Mrs. Kelly Coward-Kirschner is a native of Jones County. She has been with Onslow County Schools since 2017, serving as assistant principal at Silverdale Elementary from 2017-2021 and Jacksonville Commons Elementary for the 2021-2022 school year. Prior to her administrative work with OCS, she taught in Craven County from 1997 through 2017.
She attended Jones County Schools and upon graduation furthered her education at East Carolina University. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Masters in School Administration, and NC Curriculum Instructional Specialist Licensure. Among her many professional achievements, Coward-Kirschner has held National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist since 2003. She was a finalist for Assistant Principal of the Year for OCS in 2020. She has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of leadership capacities at her school, including leading the Leader in Me initiative, based on Covey’s Seven Habits, being the Beginning Teacher Mentor Coordinator, Testing Coordinator, and Leadership Development Coordinator. From her 25 years of experience, she realizes the importance of connectivity between school, parents, and community involvement in the lives of students. This positive outreach endeavor has been a passion of hers and what she considers to be a vital component of students developing a love for learning.
Mrs. Coward-Kirschner currently resides in New Bern with her husband, Clay. They have one son, Rhett, who is a sophomore at Craven Early College, and one very spoiled fur baby, Reese. As a family, they enjoy going to the beach, ECU football, music, and traveling.
“I am excited to join the Clyde Erwin Elementary School family and to build relationships with the staff, students, and their families,” said Mrs. Coward-Kirschner. “I look forward to continuing the strong partnership with the community to support our Eagles and continue the long-standing tradition of creating innovative, culturally compassionate, life-long learners. Together we will SOAR!"