Leader of the Pack
Kevin Leake never ‘got above his raising’ as they say in the south — thank goodness. This preacher’s son turned passionate educator was brought up knowing the value of hard work, honesty and the unquestionable honor of doing what’s right no matter what. So when asked to step down from his role as assistant principal at Thomasville Middle and step up as its new top administrator, Leake saw the transition as a valuable opportunity to continue doing what he does best: lead by example.
“My entire career has been shaped by some really wonderful, caring teachers who saw something in me and believed I would succeed,” said Leake smiling wide. “I had teachers at every grade who kept me in check and never let me cross the line or fall behind. Trust me, I got into my fair share of mischief, but I always knew my teachers and parents loved me. I want to have that same influence on all of our students.”
By the Book
Leake’s love of teaching and academics took a firm hold on his life during the time he worked as a volunteer peer tutor in high school. After witnessing first-hand the positive impact a little extra attention and friendship could have on a student who was struggling, Leake was inspired enough to pursue an elementary education degree from Elon College. He later received a master's in education leadership from High Point University. After teaching for several years in other counties, Leake eventually landed at Thomasville Middle in 2006 where he taught social studies and quickly moved up through the administrative rank.
“I am so blessed to have made it this far. I look back and think about what an incredible privilege it was to be raised in a home with both parents, come home to a hot meal every day and live in a safe neighborhood,” Leake said, “I know many of our students are struggling because they don’t have those same blessings and that can be very frightening for them. As a father myself, I understand the challenges and demands of raising children in what can seem like troubling times.”
Leake went on to explain, “I tell these kids when they get to school ‘It’s my job to keep you safe. Let me deal with the world’s problem and you get busy learning’,” Leake said. “I want to remove the barriers, come out from behind the desk and understand where they are coming from. But it’s important to keep perspective. Not every discipline problem is a crisis and you have to learn from your mistakes. Kids in middle school are at the important age where you can really make an impression. I don’t want to be seen as a threat. I would rather be a mentor.”
Believing is Achieving
Leake is not alone when it comes to speaking excellence and success over the lives of Thomasville students.
“Thomasville’s School System is built on hard work and hope. I believe we have some of the finest teachers in the state working with our kids,” Leake said. “Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin is a visionary who sees the extraordinary in ordinary things. Under her leadership, we all want to create an atmosphere of good energy and positive change in all our schools so that each student is lifted up to reach their highest goals.”
Do you know a special person making a difference in lives of young people? Email your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.