Top Principal Honor Goes to High School Administrator

2016 Principal of the Year (Melody Chalmers)

FayettevilleMelody Chalmers, principal of E. E. Smith High School, was announced today as the Cumberland County Schools’ 2016 Principal of the Year (POY). The announcement came during the school system’s Principal of the Year Brunch.

Chalmers now moves on to compete with other local award recipients from the Region IV Sandhills/South Central Region of the state.  After the state selection process is completed, one principal will be selected as the 2016 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.

The 17-year education veteran has served as a school administrator for 10 years and started her career in the field after receiving a bachelor’s degree in English Education from North Carolina A & T University in 1998. Seven years later, she obtained a master’s degree in School Administration from Fayetteville State University. Throughout her career, she has received numerous educational recognitions and certifications, along with presenting at various state-wide conferences.

As an administrator, Chalmers said she takes pride in grooming future effective educational leaders.  “Developing leaders to assume leadership roles in and outside of the school are integral to the legacy I want to leave behind. During the 2014-2015 school year, four of my best faculty members were moved to assistant principal positions at different schools in the county. While their transition to formal leadership roles was a great loss for our students, I am proud that I was part of their leadership development and that the opportunities they were afforded to lead at our school, prepared them to reach their goals … I encourage aspiring administrators in my school to be involved in the school improvement process, innovative in their approach to creating systems for increasing student achievement and responsive to managerial issues. I provide a support system for them to take risks with the understanding that I will be there to guide them when mistakes are made to mitigate negative effects. I take this responsibility seriously and am humbled to know that by actively supporting my faculty in achieving their professional goals, I am preparing the next generation of leaders to lead our schools.”

As the CCS’ Principal of the Year winner, Chalmers received the following:

  • Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education
  • Cash award and floral arrangement from the CCS
  • Engraved desk clock from Herff Jones
  • Commemorative Principal of the Year ring from Jostens
  • $5,000 check for school use from LaFayette Ford
  • $1,000 check for personal use from LaFayette Ford
  • A weekend stay in the Presidential Suite at Embassy Suites – Fayetteville/Fort Bragg

All seven POY nominees [Michele Cain (Cumberland Road Elementary),  Monica Carter (Long Hill Elementary), Melody Chalmers (E.E. Smith High), Jeanna Daniels (Beaver Dam Elementary), Felix Keyes (New Century International Elementary), Suzanne Owen (Rockfish Elementary), and Tonjai Robertson (Anne Chesnutt Middle) ]  received a mounted certificate/plaque from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award and one unit of professional credit from the CCS, an iPad Mini from the CCS’ Technology Department, and  a professional photograph from Lifetouch Photography.

This year, as a show of appreciation, the names of all CCS’ principals were entered into a drawing to receive two fragrance baskets from Belk and Macy’s in Cross Creek Mall and five $50 gift cards to the Renaissance European Day Spa from Beasley Media Group, Inc.

The regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year, who will be announced in January 2016, will receive $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for personal use. The 2016 State Wells Fargo Principal of the Year can expect to receive $3,000 for his/her personal use and for his/her school.  The winner will be announced in the spring of 2016 at a state-wide awards event.



Published on October 9, 2015 by Renarta Clanton Moyd