Haley Bullard grew up wanting to be a teacher. A rebellious phase — something many would argue is part of youth — nearly derailed that. In fact, once she graduated from UNC Charlotte, she entered a completely different field.
“I was in banking for about eight years,” Haley, who majored in English and minored in history as an undergrad, said. “I really needed to make a move.”
Now teaching English at the Community Learning Center at Pinckney, Haley is thrilled to be working in academics.
“This is my second year,” she said. “I love it. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
A good part of the appeal is helping students tackle various challenges.
“Every day is something different,” Haley, who got used to regular change as part of a military family, said.
A resident of the area for about 18 years, Haley, her husband and the family cats live in Lee County.
“We got married in 2021,” she said.
Located in Carthage, the Community Learning Center at Pinckney provides students with a diverse learning setting tailored to their academic, social and emotional needs. The alternative school is founded on the idea all students can be successful learners.
“It’s just like a regular school, but it’s a smaller environment,” Haley said. “There’s more one-on-one learning.”
Part of the Moore County district, the Community Learning Center at Pinckney was initially limited to high school students. Starting in the 2009-10 academic year, a middle school was added. The school’s principal is Dr. Kenna Wilson.
A lot of people say teachers don’t get the credit they deserve. Haley didn’t disagree with that position, certainly when discussing prior eras.
“There’s been a misconception. There’s a lot of off-the-clock work involved,” she said. “I think, though, the tide is changing.”
As far as improving her own performance, Haley makes a consistent effort to relate to students. She believes the approach increases the level of interest in the classroom.
“They’re invested, and they care about what they read,” she said. “I’ve had multiple students tell me they love my class.”
Away from school, Haley unwinds by partaking in a number of activities.
“Mostly, I bake a whole lot,” she said. “I also crochet and quilt. And I’m always a fan of a nature walk.”
An avid reader, Haley prefers a specific setting for getting immersed in a book.
“I like a nice coffee shop where I can sit for a while,” she said.
If you have a teacher you would like to nominate to be showcased in this series, please email [email protected].
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel reporter Dave Lukow.