Guilford County head of school named Principal of the Year

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
CARY — Patrice Faison, a Guilford County elementary school principal, was named the North Carolina Principal of the Year during a luncheon Thursday.
Carson High School Principal Kelly Withers was one of eight finalists for the honor after being dubbed the Northwest Region Principal of the Year at the end of January.
Other finalists include:
• Drew Cook, Garner High (Wake County Schools);
• Clay Wagner, Riverside High (Martin County Schools);
• Glenn Reed, Blue Creek Elementary (Onslow County Schools);
• Hilda Batts, AT Allen Elementary (Cabarrus County Schools);
• Sara Bigley, Pinehurst Elementary, (Moore County Schools);
• Brad Teague, East Rutherford Middle (Rutherford County Schools).
Faison took over the top spot at Oak Hill Elementary School, formerly one of the state’s lowest performing schools, in 2010. She began her career as a third-grade teacher in Guilford County in 1995.
Under Faison’s direction, Oak Hill made the largest gains in the district, raising its ABC accountability scores by more than 19 percentage points, according to a press release.
“We are so immensely proud of Patrice,” Angelo Kidd, Western Region superintendent for Guilford County Schools, said in a press release. “The dedication she gives to her students, staff, parents and community at large has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of so many.
“This honor could not have gone to a more deserving principal.”
Withers took the reins at Carson in July 2010 after Henry Kluttz retired. Prior to that, she was a science teacher at West Rowan High. She worked in medical technology at Rowan Regional Medical Center before diving into education.
Withers served as an assistant principal at the school before the promotion.
Her “student first” motto has helped her bring up the school’s graduation rate to nearly 87 percent in 2011, climbing 10 points.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.