Great Minds (and Little Ones, Too)
Introducing the Newest Principal at Spring Creek Middle School
Mother, grandmother, teacher and leader. These are just a few of the titles that make Cheryll Price special – with the most recent addition being “Principal.”
Price grew up in Walstonburg, North Carolina, located in Greene County, where her mother, a teacher’s assistant, inspired Cheryll to follow in her footsteps. “Even as a little girl, I played school. I have always loved kids and I love to see them learning new things,” Price said. After she went to college, earned her degree in education, and met her husband, Michael, she moved to Wayne County, joined the school system, and has been here ever since.
Twenty-eight years ago, Price’s teaching career began at the elementary school level. She said that her favorite part of working with children during that time was being able to build a relationship with them and watch them develop. She said many kids seem to be petrified of new teachers at first, because of rumors they hear older children spread, but she enjoys being able to work with them and to help them learn. When asked what aspect of teaching she loved the most, she replied, “seeing the kids understand, seeing that lightbulb come on, seeing them grow.”
Her transition from teacher to administrator was a welcome change. Though she thoroughly enjoyed her time spent in the classroom, she tends to prefer to be the one in the background, working not only with the children but with their parents and teachers, too. “The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is very true,” she said. “It takes everyone working together to prepare kids for the next level, to prepare them for real-life things.”
She was very relieved and happy when, after spending a year as interim principal at Spring Creek Middle School, she was officially named principal of the school. “This is my community, my home,” she said. “Being able to have that final title as principal was an honor.”
Price’s biggest support during this transition and over the course of her career could be found in her family and in her teammates.
“My teammates were a big thing,” she says, remembering several former principals at Spring Creek Elementary and Spring Creek Middle schools and senior members of the Wayne County Public Schools system among others. She said that her teammates were the ones who were “helping me be a better teacher each and every day.”
Price’s main goal for her career now is to simply stay positive and so far she has certainly succeeded. In a more serious tone, she said, “I want to be a positive influence on my community. We live in such a tough world – we get so wrapped up in all the negativity. I want to be a positive influence on anyone I work with.”
Not many people could do everything that she does everyday and keep such a cheery persona all throughout, but it is a necessity when working with children.
She hopes to continue in the administrative role for as long as she can and she sees herself working well past the typical public-school retirement age.
“I’m not going to retire at 30 years,” she said.
Instead, she wishes to retire when she feels the time is right, when she thinks it’s time to slow things down. And when she does retire she plans on spending her time with those who mean the most to her: her family.
“My family is very important. I want to be a part of their lives – with my family and my husband, enjoying life and traveling,” Price said.
Though she loves her job, that doesn’t mean it comes without stress. During her time in Wayne County, Price has become an involved member of the community, especially within her church. As choir director, worship leader and pianist – her love for people and music is obvious as well as her love for children. When she begins to get stressed out and overworked, you can find her relaxing and enjoying time with her family, reading, or playing the piano and singing.
Working with, teaching, and leading the next generation of thinkers day-in and day-out is a tough job, and those dedicated to the profession are assuredly deserving of plenty of respect. Price, and those like her, who are able and willing to go above and beyond for the sake of children, are nothing less than absolutely amazing. “I’m very proud of the community I live in and very proud of being a part of the Spring Creek area,” she said. “I’m very thankful I’ve been able to be here for the past 28 years.”
Well, the people of Wayne County should certainly be thankful and proud to have a woman like Mrs. Price within the community, too.
Written by Kathryn Harrell, Editor of Wayne Woman Magazine. Photos by Casey Mozingo, Photographer at the Goldsboro News-Argus.