LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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McShell Edmonds

Position: Freshman Principal
School: Vance County High School
School District: Vance County Schools
City, State: Henderson, NC

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McShell Edmonds was nominated by an anonymous colleague. 

"I have known Ms. Edmonds for over nine years, and I have had the privilege of working with her," explains her colleague. "She is one of the most dedicated educators I have ever met in my twenty years as a teacher."

Ms. Edmonds is a very caring leader who is protective of staff and students; she is the perfect balance of firmness and compassion. Although a strong disciplinarian, students and staff know that she disciplines from the heart and has a real love for children and the teaching profession. Ms. Edmonds listens to students and always does what is best for them. 

It is rare for Ms. Edmonds to take a day off of work. She has shown up to work sick and has had to be sent home by the principal, who once had to drive slowly behind her to ensure that she got home safely. Ms. Edmonds is one of the first people in the school building in the mornings and one of the last to leave in the evenings and often at night. She is available to students on weekends and at night as they often reach out to her about school issues knowing she is available. When a student contacted her while she was at a wedding on a Saturday, she stepped out to speak with the student. Her dedication is unmatched! As a true educator, she believes in equity and is the first to ensure that teachers have everything they need to function effectively in their jobs. She is an advocate for teachers and students alike. 

"'Firm but fair.' 'Strong and with a kind heart.' These are some of the sentiments that I have heard expressed in regard to Ms. Edmonds as an administrator in our school," said the colleague. "She has been in charge of the Exceptional Children's Department for several years and has been a constant voice for the voiceless. She is a champion for the marginalized and has dedicated 27 years to serving children of poverty in the community where she has taught for her entire career."

Henderson is a challenging community with a high level of underserved families. Every year there is a high turnover of teachers who migrate to higher-paying districts. However, Ms. Edmonds has stayed the course, continuing to fight for children who need a champion. That's exactly what she is to them. Ms. Edmonds is also the first to celebrate teachers, to boost morale when it is low. She worked hard, regularly encouraging teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She did giveaways and lunches for teachers' week, giving out surprises to keep morale high.

"Ms. Edmonds makes our school a place of joy," said her colleague. "Every child deserves a true LifeChanger, someone who will stay the course when the going gets tough, someone they can depend on, a constant in a world of change. Every school needs its own Ms. Edmonds. I am proud and excited to nominate Ms. Mcshell Edmonds for the LifeChanger of the Year award! She is as close as we will ever get to a real-life superhero for our children of poverty as they try to find their way in this big, crazy, beautiful world."

Comments (20)

Joyce Hunt Posted over a year ago

McShell Edmonds is an excellent candidate for the 2022-2023 National LifeChanger of the Year Award. She epitomizes the core values of excellence, positive influence, and leadership by creating a supportive and nurturing environment for her students and fellow colleagues. McShell's desire to always advocate for the academic and personal success of her students has cultivated into a golden standard of trust, dependability, and support.

KAREN SUAREZ Posted over a year ago

I have had the privilege to know ms. Edmonds 2 years ago. Adapting to a new life as an international teacher is not easy, but Ms. Edmonds made it easier for me. Besides being a professional, she is also a wonderful person. Her nomination is so well deserved, and I am so proud of her.

Brioney Robinson-Mills Posted over a year ago

I am an International Teacher at Vance County High School ,and I can speak to the fact of the amazing Job she has been doing at our school.She has been one of our main source of support and she works along with us making sure that all our needs are met .Both kids and teachers love her !!.She is really a life changer and sets the pace for women across the US to recognize that they too can make a change no matter which level they are in the work force ,but that they too have a voice which needs to be heard to create the change necessary to help our kids and support them in their overall growth and development.Congratulations !! Miss Edmonds keep bringing light when all around us darkness seems to encamp around us ,but your voice ,your energy tells us that we can make it .Keep doing you !!

Jamie McClain Posted over a year ago

We are so proud of you Ms Edmonds. You are a joy and inspiration to others. We admire your relentless pursuit of educational excellence for our students. You are always wiling to help others with a smile. You deserve this recognition and more. Thank you for all you do!

