Amber Autry and Sarah Grace, CFNN Reporters
Brian Edkins is the new principal of Cape Fear High School. Edkins began his new job as the principal on August 1st. Prior to becoming our principal, he was the principal of South View High School and of Scotland High School.
Edkins is married and is the father of three sons: Caleb (21), Hunter (18), and Landon (8). “They are my life,” said Edkins.
When the principal position opened up at Cape Fear, Edkins felt that he could not let the opportunity pass him by. He said that he believes Cape Fear is the marquee school of North Carolina, which led him to apply for the job.
Edkins believes that Cape Fear is the marquee school of our state for many reasons. His reason is because of how supportive the community is and how our atmosphere is very family-like. Another reason is because we are so well rounded, according to Mr. Edkins.
He believes that Cape Fear has the strongest “4A’s” in the state. The first A stands for academics, which he says is the most important. The other three As stand for athletics, academies, and the arts.
“The family atmosphere here really just sealed the deal,” Edkins said.
The Cape Fear community was something that he just wanted to be a part of.
Edkins believes that the first few months have been awesome and very busy.
“I had the opportunity to get here on August first,” said Edkins. “I’ve gotten to meet some great teachers, some great faculty members, and students in the community.”
Because Cape Fear is surrounded by such a supportive community, Edkins has been taking the time during his first two months here to attend events and meet people, which has kept him quite busy.
“I am just absolutely loving it,” said Edkins.
Despite the sense of community and camaraderie he has felt at Cape Fear, Edkins misses the people he met in Scotland County. He formed strong relationships in that community, despite only being there for two years.
Edkins said that the hardest part about his transition to Cape Fear was starting so late in the year. His start date was August first.
Edkins favorite part about being the principal at Cape Fear is the sense of pride in this school and within the community. He thinks of the Cape Fear community as one big family.
Mr. Edkins thanks the students for being so welcoming as he has begun his new job as the principal of our school.
“I think having 26 years of educational experience has prepared me for Cape Fear,” said Edkins. “Cape Fear is a unique job for me.” Academically we exceeded growth and we were labeled a “B” school, so we don’t have to tear down the foundation and start over, we need to continue to build on the great traditions and expectations.”
In assemblies and class meetings, Mr. Edkins has started a unique chant with students and teachers. He calls it “two claps, a Ric Flair, and a Kool-Aid man.” Students cheerfully engage in the activity every time he asks for it.
“As a former coach, I am always looking at ways to unite and motivate,” said Edkind “I wanted to do something at the end of meetings where teachers or students would leave excited.”
Mr. Edkins had the opportunity to meet Ric Flair several years ago at a celebrity golf tournament. As they talked, they realized that they both shared a friend who actually coached Ric’s son in wrestling.
“I really enjoyed his humility, and talking with him and I became a fan,” said Edkins. “After this, he decided to do two claps and a Ric Flair to excite his students and teachers at the end of meetings.
The Kool-Aid man at the end of the motivating chant came along later, after an athletic team at Scotland High won an important game.
“They won a big game and made a video with them doing a Ric Flair and ended with an Oh Yeah,” said Edkins. “I loved it, was flattered by it, and stole it!”
Cape Fear’s students and teachers have seemed to enjoy the chant. When a large number of people are gathered and say it altogether, it sounds pretty awesome.
Mr. Edkins informed us of a crossroads he faced in his life: the death of his mother when he was a senior in high school. He described himself as not being the best student, and his mother always tried to encourage him to work to his fullest potential. After her death, he says that he felt a little guilty for not working hard enough.
“From that day on, I worked as hard as I could, as a student in high school, undergraduate school, and graduate school, as well as in my career to make her proud, ” said Edkins. “Although it was tragic, it was a wake up call that pushed me to be successful.”
Having an athletic background and being a former athlete is another thing that has defined Mr. Edkins’ character.
“I think my athletic background has instilled many great characteristics in me and in my leadership,” said Edkins. “It made me realize that to be successful you have to be a positive team member.”
Edkins played soccer in high school and college. He played goalie, a position that requires a lot of leadership. He described this position as being like a coach on the field.
Mr. Edkins uses these skills to help motivate our students and teachers.
Edkins has served as a teacher, coach, safe schools coordinator, assistant principal, and athletic director. On top of that, he has been a principal for twelve years.
One of the first important actions Edkins took occurred during the second week of school; he held a mock graduation for Taylor Blackmon, senior here at Cape Fear.
Blackmon’s father was not expected to live to see her graduate because he suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. However, it was important to Taylor and her family to give her father the opportunity to see his daughter walk across the stage and turn her tassel. Edkins agreed and set up the graduation.
“On the personal side, it meant a lot to me because my senior year, my mother passed away and she never got to see me graduate,” said Edkins.
It was important to him that he offered Taylor’s family this opportunity and he wanted to make it as special as he could.
“When I went to numerous people to help, each and every person stepped up and was willing to do anything needed to make it a special event,” said Edkins.
He enjoyed seeing our community come together to make this mock graduation a success.
“It really was the first time the Cape Fear Community showed me the family attitude and love that I have always heard about,” said Edkins.
We are so excited to welcome Mr. Edkins to our school and community. He has done an outstanding job thus far and we cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Mr. Edkins is very excited to be the principal of Cape Fear High School and he is excited to be apart of such a tight-knit and supportive community that has an endless amount of pride in its school.