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from left: Courtney Saunders, Brook Cooper, & Celine Ellison
courtesy of Libby A. Brown, Caldwell County Schools Community Services Director/ Public Information Officer

Caldwell County School Board Announces New Leadership at Three Schools

At their meeting on June 4, the Caldwell County Board of Education unanimously approved three administrative recommendations by Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps.

Courtney Saunders, currently the principal at Granite Falls Elementary School, will become the new principal at Gamewell Middle School. She has been principal and assistant principal at Granite Falls since 2019. Previously, she was a teacher and instructional assistant at Davenport A+ School. Ms. Saunders was named Assistant Principal of the Year in 2022. She holds degrees from Appalachian State University and Gardner-Webb University.

Brook Cooper, principal of Lower Creek Elementary School, has been selected as the new principal of Granite Falls Elementary. She previously served as an assistant principal at West Caldwell High School and Dudley Shoals Elementary and was a N.C. Principal Fellow at Appalachian State from 2016 to 2018. Ms. Cooper began her career as a middle school math & science teacher. She holds degrees from Lees McRae College and Appalachian State.

Celine Ellison, the current assistant principal at William Lenoir Middle School, has been named principal of Lower Creek Elementary. Ms. Ellison’s administrative career began in 2021. Before stepping into administration, she was a middle school Language Arts & Social Studies teacher at Hudson Middle School and also taught at East Burke Middle School. She earned degrees from U.N.C. Asheville and from Appalachian State, with a Post Master Certificate in School Leadership from Western Carolina.