Kannapolis names Principal of the Year

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2017

Kannapolis City Schools

KANNAPOLIS — Mandi Campbell of Fred L. Wilson Elementary School has been named Kannapolis City Schools’ 2017-18 Principal of the Year.

During her time as principal at Wilson, Campbell has led the school to higher academic performance and improved student growth. In test scores released this month, Wilson’s third-grade reading proficiency climbed by 50 percent while fourth-grade math performance jumped by 60 percent.

The school also met state expectations for academic growth.

Campbell is leading Wilson’s transformation as it becomes a magnet school. The school now features programs in global studies and Spanish Language Immersion and is one of two magnet schools in the district.

Superintendent Chip Buckwell said Campbell deserves her honors.

“Dr. Campbell is an outstanding instructional leader,” Buckwell said. “You can tell from the moment you walk through the door at Fred L. Wilson that the atmosphere there is nurturing and full of excitement for learning. Her students and staff love her because they know she truly cares about them.

“She’s also got an amazing educational background and a great vision for Fred L. Wilson,” he said. “It’s an exciting place to be, and she deserves to be recognized for her outstanding leadership.”

Campbell says she first imagined becoming a principal when she was in kindergarten. She considers the honor a dream come true and gives full credit to her staff and students.

“I am completely humbled by this recognition,” she said. “To say Fred L. Wilson is a special place would be an understatement. I consider it a privilege and honor to be a part of this school. I have never witnessed a more dedicated group of teachers who teach like champions every single day. They support me on a daily basis and have honestly molded me into a stronger leader.

“Anyone who visits Fred L. Wilson will immediately recognize the positive school culture and the sense of community here,” she said. “Students show a love for learning, and parents are always supportive and invested in the school.”

Among other accomplishments, Campbell has improved attendance by reducing the rate of chronic absenteeism at the school. Campbell also has helped to promote good conduct by launching a program that rewards positive behavior and encourages good character among students.

Campbell joined Kannapolis City Schools in 2010 as education coordinator at McKnight Head Start. She then became Wilson Elementary’s curriculum coordinator and was promoted to principal in 2014.

She earned her doctorate in education leadership from Wingate University. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and received her master’s in school administration from Campbell University.

Campbell will represent Kannapolis City Schools in the regional competition for North Carolina Principal of the Year.