SANFORD - Kisha Derr, assistant principal at SanLee Middle School, has been named principal of Lee Early College. She succeeds principal Robert Biehl, who is retiring from education at the end of February.
In announcing the appointment, Lee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andy Bryan noted that Derr's administrative experience, coupled with her background as a high school teacher, make her an ideal choice for the position.
"Kisha has exactly the experience we were looking for," said Bryan. "With more than three years experience as an assistant principal, she has proven her ability to lead and to collaborate with staff, students, and parents.
"Lee Early College is already recognized as a top high school in North Carolina. I believe with Kisha's passion for student success at the high school level and beyond, the school is poised to continue its rise in academic excellence."
Derr began her career as an exceptional education teacher at Douglas Byrd High School in Cumberland County - the high school she herself attended as a student. After eight years teaching, she was accepted into the Sandhills Leadership Academy, a regional leadership-building program, and served her internship at Southview Middle School. After completing that program, Derr joined SanLee Middle School in August 2013 as an assistant principal.
While she will miss her SanLee family, Derr is excited about the opportunity to lead Lee Early College. "I've enjoyed my time at SanLee Middle School and feel my experience there has prepared me well for my new role," she said. "I look forward to working with the students and staff of Lee Early College and cannot wait to see what we accomplish together."
Because of the uniqueness of an early college program, one of the most important responsibilities any principal has at Lee Early College is to develop and maintain a good working relationship with Central Carolina Community College.
Dr. Brian S. Merritt, Vice President of Student Learning and Chief Academic Officer at the college, agrees that Derr is the right person to lead Lee Early College. "CCCC's primary goal is to always put learning first, and Kisha Derr embodies this goal and so much more. I'm confident she will provide the right balance of support for the students, teachers, and staff at LEC to take the school to new heights," he said. "We at the college look forward to working collaboratively with Ms. Derr to support and assist students to achieve their goals.
Derr's appointment at Lee Early College is effective on March 1.