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District Names OCS Wells Fargo Principal of the Year

Page Highsmith with Bill Lanier, Dr. CJ Korenek, Dr. Beth Folger and Dr. Barry Collins

Onslow County Schools has named Page Highsmith, of Swansboro Elementary School, the 2022-2023 OCS Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.  

On October 11, surrounded by peers and family, Highsmith was surprised with the news in an instructional principals meeting by a group of district leaders.  

Highsmith is an educator of nearly 20 years and has been with OCS as an administrator since 2010. For the past 6 years, she has been leading the way at Swansboro Elementary, where her staff say she is a true asset to her community, as she works to encourage the best from each person in her school.  

“From day one, Ms. Highsmith has supported me as a teacher, made me feel a part of the SBES family, and continues to support me through my educational journey,” said first grade teacher Laura Battle. “Ms. Highsmith shows up every day with a positive attitude. She provides us with opportunities to work together to build relationships and has a positive impact on everyone she meets.” 

Page Highsmith and her family at the POY announcement  Page Highsmith

In her nomination letter, SBES Assistant Principal Beth Wilsey said, “All in all, Ms. Highsmith has made Swansboro Elementary a better place!  

“She is our sounding board when someone needs advice. When a teacher or staff member has a new idea on how to make a lesson or program work better, she gives the green light to do so. She makes us think outside the box to get the results we need.” 

A committee comprised of district staff members, last year’s principal of the year and last year’s teacher of the year interviewed Principal of the Year finalists before making a selection. The interviewers were extremely impressed with Highsmith’s emphasis on relationships, fostering a sense of community, and her focus on “people over programs.” 

Next, Highsmith will go on to compete at the regional level.