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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: APRIL 7, 2005


Margaret Hyatt, principal of Avery's Creek Elementary School, Buncombe County Schools, today was named the 2005 North Carolina Wachovia Principal of the Year during a luncheon ceremony held in Raleigh. She succeeds John Black, principal of Longview Elementary School, Hickory City Schools.

In naming Hyatt the 2005 North Carolina Wachovia Principal of the Year, Wachovia's J. Walter McDowell, CEO, Carolinas Banking, said, "Margaret Hyatt has a special ability to recruit and retain quality teachers in her school, and student achievement is remarkable. She will make an excellent ambassador for public education in our state."

State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee commended Hyatt on her appointment saying, "Strong principals enable schools to be great as evidenced by the academic success of Avery's Creek Elementary School's students and faculty. North Carolina residents are fortunate to have such strong leaders in their public schools. The State Board of Education looks forward to having the benefit of Ms. Hyatt's wisdom during her term as advisor to the Board."

Hyatt was selected from among eight regional finalists following interviews by a regional panel of principals, teachers and professors from UNC-system institutions and on-site tours.

The other regional finalists were:

  • Northwest Region - Dr. Windsor Eagle, Salisbury High, Rowan-Salisbury Schools;
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region - John Eldridge, Chatham Central High, Chatham County Schools;
  • Southwest Region - Bill Cook, Walter Bickett Elementary, Union County Schools;
  • North Central Region - Cathy Truitt, Four Oaks Elementary, Johnston County Schools;
  • Sandhills/South Central Region - Allison Violette, Lake Rim Elementary, Cumberland County Schools;
  • Northeast Region - Melvin Hawkins, Perquimans County Middle, Perquimans County Schools; and
  • Southeast Region - Gerald Johnson, J.T. Barber Elementary, Craven County Schools.

Each regional finalist received $1,500 for their school and $1,500 for personal use.

Hyatt will receive $3,000 for her school and $3,000 for personal use. She also will serve a one-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education. The Wachovia Principal of the Year program is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wachovia Corporation. In its 22nd year, the program provides a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding principals from North Carolina public schools.

For more information, please contact Janis Dellinger-Holton, Center for Recruitment and Retention, NC DPI, 919.807.3360, or Aimee Worsley, Wachovia Corporation, 704.715.2005.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.