June 21 marked the 25th anniversary of the Charter School Act, which allows publicly funded, privately managed, and semi-autonomous schools of choice. This is an ideal time to recognize principals who have been the glue that has kept schools afloat during an extraordinarily challenging year. In honor of all the work charter school leaders and their staff are doing across the state, the North Carolina Office of Charter Schools (OCS) is recognizing their dedicated efforts.
Steve Pond, principal at Peak Charter Academy, has been named a 2021 Charter One NC Charter Co-Principal of the Year. This award recognizes the role of the charter school leader for establishing an environment conducive to academic excellence in North Carolina’s charter schools. Pond was nominated by Linda Reynolds, board president at Peak.
“In many ways he exceeds the requirements and expectations for the award,” said Reynolds. “Steve Pond’s ambition, intelligence, and accomplishments makes him highly deserving of the Charter Principal/School Leader of the Year Award. He is a visionary leader who works collaboratively with the entire school community.”
There were 10 finalists and when the scoring was complete, two leaders emerged in a tie: Pond and Thomas McKoy, principal at Reaching All Minds Academy.
Pond will receive a $1,000 check from Charter One and a plaque from OCS. Each of the other eight finalists will receive a $250 check from Charter One and a plaque. Pond and McKoy will serve as ambassadors for the state’s approximately 205 charter school principals the following school year.
“This past academic school year has been a challenge for all educators across North Carolina. The definition of a true academic leader is someone that can rise above the situation and lead his or her school community to higher heights,” said Dave Machado, director of NC OCS. “The first ever Charter School Principals of the Year exemplify what the charter school community is built on, innovative leadership assuring students are prepared for today’s global world.”
Pond is a decorated school leader. He was recently named the Best Elementary Principal, for the third year in a row, in Cary Magazine’s annual Maggy Awards.
“National Heritage Academies (NHA) could not be more proud of the work that Mr. Pond has done at Peak Charter Academy,” said Doug Hower, director of school quality at NHA. “He is a school leader that puts the needs of his students, families, and staff at the forefront of his decision making. His singular focus upon creating the very best education opportunities for the families that he serves has made Peak Charter Academy a standout school within the community.”
###About Peak Charter Academy:
Peak Charter Academy, managed by NHA, is a free, public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the Apex area. For more information, visit peakcharteracademy.org.