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Mrs. McMillan Wins CCS Principal of the Year
Published by Pamela Sands on October 4, 2017

Mrs. Lavette McMillan

Lavette C. McMillan, principal of New Century International Middle School, was announced today as the Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) 2018 Principal of the Year (POY). The announcement came during the school system’s 2018 Principal of the Year Luncheon.

McMillan now moves on to compete against other local award recipients from the Region IV Sandhills/South Central Region of the state.  After the state selection process is completed, one principal will be selected as the 2018 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.

The 15-year education veteran has served as a school administrator for 11 years and started her career in the field after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Hispanic Studies Education as a N.C. Teaching Fellow from East Carolina University in 2002. She later obtained a master’s degree in School Administration from Fayetteville State University (FSU).


McMillan has been the principal at New Century International Middle for two years, but was the founding principal of Cumberland International Early College High School in 2011. In this time, the educational leader said that she has learned that it takes teamwork and ‘growing leaders’ to bring about positive student outcomes. “As principal, my greatest lesson learned is that I cannot do it all by myself. I must delegate responsibility to the leaders in my building… I articulate the vision clearly and effectively and then, provide opportunities for others to lead in the building… I have done this by creating leadership teams based on different needs of the school. These leadership teams are given responsibilities with guidance from me and are allowed to create and implement processes to complete the tasks. I have learned that teams have to feel that it is okay to fail and that they have my support. I continue to observe staff in my building and give them opportunities to use and strengthen their leadership skills. I feel it is my job to grow the leaders in my building.”


As the CCS’ Principal of the Year winner, McMillan received the following:

  • Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education;
  • Cash award and floral arrangement from the CCS;
  • Engraved desk clock from Herff Jones;
  • Commemorative Principal of the Year ring from Jostens;
  • $5,000 check for school use from Lafayette Ford Lincoln;
  • $1,000 check for personal use from Lafayette Ford Lincoln; and
  • $500 gift basket of local restaurants and vendors from Up & Coming Weekly and Kidsville News!

All seven POY nominees [Cindy Anderson (Stoney Point Elementary), Regina Blanding (J.W. Coon Elementary), Dr. Michele Cain (Cumberland Road Elementary), Lavette McMillan (New Century International Middle), V. Lee Spruill (Cape Fear High), Michael Tucker (Cliffdale Elementary), and Todd Yardis (Ed V. Baldwin Elementary)] received a mounted certificate/plaque from the Cumberland County Board of Education; a cash award, one unit of professional credit, and an iPad from the CCS; and  a professional photograph from Lifetouch Photography.

The regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year will be announced in January 2018 while the announcement of the 2018 North Carolina Wells Fargo Principal of the Year will be made during a state-wide awards event in the spring of 2018.

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