E.E. Smith leader named NC Principal of the Year

Posted May 12, 2016 2:01 p.m. EDT
Updated May 12, 2016 5:57 p.m. EDT

— Melody Chalmers, principal of E.E. Smith High School in Cumberland County, was named North Carolina Principal of the Year Thursday.

She wins $3,000 for herself and $3,000 for her school along with resources for staff development, a ring and a pendant. As the principal of the year, Chalmers will have the opportunity to travel across the state serving as an ambassador for education, and she will be the chairwoman of next year's principal of the year selection committee.

Chalmers earned a bachelor’s degree in English Education in 1998 from North Carolina A&T State University and a master’s degree in School Administration in 2005 from Fayetteville State University.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson said, “Melody is known as an innovative problem solver who is committed to the academic and personal growth of each of her students and teachers. Her staff and students truly benefit from the nurturing learning environment she promotes.”

The award is sponsored by Wells Fargo, and several of Chalmers' prizes, including the statewide travel stipend, are funding by the bank.

In naming Chalmers the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, Juan Austin, Wells Fargo Carolinas Community Affairs senior vice president, said, “Melody has a special ability to recruit and retain quality teachers in her school, and student achievement is remarkable. Our education system has never been at a more critical juncture than now and with administrators like Melody we all see how dedication and effort connects with students, staff and parents.”

Other finalists for the award were:
•        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);
•        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).