For 2nd Consecutive Year, A High School Principal Snatches Top Title
Published by Laurie Pender on October 5, 2016
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Image of Dr. Vernon Lowery, Principal of Westover High School and the CCS' 2017 Principal of the Year

Dr. Vernon Lowery

FayettevilleDr. Vernon S. Lowery, principal of Westover High School, was announced today as the Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) 2017 Principal of the Year (POY). The announcement came during the school system’s Principal of the Year Brunch.

Dr. Lowery now moves on to compete against 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 2017 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. 

The 17-year education veteran has served as a school administrator for nine years and started her career in the field after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology/Chemistry from Methodist University in 1999. She later obtained master’s degrees in Education (Secondary Biology) and School Administration from Fayetteville State University (FSU).  Dr. Lowery went on to receive her doctorate in Education in 2015 from FSU as well. Throughout her career, she has received numerous educational recognitions and certifications, along with writing various articles and leading many educational presentations.

Dr. Lowery has been the principal at Westover High School a little over a month; however, she brings from Alger B. Wilkins High School much knowledge and experience in helping students become productive citizens. “My professional successes and achievements can be demonstrated through the growth of Alger B. Wilkins High School from a small four-room school with less than 20 students to a larger high school with a waiting list for new students … In order to function properly as a learning environment without district lines, I had to cultivate an environment of support which, posed as a difficult feat. I decided to take the stance of giving back to the community in hopes of increasing knowledge of our program, instilling a sense of community with our students, and compelling the community to help us mold the lives of students. As a staff, we decided to come to the community from a different perspective … We wanted to mold our students into productive citizens. There is no other way for them to do that effectively without giving them the opportunity to mold other citizens. Many of the students were homeless, unaccompanied and abused. We wanted them to give despite their pain and as a result, they are more productive citizens.”

As the CCS’ Principal of the Year winner, Dr. Lowery 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
  • Serve as one of six Grand Marshals during Fayetteville State University’s 2016 Homecoming Festivities (Oct. 29)
  • A weekend stay in the Presidential Suite at Embassy Suites – Fayetteville/Fort Bragg
  • Tickets to a live performance at the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh
  • A spa visit to Renaissance European Day Spa from Beasley Media Group, Inc.

All seven POY nominees [ Regina Blanding (J.W. Coon Elementary), Dr. Michele Cain (Cumberland Road Elementary),  Monica Carter (Long Hill Elementary), Rose Ferguson (Howard Hall Elementary), Tiffany Fogelquist (Ashley Elementary), Lavette McMillan (New Century International Middle), and Dr. Vernon Lowery (Westover High)] 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 gifts from the following CCS’ Work Perks partners: Breathe Massage Therapy, Crown Complex, Cypress Lakes Golf Course, Edible Arrangements, Elizabeth’s Pizza, Xpress Lube in Hope Mills, Johnson Florist, Lifetouch School Photography, Love Charms USA, North Carolina Theatre, South Beach Soap -n- Suds Car Wash and Southern Farm House Boutique.

The regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year, who will be announced in January 2017, will receive $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for personal use. The 2017 North Carolina 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 2017 at a state-wide awards event. Last year’s state winner was Melody Chalmers, the principal of E.E. Smith High School.

        
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