Best Elementary School Principal

Meet Burt Batten, voted Best Elementary School Principal in a brand-new Maggy category this year! He’s been leading the team at Laurel Park Elementary in Apex since 2010. But here’s what we want to know: As a grad of N.C. State, Wake Forest University and UNC-Chapel Hill, which color does he wear on game day?

Red, Batten reports, since childhood. Here’s more:

Favorite school menu item: A tie between Cheese Dippers and chicken nuggets.

Best part of the job: “Without a doubt, the excitement and genuine love of learning that young students demonstrate. When kids gain the confidence that comes with learning to read, solving a math problem, or observing something new in science, it is like they have gained a new superpower and the smile on their face is wonderful to see.”

Most important thing children learn in elementary school: “It is most important that young students learn how to persevere and work through challenges. Learning to read, solve word problems, or write well can take a lot more patience, willingness to accept setbacks and adversity than what kids expect. It’s way more complex than playing a video game!”

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