Parent-teacher groups from three Wake County high schools are setting up a scholarship in memory of James Hedrick, the Athens Drive High School principal who died unexpectedly Aug. 2.
Wake students who will graduate in 2017 and are interested in athletics or coaching can apply for the scholarship funds.
Hedrick, 62, played football at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and coached football at George Washington High School, his alma mater, in Danville, Va., according to his obituary.
The PTA groups at Athens Drive High in West Raleigh and Green Hope and Panther Creek high schools in Cary worked together to create the scholarship, said Sarah Martin, president of the Panther Creek PTA.
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Hedrick served as principal of Green Hope High School for nine years until he moved to Athens Drive in 2014. Hedrick’s wife, Camille Holmes Hedrick, is principal at Panther Creek.
“There’s just so many families, so many students, so many teachers that have been touched by his legacy, that it feels good to do something to honor his memory,” Martin said.
Hedrick earned a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and went on to earn a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech.
“From that point forward, he insisted on being call ‘doctor’ at every opportunity,” his obituary said.
Hedrick worked as an educator in Virginia for 18 years and was a high school administrator in Winchester, Va., before he and his wife came to Wake County in 2005.
Hedrick died “while out jogging in a last ditch effort to fend off mortality,” his obituary said.
The Wake County PTA Council Board of Directors is handling the scholarship, said Hardin Engelhardt, the group’s president. It’s unclear if the scholarship will be recurring.
The Hedrick family and council will work together to create the scholarship’s criteria and form a selection committee later this year, she said.
The council has distributed grant money in the past, and Engelhardt said Hedrick’s work as an administrator and mentor to other teachers fits in well with the group’s mission.
“Some of our advocacy efforts focus on future recruitment and ensuring a strong pipeline of teachers,” she said.
To donate to the scholarship, send checks payable to the Wake County PTA Council. The checks should be mailed to the Wake PTA Council at Crossroads II Office Building, 110 Corning Road, Cary, NC, 27518.
“Hedrick Scholarship Fund” should be written in the memo section of the check.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi