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Harding University
High School
2001 Alleghany Street
Charlotte, NC 28208
Courier #: 405
P: 980-343-6007  |  F: 980-343-1767 
Principal: Sheila Y. Ijames
LC: Northwest
Bell Schedule: 7:15 AM - 2:15 PM
Grades: 9-12
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Dr. Eric T. Ward Sr. Athletic Center

On November 9th, 2021 The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted to name the gymnasium at Harding University High School the Dr. Eric T. Ward Sr. Athletic Center.

The naming was advocated by parents, students and staff to honor Dr. Ward, who died unexpectedly after a stroke in September. He was 46.

Eric Ward2.jpg"Dr. Ward was an inspiration and a mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of students in CMS," said Board Vice Chair Thelma Byers-Bailey, who introduced the motion to name the Harding gym. "His energy, his enthusiasm, his desire to better himself and help his community – plus his legendary cheerleading and Ram pride at Harding pep rallies – all these things make naming the gym for him very appropriate. Dr. Ward was a unique and unforgettable educator and this naming will help keep his legacy alive in CMS."

Dr. Ward was a native of Whiteville, N.C. After excelling in track and field in high school, he won an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

After graduation, Dr. Ward became a math teacher – and a track and field coach – at Independence High, where he coached teams and individual students to championships. He later became an assistant principal at West Mecklenburg High, then principal at Wilson Middle before returning to West Meck as principal. He also was principal of the Technology, Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing School at Olympic. In 2015, he became principal of Harding University High School.

Dr. Ward continued his own education while furthering that of others. He earned a master's degree in secondary school administration and a specialist degree from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. and a doctorate in educational leadership from Wingate University in Wingate, N.C. He was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

"Dr. Ward was the embodiment that education is the path to success in life," said Superintendent Earnest Winston. "He never stopped learning, and he never stopped teaching others. He was a huge asset to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. I am glad that his name will be on the gym at Harding, where he did some of his greatest work as an educator and a leader."

In Memoriam of Dr. Eric Ward

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P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.