Made In CMS

Jerri Haigler

North Mecklenburg High, Class of 1983

Growing up in a home with two CMS educators as parents, I was quickly introduced to the importance of education and the difference quality, passionate educators can make in a child’s life.

My dad was my elementary school principal from first through fifth grade at Long Creek Elementary, and I saw him truly immerse himself in students and families focusing on their academic needs but even more on building them up as strong citizens with character and values. Alongside my dad, my mom was doing the same thing at Huntersville Elementary. My life was shaped and molded by great teachers in CMS like Mrs. Burgess, Mrs. Harry, Mr. Barry, Mrs. May, Mrs. Rapp, Mr. Clayton, Coach Mizell.

But the teacher who encouraged and inspired me the most was Mrs. Jo Ann Cantrell, my senior English teacher at North Mecklenburg High School. Her classroom came alive for me as we explored the classics and dove deep into great literature. She encouraged me to develop my writing and speech presentation skills.

At her prompting, I entered a competition portraying Pip in Dickens’ “Great Expectations.” We traveled to several competitions across the state. I know my professional career journey in communications and my advocacy for quality education for all children was nurtured by Mrs. Cantrell. She was much more than just a senior English teacher. She was an encourager, cheerleader and tour guide during some of the most impressionable days of my life. Thank you, Mrs. Cantrell.

- Jerri Haigler