NEWS RELEASES 2015-16 :: FEBRUARY 1, 2016


Eight outstanding public school principals have been selected as regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year and will now compete for the state title of 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2015 recipient, Steve Lassiter Jr., principal of Pactolus School (Pitt County Schools).

The regional principals of the year are:

  • Northeast: William Peele, Bertie Middle (Bertie County Schools);
  • Southeast: Molly White, Lincoln Elementary (Brunswick County Schools);
  • North Central: Matthew Hunt, Northern High (Durham Public Schools);
  • Sandhills: Melody Chalmers, E.E. Smith High (Cumberland County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad: Wayne Duggins, South Stokes High (Stokes County Schools);
  • Southwest: Maureen Furr, South Mecklenburg High (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools);
  • Northwest: Kelly Nicholson, Oxford Elementary (Catawba County Schools); and
  • Western: Peggy Marshall, Sugarloaf Elementary (Henderson County Schools).

State Superintendent June Atkinson said that schools with high student performance, motivated staff and involved parents all have one thing in common: strong principals. “Our eight regional recipients exemplify the high-quality leaders guiding North Carolina public schools. The state’s record-breaking graduation rate is a testament to the relentless dedication they have to ensuring students have the academic skills they need to be successful,” said Atkinson. “We appreciate The Wells Fargo Foundation for its faithful sponsorship of this program that enables us to recognize exemplary public school leaders.”

Regional winners will each receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for their schools.

A state selection committee will now review the portfolios of the eight regional winners and conduct an extensive interview process before selecting the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The announcement will occur May 12 during a luncheon in Cary.

This year marks 32 years of a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and The Wells Fargo Foundation. Since the program began in 1984, 36 Principals of the Year and 240 regional recipients have been recognized. In addition, The Wells Fargo Foundation has provided more than $1 million in cash awards to these individuals.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.