Lane Price thinks his love for history and the past make him the perfect fit for Myers Park Traditional School, especially since the school has an emphasis on citizenship, values, respect and remembering the past.
He started the new assignment July 2, and said besides hiring new teachers, meeting with old teachers and parents, he’s been waiting all summer for the first day of school to really get started on the job.
The new principal has a history himself in the Charlotte area, working in and out of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Union County public school systems. He graduated high school from Piedmont High School in Union County, where he found his love for education through his history and current events teachers. He then went on to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, graduating with an education degree.
He began his teaching career in Union county, teaching middle grade social studies before becoming an assistant principal at a middle school. He then transitioned into elementary school as assistant principal.
“I really found it was the foundation of learning. I learned a lot as an assistant principal there,” Price said.
He later made the transition to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools where he became the assistant principal at Hawk Ridge Elementary and then principal at McKee Road Elementary. After several years in south Charlotte, he made the switch back to middle school, becoming principal at Northeast Middle.
Now he’s back in elementary and back in south Charlotte and couldn’t be more excited, he said.
“I’m most excited about coming back into elementary school. They are still excited about learning in elementary. In my experience, there is just a loss of interest in middle school – it’s just harder to keep them engaged,” he said. “In elementary, that natural curiosity is still there – there is a love for learning that is almost innocent.”
So far, Price said he’s done his best to communicate with teachers and parents, listening to suggestions and concerns, needs and wants.
“Since I’ve started, I’ve spoken with every staff member face-to-face,” he said, although he added there are still around four more he hopes to connect with before school starts Monday, Aug. 27. “I sent out a questionnaire at the beginning of August, getting feedback about what they like about Myers Park and the traditional model.”
Price said the questionnaire really helped him learn about the staff and also provided the opportunity for the staff to have a voice.
And now, the next step, Price said, and his biggest immediate challenge, is learning and meeting the students and families of the school.
“That relationship with families is extremely important,” he said. “But that will come with time. You have to be here to get to know folks. Building that repertoire with community and families will be important.”
Price has already started meeting with parents through the schools parent-teacher group meetings and conferences with parents at the school.
Another challenge or goal for Price is to create a school-wide understanding of what it means to be a traditional school. He’s already started discussions with his staff on what they want the school to be, he said.
“How are we distinguishable from just a regular elementary school and what makes us different?” he said. “My goal isn’t to change what Myers Park is. I want to clarify and communicate that.”
“I want students to remember the past and help them realize how it’s relevant to how we live today,” he said about the traditional model. “There are lessons that can be derived from the past that we may have forgotten.”
Price and his family live in Union County, where his four kids also go to school and the family attends church at Bright Spot Baptist in Monroe where he teaches Sunday school. Outside of work, he said he loves reading about anything U.S. history, his favorite subject and area of study.
“Right now I’m reading a book on Abraham Lincoln, but I love anything from historical fiction to historical nonfiction; anything about U.S. history,” he said.
While not at work this summer, Price and his family could be found camping in the mountains. He describes himself as just a regular guy.
“I try to be a good father,” he said. “I enjoy traveling and taking our kids on trips.”