Unionville Elementary Principal Dr. Sharyn VonCannon named 2019-2020 Principal of the Year
Unionville Elementary Principal Dr. Sharyn VonCannon has never been one to be at a loss for words -- that is, until she heard her name called as the 2019-2020 UCPS Principal of the Year on Oct. 3.
Standing in front of her colleagues at the district’s annual Principal of the Year luncheon, VonCannon fought back tears as she simply described that moment as unbelievable, humbling and amazing.
“This is an honor for me, my staff, my community and our children – it truly feels like a community award,” she said after the program. “I’m a product of Union County Public Schools, and to me, this award is confirmation that I made it because of people sitting in that room. So many people have nurtured me, and to be nominated among such an amazing group of peers is amazing. This is truly a village award.”
VonCannon, who started her career in education as a teacher assistant 29 years ago, has led Unionville Elementary through a string of success during her 12 years as principal. Not only does the school continue to maintain a NC State Report Card grade of an A, but it regularly meets and exceeds growth each year.
Unionville Elementary is also home to a thriving Spanish Dual Language Immersion program and was the first school in the district – and the second school in the state – to achieve the prestigious NC Model Global Ready School distinction for its school wide focus on global education.
Even though she served at the helm of all of those successes, VonCannon is hesitant to take any of the credit. Instead, she credits the hard work of her team.
“I lead with my heart because I believe that people are our greatest assets. None of us would be as successful as we are without a collective group of professionals that support us,” she said. “I also know that leading with a growth mindset has to start with myself. I go to trainings with my staff and roll up my sleeves so that I learn beside them. I never ask them to grow, I ask us to grow.”
Union County Education Foundation members and sponsors presented VonCannon with a $2,000 check, half of which will be donated to Unionville Elementary. The other half will go towards her personal use. VonCannon will now go on to the state level to compete for Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.
During the luncheon, East Union Middle Assistant Principal Angela Foster was also awarded the Assistant Principal of the Year award. Foster served as an elementary school teacher for 12 years, as well as an assistant principal at Monroe Middle for four years before joining the administrative staff at East Union Middle in 2017.
“This award means everything to me because I’ve known since second grade that I wanted to be a teacher. When you keep children first, everything else is easy,” Foster said. “I thank and credit UCPS for how much they’ve helped me grow in the past few years. It really means a lot that they look out for everyone who is employed with Union County Public Schools.”
Union County Education Foundation members and sponsors also presented Foster with a $1,000 check, half of which will be donated to East Union Middle. The other half will go towards her personal use.