Farmington Woods educator named Wake County's Principal of the Year

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Friday, October 6, 2023
WCPSS announces principal, assistant principal of the year
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Winston Pierce, who has worked for Wake County Schools for more than 30 years, was named Principal of the Year.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Public School System announced its principal and assistant principal of the year on Thursday.

Farmington Woods International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Magnet Elementary Principal Winston Pierce was named 2023-24 Principal of the Year. According to WCPSS officials, she has more than 30 years of experience in the district and has been at the school for 13 years.

"I'm just humbled. This is a peer-initiated honor, and to be validated in the work that I love doing each and every day by the other wonderful principals in our district is just an incredible honor," Pierce said.

Pierce was previously a principal at Wendell Elementary School and assistant principal at Millbrook Elementary. She said she approaches school leadership with a mindset of staff empowerment.

"In addition to formal structures to value staff voice and trust in decision making, celebrations permeate our school culture to share a respect for staff dedication and commitment," Pierce said in a release.

She received $1,000 for her school, an engraved award, a check for $1,000, a $100 gift card to the Angus Barn; a $200 gift card, and several other gifts.

Lessie Anderson was honored as the Assistant Principal of the Year for 2023-2024. She has worked in the district for 10 years and has served as an assistant principal at Willow Spring High School since 2021, WCPSS said. Previously, Anderson was an assistant principal at Middle Creek High School, an instructional coach, and a math teacher at Knightdale High School.

She said she strives to create a school culture of trust and mutual respect among students, teachers, and administrators.

"Trust within a school does not happen by chance," said Anderson in a release. "Nor does it look the same to everyone. Whether that means keeping promises or being consistent, I'm very intentional in my actions. As both the students and staff say, I move with purpose."

Anderson received an engraved award, a check for $500, a $50 gift card to the Angus Barn, a $200 gift card, a Hurricanes Signature Duffel Bag with Tee shirts, and a gift bag from Crossroads Chick-fil-A.