Valle Crucis Principal Preston Clarke, right, presents the 2017 Valle Crucis Teacher of the Year Award to Beaver Robinette during a ceremony in the school’s media center.

BOONE — Preston Clarke, principal at Valle Crucis School, announced on July 10 via his Twitter account that he will be moving to Lincoln County to fill the previously vacant principal position at Lincolnton High School.

Clarke served as principal at Valle Crucis School for five years.

“I am very proud of Mr. Clarke and the great work he has done in Watauga and at Valle Crucis,” Scott Elliott, superintendent of Watauga County Schools, said in a statement. “Of course, I hate to see him go, but I understand and absolutely support his professional goal to become a high school principal. Lincoln County Schools is fortunate to have him and he will be missed here in Watauga.”

Clarke said he is grateful for the unwavering support of the school system and is proud of the progress they were able to make together during his time as principal at Valle Crucis School.

“Valle Crucis School is a very special place defined by a school community that loves our students. I also appreciate the support that I received from our parents and guardians. I have so much love for our students and the joy they brought me each day at VC. I will miss them immensely. I want to say thank you to Dr. Elliott, the central office team and the WCS school board for their support. It has been an absolute pleasure to work in the Watauga County School system and serve the students of this community,” Clarke said in a statement.

The school system plans to begin the search for Clarke’s successor as soon as possible, and their goal is to have the position filled by the start of the next school year, according to Elliott.

“Valle Crucis School has a very positive reputation both in our region and across our state, and I expect this position will attract a high quality applicant pool,” Elliott said. “Valle Crucis is a wonderful school community with an exciting future ahead of it. With the prospect of a new school being built, the coming years will be an exciting time to be the principal of Valle Crucis.”

Two other principal positions in the county remain vacant at Mabel School and Green Valley School. Mabel School’s former principal, Mark Hagaman retired from his position and became principal at Doe Elementary School in Tennessee in June. Former Green Valley School principal, Phil Norman, was named Hardin Park principal in June after an extensive interview and vetting process. According to WCS spokesperson Garrett Price, their goal is to make recommendations for applicants to the school board by the end of the month and have all three positions filled by the start of the school year.

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