top of page

Farewell to Kathleen Askew and Welcome to Michael Fair

Every now and then, if we are lucky, we might meet someone who changes our lives and inspires us to be better than ourselves. If we are luckier still, we may get to spend a portion of our lives with someone who makes us and everyone around them happy. And if we are among the most fortunate, we also get the opportunity to learn from someone who seems to understand everything and helps bring our own purpose more clearly into focus. From the day FernLeaf opened, Kathleen Askew has done all of this and more for FernLeaf students, families, and educators.

While we have been extraordinarily fortunate to have spent the last six years with her and been graced by her leadership as a School Director and as a teacher, her time with FernLeaf is coming to a close. At the end of this month, Kathleen and her family will be transitioning into the next great adventure in their lives as they move to Puerto Rico.

There are no words to adequately express the depth of our love and appreciation for Kathleen, and while we will certainly miss her daily presence, there is no question that the impact she has had on all of us here at FernLeaf will continue to be felt long into the future. She has left a powerful legacy that will continue to unfurl at FernLeaf for many years to come.


With Kathleen’s departure and FernLeaf’s continued growth through high school, we are excited to announce the addition of Michael Fair as FernLeaf’s new Upper School Director (5th-9th Grades). Michael comes to FernLeaf with a rich set of educational experiences, most recently as the Assistant Principal for 6th - 12th Grade at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Forest City. He is highly intelligent, has a warm and loving spirit, and possesses an enormous passion for kids and education.

Michael grew up in Jupiter, Florida and attended Florida State University where he double majored in History and Social Science. After college, his interest in coaching and working with kids led him to explore a career in education. He began his teaching career at Florida State University School where he taught middle and high school social studies and served as the Director of Soccer. During his tenure at FSU, he earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. After twelve years at FSU, he and his wife Sue decided to leave the tropical humidity of the Gulf Coast behind and relocate closer to her family in Hendersonville. For the next nine years Michael taught high school social studies and served as the assistant principal at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

When Michael is not working with students and teachers in the classroom, he enjoys spending time outdoors or relaxing around the pool with Sue and their two daughters, Belle, and Nylah. He loves mountain biking, hiking, and exploring the wilds of western North Carolina.

We are excited to have Michael at FernLeaf and for all of you to get to know him as well.


522 views1 comment
bottom of page