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Guilford County Schools Appoints Principal Supervisor

May 7, 2024 The principal at the district’s largest high school will soon be joining the central office. Ashley Young, principal at Northwest High, will become a Zone 1 principal supervisor, stepping in for Dr. Denise Patterson, who is retiring.

Young has been principal at Northwest High since 2020, where she leads about 2,000 students at one of the 25 largest public high schools in the state. While she was principal, the school’s graduation rate increased more than two percentage points to 98.8 percent in 2023, the school’s highest rate in 12 years. Northwest High exceeded growth and was in the top 15 percent in the state for growth in the 2022-23 school year.

Young is a member of the superintendent’s principal advisory council and previously served as principal at Northwest Middle and Dalton McMichael High School in Rockingham County. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

TaWuana Cook will become principal at the Middle College at GTCC-Jamestown. Cook has been an assistant principal at Jamestown Middle since 2018 and was a finalist for assistant principal of the year in 2023. As assistant principal, Cook led summer programming, the social and emotional learning goal team and an afterschool tutoring and enrichment program, among other duties.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in human performance and leisure studies and a master’s degree in teaching physical education and health from North Carolina A&T State University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Gardner-Webb University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from High Point University.

Noel Keener will return to Guilford County Schools to become principal at a school to be determined. Keener has been principal at Parkland High in Winston-Salem since April 2022. Under her leadership, the school’s graduation rate increased by six percentage points. Keener also spent five years as principal at Northeast High, where she planned and developed the school’s signature career academy, and one year as principal at Christine Joyner Greene Education Center.  

Keener holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wichita State University, a master’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in school administration from UNCG.

These personnel appointments are effective July 1.