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    Meet our Administration

    The Sanderson High School Administrative team is a 6-member group. We work together to provide instructional supports, initiatives, building management, logistical direction, and overall organization within our building. We are committed to ensuring that every student feels safe and supported during their high school experience.


Principal

  • Tara Drouhard

    Departmental Supervision: Student Services and Media 

    Phone: 919-881-4800
    Email: tdrouhard@wcpss.net

    Ms. Drouhard attended Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio for her undergraduate degree in Theatre with a minor in English.  She taught English at Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After graduation, she served as the Assistant Principal for Instruction at Millbrook High School until 2016 when she returned to Ohio.  In Cleveland, she was the school design leader and inaugural principal for Rhodes School of Environmental Studies, a public high school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  In January of 2023, Ms. Drouhard returned to North Carolina to begin serving as the principal of Sanderson.


Assistant Principal (Student Management: Last Names A-D)

  • Kimberly Carter

    Departmental Supervision: Special Education and Fine Arts 

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24864

    Email: kcarter2@wcpss.net


Assistant Principal (Student Management: Last Names E-K)

  • Stephen Ausley

    Departmental Supervision: Social Studies, JROTC & Health/PE 

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24809

    Email: sausley@wcpss.net

    Background: Mr. Ausley is a North Carolina native. He has over 15 years of administrative and secondary leadership experience. He has worked in just about every aspect of schools and enjoys working with young people. He believes all students have the capability to do well. He never thought of himself as an Assistant Principal in high school, but enjoys this role and helping students.


Assistant Principal (Student Management: Last names L-Ra)

  • Trenton Brown

    Departmental Supervision: English and CTE

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24810

    Email: tbrown15@wcpss.net

    Background:  Mr. Brown is a proud product of the Williamsburg County public school system in SC. As a youth, he discovered his calling and passion for education. The pursuit of education led him to Benedict College in Columbia, SC where he earned a BA in education. After many illustrious years as a classroom teacher, Mr. Brown advanced his studies at UNC Pembroke where he earned his masters degree in school administration. 18 plus years serving as an educator and practitioner has enabled Mr. Brown to build lasting impressions and relationships with students, teachers, and parents.


Assistant Principal of Instruction

  • Katherine Pendergraft

    Departmental Supervision: Math and ESL

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24808

    Email: kpendergraft@wcpss.net

    Background:  Mrs. Pendergraft has lived in NC for about 20 years, but grew up in Arizona where most of her family still lives. She and her husband live in Durham where they purchased a fixer upper, so those DIY home projects is how they spend much of their spare time!  Mrs. Pendergraft earned her undergraduate degree from NC State and masters from Appalachian.  She began her career in WCPSS 13 years ago as a high school Social Studies teacher and spent ten fantastic years in the high school classroom. In 2017, she began a new position in Intervention and Testing. Mrs. Pendergraft is so excited to join Sanderson and looks forward to continuing the Spartan legacy! 


Assistant Principal (Student Management: Last Names Rb-Z)

  • Joey Risso

    Departmental Supervision: Science and World Languages 

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24811

    Email: jrisso@wcpss.net

    Joey Risso is entering his 9th year of education and his first year as an Assistant Principal.  Mr. Risso grew up in Asheville, NC and attended Appalachian State University.  He graduated from App State with a Bachelor of Science in Biology Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.  Prior to becoming an administrator, Mr. Risso taught Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physical Science at Asheboro High School for 4 years and Orange High School for 3 years.  Recently, Mr. Risso earned his Master of School Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and completed his principal internship at Hebert Akins Road Middle School in Wake County. Mr. Risso is an avid sports fan and enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with his wife, two dogs, and cat. Mr. Risso is very excited to become a member of the Sanderson Community and play a role in growing and connecting with students, staff, and stakeholders.  #SPARTANSTRONG


Interim Assistant Principal

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    Joseph Blanchard

    Interim Assistant Principal

    Phone: 919-881-4800

    Email: jblanchard@wcpss.net

    Mr. Blanchard is a product of Wake County schools, having attended from 1st grade through his graduation from Sanderson in 1983. After earning his undergraduate degree from Applachian State University, he went on to teach Health & Physical Education at Cary High School and West Lake Middle School. Mr. Blanchard has also coached football, baseball, softball, and wrestling during his time with WCPSS. He received his Master of School Administration from NC State University and, in 2008, Mr. Blanchard became an Assistant Principal at Middle Creek High School and remained there until his retirement in 2018. 

    He and his wife enjoy walking with their dog Maddux (Go Cubs!), as well as spending time with their grandchildren, fishing and being in the outdoors. LET'S GO CANES!


  • Senior Officer Chad Warren

    School Resource Officer

    Phone: 919-881-4800 ext. 24852

    Email: chad.warren@raleighnc.gov

    Officer Warren is a Senior Raleigh Police Officer who is assigned to Sanderson High School as the School Resource Officer. Officer Warren is a native to the Raleigh area and began his law enforcement career in 2008. After graduating from college and obtaining his associates degree in Criminal Justice, he joined the Raleigh Police Department. He was assigned to the Northeast district for 14 years. In 2022, he graduated from the North Carolina Justice Academy's School Resource Officer Program and became the School Resource Officer at Sanderson High School. Officer Warren works hard every day to ensure that the students of Sanderson are safe, and improve school security. He teaches classes on issues such as drugs, gangs, safety, and driving laws. He also engages in discussions about police actions and perceptions of law enforcement in the community. Officer Warren was awarded the Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the year in 2013. Officer Warren is also assigned to the Raleigh Police Departments Crisis Negotiation unit.