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October 15, 2021

Gordon Palmer to be ACHS principal

Draper, Frizsell to helm Hiddenite, Bethlehem schools, respectively

The Alexander County School Board of Education named three new principals to replace outgoing administrators at Alexander Central High School, Hiddenite, and Bethlehem schools during their work session meeting held Monday, June 18.

Gordon Palmer as principal of Alexander Central High School effective July 1, 2018. Charles Draper was named principal of Hiddenite Elementary School, and Charmion Frizsell was named principal of Bethlehem Elementary School, both effective July 1.

Gordon Palmer

“I am excited to work with the great students, staff, and community of Alexander Central,” stated Palmer. “There is a tradition of excellence and high standards that I look forward to maintaining and growing.”

Palmer has served as the principal of West Iredell High School since 2013 and was the assistant principal for two years before that. He taught history and coached at Statesville High School for approximately five years. Palmer also has administrative and teaching experience earlier in his career in New York.

Palmer created an AP Academy at West Iredell High School and grew it from eighteen students to over two hundred in three years. The school has also doubled in teacher effectiveness during his tenure.

“It’s hard to leave West Iredell High School because our team has accomplished so much together, but I’m ready to lead the great staff at Alexander Central High School,” stated Palmer.
The new ACHS leader received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University at Albany and his master’s degree in teaching from Sage Graduate School. He completed his executive leadership in administration at Gardner Webb University.

Palmer and his wife, Molly, have a son, Jackson, 5, and a daughter, Reese, 2.

Charles Draper

Draper has served as the assistant principal of Bethlehem Elementary and Hiddenite Elementary since 2016. In 2014, he was named the assistant principal at West Alexander Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in special education and a master’s degree in executive leadership from Gardner Webb University. Draper taught special education at Newton Conover Middle School. He has worked with students in South Africa and Cambodia. Draper and his wife, Betsy, have two children.

Charmion Frizsell

Frizsell has served as the Exceptional Children Compliance Officer/Preschool Coordinator since 2016. She served as the principal at Gamewell Elementary School in Caldwell County from 2010 – 2016. She has also served as an assistant principal, instructional facilitator, and a teacher in Burke and Caldwell Counties. Frizsell holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lenoir Rhyne University and a master’s in school administration from Appalachian State University. Frizsell and her husband, Todd, have five children.

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