Elementary school throws principal surprise celebration for 50 year anniversary as an educator

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Half of a century—that’s how long Kingswood Montessori Magnet Elementary School Principal Sherry Schliesser has been an educator.

She joked that when colleagues and friends ask her if she’s ready to leave the profession, she always gives the same answer, “This is what I want to do…As long as I can come in and do an excellent job, why would I quit? Every day I walk in the door, I’m happy.”

Mrs. Schliesser, a principal at Kingswood for the last 12 years, came to Wake County from Roanoke, Va. 

She received a Masters in Elementary Education from Radford University and a Masters in School Administration from NC State University.

On Friday, Kingswood students lined the halls and cheered as their principal was wheeled around in a chariot made for the occasion.

Each class, and most students, made cards and posters in celebration.

“[My card] was just saying how she played an important role in my years in Kingswood and she’s been an amazing principal,” said 5th-grader Amy Savane.

When asked one message she would share with students today, Mrs. Schliesser said, “To never give up. Things get rough and our emotions might get high…but set a goal, decide what you want with your life and then keep your eye on the prize, then you’ll be successful.”

Many of us can’t wrap our minds around dedicating 50 years of our lives to anything. But for Mrs. Schliesser, she says she couldn’t imagine spending it doing anything else.

“Every day of the last 50 years, I get that same feeling on the first day of school. And now, I’m at the school level and I have the lives of a whole school full of children in the palm of my hands and what I do determines the measure of success that they’re going to show. It’s a huge responsibility. I’ve never stopped thinking about the huge amount of responsibility that it is to be in my position as a teacher, or a teacher leader, or the leader of a school.”

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