From The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC




May 10, 2016 7:54 PM

CMS hires principal for future Renaissance West preK-8 school

Erin Barksdale, a former Ranson Middle assistant principal, is currently a principal in Atlanta

She’ll lead school that opens in 2017 on the site of former Boulevard Homes public housing project

A school designed to bring new life to the site of the old Boulevard Homes housing project moved a step closer to reality Tuesday, when Superintendent Ann Clark named a principal for Renaissance West preK-8 school.

The school won’t open until August 2017, but new Principal Erin Barksdale will spend the coming school year doing a residency at Atlanta’s Drew Charter School. Drew is part of a partnership to revitalize Atlanta’s East Lake area, which is a model for the Renaissance West project.

The Renaissance West Community Initiative, a nonprofit group created by the Charlotte Housing Authority, will work with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to run the new school. The group had initially planned to open a charter school on the site. The larger plan calls for “cradle to career” support for residents.

The school, which has not been officially named, will be governed by a council representing CMS, the initiative, school staff and community residents. CMS expects to offer a Science, Engineering, Arts and Math theme and serve about 800 students.

Barksdale is currently principal of the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, a 6-12 all-girl school in Atlanta. She is originally from Charlotte and was an assistant principal at CMS’ Ranson Middle School from 2010 to 2013.

Erin Barksdale

Erin Barksdale Courtesy of CMS


Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms