• Meet our Administration


    Ms. Gabriel Chidester, Principal


    It is my honor to introduce myself as the principal of Conn Magnet Elementary School. Since being named Conn’s principal in 2020, we were awarded the Magnet Schools of America School of Excellence Award in 2022, 2023, and 2024. For the 2023-2024 school year, Conn Magnet Elementary School was named one of the Top 10 2024 Magnet Schools of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. This is a true testament to all the hard work and dedication to our students by our staff, families, and community. Conn Magnet Elementary continues to excel in academic achievement demonstrating continuous growth for the last two consecutive years. Our high expectations and love for all students in which we serve has propelled us forward in providing rigorous academic instruction and a nurturing learning environment for all.

    I believe every student is uniquely capable and deserves to be challenged and engaged in their learning each day, therefore I am dedicated to promoting, understanding, and creating equitable learning environments for our students. Throughout my years in education, I have contributed to the work focused on equity leadership through my participation and involvement in various committees and teams.  

    I am a transparent leader who understands the importance of clear, consistent, and effective communication. I am a team player who values the input of others as we work together to make sound educational decisions based on what is best for students. The success of our students is supported through collaborative relationships and partnerships with all stakeholders.   

    I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I also hold a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the field of Educational Leadership and Administration. I am licensed in K-6 Elementary Education, K-12 Reading, K-6 Exceptional Children- General Curriculum, and as a K-12 Principal. During my 20 years in education, I have served in the role of a special education teacher, classroom teacher, Instructional Facilitator, Literacy Coach, and Assistant Principal all at the elementary level. I was a Teacher of the Year finalist for Virginia Beach City Public Schools and a Cary Chamber’s Honor a Teacher Program finalist during my years as a teacher. In 2018, I was selected to be a member of the first inaugural Assistant Principal Leadership Academy cohort through RTI International.  

    It is my true honor to serve the wonderful CONNmUNITY. I am a dedicated and passionate educator who enjoys supporting the growth and development of those I serve. I look forward to working with each one of your families on our educational journey together.  




    Mr. Michael Warholik, Assistant Principal


    I am excited and honored to be joining the CONNmUNITY as the Assistant Principal. I was born and raised in northern Michigan and moved to Raleigh in 2008 to pursue a teaching position with Wake County Public Schools teaching in first, third, and fifth grade. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University.  I spent the last year as an administrator at Oberlin Magnet Middle School while earning my Master of School Administration as an NC Principal Fellow at North Carolina State University. 
    I believe that public education should be a great equalizer. School should serve as a place where students of all backgrounds can access the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to build a meaningful and productive life. Therefore, I strive to create a safe and inclusive learning space that fosters independence, critical thinking, and a lifelong love of learning. In addition, I want to establish an atmosphere at the school that promotes open communication and respects diversity and teamwork among all parties involved by working with the faculty, students, and parents to increase student achievement.
    I am looking forward to a fantastic year and getting to know everyone in the CONNmUNITY!