Director’s Page


“Self-esteem is not built from compliments. It is built from accomplishments of quality.”

-Ron Berger

Welcome to!

As I began working to update my letter for the website, I was hit by a realization; the website is my director’s letter. Everything I want to say about the school is said or demonstrated in these pages because we designed and coded the site to communicate the quality and uniqueness of our school. The best way to learn about our school is to take a tour through our website.

Use the “Teachers” link on the top menu on each page to visit the classroom homepages. You will get a feel for each teacher’s curriculum, philosophy, projects, and more.

Visit Education Outdoors to see some concrete and wonderful examples of our instructional approach.

Read the EOG Results page to learn about our continued excellence on the state tests.

Visit School Overview for information on our instructional approach, special programs, links to school report cards, and more.

And finally, please read the Meet Our Staff page to learn something about the people who define our school. A school is as good as its staff, and ours is excellent.

There is one thing that is not said explicitly on these pages but the message is there between all of the lines of copy and code. We care very deeply about what we do which is to serve and challenge the whole child, emotionally, mentally, socially, and physically.

I hope you find your visit to our website both informative and inspiring and please bear in mind that our cyber-presence is a mere shadow of the real thing. We’re even better in person.


Edie McDowell

About Edie

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.

Mountain Discovery School