Made In CMS

Zerrick Bynum

Myers Park High/NCSSM, Class of 1988

Hello, my name is Zerrick Bynum. I am the founder of ShopOff, your local shopping app, and I was raised in the Hidden Valley community of Charlotte, and I am truly a product of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system.

I attended Myers Park Traditional School then Northeast Junior High and Myers Park High School for 10th grade before going to the North Carolina School of Science and Math in the 11th and 12th grade. From there, I ventured on to Stanford University where I majored in Electrical Engineering and subsequently got my Master of Business Administration, MBA, from Harvard Business School. 

So, I just wanted to share with you some thoughts today on Mrs. Lucille Uzzell, one of my two favorite teachers growing up.  Mrs. Uzzell was my 4th grade teacher at Myers Park Traditional School.  And the words I would use to describe her are ‘stern’ and ‘demanding, ’eminently fair.’ Looking back I think, in many ways, she helped set me on a trajectory in life that culminated in Stanford and Harvard. And it’s interesting because for the longest of times I said that the School of Science and Math was what kind of set me on a different trajectory, but looking back I really think that it was Mrs. Uzzell, along with my parents, of course. But one of the people who had the greatest impact on my life in that regard. She was, like I say, very stern and demanding, but eminently fair. She’d push her students. And I think that was coming from a place of truly loving and caring for her students.

I was in her 4th grade in the years of 1980-1981 but around year 2003 I was able to go and visit her with my niece. I just wanted to see her, see Mrs. Uzzell, see how she was doing and she was doing well at the time - I think still playing tennis. I wanted to tell her thank you in person for all she’d done for me and finally to show her who and what she had helped to create.

Looking back now and you think about schools and race and teachers, etc., I just want to say I don't think it matters the race of the teacher.  What’s most important is that the teacher be stern and demanding but fair as evidenced by Mrs. Uzzell.  That is what is most important, and I think that we should always keep that in the forefront.

- Zerrick Bynum