Cumberland County administrator named NC Principal of the Year

Melody Chalmers was named N.C. Principal of the Year (Tommy Harris/CBS North Carolina)

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The principal of E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville was named the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year at a luncheon Thursday in Cary.

Melody Chalmers is an 18-year education veteran who has worked as assistant principal at E.E. Smith High School and Warrenwood Elementary from 2004-2009. She was also principal at Cross Creek Early College High from 2009-2011 before working in her current position.

Chalmers has spent her entire 18-year career in the Cumberland County Schools system.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson commended Chalmers on her selection.

“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.”

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.”

As part of Chalmers’ award, she will receive $3,000 for personal use and $3,000 for her school.

She also receives professional development and resources supporting global awareness in the
curriculum for her staff thanks to Education First Tours, and a custom-made N.C. Principal of the Year signet ring and pendant from Jostens, Inc.

Chalmers will receive a stipend to travel across the state serving as an ambassador for education. She will serve as a member of the State Superintendent’s Principals’ Advisory Committee, and as an adviser to the State Board of Education and the Board of Directors for the N.C. Public School Forum.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will sponsor her enrollment and completion of the Education Policy Fellowship Program. She will also chair the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Selection Committee.

Chalmers is the fourth principal from the Cumberland County School system to be selected for the honor in the 33-year history of the award.

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