Wake Ed

Raleigh principal and teacher finalists for top magnet school awards

The Wake County school system has finalists for both Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year from Magnet Schools of America, a national trade organization.

Felecia Locklear of Brooks Elementary School in Raleigh was named Magnet School of America’s Principal of the Year finalist for Region IV, which covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. She’s one of eight national finalists.

Sonya Drum, an art teacher at Washington Elementary School in Raleigh, was named MSA’s Region IV finalist for Teacher of the Year. She’s also one of eight finalists in the nation vying for the top award.

The winners of both national awards will be announced April 29 at Magnet Schools of America’s National Conference in Los Angeles. Also at that event, 12 Wake County magnet schools will be vying for the organization’s top awards.

This is the third year in a row that a Wake County magnet school principal was the Region IV finalist. Cheryl Fenner of Fuller Elementary School in Raleigh was honored in 2015 and Shane Barham was honored in 2016 when he was principal of Wendell Elementary School.

These annual awards recognize exemplary magnet school principals and teachers who maximize learning opportunities for all students through theme-based education, while also setting high expectations within their schools and communities.

Locklear began the museum-themed magnet program at Brooks 16 years ago. Before that, she was the assistant principal at Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary and music specialist at Bugg Elementary School in Raleigh.

Before coming to Wake, Locklear was a music teacher in two other North Carolina school districts.

Drum has taught visual arts at Washington for 16 years. She teaches a variety of different art forms from drawing and painting to sculpture, scenic design and creative computer art.