Program History


The Progressive Education Program was planned in the early 1990s. Our single school was once two schools, the Orthopedic School (former School Board Member Bob Embler was one of its principals) and the Lucy Herring School (Bill Walker was the principal). After a long and challenging public debate, it was decided to build PEP on three campuses in South Asheville: Estes Elementary, Valley Springs Middle, and TC Roberson High School. The PEP program officially opened in 1994.

PEP’s student population has changed over the years, as well as our staff, but there are still some of those dedicated first PEP teachers and assistants working at PEP today.

Today the Progressive Education Program, inspired by its name, works diligently to continuously improve the services it offers students and families so that it might truly be a progressive education program. We currently serve about 10 students and our program employs some 140 school staff members.