Leslie Paynter is the founding Managing Director of Alamance Community School. She has over eleven years experience as a school administrator and previous experience in starting and opening charter schools. Leslie has a BA in Elementary Education (K-6), an M.Ed. in Special Education (K-12) from UNC-Charlotte and an Education Administration and Supervision add-on license from North Carolina Central University. In her thirty years as an educator, she has been a regular classroom teacher, a special education teacher, an EC facilitator, a founding board member of a charter school, and a school administrator.
Fifteen years ago, Leslie was introduced to Responsive Classroom and read the book, Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney Charney. As a special educator and a behaviorist, this was life changing for her, not only as an educator, but also as a parent. Therefore, her philosophy of behavior management and education significantly shifted to a more constructivist approach. She began to focus on student questions and interests, teaching students to care for themselves, each other, and their environment, building on their prior knowledge, and having students work collaboratively. In the world of high stakes testing, as an administrator and an educator, Leslie believes that our students' social-emotional health is just as important as their academic health. She knows that student achievement increases when her students feel safe and valued.
In the spring of 2021, ten finalists were selected for the Charter One North Carolina Charter Schools Principal of the Year. Out of the 201 North Carolina Charter School leaders across the state, Managing Director/Principal Leslie Hall Paynter was one of the ten finalists. Leslie considered this a great honor and was humbled to be selected.
This year, Leslie and her husband celebrated their 30th anniversary! They have two sons that are ECU Pirates. Her eldest son, Sam, graduated from East Carolina University in 2018 and is a local realtor with Berkshire Hathaway in Durham. Her youngest son, John, graduated from ECU in May with a degree in Finance and is getting his MBA. Leslie is also a former voice major and loves all kinds of music from bluegrass to opera. She is thankful that both of her boys sing well, since singing off key is one of her “pet peeves”.
Leslie is thrilled to be the Managing Director of Alamance Community School and knows that we are truly creating and building something wonderful that will have a long-lasting positive impact for our students and our community. One of her favorite quotes is by Sir Winston Churchill. He said, “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."