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EB Frink Middle School leader is LCPS Principal of the Year

Dr. Michael Moon, who has distinguished himself and the school he leads through academic achievement, was named on Monday as the 2023-2024 Principal of the Year for Lenoir County Public Schools.

Moon is in his fourth year as principal of EB Frink Middle School in La Grange and in his 16th year with LCPS, a career that began in an English classroom at Kinston High School and has advanced through a series of administrative positions since 2013.

 Man holding balloons is flanked by six people posing in a line.All along the way, his work has been characterized by energy, creativity and effective work on behalf of students and fellow educators, according to Superintendent Brent Williams.

“Dr. Moon has a passion for doing all that he can to lead his team effectively and to help our students to experience success at school every day and to reach their full potential. He is a strong principaI who leads effectively and with the heart,” the superintendent said.

“I am certain that he will do not only an outstanding job of representing his peers in our district during the next year, but also that he will represent LCPS very well in the regional competition and beyond.”  

As LCPS Principal of the Year, Moon will represent the district in competition for Southeast Region Principal of the Year, the winner of which becomes a finalist for the title of Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.

Moon was chosen at the district level in a process that began with nominations from schools. Looking at work history and accomplishments, the selection committee narrowed the field to three finalists. They were, in addition to Moon, Moss Hill Elementary School principal Jeremy Barnett and Kinston High School principal Kellan Bryant.

“It is an incredible honor to be nominated alongside so many distinguished leaders in our district. I am thankful every day to have the privilege of working with the best teachers, staff, students and families in Lenoir County, and I look forward to the opportunity to share some of the good work we are doing at EB Frink Middle school to ensure our students continue to grow and excel academically,” Moon said.

“We have embraced the school-wide slogan ‘every child, every opportunity, every time,’ and I love sharing our students’ stories with anyone who will listen.”

Since Moon came to Frink, students there have made a habit of meeting or exceeding state standards for academic growth, while raising proficiency scores to pre-pandemic level in multiple subjects.

Last year, Frink was named a Top 10 School for North Carolina in the National ESEA Distinguished School Program, honored for “excellence in servicing special populations of students,” specifically students with disabilities.

This year, it was named an Apple Distinguished School for its incorporation of technology into the day-to-day instructional program.

A 2004 graduate of N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Moon took on the added role of journalism instructor and advisor when he joined the KHS faculty. Under his guidance, Kinston High students won more than 60 state awards for journalism and Viking Press, the student newspaper, was honored as an All-North Carolina publication for four consecutive years and in 2013 was winner of a Tar Heel Award, the highest honor presented by the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association.

Moon became an assistant principal at Kinston High in 2015 and two years later was named assistant principal at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, where he served until moving to Frink.

He earned a master of school administration degree from East Carolina University in 2015 and is a graduate of ECU’s Principal Fellows Program. He was awarded his Doctor of Education degree from ECU last May.

Photo caption:

Dr. Michael Moon, center, was surprised by the LCPS Prize Patrol at EB Frink Middle School on Monday when he was named LCPS 2023-2024 Principal of the Year. On hand for the announcement were, from left, Superintendent Brent Williams, Interim Finance Director Helen Hooker, Associate Superintendent Frances Herring, Dr. Moon, EB Frink Assistant Principal Sheila West, HR Director Pamela Heath and Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II.