Mount Airy Middle School’s principal has resigned, and an interim principal has been named.
Susan Bunch, who joined Mount Airy City Schools a decade ago, announced her resignation on Friday.
She plans to take time away from work and focus on future educational opportunities, naming a desire “to grow and serve in another capacity.”
Bunch’s last day is Feb. 28. Stepping in temporarily at that point is Jason Dorsett, chief operations officer. Last year Dorsett was the principal for Jones Intermediate before his promotion over the summer. He also has worked as an assistant principal at Mount Airy High.
A press release from MACS says that Dorsett will be “stepping in for principal for two months.”
Bunch came to Mount Airy Middle in 2007 as an assistant principal, then became middle school principal in the summer of 2013.
“During her time in Mount Airy, the middle school has created Students with Ambitious Goals (SWAG) that encourages students to participate in the North Carolina Academic Scholastic Competitions,” said Carrie Venable, public information officer.
“Following the inception of this program, Bunch was named NCASA Principal of the Year in 2014 and named to the NCASA Board of Directors the following year, where she has continued to serve.”
This innovative endeavor provided the middle school with the chance to score in the top five of the statewide cups including first runner-up in 2014-2015 and first place in 2015-2016. She also led the school to receiving the Schools to Watch designation twice. The latest recognition for this national award will come in Washington, D.C., in June.
“Ms. Bunch has been a compassionate principal and an advocate for students. She has worked closely with her staff and families to create an innovative learning environment for students,” said Venable.
“Under her leadership students have had success in both academic and athletic competitions. Recently, the athletic teams have hit a high point with receiving five out of eight conference championships for the 2016-2017 school year.”
Students aren’t the only ones to grow under Bunch’s leadership.
In Fall 2015, the middle school began participating in MAPSS, Math and Problem/Project-based Learning for Student Success. The MAPSS grant provided training for more than half of the school’s core teachers and has allowed those educators to pilot innovative classrooms focused on student engagement.
Upon implementation of project-based learning in the classrooms, MAMS teachers were invited to present their expertise in this teaching approach to the North Carolina State Board of Education. Due to the teachers’ hard work and state-wide recognition in the grant, multiple districts have visited MAMS to have a first-hand experience at the innovative teaching.
“This is my 10th year as an administrator at Mount Airy Middle School, and it is now time for me to grow and serve in another capacity,” said Bunch.
“This is not easy; I know in my heart it is the right thing to do for my career and my family. While this job has been an amazing experience I will never forget, the daily grind comes with many time demands.
“My wish is to put all of my focus towards my family and friends and take the next few months to slow down and make decisions about an array of future possibilities. I wish to explore other educational opportunities but with time to relax and make an informed decision away from the responsibilities of running a middle school.”
In thanking the city Board of Education, Bunch said, “Serving our children every day is a true gift. I learned a lot more from them than they could ever learn from me.”
She added, “I will do everything to ensure a smooth transition, and I look forward to hearing many great things about MAMS in the years ahead.”
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.