School: Cape Fear High School
School District: Cumberland County Schools
City, State: Fayetteville, NC
Vernon Spruill was nominated by his colleague, Rhonda Hill.
Mr. Spruill has inspired the Cape Fear Colts' Nation as he lives by his own hashtag, #coltprideneverstops. He's the youngest principal in the history of his district, and many people were waiting and watching to see how he would do his first year.
In the first few months on the job, there was a school shooting, and Mr. Spruill's quick actions kept students and staff safe until the shooter was found. This was the first heroic act that won his community's hearts and respect forever. Several years have passed, and Principal Spruill continues to touch the lives of students through his actions and daily efforts to make a difference.
He started Colts for Kids, a program that reaches out to elementary and middle school students in his district to help provide them with $5,000 of presents for Christmas. He takes the high school students shopping, and they purchase presents with donated funds for selected students from every elementary school and middle school in his district. This has been a giving and caring tradition that he started.
Mr. Spruill not only wants academic success, but lots of school spirit. He leads the crowds at ballgames and state playoff games. The school goes crazy when Principal Spruill walks into the games; they love his COLT Nation suits. He always knows what to wear! He lives his life in a way where he can provide the best for his students and community.
This past year, Principal Spruill has shown his strength, modeled an undefeatable attitude, and has let nothing bring him down. He has gone through heart surgeries and returned to work in October. He kept in touch with his staff and students through texts, phone calls, and brief videos. Mr. Spruill continued to promote his school, even through the toughest times of his life.
"We love Principal Spruill and are happy to see him back helping students, staff and our community. He's our friend, neighbor, and awesome principal who has shown us time and time again his #coltprideneverstops!"