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August 2, 2023

Meet Our New Director of Academic Affairs

One of the most dynamic locations on campus is the second floor of Mitchell Hall during a school day. I hope you will come visit Asheville School and see what I mean. Happiness thrives in this historic building and is a central part of our learning community. Authentic happiness is far different than immediate pleasure or instant gratification, as Arthur Brooks pointed out when he spoke to our community in 2022. Brooks, a Harvard professor, social scientist, bestselling author, and columnist at The Atlantic, told our students that he believes they are the generation who can change our world through complete happiness. Brooks describes happy people as those who “enjoy life, are satisfied with their achievements, and understand the meaning of their lives.”  This is the kind of happiness we generate and support right here in Mitchell Hall through our learning and working together. 

Whether in Environmental Science, Studio Art, Calculus, or Ancient Studies, the curriculum at Asheville School is designed for our students to explore their talents and interests, think deeply about the world around them, and identify meaningful goals and purpose beyond their time here. As we consider our quickly changing world, it is more important than ever to focus our attention on Brooks’ idea of happiness. Our academic program offers plenty of rigor and challenge, but it is also built around the idea of a purpose-driven, perpetually curious, and authentically happy life. We hope you will visit to find out more.

McNair Johnson
Director of Academic Affairs