Ashley Boone-Roach Posted over a year ago

Leader~Visionary~Fair It has been my pleasure to work with Principal Edmonds. As a new teacher, she took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. I started my career by working in the Exceptional Children's department. When I first came to Vance County High school, Ms. Edmonds was the principal of the EC department. Not only did she lead this department through her expertise, but by example. She was an instrumental advocate for these children and their families. Ms. Edmonds truly left a great impact on the team, VCHS as a whole, and the community. It is an honor to call her my mentor and leader. Congratulations on your nomination, you truly deserve it!

Kathy Taylor Posted over a year ago

It has truly been a pleasure to collaborate and work closely with this dynamic and powerful woman with a heart for students. Ms. Edmonds models and exudes an invaluable presence during her working relationships with students, colleagues, parents and outside agency personnel. Her firm hand continues to guide and assist while empowering students. Her active ears actively listen and re-direct students accordingly. She is deserving of this recommendation and honor.

Amy R. Simpson Posted over a year ago

Special, Special Congratulations: Ms. Edmonds, I am very proud of your most deserving accomplishment of this achievement. VCS is so bless to have you as an employee not to mention to be apart of VCHS. I am so grateful to have you as an administrator I have learned so much about how to become a better teacher through your leadership and guidance. Way to Goooo!! ... Sky is the limit with you as an educator : )

Worrel Thomas Posted over a year ago

Thank you for being a one of a kind Principal who leads, inspires, encourages teachers and students to give of their best. I have learned a lot from you. Congratulations on your well deserved nomination.

Patricia Richardson Posted over a year ago

Thank you Ms. Edmonds for being a great mentor, advisor, and support person for me. I admire your hard work and dedication. I am greatly appreciative of you, please continue to work hard and support our students being successful. You do an amazing job!

Jacqueline Lyles Kersy Posted over a year ago

I began my teaching career in VCS 18 years ago as a lateral entry teacher with NO classroom experience. Ms Edmonds was still in the classroom, but she encouraged me daily and was always willing to help me or my students in those first three years. Although I left VCS, I have followed her career, and she now has my nieces and nephews at the high school. The kids love her. The parents respect her, but most of, the education community needs her, Congratulations on your well deserved nomination.

Barbara Spencer Downey Posted over a year ago

I'm so proud of you. Not only smart,caring and beautiful.

Valerie Fields Posted over a year ago

A beautiful down to earth person inside and out, one of Oxford finest congratulations on your accomplishment

Chermella Posted over a year ago

As a former student of Ms.Edmonds , I can truly attest that she is dedicated to the students under her care. I wish that every school could have the opportunity to experience a person like her. Ms.Edmonds has definitely earned this recognition !

AndreHargrove Posted over a year ago

I am a School Resource at Vance County High School and I want to congratulate Ms. Edmonds on her accomplishments .She takes pride in her job and her students . She is truly a pleasure to work with . Deputy A.L Hargrove .

Devus Antonio Wiggins Posted over a year ago


Deissy Natalia Córdoba Posted over a year ago

I am an international teacher in VCHS since last year, and I must say that Ms. Edmonds has been a greatest support and inspiration for me as a professional. The quality of her work is outstanding; she always has the best words, the best piece of advice, the best energy. I feel honor to be able to work with such a great professional. I love her smile and how passionate she is about what she does. Ms Edmonds deserves the best because she is always giving her best. She is definitely a like change and true hero! I will support her however I can :)

Joannie Aldridge Posted over a year ago

Thank you Ms. Edmonds for all you do for us and the students. We are so blessed to have you.

Deris Mora Posted over a year ago

This nomination is very well deserved! I have been a 18 year witness of Ms. Edmons superior commitment to serving the VCS students and families as an educator and now in her role as an assistant principal. Ms. Edmons passion and dedication to the school community she serves and advocate for is truly amazing. Best wishes, Ms. Edmons!

Brian Green Posted over a year ago

Every school should have a Ms.Edmonds.

Angela Cusaac Posted over a year ago

We are so proud of your Ms. Edmonds! The work that you are doing to prepare our scholars for a future of great things is evident. Thanks for your committment to the academic and social success of all students! We are rooting you on.