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February Edition of Employee Spotlight

posted Feb 22, 2016, 1:59 PM by Greg Shull   [ updated Feb 22, 2016, 2:05 PM ]

Miguel Angel Rivera – Plumber with Maintenance Division II

CCS Work History
I began my career with Cleveland County Schools as a custodian at Marion Elementary and worked there for 2 and a half years. I accepted the opportunity to work in the Maintenance Department with yard maintenance, and am now a plumber with the school system. I appreciate the opportunity - afforded me by the leadership in Plant Operations - to work with a very good group of people in Maintenance Division II.

Education
I graduated from high school in 1990 and have completed a variety of electrical and welding certification courses.

Family
I have been married for 22 years to my beautiful wife, Mayda Rivera, and have a son, Jose Miguel. We currently reside in Shelby.

What do you like best about your school/work location?
The people I work with.

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Stay in school and all your dreams will come true.

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you?
I have been afforded the opportunity to grow as individual.



Erin McWhirter – Social Studies Teacher and Volleyball/Basketball Coach at Crest High

CCS Work History
I am a product of Cleveland County Schools. I went to Boiling Springs and Springmore Elementary schools, as well as Crest Middle and Crest High (Class of 2008). This is my 4th year teaching in Cleveland County. I began at Crest Middle School teaching 8th grade language arts and social studies. I then taught 9th grade English for a year. During my third year, I taught Civics and Economics, and I am currently teaching World History and American History to high school freshmen and juniors at Crest High.

Family
My parents are Alan and Lena McWhirter. My dad is the Finance Manager for Cleveland County YMCA and my mom owns her own cleaning service. I have one sister, Kendyl, who is a Physical Education Teacher in Guilford County Schools. My boyfriend, John, works at FMC Lithium. My grandparents, Carl and Carolyn McWhirter, were both teachers at Kings Mountain High Schools.

Education
I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2012 as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow with a degree in History Secondary Education.

What do you like best about your school/work location?
I work at one of the best schools in the state! Crest High School truly is an amazing place. My coworkers are like family. I get to work with an incredible student body who is constantly keeping me laughing and pushing me to innovate in the classroom. My students are creative, inspiring, and bring so much joy to my life.

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Thomas Edison famously said that "genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." No matter where you came from, who your parents are, what you look like, or your history, working hard will ALWAYS get you far in life. It's all about your attitude! My students know McWhirter's classroom motto of "peace, love, and positivity." If you show those 3 things, you're going to be alright.

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you?
Cleveland County Schools has helped mold me into the person I am today. I credit my decision to become a teacher to the inspiration I received at Crest High School as a student. CCS also took a chance on me and has given me the opportunity to work with wonderful young people on a daily basis.



Leverne Lomick – Business Teacher at Shelby Middle School

CCS Work History
I have worked for Cleveland County Schools for 20 years. I have been a Career and Technical Education Teacher at Shelby Middle School for all of those 20 years.

Family
My husband, Defay and I, built our home in Gaston County 10 years ago. Therefore, we reside in Gastonia. We are the proud parents of 3 boys who are all honor roll students at their schools. Nelson is a freshman at South Point High, Addison is in the 7th grade at Cramerton Middle and Bryson is in the 4th grade at New Hope Elementary. They are very active in sports particularly basketball, soccer and track and excel in each sport. They are also involved in the community through the Gastonia Piedmont Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, in which I serve as chapter President. Through Jack and Jill, our boys have the opportunity volunteer, support philanthropy and perform community service. We are also members of Center Baptist Church in Gastonia, North Carolina.

Education
  • Bachelor of Science Degree from North Carolina A&T State University 
What do you like best about your school/work location?
I enjoy working with the middle school aged children. I enjoy teaching business and computer skills that students will use throughout their future.

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Always set goals in life and try to reach those goals. The goals should guide the way you think, the decisions you make and the path you take to reach those goals.

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you?
It's a great place to work. The small town where everyone knows everyone.



Mandy Best - Reading Intervention Specialist/PST Coordinator at Fallston Elementary 

CCS Work History
I have taught at Fallston Elementary for all 16 years I have been in the teaching profession. I taught 1st grade for 2 years before moving to kindergarten for 9 years. I have been a reading interventionist and our school's PST Coordinator for the past 5 years. I am a graduate of Burns High School. I also attended Burns Middle School and Fallston Elementary.

Family
My wonderful husband, Brad, is a captain with the City of Gastonia Fire Department. I have two beautiful stepdaughters. My oldest, Kelsey, is a senior at Highland School of Technology and my 11-year-old, Kailey, is a 5th grader at Costner Elementary School in Gaston County.

Education
After graduating from Burns High School, I attended Gardner-Webb University, graduating in 2000 with my B.S. in Elementary Education (K-6). In 2008, I earned my Master's degree in Reading Education K-12 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

What do you like best about your school/work location?
I love working in the community where I was born and raised. Although I now live over 45 minutes away, I still love to come to work at Fallston every day. The teachers I had throughout my education from this community have helped make me the person and teacher I am today. My Fallston co-workers are like a second family to me and, for that, I am grateful.

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
A little kindness goes a long way...you never know what obstacles others are facing in their lives and how much a simple smile or word of encouragement could mean to them.

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you?
Cleveland County Schools will always be dear to my heart because I grew up here as a student, and now work in the school system as a teacher. I believe in, and have experienced first-hand, the high caliber educators we have in our school system and the genuine care and concern they have for their students. Our system strives to improve the quality of education for all students in Cleveland County. 



Jake Wilson - Assistant Principal at Kings Mountain Intermediate

CCS Work History
I am a graduate of Burns High where my mother taught for many years. I taught 3rd grade for 1 year at Bethware Elementary. After that I took a leave of absence to take part in the NC Principal Fellows Program. During this two-year experience, I was a full-time principal intern at Cleveland Early College High School. I am currently an assistant principal at Kings Mountain Intermediate -- Go Pioneers!

Family
My wife, Briana Wilson, is an AIG Language Arts teacher at Kings Mountain Middle School. My daughter, Makinzy, attends Kings Mountain Intermediate.

Education
I earned a BA in Elementary Education from UNC Charlotte. I earned a Masters in School Administration from UNC Charlotte. I am currently licensed in K-6, school administration, and curriculum support.

What do you like best about your school/work location?
By far, my favorite thing about Kings Mountain Intermediate School is the professionals with whom I work. KMIS employs some of the most talented 5th and 6th grade teachers I have ever worked with!

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Never, ever stop learning!

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you?
Cleveland County Schools loves its students and its teachers. I have watched CCS constantly make decisions that put teachers and students first. This makes me proud to work in Cleveland County!
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