Kristen Reynolds is no stranger to Pumpkin Center Primary, she taught second grade there for a decade. Three years ago, she left teaching to accept an assistance principal position at G.E. Massey Elementary School. She’s back to Pumpkin Center, but she’s wearing a different hat. Reynolds was recently appointed as principal of Pumpkin Center Primary, replacing Anita Robinson who recently retired.
A product of Lincoln County Schools, Reynolds graduated from Lincolnton High School in 2002, then attended Appalachian State University for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her first teaching position was in Davidson County while her husband was finishing school in that area.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher by the time I was in the eighth grade,” she said. “I spent some time helping children in a third world country and I knew that children were what I wanted to do.”
When the opportunity to move back to Lincoln County came available, the couple, who were high school sweethearts at Lincolnton High School, returned to their hometown and Reynolds started teaching at Pumpkin Center.
“K-2 is my love, my passion and my wheelhouse, it’s what I know and what I love,” she said. “We get this awesome opportunity of beginning the foundation for young learners. That’s a really big privilege to have and one that I find very important.”
Reynolds admits that it was difficult leaving G.E. Massey and Principal Kelly Withrow.
“There’s so much I learned from Kelly,” she said. “I think engaging community is something that we took on at Massey and it’s important to me here because Pumpkin Center sits in the middle of the county. We’re not near a lot of businesses like you are in the city or towards Denver. Engaging the broader community is something that I learned from Kelly. Plus, those relationships with families – I really enjoyed that at Massey and want to be a part of here.”
There’s been some staff changes at PCP, but Reynolds is already familiar with most of the teachers and staff.
“I hope, if this ends up being a non-COVID year, to have the parents come in and be a part more often,” she said. “We’ve got some great things planned between the primary and intermediate school. We’re excited about bringing some of that unity back. I hope that takes some pressure off families who have kids on both sides.”