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District Names Principals, Chief Communications Officer

June 14, 2022 – Guilford County Schools named its new chief communications officer as well as three new principals at its meeting Tuesday.

Tracey Lewis was named chief communications officer. Lewis joins the district from Rowan-Salisbury Schools, where she has served as senior marketing and communications officer since May 2021. In that role she led all marketing strategy, internal communications, customer service, event planning, public affairs, social media marketing and public relations efforts in alignment with the district's, vision, mission, goals, and strategic plan. Lewis also spent nearly three years as director of communications/teacher recruitment and retention at Surry County Schools.

She has more than 14 years of experience as a principal and started her career in education as a school counselor. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and political science from Elon University, a master’s degree in counseling and educational development from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and cultural foundations from UNCG.

Yajaira Owens will become principal of Kirkman Park Elementary. Since 2018, Owens has been an assistant principal at Jackson Middle, where she supervised instructional and non-instructional staff and analyzed data to help inform school improvement decisions. She also has served as an assistant principal at Asheboro High School, South Asheboro Middle School and North Asheboro Middle School.

Owens has a background in school counseling and is a National Board-Certified Teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from High Point University and a master’s degree in counselor education from North Carolina A&T State University, as well as a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Abu Zaeem will return to Guilford County Schools as a principal at a school to be determined. Zaeem has served as both a principal and assistant principal in GCS and as a principal in Lexington City Schools. Under his leadership in Lexington City Schools, disciplinary referrals decreased by 50 percent for the 2019-20 school year. Most recently he worked as a data coach and assessment specialist in the Alamance-Burlington School System.

Zaeem holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and business administration and a master’s degree in school administration, both from High Point University.

Calandra Davis will join GCS as a principal at a school to be determined. Davis hails from Hickory Public Schools, where she has been principal at Jenkins Elementary since 2018. During her tenure, overall performance on three end-of-grade tests between 2019 and 2021, as well as for specific subgroups including black students, Hispanic students and English learners. She also spent three years as a principal at a charter school in South Carolina and as an assistant principal in Iredell-Statesville Schools.

Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in secondary educational administration and supervision from Clemson University, as well as a doctoral degree in educational leadership from South Carolina State University.