Stephanie Sharp

Asheville City Schools Foundation to Host Celebration of Champions

Asheville City Schools Celebration

Asheville boasts many exceptional leaders who work to champion children in the community by addressing and enhancing equity in the city’s public schools. On May 9, the Asheville City Schools Foundation will honor a group of these community leaders, parents and organizations at its annual Celebration of Champions.

The 2017 Celebration of Champions event will feature honorees’ stories and celebrate the impact they are making on the students and teachers of Asheville City Schools. Additionally, a group of Parent Champions, one from each of the nine Asheville City Schools, will also be honored, reflecting the diversity, assets and support parents can provide.

MAKING ASHEVILLE SCHOOLS STRONGER

Mosaic Realty Asheville Public SchoolsFounded in 1988, ACSF champions strong public schools in Asheville through advocacy, grant-making, after-school programming and parent and community engagement. Since 2000, it has provided over $800,000 to projects that directly support the students and teachers in city schools and over $1 million to students through scholarships. Celebration of Champions is ACSF’s signature event to raise funds for key programs including: professional development opportunities for teachers, IRL (In Real Life) after-school program, TAPAS (Teaching Artists Presenting in Asheville Schools), and the Equity Fund.

The Celebration of Champions 2017 honorees are:

Lifetime Achievement Champion Alfred Whitesides, who has fought for decades to ensure educational opportunity for the children of Asheville through its city schools and for the young people of North Carolina through the state university system;

Asheville Supports TeachersCommunity Champion Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, formed by Janet Hurley and Tamiko Ambrose Murray along with Meggen Lyon and Asheville City Schools Foundation to provide innovative arts and creative writing opportunities to children, teens and families in Asheville’s schools and communities;

Individual Champion Sarah Reincke of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, who coordinates OLLI’s Civic Engagement Committee, spreading the joy of volunteering to the more than 40 OLLI members she helps match with city school placements;

Parent Champions in ACS Luz Velazquez from Asheville City Preschool; Pat Hall from Claxton Elementary; Angelica Wind from Hall Fletcher Elementary; Joan Pinegar from Isaac Dickson Elementary; Gene Peyroux from Ira B. Jones Elementary; Allison Reece from Vance Elementary; Jessica Merchant from Asheville Middle; Alec Fehl from SILSA; and Nancy Hutchins from Asheville High.

MOSAIC REALTY’S INVALUABLE SUPPORT

ACSF Celebration of ChampionsAmong the premier sponsors of the Celebration of Champions 2017 is Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty. A longtime advocate for the health and vitality of the local community as a whole, and Asheville City’s public schools in particular, Mosaic has sponsored ACSF and the Celebration of Champions for four years. Mosaic’s sponsorship attests to the conviction that strong schools start with strong community support.

Celebration of Champions 2017 takes place May 6 at Crowne Plaza Expo Center (1 Resort Drive, Asheville). Buy tickets here. Ticket holders will enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while participating in a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner and program including short films honoring the 2017 Champions.

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville Company is First Carbon Neutral Real Estate Firm in NC

Mosaic Realty Partners with WNCGBC in a Local Solution to Global Pollution

Mosaic Realty AshevilleAsheville, NC: Local Real Estate firm Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is now officially the first real estate agency in North Carolina to obtain the status of carbon neutral. Longtime supporters of Western North Carolina Building Council (WNCGBC), Mosaic Realty has recently strengthened their partnership by participating in Appalachian Offsets, a program of WNCGBC. By calculating the company’s net carbon output and offsetting it by paying into local green energy projects, they ensure that they are proactively taking steps to address climate change.

According to Dictionary.com, carbon neutrality is having achieved a state in which the net amount of carbon dioxide is reduced to zero because it is balanced by action to reduce or offset these emissions.  In order to participate in Appalachian Offsets, all 21 Mosaic agents have committed to paying a yearly sum reflective of their part of carbon emissions for the company. The funds collected benefit a local nonprofit, school or affordable-housing provider needing an energy-efficiency upgrade.

Appalachian Offsets AshevilleSam Ruark-Eastes, Executive Director of the WNCGBC, explains, “Appalachian Offsets is the bridge that matches companies and individuals looking to offset their emissions with organizations who need support cutting energy cost and upgrading their facilities.” Mike Figura, owner of Mosaic Realty, sees the value of this service to his business. “Mosaic Realty operates on a triple bottom line principle of People, Planet and Profit. We measure our success based on those three categories. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our environment and species, and Appalachian Offsets offers us a way to take action on a local level to help make a positive impact”, states Figura.

Asheville Appalachian OffsetsBut the partnership between Mosaic and WNCGBC does not stop here. In order to help Asheville  become a carbon neutral community, Mosaic realtors working with buyers connect their clients to WNCGBC’s Green Gauge program. Green Gauge is an innovative home assessment tool that helps residents save money, reduce energy usage and live in homes that are healthier for themselves and the environment. Connecting new residents to some of Asheville’s invaluable resources and programs is a great entrance into this environmentally aware community.

