Local News

Cumberland's Principal of the Year wants to make 'connections'

Posted November 4, 2008 12:51 p.m. EST

— Jeffery Jernigan, principal of Cape Fear High School, has been selected as the 2009 Wachovia Principal of the Year for Cumberland County Schools.

He will move on to compete with other local award recipients from the Sandhills/South Central Region of the state. After the state selection process, one principal will be selected as the 2009 Wachovia Principal of the Year.

Jernigan, who has been a school administrator for 18 years, started his 29-year career in education after receiving a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He returned to UNC-P to earn a master’s degree in mathematics education and a certification in educational administration.

Jernigan said he is a firm believer that “making connections” with students is the key to academic success.

“Developing caring relationships with students continues to be the dominant theme of my administration,” Jernigan said in a news release. “As an administrator, I know that it is not always the most gifted scholar that becomes the best teacher, but the one who establishes ‘a connection’ with the students. As a principal, I want students to come to school because they want to, not because they have to. Even though I have close to 1,500 students, I feel that it is still important for me to try to make that ‘connection.’”

This is the 25th year Wachovia Corporation has sponsored the financial awards. Local principals of the year receive a cash award. The regional Wachovia Principals of the Year receive a cash award for their school and a cash award for personal use.

The 2009 Wachovia Principal of the Year will receive $3,000 for his or her school and $3,000 for his or her personal use.

Regional award recipients will be selected by February 2009, and the 2009 State Wachovia Principal of the Year will be announced in April 2009 at the state luncheon in Raleigh.

The 2008 Wachovia Principal of the Year is Dr. Debra Morris, principal of A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis City Schools.