CHAPEL HILL, NC - Lowe’s Home Improvement, specifically the Lowe’s 4 Pros Division in conjunction with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), has selected Ben Hayes from Cherryville High School, Michelle Phifer of Union Academy, and Scott Wood from Elkin High School as the recipients of the Lowe’s Campus Captain award for January.
The Lowe’s Campus Captain program offers a platform through which school administrators, parents, students, and school community members can nominate deserving individuals for special recognition monthly during the school year.
Individuals are nominated as a Lowe’s Campus Captain for helping play an integral role in building back sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals are also nominated for being role models, making a difference in students' lives, exhibiting sound citizenship, excelling in academics/athletics (students), and/or positively impacting their peers. Each recipient receives a commemorative award and Lowe’s Home Improvement gift certificate.
Ben Hayes is a senior student-athlete on the Cross Country and Men’s Soccer teams at Cherryville High School. Athletic Director Scott Harrill said, “Ben never missed a day of cross-country practice and was a leader in the 3 W's and the fight against Covid-19. Ben is also trying to help raise mental health awareness for students during this difficult time by promoting kindness to others.” This semester Hayes co-founded the Cherryville’s brand-new Kindness Club with student-athlete Landrie Woffford. The Kindness Club is designed to support anti-bullying, being kind, and doing the right thing. Hayes and Wofford hope the Kindness Club can make a broader impact on the entire Cherryville community.
Recipient Michelle Phifer became the interim and then permanent Athletic Director of Union Academy in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Cardinals’ Athletic Program never skipped a beat. Phifer ensured all seniors were recognized individually in place of their senior nights after the cancellation of spring sports, and she organized a virtual athletic banquet. She advocated for the student-athletes when sports were allowed to resume, create and present detailed plans to school administration, and execute them to ensure student-athletes and coaches' safety. She has also checked in on student-athletes through email and phone calls, drops in on practices, and attends games to make sure the student-athletes have a great experience. Under her leadership, teams continued to participate in community service despite the challenges of volunteering during the pandemic. Cheerleading Coach Jennifer Sutton Smith says, “I could go on and on about Coach Phifer’s commitment to Union Academy Athletes and coaches. She is the best Athletic Director.”
The final recipient of the January Lowe’s Campus Captain award is Scott Wood of Elkin High School. Coach Wood is a math teacher and the Head Football and Track & Field coach for the Bucking Elks. During the first semester, Coach Wood identified students at risk of failing any course, not just his courses, and then contacted and arranged tutoring sessions. He helped bring together all coaches to make sure no student-athletes fell through the cracks. Coach Wood helped Elkins students go from 60% failing during 1st semester to only a handful in the entire school. As Athletic Director Josh Pardue states, “Coach Wood cares about all kids that walk the halls of Elkin High School.”
"The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, in conjunction with Lowe’s Home Improvement and its 4 Pros Division, is very pleased and proud to honor and recognize Ben Hayes, Michelle Phifer, and Scott Wood with the January Campus Captain awards,” said Que Tucker, Commissioner of the NCHSAA. “Each of these recipients exemplifies what it means to be a leader by demonstrating a willingness to impact the lives of their peers and their respective communities positively. It is this commitment and dedication that make each worthy of receiving the Lowe’s Campus Captain Award."
Lowe’s Home Improvement, specifically the Lowe’s 4 Pros division, has joined together with the NCHSAA in 2020-2021 to Build Back Sports as we work to navigate the return to sports safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lowe’s Home Improvement is the Official Supplier of the NCHSAA and provides guidance, materials, and discounts to NCHSAA member schools.