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Gillespie Approved as JCHS Principal


Gillespie Approved as JCHS Principal

HOSCHTON — Melissa Gillespie was approved by the Jackson County School System Board of Education Monday evening to become the newest principal of Jackson County High School. 

Gillespie will begin her new role within the school this summer. She currently serves as an assistant principal at JCHS. 

“Our school system is thrilled to announce Mrs. Melissa Gillespie as our newest principal. The job of a high school principal is one that takes dedication and ownership and Mrs. Gillespie proved throughout the interview process that she is the perfect fit for Jackson County High School,” JCSS Superintendent Dr. Philip Brown said. “I look forward to working with Mrs. Gillespie during her transition to principal and supporting her as she leads a growing, robust high school on our west side.”

Gillespie has been with Jackson County High School since 2018, serving as a teacher for one year before moving into the role of assistant principal. She served as an assistant principal at John T. Hoggard High School in North Carolina from 2016 — 2018, before relocating to Jackson County. 

“Steve Jobs once said, ‘Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ I’m blessed to have a job where I love what I do and I’m honored to work at JCHS,” said Gillespie.

“I consider it a privilege to continue the tradition of making our school excellent.”

Gillespie holds a Bachelor's Degree in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She obtained her Master of School Administration from UNC at Wilmington in 2016. She was named the State Teacher of the Year in Southeastern North Carolina for the 2013-14 school year. 

Gillespie stated she is excited to work with the community at Jackson County High School. 

“I am most looking forward to being able to collaborate with teachers, families, community members, and many other stakeholders to make a difference in the lives of the students at our school and in our community,” Gillespie said. 

Gillespie will replace Jason Wester, who was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Wester will begin his new position this summer. Gillespie and Wester will work side-by-side to ensure a smooth transition process for the students and staff at JCHS. 

Gillespie and her husband, Simon Gillespie, have two children — Silas and Paisley.