By Carl Blankenship
EAST SPENCER – Latisha Feamster spent seven years in human resources before she made the jump to education.
She began teaching a class at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and found her way into education teaching as a substitute, a classroom teacher as well as adjunct at Rowan-Cabarrus and Catawba College. Then, she found her way to Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School. She has also taught conversational English abroad.
Feamster came on board as an executive assistant when the school began in 2018. But Essie Mae Board Chair Tina Fox-Wallace said the leadership qualities in Feamster were evident from the beginning. Feamster was promoted to director of operations, and took over as principal on Aug. 1, replacing former principal James Fisher, who served in the role for the 2019-2020 school year.
Feamster said the foundation of the school is building relationships with the parents and the students.
“Knowing that they’re not just the number and knowing that and knowing that you’re going to have that relationship, that helps build the foundation of education.” Feamster said.
Feamster lives in Davie County, though she has family in Rowan County and has spent time here since she was a child.
Feamster’s vision for the school is to focus on academics that meet the needs of each child, learning theory, application, social emotional components, positive reinforcement and means of instruction such as audio, kinesthetic and project-based learning.
Feamster said she initially thought she would stay in the corporate world after finishing her master’s of business administration degree from Gardner-Webb University.
“But I had a taste of education when I was at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College,” Feamster said.
At RCCC, she taught business, GED courses and worked with K-12 students. Feamster said she has been blessed for a career in education to turn into a reality.
Like many educators, her favorite thing is seeing learners have “a-ha moments,” where a proverbial light bulb turns on and students grasp a concept.
She said her business experience is a positive. When she first entered the school, she was managing human resources and business affairs. Now, she still handles some business pieces along with her duties as an administrator.
Feamster said the school is building clubs and sports programs to help make students well rounded, and that is what the school does well. It has taken students to Catawba College and Livingstone College to see the programs at those institutions and exposes students to a variety of experiences.