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Back to school 2017: James takes reins at Corriher-Lipe

LANDIS — Justin James, 28, has been manning the helm at Corriher-Lipe Middle School for little more than a month, but said he’s already gotten a taste of what the school is all about.

“I love it. Everybody’s been so nice to me so far,” he said. “… That’s been awesome, and that’s been very helpful to me, especially coming into a new school.”

He’s also been impressed by the “family-type atmosphere” and the dedication of staff members.

“We have a lot of hard workers here,” he said.

James comes from Mooresville City Schools, where he was an assistant principal. He said he was always inspired to be a positive influence on children, and that’s what made him choose a career in education.

“I just wanted to dedicate my life to the kids who grew up in less fortunate circumstances,” he said.

In his new role as principal, he hopes to be able to build strong relationships with staff and students.

“I want to know their background, I want to know where they’re coming from,” he said.

Corriher-Lipe also has several community outreach programs that James said he hopes to continue, such as an annual golf tournament, 5K and community day.

“I think that’s important here,” he said of the community events.

James also said he’d like to offer more events to strengthen the bond between school and community.

“We just need the whole community to buy in. … I want people to feel comfortable sending their kids here,” he said.

He hopes that teachers will feel comfortable enough with him to speak out, to dream big and to push students to be the best that they can be.

“At the end of the day, we ask ourselves ‘What’s best for kids?’ And that’s our goal,” he said.

James holds an undergraduate degree from N.C. State University, and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jessica, his wife of four years.

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