North Carolina High School Athletic Association


Chapel Hill, N.C. – Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in the Triangle, in conjunction with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), has selected James Battle from Hunt High School in Wilson, N.C., Latoia Valentine of Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, N.C., and Stephen Larkins from Knightdale High School in Knightdale, N.C., as the recipients of the Moe’s Hometown Hero awards for the month of March.

The Moe’s Hometown Hero program offers a platform through which school administrators and personnel, parents, students, and school community members can nominate deserving individuals for special recognition on a monthly basis during the school year. Individuals can be nominated as a Moe’s Hometown Hero for serving as a community role model and making a difference in the lives of the students and school, exhibiting sound citizenship and community service, excelling in academics/athletics (students) and/or positively impacting their peers. Currently, this new platform is available to a targeted group of NCHSAA member high schools located within the Triangle area. Each recipient receives a commemorative award and a Moe’s Southwest Grill gift card.

Recipient James Battle serves as Custodian at Hunt High School. Athletic Director Jon Smith says of Battle, “He is always working to make the students and the school the best it can be. From driving bus routes, mowing grass, changing light bulbs, helping others and always smiling, everyone respects this man. He means the world to Hunt High School.”

Latoia Valentine is an Assistant Principal at Cedar Ridge High School. As described by former students, Valentine is extremely caring and kind. After transferring schools, a former student said, “Latoia was a lovely principal. She was helpful and kind. She helped me walk across the stage to receive my diploma so I could go to college.” Valentine has been an Assistant Principal at Cedar Ridge High School since 2013.  

The final recipient of the March 2018 Moe’s Hometown Hero awards is Stephen Larkins, an Assistant Football, Head JV Women’s Basketball and Assistant Track & Field Coach at Knightdale High School. A war veteran and father of four, Coach Larkins still finds the time to coach and help his student-athletes. Head Football and Track & Field Coach Anthony Timmons says, “ He is a role model in the community and goes out of his way to help others in need!”

"The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, in conjunction with Moe’s Southwest Grill of the Triangle, is proud to honor and recognize James Battle, Latoia Valentine and Stephen Larkins with the March 2018 Moe’s Hometown Hero awards,” said Que Tucker, commissioner of the NCHSAA. “Each of these winners has demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond what is expected to positively impact the lives of the students and their respective communities. It is their dedication to their students and communities that truly make them Hometown Heroes."

“We are honored to recognize these outstanding leaders in our communities,” said Jennifer Wade, franchisee and president of the Moe’s Southwest Grill® Triangle Co-op. “We commend them on their continued dedication and leadership to the schools they support. Moe’s is proud to support the Hometown Hero’s program, and we look forward to honoring more recipients throughout the year.”  

Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in the Triangle have joined together with the NCHSAA for 2018 as the Official Triangle Fast Casual Restaurant Partner to offer the Moe's Hometown Hero recognition program.