​Mr. Chad Upton, Principal

I want to welcome you to Leicester Elementary School’s website and to our school community at Leicester. I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to begin my first year at Leicester after spending all of the first 18 years of my career here in Buncombe County Schools. Prior to my time here, I served as principal at both Woodfin and Fairview Elementary School and as an Assistant Principal at several elementary, middle, and high schools throughout our system.  Prior to my administrative career, I was a science, math, and social studies teacher at Enka Middle School. During that time, I also served as basketball and baseball coach at Enka Middle and Enka High Schools. 

     I am married to my wife, Sarah, an agent with the NC DHHS Division of Child Development, and have one son, Tyrus, a 5th grader at Bethel Elementary School.  Both of my parents are retired educators. My mother, Treva, taught for 30 years at Waynesville Middle School while my father was a teacher, high school principal, and Superintendent of Schools in Haywood County. I am a graduate of Pisgah High School in Canton as well as Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University with degrees in Middle School Education, Geography, and School Administration.  I am a family oriented person, where I spend much of my down time, along with pulling for the Carolina Hurricanes, Appalachian Mountaineers, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. Along with that, I do enjoy writing pieces for the Waynesville Enterprise-Mountaineer and broadcasting Pisgah High School Football on AM 920 WPTL in Canton in the Fall.  Reading is an important pastime in my family as well. I enjoy regional non-fiction, historical non-fiction, particularly World War II era and that relating to the history around North Carolina's mountains and coast. Along with this, I deeply enjoy the comic book genre as the heroes of Marvel and DC comics have become one of my, and my son's, favorite pastimes.

   I can’t put into words my excitement to continue working with the children and families of Leicester. You may often hear me refer to your child as my child too and I believe our job is to do all we can to give them the best experiences possible here. I know we have a tremendous staff of dedicated professionals that make sacrifices in their own lives and look forward to their work each day, families that are involved with their children and their community, volunteers who sacrifice each day, and a community that dearly loves it's school.  I would say to you that there is no better example of a successful community oriented elementary school than that of Leicester. We look forward to continuing our work in advancing our children’s access to technology, developing and deepening partnerships with the entities around us that share our goals, growing our student's access to all the information and experiences that we can find, deepening our skills in reading, writing, and math, and having a true sense of place in our community and country within the process. It is our pleasure to work to give our children the very best of us each day by keeping them safe, healthy, and eagerly engaged in their educations and lives. I appreciate each family and look forward to serving Leicester. 



FingerCarleene Finger
Welcome to Leicester Elementary School. We are a K-4 school that is part of the wonderful Buncombe County School System. Our enrollment is approximately 520 students with Head Start serving an additional 15-18 preschool age students.

I am very proud to serve as principal at Leicester Elementary School. The faculty is wonderful! They take pride in the students and the school, which makes our school a great place to learn and work.

Parental involvement is an element that all schools need to help make students successful. The early years are a great time to develop good work habits and learn the skills to be successful in all areas of our lives. We love to have parent volunteers!

Principal's Corner

  • Global Education

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 10/26/2011 7:00:00 AM
        At Leicester Elementary, we want our students to have the best education possible, and in today's world that means becoming knowledgable about the world around them.  We have a global education committee made up of teachers from each grade level whose job is to design activities and projects for our students to increase their global awareness.  One of our first activities involves help from our families.  You should have received a survey asking questions about your family and your ancesters' homes of origin.  This will give our students an idea about the places around the world where Leicester families were before they arrived in Leicester. The results of the survey (no names, just the locations) will go up on a bulletin board so that our students can refer to a map of the world to see where families and/or their ancestors originally lived before coming to the United States.  We would also like to know of your family traditions and if you have a craft or skill that can be shared with our students that has been handed down to you through the family generations.  Thank you for taking part in this survey.    
  • Thank You!

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 9/21/2011 7:00:00 AM
        We had an excellent turnout at our PTO meeting this week.  Most  classrooms were represented with at least one parent attending.  We had a good discussion and lots of great ideas were shared.  It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of this group and the commitment to planning fun and informative events for our students and our families.  We meet every third Tuesday at 6:00 in the school media center. Everyone is welcome to come out and join this group of staff and parents working together for our children.  
  • Calling all parents...

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 9/13/2011 8:00:00 PM
     Hello parents and caregivers.  Our PTO will meet at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 20 in the school media center.  We need your involvement to make our school the best it can be for our children.  The power of the family-school partnership is the key to giving our students a world class education.  Please come on out and join our PTO.  You will hear about plans for the year and be able to offer your ideas too.  We need YOU!! 
  • We hope to see you at open house...

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 9/7/2011 3:00:00 PM
     Hello parents and caregivers.  Please make plans to attend our Open House on Tuesday, September 13 at 6:00 pm.  This will be a time for you to visit your child’s classroom and see all the awesome things the children are working on and learning.  Our students are working hard every day and making strides toward achieving their academic and personal goals.  I am proud of them and know you are too.  Please come on out to see first hand the great things going on in the classrooms. 
  • Leicester Elementary Fundraiser

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 8/29/2011 3:00:00 PM
       Please help us raise money for our school to help enhance our children’s’ educational experiences.  Our wonderful PTO is sponsoring a cookie dough sale and catalogue fundraiser to support our school.  Funds raised will go toward adding technological tools to our classrooms for students to use, funding field trips and/or guest speakers related to our school curriculum, and providing materials that teachers will use to enrich learning activities for all students.  The kick-off for our fundraiser is Friday, September 2nd, so if you visit with friends and family over the holiday weekend, you may want to share our catalogue with them.  The fundraiser continues through September 16.  Thank you so much for your help!   
  • Off to an incredible start...

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 8/22/2011 8:00:00 AM
     Hello parents and caregivers.  I am so proud of our students for making this a smooth and wonderful beginning to the new school year.  Our children have quickly adapted to the procedures in their new grade levels and classes.  This is shaping up to be a great school year.  With your support we plan to create an exciting, meaningful educational year for our students.  Working together, we can accomplish great things in the 2011-2012 school year. 
  • Looking forward to a great school year...

    Posted by Carleene Finger at 8/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
       Hello parents and caregivers. I hope everyone has had a happy and refreshing summer. I am super excited about the beginning of a new school year and am so thrilled to be your new principal.  I am very proud to be a part of such a wonderful community and plan to continue the tradition of excellence at Leicester Elementary.  I cannot wait to meet all of the smiling faces of our Leicester Elementary students on the first day of school, Thursday, August 18th.  I also look forward to getting to know the families of our children.  Please know that my door is always open to you and I am happy to answer any questions or work to help solve any problems that may crop up during the school year.  It is an honor and a joy to be principal of Leicester Elementary School.   

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