Edie McDowell, a native North Carolinian, is thrilled to join the Mountain Discovery Charter School community as Director. Over two decades of educational leadership experiences have afforded her invaluable training in innovative, experiential education. Within the past decade, she has helped establish four local alternative schools, most recently serving as Director of Curriculum and Instructional Coaching at The Franklin School of Innovation, a Middle-High School EL Education Charter School in Asheville. In each of these positions, as well as in prior public school teaching environments, she has employed the philosophy and methodology wherein all members of the school community serve as “…crew, not passengers.” It is Edie’s conviction that rigorous project and inquiry-based learning opportunities serve as a catalyst for discovery and genius when learners are empowered to follow their dreams and are taught how to set realistic, measurable goals with high standards for achievement, culture, and quality work. Edie is committed to helping students and teachers become lifelong learners with the capacity to practice inquiry, conduct authentic research, analyze data, synthesize their results, and effectively communicate their conclusions, both critically and creatively in the context of making our world a sustainable and better place.
Edie loves working with teachers to collaboratively design learning experiences that involve students in doing the work of real scientists, historians, writers, illustrators, mathematicians, and inventors! She is grateful to live in the ancient and beautiful Southern Appalachians, and is inspired by adventures on the trail close by, just as well as by learning expeditions farther afield and around the world. Her hobbies include photography, long-distance running and hiking, art, writing, reading, crafts research and revival, dance, and botanical illustration. Edie and her husband Tony have two daughters, Eleanor Gwyneth, begins her second year of college this fall, and Emma Claire, who is attending Asheville High School. The McDowells live in Asheville and have a woolly Siberian Husky named Huxley, and a cat named Artemis.