Top Workplaces

Why I love my job at Union Academy

By Celeste Smith

cesmith@charlotteobserver.com

Why I love my job at Union Academy

Why I love my job at Union Academy: Teachers Justin Frashier and Margaret Dalpe talk about why they enjoy coming to work everyday at this K-12 charter school in Union County. Video by Celeste Smith
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Why I love my job at Union Academy: Teachers Justin Frashier and Margaret Dalpe talk about why they enjoy coming to work everyday at this K-12 charter school in Union County. Video by Celeste Smith

What makes a Top Workplace? We asked people at our 50 Top Workplaces why they love their jobs. Margaret Dalpe and Justin Frashier respond for Union Academy charter school.

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At Union Academy, no one looks at Justin Frashier funny for his leg tattoo, the school’s “UA” red logo with a cardinal. “I’ve always been the black sheep at every school I’ve been to,” says Frashier, 40, fifth-grade social studies teacher and head football coach at Union Academy. “Here I’m allowed to be myself ... I don’t have to be a robot anymore, I can be who I am.” He’s starting his third year at the school, where he’s also been a kindergarten teacher.

That’s the tone high school English teacher Margaret Dalpe has felt all along. This is her fourth year at the K-12 school, which is a tuition-free public school that runs independently from a school district.

“We are a charter school, which gives us incredible freedom to do the most that we can do to bring out the strength and potential” of every student, says Dalpe, 62.

“In the years that I’ve been here, I have seen incredible creativity in all areas of sports and arts and academics. Students have the freedom and the desire to share.”

Celeste Smith

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