Dr. Gary Childers

Executive Director

High Country United Way

Dr. Childers has been involved extensively in innovative efforts at the local school level throughout his career. He has remained contemporary in his approach to school improvement by learning and implementing the most current approaches to overall school improvement. Beginning with the “Effective Schools” correlates in the late eighties followed, and improved upon, by the North Carolina Teacher Academy’s “Creating Professional Workplaces” training in the mid nineties he progressed through the Principal’s Executive Program’s initial and advanced training.

As an example of his commitment to life-long learning he recently completed the last leg of his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at East Tennessee State University. He is trained in Covey’s “7 Habits” and has served on visiting teams on behalf of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Having served as a principal at both the elementary and high school levels, he was named as the local Principal of the Year four-times, as the state Regional Principal of the Year, and was one of the top three finalists for North Carolina’s Principal of the Year in 2003.    

Since retirement he has remained professionally active through adjunct teaching in the graduate education program at Appalachian State University, working as a coach for the North Carolina New Schools Project, independent consulting in the area of high school scheduling, and leading the High Country United Way as its Executive Director.

A 50-year resident of Watauga County, he is widely recognized for his work to assist children and families in need. He and his wife Emily are the parents of two adult children and have three grandchildren.