About Mosaic Realty: Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a boutique real estate firm made up of 21 professional, full-time brokers who live in Asheville. We specialize in green, historic and in-town properties. Commitment to supporting our local and global community has been at the heart of this downtown Asheville real estate firm since its formation in 2010. In 2016, Mosaic donated over $77,000 to 48 non-profits, including the WNCGBC.

For more information about living in Asheville, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Spotlight on Asheville Neighborhoods: Five Points and UNC-Asheville

UNC Asheville Campus

In a triangle tucked between the Merrimon and Broadway Avenue corridors, just north of downtown Asheville, is the neighborhood known collectively as Five Points and UNC-Asheville. Lining the cluster of prime residential homes that makes up Five Points are an array of businesses – groceries, spas, coffee shops, bed and breakfast inns – all easily accessible by foot. The Five Points and UNC-Asheville area features a range of 1920s and ’30s bungalows mixed with a growing number of modern-style residences, making a stroll through the streets a feast for the eyes.

Five Points Neighborhood AshevilleBordering the north end of Five Points is the University of North Carolina at Asheville (the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the UNC system and home to an array of events open to the public), the regionally renowned North Asheville Tailgate Market, and the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Headquarters is also located in the neighborhood.

A Walkable Asheville Neighborhood

High Five Coffee Shop AshevilleResidents of Five Points have the distinct privilege of being within walking distance of a collection of popular specialty grocery stores – Greenlife (Whole Foods), Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter – along with favorite meeting spots Five Points Restaurant and High Five Coffee. Try the Diablo at High Coffee, pictured at left. At the tip of the triangle sits the Moog Music Factory, where the world-famous Moog Music synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments are designed and handcrafted, and where visitors can play the gear, or take a free factory tour to see employees at work building some of the most innovative instruments in the world. This walkable neighborhood boasts sidewalks lining many streets.

UNC-Asheville: An Asheville Community Gem

UNC-Asheville offers amazing resources not only for its students, but for the general public as well. The university sponsors a wide range of cultural and academic events, concerts, lectures, movie screenings and the like, both on campus and off, year-round. In addition, programs like the Family Business Forum and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are specifically designed to educate and support the Asheville community.

Botanical Gardens of Asheville and Tailgate Market

Botanical Gardens AshevilleBordering the UNCA campus is the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, a 10-acre independent, non-profit botanical gardens dedicated to the study and promotion of the native plants and habitats of the Southern Appalachians. Admission is free, and the gardens boast trails lined with meandering creeks and stunning scenery perfect for spending a sunny afternoon.

The North Asheville Tailgate Market (whose 2017 season runs from April 1-Nov. 18) sets up shop on the UNCA campus every Saturday from 8 a.m. til noon. Since 1980, the market has provided visitors with a full range of local, sustainably produced produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, plants, prepared foods and crafts. With more than 40 vendors and over 40,000 annual customers, the market’s energetic and warm environment exemplifies the celebrated diversity of Asheville’s community.

For a personally guided tour of the Five Points and UNCA area, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Asheville and Buncombe County Schools

STEM School Asheville

For families with school-aged children, proximity to strong schools is often a major factor in determining the neighborhood in which to live. Fortunately, in Asheville, we have a wide and diverse selection of fantastic public, private and charter schools. This guide, organized by age of children, provides an overview of the area’s educational institutions.

Public Elementary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Vance Elementary School AshevilleThe Asheville/ Buncombe area is unique in that it operates separate city and county school districts.  

Asheville City Schools system serves the most centrally-located neighborhoods. Their elementary school model is based on a magnet system where families can select their top 3 choices from the 5 differently-themed magnet schools. If there is more demand than availability, a lottery is used for placement. The city school system has a strong partnership with the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Buncombe County School system operates neighborhood-based elementary schools where children attend the school based upon the district in which they live. Students in South Asheville feed into the TC Roberson School district. East Asheville and Fairview students attend A.C. Reynolds district elementary schools. Swannanoa and Black Mountain students attend Owen district schools. West Asheville students attend Enka or Erwin districts. North Asheville and Weaverville students attend North Buncombe School District.  

We recommend that you check the public school district indicated under the Location section of property listings.

Public Middle Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Bike Walk to School AshevilleAsheville Middle School has been the long-standing public middle school for students within the Asheville City Schools district.  New in the 2017-2018 school year is a STEAM-focused alternative middle school option called the Montford North Star Academy.  Both of these middle schools have excellent community partnerships in place.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one middle school, and some have intermediate schools that also serve their district's middle school age children.

Public High Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville High SchoolAsheville High School is the sole high school within the Asheville City Schools district. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus near Mission Hospital.  SILSA operates as a school within a school and has a focus on inquiry and life sciences.  These schools have a long tradition of academic excellence and partner with Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College on college credit coursework.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one high school to serve young adults in that district. Additionally, there is the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy - a STEM school with a focus on college and career readiness.

