'Owen district is all I've known': McMahan becomes new principal at middle school

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Owen Middle welcomes former Owen high assistant principal Brad McMahan as its new principal.

Bradley McMahan, formerly a member of the Owen high administration, will be Owen Middle School's new principal starting this fall.

"I am a Black Mountain product through and through," McMahan said. "I went to school in the Owen district, my parents were both Owen district educators. The Owen district is all I've known."

The son of longtime Owen area educators Jack and Rachel McMahan, Bradley and his wife Hannah Williamson McMahan have one daughter, Ellie, who will begin kindergarten at Black Mountain Primary this fall.

McMahan served as an assistant principal at Owen High since 2017. Prior to his time as assistant principal, McMahan taught history at Valley Springs Middle School. 

"I could not have had a better experience," McMahan said. "I soaked up every day of it there and was really inspired to go into administration at a really young age, and I've always, always wanted to be an administrator."

Graduating in 2012, McMahan obtained his degree in secondary history education from Appalachian State University. In 2017, he completed his master's in school administration, also from Appalachian State.

After spending five years at Owen High, McMahan said the guidance from former Owen High principal Meg Turner set a prime example for school leadership. He said he "couldn't have been more fortunate" to know what the job demands allowing for a realistic and practical view of joining the administration at Owen Middle.

"Ultimately we're a community school," McMahan said. "This is truly the hub of the Swannanoa Valley between ourselves, the elementary school and the high school."

McMahan participated in the Buncombe County Schools Aspiring Leaders Program and is a member of the Buncombe County Principals Association and the North Carolina Association of Educators.

The middle school has projects and new hires that McMahan said he's really excited about. Primarily, he said, building trust between the school and the community is his main goal.

"After the past couple of years, there's so much negativity," McMahan said. "Schools are a special place. Schools are a fun place. The students have to feel safe when they come in this building and after they feel safe, they learn, they learn, they learn and they look forward to coming to school."

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.