Michael Allen, principal at Joe Toler-Oak Hill Elementary School in Oxford, is known for always going above and beyond for his students. He helps to create a safe, nurturing school environment where every single child feels special.
Allen is rarely in his office. He can usually be found in the cafeteria serving food, or at the gym leading a game with the students. Whether he’s giving out gifts as Santa for Christmas or greeting each students at the drop-off area, Allen always finds a way to bring joy to his students.
“Mr. Allen is an outstanding N.C. School Hero,” said Trina Vaughan, a parent at the school. “He is an unselfish, compassionate individual who cares very deeply about the youth in our community.”
Allen’s dedication to his job and his school led to his selection as one of the 10 winners of the Education Lottery’s School Heroes program.
“I feel honored and humbled. I don’t think I do any more than anyone else,” said Allen. “This is what I do. I’m here for the kids. If we make it hard for the kids to come to school and enjoy school, we’re not doing our jobs. I hope we will continue doing what’s good for the children.”
The North Carolina Education Lottery created the N.C. School Heroes program to showcase the positive impacts teachers, principals, and other school workers have in public schools every day. From 6,000 nominations, ten heroes were chosen with each receiving a $10,000 award and $10,000 for their school.
Students and teachers filled the bleachers in the school’s gym, opening the presentation with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, they cheered and applauded as their hero received his award.
“There are thousands of heroes like Michael Allen doing amazing work in our public schools,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Teachers, cafeteria workers, custodians, school resource officers, all make a big difference for our students every day. We’re glad our School Heroes program shines a spotlight on their great work.”
Money raised by the lottery assists many of those School Heroes, including $386 million this year that supports the work of school support staff such as office assistants and custodians. Additional money will help build and repair schools, support the N.C. Pre-K program for “at-risk” four-year-olds, provide college scholarships and grants based on financial need, and help meet school transportation needs. For details on how funds made a difference in Granville County, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com
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