Chip Buckwell named Kannapolis City school system's Principal of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chip Buckwell named Kannapolis City school system’s Principal of the Year
KANNAPOLIS – The principal of Kannapolis Middle School is being honored as the Kannapolis City school system’s top leader.
Dr. Chip Buckwell has been named Principal of the Year.
Kannapolis Middle has made high or expected growth for five consecutive years and has made 97 percent of its federal accountability goals in two of the last three years.
“I make it my goal to fill this school with great teachers who genuinely care about kids,” Buckwell said. “The best teachers can teach any subject because they focus on children, not math, science or English. If I’ve had any success as a principal, it’s because I’ve been blessed to find terrific staff members who put kids first every day.”
According to a press release, Buckwell has been a leader in bringing change not only to Kannapolis Middle School but to the entire school system. He was the driving force behind starting a student uniform policy, introducing uniforms at Kannapolis Middle in 2004 after involving parents and staff and making sure there was support for the idea. After a successful implementation at Kannapolis Middle, the uniform policy was eventually extended to all schools in the district, the release said.
“Dr. Buckwell is an outstanding leader who truly cares about children,” said Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain. “He is extremely dedicated and makes decisions based on what is best for children. He is not afraid to try new things, and he sets high expectations for himself and others. I am extremely proud of all that he has accomplished, and he is an excellent representative of Kannapolis City Schools.”
Buckwell has been with the Kannapolis City school system since 1985. He was principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary prior to leading Kannapolis Middle.
Before that, he was district’s director of student services and testing. He has also served as the system’s dropout prevention coordinator and as an in-school suspension teacher at A.L. Brown High School. Before coming to Kannapolis, Buckwell was a teacher in Kinston.
Buckwell holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, and he earned his graduate license as a school principal from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also holds a doctor of education degree in school administration and instruction from Nova Southeastern University.
Buckwell will now represent Kannapolis City Schools in the regional competition for North Carolina Principal of the Year.