Nicholas Gathings, West Charlotte class of ’06, wants to pay it forward

About this series: As West Charlotte High School prepares for Lion Pride Day to commemorate its historic campus, we asked alumni to share some of their best high school memories.

My story as a Lion actually began as a Vance Cougar in 2003. I was there for about two years before transferring to West Charlotte to finish out my sophomore, junior and senior years.

I was apprehensive about entering a new school. I’d heard rumors about West Charlotte that were just plain ugly.

The truth is, when I arrived at WC, I felt like it was a school that I had attended all my life. I met a lot of my friends there — some I keep in touch with to this day, others I have lost all contact with.

I can’t really describe the feeling of Lion Pride, but when it gets you…it gets you good!

I remember being in 12th grade English with Mr. Yost, re-enacting Shakespeare, and we even went to see “Macbeth” at Ovens Auditorium.

I remember the sadness I felt when I learned that principal John Modest passed away years after I graduated.

I remember graduating in that maroon and gold, class of 2006!

Now, I have since graduated from UNC Charlotte with an undergraduate in elementary education and a masters in reading education. I am currently working on my Ph.D. in urban literacy, so that I can help students succeed, just like the faculty and staff at WC helped me succeed.

Editor’s note: Email your West Charlotte memories and photos to

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