|10/14/2017 10:36:00 AM|
Dr. Dana Ayers Is LCS Principal Of The Year
Education veteran has career spanning nearly two decades
Photo Courtesy Dr. Dana Ayers
(Top) Dr. Dana Ayers (right) being
congratulated by Dr. Lacy Morrow,
Lincoln County School Superintendent,
on being named the 2017 Principal of
the Year; and at bottom posing with
the School Board at the October meeting.
(Photos Courtesy Lincoln County Schools)
LINCOLNTON, N.C.––She’s simply the best!
She’s Dr. Dana Ayers, and she is the Lincoln County Schools Principal of the Year for 2017. The principal of Lincolnton Middle School for three years now, Ayers is a long-time veteran of public education, with a career spanning nearly two decades.
Friday, she told the Lincoln Herald all about her life and career. Ayers earned a bachelor of arts degree in education at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont in 1999. From Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, she earned a master’s degree in school administration in 2008 and, the following year, an add-on certification in AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) education. She earned her doctorate last year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Ayers recapped her unique educational journey. A graduate of East Lincoln High School’s class of 1989, Ayers was a working mom by the 1990’s. To ensure a better future for herself and her family, she decided to go back to school.
“I chose Belmont Abbey because it was one of the first colleges in the area to offer an evening and weekend adult degree program,” she said. “I was working full time at Wal-Mart during my years at the Abbey. I started in January, 1997, after having taken courses at Gaston College and Central Piedmont Community College.”
Fast-forward to the autumn of 2011. That’s when Ayers began pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at UNCC.
“I completed and defended my dissertation in July, 2016,” she said. “My dissertation is titled, ‘A Legal Analysis of Cyber-Bullying with Sexting Cases.’”
Ayers’s husband, Phillip, is also in public education. He’s a teacher at Kiser Intermediate in Lincolnton. Son Josh is 24; Emily is a 20-year-old junior at Western Carolina, following in her mom’s footsteps and studying elementary education; and son Truman is in the fifth grade at Union Elementary.
“I have been in education for 19 years.” Dr. Ayers said. “I taught six years at Battleground Elementary in the first, fourth and fifth grades. I then moved to teach grade-six math and science at Lincolnton Middle School for five years. In 2010, I was promoted to assistant principal of instruction at West Lincoln Middle School, and I spent four years there.
“I became principal at Lincolnton Middle School in July, 2014,” she continued. “LMS has made great strides in both the academic arena and in serving our community and increasing parent-community involvement. LMS currently has the highest growth index of all the schools in Lincoln County. We strive to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all students. I am truly proud of the positive direction in which our students and staffers are moving and the environment we have created at LMS. We are a family that supports each other and desires to be the best we can be! Go LMS Wildcats!”
Ayers informed that Lincolnton Middle’s focus these days is on building an adaptive playground for the students.
“LMS houses the moderate and severe population of special-needs students for the entire district,” she said. “We must raise $33,000 for the first phase, and we are seeking donors to help with this worthy project.”
To others who would follow in her career footsteps, she offered words of encouragement. Want to be a teacher? Work hard and go for it, says Ayers.
“More than anything, children and adults must know that nothing comes easy,” she said. “I have worked tirelessly to get the education I have today and the career I have. I went after everything I wanted, and with the support of my mama and daddy (George and Pamela Flynn), my husband, Phillip, and my children and the grace of God, I feel I can accomplish anything!”
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