Asheville Native Advocates for Education and Community Service

Lisa Harris-Gillespie is the principal of Mary McArthur Elementary School in Fayetteville, NC.

Asheville native Lisa Harris-Gillespie is the daughter of long-time community leaders Roy and Diatha Harris.

Fayetteville, NC – Growing up, Lisa understood the importance of education and community service. As a student in the Asheville City Schools she served on the executive board of Kids Voting and was a member of the Student Government Association, the 2002 Miss Asheville High School Court, 2003 Homecoming Court, and the Asheville High School Marching Band. Lisa graduated with honors in 2004 and matriculated to Fayetteville State University with a full academic scholarship. She graduated magna cum laude in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.

While attending Fayetteville State, where she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Lisa excelled as a campus leader, serving as an orientation leader, member of the SGA, and as Junior Class President. She also reigned as Miss Fayetteville State University in 2007-2008.

Choosing to remain in Fayetteville after graduation, Lisa began her teaching career at Ferguson-Easley Elementary School, where she taught fourth grade. While teaching, she earned a master’s degree in School Administration from FSU in 2013, thereupon being appointed assistant principal of Brentwood Elementary School, where she served four years.

In January 2018, the Cumberland County School Board appointed Lisa Harris Gillespie principal of Mary McArthur Elementary School. The school was recognized as an NC Academic School that met or exceeded growth in the 2016-17 school year, and was awarded the NC Academic Growth Award.

Dr. John H. Grant and First Lady Belinda Grant of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, who are Lisa’s godparents, join her parents in congratulating Lisa Harris Gillespie for her numerous accomplishments and for her success in becoming such a positive role model for the Asheville community.

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  1. Diatha Ivery Harris says:

    I am so very proud of you Lisa Diantha Harris Gillespie. God has shown you favor. Continue to honor him and continue to do great things for our children of the future. You are one of my very heart beats and I am most proud of you. I love you to the moon and back again. ~ Mama

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