Shepard's dream lives for 'tweens
NCCU alums carry Shepard legacy at local middle school
Published: Monday, November 9, 2009
Updated: Monday, November 9, 2009 14:11
It's not just our library that bears the name of N.C. Central University founder James E. Shepard.
There's also a nearby middle school that carries his name.
At James E. Shepard Middle School, students are taught about Shepard throughout the school year.
And at the end of the year they have a Shepard celebration.
About half the teachers who work at the magnet school graduated from NCCU, which goes to show that "Eagles flock together."
Seventh grade humanities teacher Roland McDaniel, an NCCU alumnus, coaches basketball, football and track at Shepard Middle.
"I believe it is an ongoing dream that has instilled a sense of success to young men and women," he said.
"Dr. Shepard's dream will never stop growing and never be fulfilled but will continue to grow."
Located at 2401 Dakota Street the school is just a few blocks from N.C. Central University. It was built in 1963.
Shepard Middle currently has 413 students. Of these 85 percent are African American, 7 percent are Hispanic and 5 percent are white.
The school offers students a variety of programs and opportunities.
"One year the students had a chance to meet John Hope Franklin, where they presented him with their biographies that they had written for an assignment in class," said Ericka Boone, the school's assistant principal and a 1994 NCCU alumna.
"The students seemed very excited to see the person they had written about in person."
Shepard Middle has a strong relationship with NCCU, Boone said. "Some of the law students from NCCU come over and assist students with basic laws, and speeches," she said.
The school also has a mock courthouse where students hold trials on court cases that took place in the past, or they make up their own.
NCCU also offers student mentors who come over to the middle school and spend one-on-one time with students.
"I think Dr. Shepard would be proud of the students and the program that we offer to students and would like to see both NCCU and Shepard to become top-notch schools," said the school's principal, James Ingram.