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Dr. Gary Childers Earns Champion in Education Award


Dr. Gary Childers with family, colleagues and NCSBA representatives after receiving the Champion in Education Award


Dr. Gary Childers, Chairperson of the Watauga County Board of Education, earned a prestigious honor for his dedication to local education for over 50 years. For 31 of those years, he served at four different schools in Watauga County. 


The North Carolina School Boards Association’s Champion in Education award is one that recognizes individuals, businesses, community members, employees, or school board members who have demonstrated ongoing dedication to the success of K-12 students and the betterment of NC public schools.


Childers received his award and was recognized at the North Carolina School Boards Association’s annual conference on Nov. 14 in Greensboro.


He began his career in education as a middle school teacher in a fifth grade classroom 50 years ago. In the years that followed, he served in various leadership positions, leaving a positive impact on countless students and staff. Childers was named the Watauga County Principal of the Year four times. He was also named Northwest Principal of the Year, and he was one of three finalists for the NC Principal of the Year in 2003.


In addition to the different roles Childers has served in with WCS, he is incredibly involved in other local organizations. He has served as President and Chairperson of several local boards and committees over the past five decades.


Those who nominated Childers for this award described not only his professional attributes and skills, but also described the personal qualities which make him a leader. He was described as “a person of unquestioned integrity, a patient and attentive listener, a supportive friend and colleague, and a kind, respectful, and thoughtful servant leader.”


Childers has made the journey from teacher to principal to chairperson of the Watauga County Board of Education. During this journey, he has proved to be a true champion of public education and has extended his reach beyond Watauga County, serving as a role model for leaders in education across the state.