Former Ashley IB Elementary School Principal Robert Ash is now leading Speas Elementary School and will soon be replaced at Ashley by Mark Hairston, the principal of Philo-Hill Magnet Academy.
Ash had served as principal of Ashley since 2009. He replaced Sara Cook at Speas. Cook moved to Middle Fork Elementary School to replace Donald Hampton, who left Middle Fork to open Smith Farm Elementary School.
Ash previously served as a teacher and assistant principal. He began his career as a special-education teacher at Paint Branch High in Montgomery County, Md. He has taught eighth grade at Kennedy Learning Center, and at the high school level at both Western High and Page in Guilford County.
Ash earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social science education from Florida State University. He also earned a certificate in educational leadership from the University of New England.
Hairston will finish the school year at Philo-Hill; retired principal Belinda Beard will be Ashley’s interim principal until Hairston starts July 1.
Hairston became principal of Philo Magnet Academy in 2008, and he led the school as it merged with Hill Middle School and became Philo-Hill Magnet this year.
Before coming to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Hairston worked for 17 years in Virginia public schools. He was principal at William Ruffner Middle in Roanoke from 2006 to 2008, served as principal at Garden City Elementary in Roanoke for three years and was assistant principal at Lucy Addison Middle in Roanoke for two years.
He also was assistant principal of Fieldale Collinsville High School in Collinsville, Va. He began his education career in 1991 as a teacher of health and physical education in Roanoke City Public Schools, where he taught at four schools in nine years.
Hairston has a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College and educational specialists and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech University.