Cauley, young leader of historic school, named Principal of Year

Cauley, young leader of historic school, named Principal of Year

Moss Hill Elementary principal Stacy Cauley, center, was met at work Tuesday morning by the Prize Patrol and the announcement she’s been named LCPS Principal of the Year for 2019-2020. Bringing the good news were, from left, Nicholas Harvey II, assistant superintendent; Brent Williams, superintendent; Elizabeth Pierce, Cauley’s predecessor at Moss Hill and current Principal of the Year; Pam Heath, human resources director; and Frances Herring, associate superintendent. Submitted photo

Stacy Cauley, the young leader of Lenoir County’s most historic public school, is the LCPS Principal of the Year for 2019-20.

Cauley was surprised with the announcement early Tuesday morning when a Prize Patrol led by Superintendent Brent Williams showed up at Moss Hill Elementary School bearing balloons and flowers.

“I’m very excited about this choice,” Williams said of the district’s newest honoree. “Mrs. Cauley, like her predecessor Mrs. Pierce, exemplifies everything a principal should be.”

Named principal at Moss Hill in June 2016, Cauley is the second woman with ties to the western Lenoir County school named Principal of the Year in as many years. The 2018-2019 honoree, Elizabeth Pierce, led Moss Hill for two years before taking her current position as principal at E.B. Frink Middle School in 2016.

Cauley was selected earlier this month from a group of four finalists based on an interview, resume and a questionnaire that asked the candidates to elaborate on their aims as a principal and the philosophy that guides them.

As the district’s Principal of the Year, Cauley will represent LCPS in the process to select a top principal for the 13-county Southeast Region and the region’s candidate for North Carolina Principal of the Year, a competition that begins next December. Pierce is the current Southeast Region Principal of the Year.

Cauley came to Moss Hill after serving for two years as the district’s AIG coordinator and digital learning instructional specialist. A former teacher at Moss Hill and Northwest Elementary, Cauley also served as assistant principal and interim principal at La Grange Elementary. She started with LCPS in 2002.

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education and administrative licensure from East Carolina University and holds National Board Certification.

As a point person for digital learning in 2014, when LCPS began rolling out iPads to all K-12 students, Cauley helped create a model for classroom instruction and staff development that has made LCPS a regional leader in 21st century instruction.

As principal, she has led a faculty that has helped students post among the highest academic ratings in the district. Moss Hill’s overall accountability results, based on state End of Grade standardized tests, have ranked first or second among the district’s nine elementary schools during Cauley’s time there and the school has consistently met standards for academic growth.

She is quick to share the accolades.

“I am so honored and humbled by this recognition,” Cauley said in the wake of the Prize Patrol’s surprise visit. “This recognition truly belongs to all of the amazing staff at Moss Hill Elementary and to the wonderful administrators in Lenoir County, from whom I learn every day. It is this special group of people that make what I do possible.”

In April 2017, Cauley presided over a celebration of Moss Hill’s centennial anniversary as a public school, an observance that called attention to school’s place as the focal point of the rural community. Cauley, a native of Charlotte, and husband Kevin are longtime residents of the community; two of their sons are currently Moss Hill students and the third is an alumnus.

“Moss Hill is a huge piece of my own heart,” Cauley said. “I understand why people love this school and why they are willing to invest so much in it. As a former teacher, a parent, a Moss Hill community member and now administrator of Moss Hill, I truly understand and share this unique and special relationship.”

Principal of the Year is the third annual award announced by LCPS this month. Cauley will be honored along with Teacher Assistant of the Year Deirone Davis and the Non-Instructional Classified Employee of the Year Kenneth Suggs at the April 4 Employee Recognition Banquet, when the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year will be announced.

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