Dr. Sharon Sharp, retired education professor, died Sept. 4


Sharon Sharp was the kind of person that we all hope will be our colleague, friend and mentor,” said colleague and friend Dr. Karen Stanley. “She enriched our lives, and her legacy will continue to influence the work that we do as educators and the programs that we offer our students as they prepare to teach the generations that follow.”

Sharon SharpDr. Sharon Sharp, who retired from UNC Pembroke’s School of Education faculty in 2007, passed away on September 4 at the age of 63. She lived in Wagram, N.C. with her husband, Dr. Thomas Leach, retired dean of UNCP’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Sharp made significant contributions to UNC Pembroke during her 19 years as a faculty member. She taught education professional studies and elementary education courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

“Sharon was a highly respected member of the School of Education,” said Dr. Stanley, also an education professor. “She set the highest of standards for the hundreds of students whose lives she touched. Her sense of humor, wisdom, guidance and mentoring influenced her colleagues and her students alike.”

Dr. Charles Jenkins, who was a colleague as well as UNCP’s chief academic officer, praised Sharp’s contributions to the University

“Dr. Sharon Sharp expertise, leadership and hard work for several years on reaccreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education contributed greatly to the School of Education and the University,” Dr. Jenkins said. “I made it a point to let her know how much the University appreciated her outstanding work on such an important, extensive and successful endeavor, and when I think of her at this time, I continue to be grateful to her on behalf of the University for such outstanding service.  

“Her strong interest and background in the teaching of writing and language arts also contributed greatly to our teacher education program,” he continued. “Her family can take pride in knowing that she made such valuable contributions to teacher education.”

Serving on the Teacher Education Committee, Dr. Sharp chaired almost every major subcommittee. Her contributions to undergraduate and graduate secondary licensure programs were extensive. 

Dr. Sharp taught the required reading course in the content area course of the secondary licensure program. As a former school teacher, her experience was invaluable for teacher candidates.

As program director for the M.A.Ed. in Elementary Education program, Dr. Sharp played a primary role in developing the program and its policies and procedures.

In collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Sharp and her faculty initiated the first off-campus cohort of a graduate licensure program at Sandhills Community College. Dr. Sharp planned internships in teacher education, designing and instructing the Advanced Philosophy of Education course for the revised graduate programs.

From Beckley, W.Va., Dr. Sharp was the daughter of Wanda Keys Sharp and the late Roger Andrew Sharp. She enjoyed reading and painting and especially loved spending time with her family.
She is survived by her daughters, Caroline Coletta of Brooklyn, N.Y., Karen Leach of Hickory, N.C., and Heather Lankford and her husband, Andrew, of Harrisburg, Va.; her mother, Wanda K. Sharp of Princeton, W.Va.; a brother Richard Sharp of Charlottesville, VA; a sister, Diane Sharp-Keys of Roanoke, Va., and two grandchildren, Emma and Andrew Lankford.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in memory of Sharon to The American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, 12340 McColl Road, Laurinburg, NC 28352 or to Hospice of Scotland County, PO Box 1033, Laurinburg, NC 28353.