 

Charter Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Students Outdoor School AshevilleThere are a handful of long-standing charter schools in Buncombe County.  Evergreen Community Charter School is in East Asheville and utilizes an Outward Bound expeditionary learning model to teach Kindergarten through eighth grade students. A newer charter school in West Buncombe, Franklin School of Innovation, offers the same model to fifth through twelfth grade students.

Francine Delany New School for Children, in the heart of West Asheville, serves children Kindergarten through eighth grade with a focus on social justice. ArtSpace Charter school in Swannanoa offers an arts-integrated curriculum to 400 elementary and middle school students.

Private Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville SchoolRainbow Community School is a private, independent alternative education program for preschool through middle aged children. Located in West Asheville, if focuses on whole child education through seven domains.

Carolina Day School is a private school that serves children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.  It is located in south Asheville near Biltmore Forest and is focused on college preparation.

Asheville School is a nationally renowned day and boarding school serving college-bound high school students with a rigorous curriculum. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus in West Asheville.

Several private single-sex middle schools are available in our area. For girls, there is the new French Broad River Academy for Girls and Hanger Hall.  For boys, there is the adventurous French Broad River Academy for Boys.

Emmanuel Lutheran, Asheville Catholic School, Christ School and Asheville Christian Academy are all religious schools in this area serving a wide range of ages.

Post Secondary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

UNC AshevilleAsheville Buncombe Technical Community College, located near downtown Asheville, serves our county for career and technical readiness courses.  

Part of the state university system, University of North Carolina at Asheville offers undergraduate and limited graduate level coursework and is the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the system.

Warren Wilson College is a private four year liberal arts college located in the beautiful Swannanoa River Valley.  It is known for its strong service learning components, creative writing and environmental studies programs.

Montreat College, in the stunning Montreat community just outside of Black Mountain, is a private Christian liberal arts college.  Mars Hill University, 15 miles north of Asheville in Marshall also offers a liberal arts course of study in a private setting.

Pairing a school with a neighborhood can be a difficult balance. We would love to help you make that choice by guiding you on our Neighborhood Familiarization Tour.

Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville's Beaverdam Neighborhood: Serene Rural Living in the City

 

 

Beaverdam Neighborhood Tour from Mosaic Realty on Vimeo.

Beaverdam neighborhood, several miles north of downtown Asheville, was one of the first areas to be settled in Buncombe County.  Beaverdam Creek, the main artery flowing through this beautiful valley, is not as strong as it once was, having powered a grist mill in the 1800s.  However, passers-by will notice how the community orients towards the babbling creek.  

 

Historical Significance

 

There is some evidence that the Beaverdam Valley and the Swannanoa River Valley were settled before Asheville, with settlers entering the valley through Craven Gap and Bull Creek.  Early family names that you may recognize from other areas of present-day Asheville include the Bairds, Swains, Lanes and Rices.

 

Grace Episcopal Church, situated on Merrimon Avenue near the entrance to Beaverdam Road, was first built as a log cabin in 1860.  It served as a community hub for early settlers of the valley.  In 1905, it was constructed in its present day design by famous architect Richard Sharp Smith.  

 

The Lay of the Land

 

This gorgeous valley, carved out over millions of years by the once-mighty Beaverdam Creek, has gently rolling hills nestled up to the larger ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains behind them.  The setting is still largely pastoral and bucolic, with many coves and communities of homes.  The winding and climbing Beaverdam Road and Elk Mountain Highway provide the main thoroughfares through the valley.

 

Architectural Style

 

Historical farmhouses and even a few remaining log cabins dot the valley and are well worth seeking out and researching the stories behind them.  For example, the 1840s Killian House, located on the left, west of Wild Cherry Road, still stands today.  Newer styles of homes include mid century ranchers, contemporary and traditional styles and GreenBuilt homes.  

 

Dining and Entertainment

 

Although the neighborhood itself is largely residences and scenic farmland, it is close to all of the amenities you would need.  Downtown Asheville is merely 4 miles south and the small town of Woodfin is a mile or two up Merrimon Avenue.  Beaver Lake and the Bird Sanctuary provide opportunities for level walking.  Boating, fishing and paddle boarding are also permitted on the lake.

 

There are many restaurants within a mile of the entrance to Beaverdam Road,  Avenue M, Zen Sushi, Marco's Pizzeria and The Hop Ice Cream among them.  Catch movies at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company or sip craft brews at Thirsty Monk in Reynolds Mountain Village.

 

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

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View all homes for sale in Beaverdam Neighborhood

 

Resources:  Beaverdam Valley Community Association

 

Sources and Further Reading: ACT article Jan 2014

 

Dave Carey's History of Beaverdam Valley

 

Video by: JustinAsheville