E.E. Smith High School Principal Named N.C. Principal of the Year

FayettevilleMelody Chalmers, the principal of E. E. Smith High School, was announced on May 12 as the 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The announcement came during a state-wide luncheon in Cary.

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.”

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.”

The 18-year education veteran received 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.

She has served her entire administrative career in the Cumberland County Schools (CCS) having worked as assistant principal at E. E .Smith High and Warrenwood Elementary from 2004-2009, principal at Cross Creek Early College High from 2009-2011, and now principal of E.E. Smith High. Throughout her career, she has received numerous educational recognitions and certifications, and has presented at various state-wide conferences.

As Wells Fargo Principal of the Year, Chalmers receives $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 NC Principal of the Year signet ring and pendant from Jostens, Inc.

Chalmers will continue to lead her school for the next year; however, Wells Fargo will furnish her with 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 NC Public School Forum. In addition, 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.

“Melody has committed herself to making the community where she grew up better by educating the children,” said CCS’ Superintendent Dr. Frank Till. “Now, she will be a role model for the state.”

Chalmers is the fourth principal from the Cumberland County School system to be selected for this honor in the 33-year history of Wells Fargo NC Principal of the Year. She joins the following list of outstanding principals:

1990                Dr. John R. Griffin from E.E. Smith High School

1996                Mary D. McDuffie from Seventy-First High School

2003                Nina Rene’ Corders from E.E. Smith High School

Having received today’s honor, Chalmers succeeds Pactolus School Principal Steve Lassiter from the Pitt County School system.

 2016 NC Principal of the Year Melody Chalmers w State Superintendent Dr June Atkinson (May 2016) Pictured is (l-r) State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson and 2016 N.C. Principal of the Year Melody Chalmers during the May 12 announcement at a state-wide luncheon in Cary.


Published on May 18, 2016 by Renarta Clanton Moyd