While she never intended to become a principal, Sherry Hinson Couch has been named Dare County Schools Principal of the Year for 2016-2017. Under Couch’s leadership, both staff and students at Cape Hatteras Elementary School have achieved impressive academic growth. For the fourth consecutive year, CHES was honored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as a Title I Reward School for sustained student achievement. This is also the third year that CHES has been recognized by the state as a Green Ribbon school for its continued implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support.
Couch, who earned her Master’s degree in English Education from UNC Pembroke in 1992, still has fond memories of her time at UNC Pembroke.
Couch noted, “In 1992, distance learning was unheard of in rural Anson County where I lived and was teaching. UNC Pembroke was affordable, even on a new teacher’s salary, and the flexible schedule allowed me to take evening and summer classes so that I could earn my degree while continuing to work full time. Otherwise, it would not have been possible.”
Couch arrived in Buxton to teach English at Cape Hatteras Secondary in 1997, where she was selected as 1999-2000 Teacher of the Year. In the summer of 2000, she became Assistant Principal there. In 2006, she was assigned as Assistant Principal at Cape Hatteras Elementary School, and she was appointed as Principal in 2010.
“The content knowledge that I learned at UNC Pembroke helped me to become a better teacher and prepared me for additional training in curriculum and instruction,” Couch noted.