MATTHEWS – Crown Point Elementary teacher Emily Johnston loves working at the Matthews school.
It’s her second home. Full of familiar faces and fond memories, she’s been part of the school for half of its existence – the school opened up in 1993 – spending nine years as a teacher, and one as a sixth-grade student the year Crown Point first opened. The school no longer has a sixth grade.
Johnston always knew she would be a teacher one day. “My mom always jokes that I just came right out teaching,” she laughed. But she never imagined her own elementary school would become her workplace one day.
“It’s strange. I came back when I was in high school at Butler (for a class). We came and tutored at Crown Point and Matthews Elementary, where I also attended,” she said. But it never occurred to Johnston, even in high school, that she could make a career with a fond memory from her childhood.
Now, she’s excited to help celebrate Crown Point’s 20th anniversary, and is looking forward to seeing faces, new and old.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, the school will host the first of several events this school year celebrating 20 years of education excellence, Crown Point Principal Mark Anderson said. Anderson, along with former principal Phyllis Zellmer, who served as principal from 1993 to 2003, will join former students and staff for “An Evening Under the Stars.” Johnston, along with another current teacher and former student, Laura Parrott, will give presentations at the event, which also will include dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $15 and are available through the school. The event is for adults only.
Anderson has been the principal at Crown Point Elementary since August 2003, and is one of only two principals to lead the school. Over the years, Crown Point boasts nine years being named A North Carolina School of Distinction, one year as a School of Excellence and years of exemplary test scores, Anderson said. Many of the school’s past teaching and administration staff also have gone on to lead their own schools, and nine of the school’s current staff hold National Board Certification.
“I think for many people, Crown Point is where they got their start in education. And those who have continued to watch the history of Crown Point noticed it has continued to maintain a high level of achievement,” Anderson said, adding many former staff members are traveling from as far as Georgia to attend Saturday’s dinner event.
Like most schools in the district, Anderson said Crown Point has been making the move to a more paperless approach in the classroom, with more technology infused into everyday lessons. But the thing he is most proud of, Anderson said of his time at Crown Point, is an increased presence of males on campus. With a male teacher on every team, Anderson said the more balanced ratio between men and women teachers and leaders helps provide more support and role models for the diverse number of students who pass through Crown Point’s doors.
“The presence of males in the building has been quite beneficial for all students, especially the boys in the building,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the school will host various other events throughout the year for current students to help show the milestone of the school year, including a father/daughter dance, a mother/son dance, various classroom activities commemorating the school’s 20 years of accomplishments and an end-of-the-year carnival bash that will be open to the community.
“We just want the community to come by and continue to support us,” Anderson said.
Crown Point Elementary is located at 3335 Sam Newell Road in Matthews.