The CMS board voted to name the gymnasium at Harding University High School after its late principal, Eric T. Ward, who died unexpectedly in September after a stroke. He was 46 years old.
The gymnasium’s new name will be the Dr. Eric T. Ward Sr. Athletic Center.
The naming was advocated by parents, students and staff, the district said in a release.
“Dr. Ward was an inspiration and a mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of students in CMS,” Board Vice Chair Thelma Byers-Bailey said in the statement. “His energy, his enthusiasm, his desire to better himself and help his community – plus his legendary cheerleading and Ram pride at Harding pep rallies – all these things make naming the gym for him very appropriate.”
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Byers-Bailey called Ward “a unique and unforgettable educator.”
After excelling in track and field in high school, he won an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
After excelling in track and field in high school, Ward won an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
He earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration and a specialist degree from Gardner-Webb University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Wingate University. He was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
After he was hired by CMS, Ward became a math teacher (and a track and field coach) at Independence High He later became an assistant principal at West Mecklenburg High, then principal at Wilson Middle before returning to West Meck as principal. He also was principal of the Technology, Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing School at Olympic. In 2015, he became principal of Harding University High School.