Pat Ashley


Dr. Pat Ashley is a consultant on board, district and school leadership.  Dr. Ashley’s focus and passion is student success, and she is committed to ensuring high student achievement through building high-performing districts and schools. Dr. Ashley currently serves as a cohort director for NCSU Educational Leadership Academies, helping prepare school leaders in an innovative principal preparation program. Her prior experience leading District and School Transformation for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction focused on data-documented school and district turnaround. She oversaw the successful implementation of the NC Turnaround Initiative as well as NC’s ambitious Turnaround effort for 12 districts and 123 schools as part of a Race to the Top grant. In 2013, she received the NC Public School Forum Jay Robinson Leadership Award for exemplary leadership with a statewide impact. Before returning to her home state of NC in 2006, she was Assistant Superintendent for Instruction of Kentucky’s Owensboro Public Schools— identified by Standard and Poor’s as an “outperforming” Title I district where student achievement far exceeded predictive variables. She began her career as a teacher before becoming a counselor and school psychologist. These experiences solidified her knowledge of how students learn. Considerable years as a principal in diverse settings developed Pat’s deep understanding of the critical role a principal plays in a school success.  She was a middle school principal in a magnet school in Charlotte, NC; principal of a large comprehensive high school in State College, PA; and, after a family relocation to KY, she became the principal of an elementary school in identified as low performing. Following a short period of great collaboration, this school became the highest achieving school in KY for multiple years based on statewide assessment data. Among multiple honors, the school was featured on the Today Show for educational innovation and selected as a National Blue Ribbon School. Her undergraduate degree in history is from Duke University and her master’s degree and doctorate are from NC State University. She studied in India on a Fulbright and is currently Teaching Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University and a Professor of the Practice at UNC Chapel Hill. She recently served as interim director of the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program and works as a consultant for school board development with the NC School Boards Association.