Wilkes County’s educator named NC Principal of the Year

Wilkesboro Elementary School’s Beckie Spears was named the 2024 North Carolina Principal of the Year. (Photo courtesy Wilkes County Schools)

RALEIGH —Beckie Spears of Wilkes County was selected among nine regional finalists as the 2024 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year at a luncheon held May 24.

Spears, the principal of Wilkesboro Elementary School, will take over for 2023 winner Donna Bledsoe of Surry County.

“Mrs. Spears does a beautiful job balancing instructional and organizational leadership alongside the student, staff and community relationships needed to effectively lead her school,” said North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “It is through her thoughtful guidance that students, staff and the community of Wilkesboro Elementary are poised for success in their next steps.”

Since 2019, Spears has been the principal at Wilkesboro Elementary, and she has nearly 30 years of education experience, 18 years of which were spent teaching in classrooms, including a good portion of that time at Wilkesboro Elementary. She spent five years as an assistant principal.

During her career in the classroom, Spears taught high school English, elementary and AIG classes.

Spears will travel the state over the 2024-25 school year as an “ambassador of the profession,” and she will receive various perks and cash prizes for personal and professional use as well as awards for educational supplies.

Some of the items Spears will receive are a mobile device from Lenovo, an engraved award, a gift from the Carolina Hunger Initiative and a custom-made North Carolina Principal of the Year signet ring from Jostens.

“Mrs. Spears makes it clear that her passion for school leadership lies primarily in leading and developing teachers in her school,” said Wilkes County Schools Superintendent Mark Byrd in his letter of recommendation.

Introduced in 1984, the award serves to recognize the role of the principal in achieving academic excellence in the state’s K-12 schools.