal at West Middle last summer.

Elliott earned an Associate in Arts degree from Western Piedmont in Morganton in 1997. In May of 2000, she graduated from UNC-Asheville with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and K-6 Teacher Certification. She earned AIG certification and was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2005. She renewed her national certification in 2015. She graduated from East Carolina University with her master’s degree in Instructional Technology in 2012, and completed an add-on Master of School Administration in 2016.

Superintendent Mark Garrett has high expectations for Elliott.

“Melissa Elliott has 18 years of highly successful experience as an elementary teacher, AIG Specialist, Academic Facilitator, Instructional Technology Facilitator, and Assistant Principal,” said Garrett. “We expect her to bring the same level of excellence to her duties as an elementary principal. I am very excited about the future at Pleasant Gardens.”

Elliott will officially begin her now role on July 1.

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