NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: APRIL 5, 2012


Oak Hill Elementary School Principal Patrice Faison today was named the 2012 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year during a luncheon ceremony held in Cary. The Guilford County Schools' principal succeeds Cuthbertson High School (Union County Schools) Principal Rob Jackson.

In naming Faison the 2012 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, Juan Austin, Wells Fargo Carolinas Community Affairs Manager, said, "Patrice Faison has a special ability to recruit and retain quality teachers in her school, connect with parents and guardians, and the community at large to substantially raise student achievement. She will make an excellent ambassador for public education in our state." He added, "Educational success continues to be the best predictor of economic and social success in young people, and at Wells Fargo we believe that we are responsible for promoting the long-term prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities. Our support of this program allows us to honor exceptional school leaders like Patrice for the work they do to prepare young people for successful futures."

State Superintendent June Atkinson commended Faison on her selection saying, "Patrice's dedication to providing the appropriate guidance, support and development to those she leads has transformed her school community and resulted in Oak Hill's students attaining significant academic growth. She sets high expectations and provides the support for those expectations to be met – one of the hallmarks of an exceptional school administrator."

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison also congratulated Faison and thanked Wells Fargo for its faithful program sponsorship, which has enabled the state to recognize exemplary administrators. "Patrice is a wonderful example of the exceptional principals leading North Carolina public schools. Her 'no excuses' attitude and leadership by example ensure that her students will enter middle school ready to learn and prepared to succeed," Harrison said. He added that he looks forward to working with Faison as an advisor to the State Board of Education.

Faison credits much of the success Oak Hill Elementary has experienced to her focus on effective leadership and positive collaboration. "As an instructional leader, I work closely with my staff to create a collaborative effort so that we may face our challenges as a united front. My leadership style has illustrated that if you assemble a good team and trust them, favorable results will follow," she said.

Faison received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Elizabeth City State University in 1995, a Master of Science in Elementary Education from North Carolina A & T State University in 2004, a Master of School Administration from North Carolina A & T State University in 2006 and is currently working toward her Doctorate of Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During her educational career, she has served as an elementary school teacher, a clinical faculty member, a middle college liaison, an assistant principal, and a high school and elementary school principal. She is a published author and an experienced presenter. She achieved National Board Certification in 2000 and has received a number of awards including Guilford County Schools' Principal of the Year in 2011 and Stokesdale Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2001. She also is a member of the National Education Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha service sorority.

Faison was selected from among eight regional finalists following interviews and on-site visits by a statewide selection committee. The other regional finalists were:

  • North Central Region: Drew Cook, Garner High (Wake County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Clay Wagner, Riverside High (Martin County Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Kelly Withers, Jesse Carson High (Rowan-Salisbury Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Glenn Reed, Blue Creek Elementary (Onslow County Schools);
  • Southwest Region: Hilda Batts, AT Allen Elementary (Cabarrus County Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Sara Bigley, Pinehurst Elementary, (Moore County Schools); and
  • West Region: Brad Teague, East Rutherford Middle (Rutherford County Schools).

Each regional finalist received $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for personal use.

As Wells Fargo Principal of the Year, Faison will receive an additional $3,000 for her school and $3,000 for personal use. She also will receive a scholarship for a 10-day educational tour of China thanks to EF Education First, a privately held company that offers a range of education programs from language training, educational travel and academic degrees to cultural exchanges. She will participate on the State Superintendent's Principals' Advisory Committee, serve a one-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education, serve a one-year term on the Board of Directors for the NC Public School Forum, and will chair the 2013 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Selection Committee.

The Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year program is sponsored in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In its 28th year, the program provides a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding principals from North Carolina public schools.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.