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NEWS RELEASES 1999-00 :: MAY 10, 2000

For Additional Information:
Jay E. Reed, 336.732.5855


"I'm sure you will agree - that she is a shining example of what all principals should aspire to be," said L. Stephen Mazingo, superintendent of Greene County Public Schools. "During my 25 years in public education, Gail Edmondson is the best overall principal I have encountered."

Because of many similar endorsements, national recognition for her school and other outstanding achievements, Gail T. Edmondson, principal of Snow Hill Primary School in Snow Hill, N.C., today was named the 2000 Wachovia Principal of the Year.

Mrs. Edmondson began her career 27 years ago as a math resource teacher at the Maury School. She became principal at Snow Hill Primary in January 1991. Since then, she has won Greene County principal of the year honors four times, and for the 1998-99 school year, her school was one of only four schools in North Carolina named a Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence.

Mrs. Edmondson received the award from Will B. Spence Jr., chief executive officer of North and South Carolina Banking for Wachovia Bank, N.A., and Michael E. Ward, North Carolina superintendent.

"Gail Edmondson is a stellar leader and teacher who proves that public education can be effective and fun," Spence said. "Mrs. Edmondson has a limitless desire to help children reach their potential."

As Wachovia Principal of the Year, Mrs. Edmondson received a cash award of $5,000 for her personal use and a matching $5,000 grant for her school.

"Gail Edmondson inspires everyone with an abundant source of energy, and she encourages a free flow of ideas between her staff and parents," said Ward. "Mrs. Edmondson is a model educator."

Also honored at the awards ceremony in Raleigh were the five finalists: Lynn C. Milner, principal of Jonathan Valley Elementary School in Waynesville; Nancy R. Reeves, principal of Ashe County Middle School in West Jefferson; Charles T. Stewart, principal of McDougle Middle School in Chapel Hill; Brenda B. Winborne, principal of Chowan Middle School in Edenton; and Marian T. Yates, principal of Randolph Middle School in Charlotte. The finalists each received $2,000 for personal use and a matching $2,000 sum for their respective schools.

The Wachovia Principal of the Year program, now in its 17th year, recognizes public school principals throughout North Carolina and is co-sponsored by Wachovia Bank, N.A. and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Candidates are judged on many criteria including the demonstrated ability to improve achievement of all students from various backgrounds and capability levels.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.