Mint Hill's Bain Elementary School has a new principal. When school starts on Aug. 25, Mike Drye, 41, will welcome about 90 teachers and other staff members as well as about 1,050 kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
Drye, who has worked as a teacher and principal in Union County for the past 18 years, says he's both excited and humbled about his new job at Bain.
“I feel a large sense of stewardship. This is a high-achieving school in a community with very deep roots and a lot of pride. I'm excited about the energy that I'm getting from the community and the teachers. That energy, when channeled, can do powerful things. I can already tell that people love being here,” said Drye.
He grew up in Union County and attended Marshville Elementary, East Union Middle and Forest Hills High.
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Drye says his call to education came early.
“I loved history, and I had some astounding teachers growing up. I also loved football and I looked at my teachers and coaches and thought, ‘This is a pretty good life,' ” Drye said.
He started his college career at Wingate and finished at Appalachian State University, where he met his future wife, Brenda, in a history class. She now teaches at Forest Hills High School, and the two have four children ages 16, 15, 12 and 10.
After college graduation, he taught middle school and high school social studies for a few years before being accepted into the Principal Fellows program, which helped pay for his principal certification.
Since then, he's worked on elementary, middle and high school levels and says he loves them all.
As a history major, he's particularly excited to be at a school that dates back more than 100 years, in a community that's more than twice that old.
Though leaving Union County was a tough decision, he says he already feels at home at Bain.
Said Drye, “This was an opportunity too good to pass up. Bain is a great school we want to see grow to even greater heights. We can only accomplish that by working together. With our staff and our parents and kids, the sky's the limit.”