Made In CMS

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CMS Alumni Stories

To highlight and celebrate the impact of educators in our community, we’ve invited CMS alumni to share memories of their favorite teachers or what they most appreciated about their school experience. Browse their stories below.

If you are a CMS graduate and would like to share your story, email

Richard Vinroot

“You’ve asked me to talk about an event during my twelve years in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools that is memorable and involves teachers or principals that I admire.”

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Lisa Stockton Howell

“My name is Lisa Stockton Howell and my story is about my third grade teacher at Dilworth Elementary School in 1966.”

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Kit Rea

“Hi, this is Kit Rea the principal at Vance High School.”

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Linda Foard Roberts

“n the 11th grade at Myers Park High School, Byron Baldwin taught us to see–not only the world around us but ourselves more clearly.”

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Maureen O’Boyle

“It is amazing the difference one person can make during those awkward high school years.”

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Ana Crambes Sistare

“That’s me, Ana Crambes Sistare, in the second grade at Windsor Park Elementary and cheering for the Eagles of East Mecklenburg High School in the early 1980s.”

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Jerri Haigler

“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.”

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Sonja Gantt

“When I look back, it’s not hard to see how many of the lessons I learned in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools really shaped me.”

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Dawn Hand

“My formative education was in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since first grade.”

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Mebane Rash

“Hi, my name is Mebane Rash and the most important thing about me is that I’m a public school kid.”

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Zerrick Bynum

“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.”

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Jane McIntyre Barghothi

“Margaret Claiborne was my 4th grade teacher at First Ward Elementary.”

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Doug Smith

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools set me up for success.”

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Tracey Hayes

“Hello. My name is Tracey Hayes, and I’m a proud graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”

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Donald Cureton, Jr.

“Hello, I am Donald Cureton, Jr., a District Court judge from Mecklenburg County and I am a proud alum of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.”

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Brandon Neal

“My name is Brandon Neal and I am proud to be a graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”

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Dahleesia Oates Johnson

“I am Dahlessia Oates Johnson, a third grade teacher at Sterling Elementary School and a proud product of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system.”

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in your words

cms voices & stories

Public funding alone is not sufficient to provide our students and teachers the opportunities they need and deserve. 

covid-19 yearbook

Read more about how our dedicated CMS teachers and students conquered many different types of pandemic challenges in pursuit of education.

teacher talks

When teachers talk, we listen. Watch CMS teachers deliver a variety of life lessons right alongside school lessons in this TED Talk-style lecture series.

made in cms

Hear first-person stories from members of the Charlotte community about their favorite experiences growing up in the CMS school system.

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Visit our digital newsroom to stay up-to-date on the latest events, fundraising priorities, program updates, ways the community can get involved, and more.

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