When she walked the halls of Union Elementary School as a student, Kellie Dellinger had no idea that she’d one day be returning to the school as its principal. While she’s been at Union since February as the acting principal, Dellinger was promoted to the position in June. Previous to that she was at North Brook Elementary as assistant principal.
“As a child and a student you look up to the principal,” she said. “It’s a delight and an honor to be serving here in the community in which I live. My son will be coming to school here this year as a kindergartener.”
While there have been updates and additions to the school building since Dellinger was a student at Union, there are things about the school that haven’t changed.
“It’s definitely the same family atmosphere as when I went to school here,” she said. “My two older brothers went through Union and my mother worked as a teacher’s assistant while I was here. The culture hasn’t changed of having the student being the top priority.”
Dellinger’s goals this year are to continue the sense of community at the school, foster student growth and safety, keeping students engaged and having an innovative learning style. The theme this year, which is associated with Dellinger having gone to school at Union, is “plant your roots, find your wings, chase your dreams.”
After she graduated from West Lincoln High School in 2005, Dellinger attended Appalachian State University and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She did her student teaching at Norris S. Childers Elementary. She was then hired as a teacher at Lincoln Charter School and worked there for a few years both as a teacher and as a member of administrative staff. She returned to Childers as a teacher and has been with the Lincoln County Schools District ever since.
For the past few weeks, Dellinger has been meeting with staff at Union to prepare for the upcoming school year. To help with growth, she’s been forming intervention teams and enrichment groups to help the students be successful.
“As a child I was inspired to be a teacher,” Dellinger said. “I’d play teacher all the time. Education has always been a passion of mine. I’ve always wanted to give back to the community and to help kids the person they want to be.”