828.485.2980 ext. 303
Heather Benfield is serving as the principal at Challenger Early College in Hickory and is in her sixth year. Prior to the principalship, she started with a teaching career and then became a director for the state-wide innovative initiative to support high school redesign and new ways of thinking about school. As a director, she led schools and districts through instructional and cultural remodeling. Heather’s passion for students leads faculties to increased state-testing results, and, more importantly, increased non-traditional data achievements like the college-going rate, desirable skills for the business world, and school-enjoyment. She believes in making content relevant for students, helping them see beyond their assumed potential, and school professionals that work together in collaborative ways. Heather is trained in project-based learning, crucial conversations, and dynamic professional learning communities using critical friendship. She served as an evaluative panel-member for Oregon Small School Initiative in 2008 and 2009, presented principal-preparation research at the CREATE National Conference in 2014, and is published in the ASCD Problem-Based Learning for the 21st Century Classroom video series. Heather was the principal of the year for her school district in 2013-2014. She has a bachelor degree from Bellarmine University, an master degree in Executive Leadership degree from Gardner-Webb University and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Gardner-Webb Universtiy. On her time off, she enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, being part of outdoor events, and spending time with family.