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NEWS RELEASES 2006-07 :: APRIL 5, 2007


Craig Hill, principal of Kinston High School, Lenoir County Schools, today was named the 2007 North Carolina Wachovia Principal of the Year during a luncheon ceremony held in Raleigh. He succeeds Marian Yates, retired principal of South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools.

In naming Hill the 2007 North Carolina Wachovia Principal of the Year, Juan Austin, Wachovia's Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Manager for the Carolinas and Virginia, said, "This program clearly demonstrates the value Wachovia places on education. It also allows us to recognize and honor the commitment and dedication of exceptional administrators such as Mr. Hill in preparing our future employees and customers to compete in a growing global economy. I'm pleased that we have this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of all of these outstanding North Carolina educators who work tirelessly to help our children achieve academic success.

State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee commended Hill on his appointment saying, "Hill's commitment to the success of his students is exemplified in the programs he has implemented since becoming principal at Kinston High School. He has recognized that business as usual for public education will not produce 21st century graduates. I applaud him and his staff for doing all they can to ensure the long-term academic success of students." Lee added that he is looking forward to working with Hill when he becomes an advisor to the State Board of Education.

Lee also thanked Wachovia Corporation for its continued sponsorship and coverage of all program costs associated with the state's Principal of the Year Program. "We are so very fortunate to have such quality administrators leading our public schools. It's wonderful to be able to recognize and showcase their dedication to their staff and students and to the success of their schools."

As Kinston High's principal, Hill has led a reform movement that embraces the concepts of rigor, relevance, and relationships by offering students an opportunity to participate in such programs as International Baccalaureate, Freshman Academy, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), career academies and talent development. He also embraces the involvement of staff, parents, students, and members of the community in assessing school needs and identifying action plans to meet them.

Hill was selected from among eight regional finalists following interviews and on-site visits by a statewide selection committee comprised of the previous year's principal of the year, the current teacher of the year, a member of the Principals' Executive Program, a Wachovia representative, and a nonvoting member of the NCDPI.

The other regional finalists were: North Central Region: Jamee Lynch, Hodge Road Elementary (Wake County Schools); Northeast Region: Whitney Bisbing, Moyock Elementary (Currituck County Schools); Northwest Region: Vickie Cameron, Central Middle (Surry County Schools); Southwest Region: Laura Kerr, North Albemarle Elementary (Stanly County Schools); Sandhills/South Central Region: Robin Lea, Union Pines High (Moore County Schools); Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Deshera Mack, Mel and Zora Rashkis Elementary, (Chapel-Hill/Carrboro Schools); and West Region: Pamela Cocke, Asheville Middle (Asheville City Schools). Each regional finalist received $1,500 for their school and $1,500 for personal use.

Hill will receive $3,000 for his school and $3,000 for personal use. He also will serve a one-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Appalachian State University and his Master's of Arts in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University. He is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Association for Secondary School Principals, and the Lenoir County Principals' and Assistant Principals' Association. He also is Region 2 Director of the North Carolina High School Network Board and a member of a number of community boards of directors.

The Wachovia Principal of the Year program is sponsored in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Principals' Executive Program, and Wachovia Corporation. In its 24th year, the program provides a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding principals from North Carolina public schools.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.


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.