Brandon Locklear was nominated by Ruth Herbert, his colleague.
"Mr. Locklear promotes academics in many unique ways and is well-respected by all our students. I can honestly say that under his tutelage, many students have successfully received their diplomas and moved on to trade schools, community colleges, and universities," said Herbert. "He is well-rounded in academics, athleticism, and psychology, and he's always there to help anyone who needs motivation."
The local area has a large tribal community, and Mr. Locklear has created and run many academic institutions for his Lumbee Tribal members. Their test scores and graduation levels were extremely low before he began working as a counselor at Hoke. Through being patient and running various psychological and academic seminars, he has brought Native American scores up.
He is also a fantastic wrestling coach. He worked under another coach for 20-plus years and was one of his wrestlers during his years at Hoke. This coach's dream was to create a woman's wrestling team and begin competing in North Carolina. Sadly, Mr. Locklear lost his best friend and coach for wrestling and life due to COVID in 2020. In honor of this great man, Mr. Locklear began working to build the biggest and best wrestling program that Hoke has ever seen. Today, Hoke has a large population of both girls and boys participating in wrestling. He checks his wrestlers' grades and has a set of teachers and parents who tutor any athletes falling behind in their classes.
"A final part of why I feel that Brandon Locklear is such a LifeChanger is that he figured out a way to use the ASVAB military test (Pearson test) to mirror the ACT (also Pearson)," said Herbert. "Junior students are given the ASVAB at the beginning of the year, and their scores are 'read' by a civilian. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program discovers each student's abilities and connects their personalities to their abilities. The program provides scholarship opportunities and a list of schools with various majors. The ASVAB can also be used to join the military. Most importantly, this test shows students what areas may need practice before they take the ACT in March. Because of Brandon's natural ability to lead students in a positive way, we had over 300 students sign up for this test."
"There are no words to express how many ways Brandon helps our students as a counselor. Is it the 28 million in scholarships received, the guidance toward trade schools within our school, or the determination to work out physically and compete on the mat? There's not just one way that anyone can impact a whole school community, so Brandon is multifaceted in a way to help so many," explains Herbert.