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Anders named North Johnston Middle School principal

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KENLY ­— Heather Anders has been named principal at North Johnston Middle School. She succeeds Kenneth Sumler, who left to become Johnston County Public Schools site administrator for the Choice Plus program.

Anders, who comes to North Johnston Middle after serving as principal at Smithfield Middle since 2016, assumes her new job on July 1 and has already begun the gradual transition of moving into her new post.

Anders said the appointment represents a homecoming of sorts as she previously taught at North Johnston Middle School from 2001-10.

“I fondly remember my teaching days here,” said Anders. “I know this community has a commitment to excellence and I am looking forward to being a part of that again.”

Anders said some staff members who were teaching at the school before are still there.

She lives in Kenly, which is located in the North Johnston school district. Anders grew up in Selma and graduated from Smithfield-Selma High School in 1987.

She received a scholarship to Appalachian State University where she graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in middle-grades education.

Anders began her teaching career in 1992 and taught at Cleveland Elementary School and Norwayne Middle School before moving to North Johnston Middle in 2001.

She was named a national board-certified teacher in 2006 and earned her master’s degree in school administration from N.C. State University in 2010.

In 2010, Anders was named assistant principal at Smithfield Middle School and in 2016, she became principal there.

While at Smithfield Middle, she was named Johnston County Public Schools’ Assistant Principal of the Year in 2014 and the district’s Principal of the Year in 2018.

Altogether she has taught for 27 ½ years, all of which were spent in middle-grade education.

Anders said her outside interests and hobbies include watching sports, especially Duke basketball, reading, gardening and attending car shows with her husband, Lee.

She also enjoys watching “NCIS,” “Family Feud” and Hallmark Channel movies on television.

“I believe in teamwork,” said Anders.

She said one of her motivating principles is a quote attributed to former Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi that reads; “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of each individual.”

“I remember wanting to be a teacher beginning when I was in middle school and I used to play school with my sister even before that,” said Anders.“We have a great school here and I am very excited about working alongside each student and staff member.”