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Noel Hamrick: I want all students to know they matter

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

People of CLT, meet Mrs. Noel Hamrick! Noel is a teacher with CMS in Mint Hill. We thank her for all the light she shines on her students and community! It's always nice to get to know a teacher outside of school walls. Here is her story!

You’re pretty much a Charlotte native, having been here since 1985. Who are the other natives in your family?

My husband and I have three incredible children, Bailey, Chipper, and Turner. Chipper and Turner were named after my favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves: Chipper, after Chipper Jones, and Turner, named after Turner Field. And then there’s Cupcake, our mixed black lab.

We are sorry for the loss of your daughter. How do you continue to honor her life?

Bailey passed away in 2007. Each year, we walk in the March of Dimes: March for Babies in her honor. Our team is called Bailey's Butter Beans, because she looked like a butterbean in her first ultrasounds.

You have deep roots at Independence High School!

I certainly do! I am in my 19th year teaching at Independence High School in Mint Hill–the same school that I graduated from in 1995! My studies continued at Appalachian State before returning to teach.

Life came full circle! What do you teach?

Currently, I teach African American Studies, American History I and II, DREAM Leaders, Perspectives in Leadership, and Leadership Development.

How else are you involved with students?

I am in charge of everything at school, from prom to pep rallies to homecoming. And I love every second of it.

Can you share your unforgettable story about giving your students the opportunity to see the movie Black Panther?

After seeing a Tweet from Brie Larson about sending people to see Black Panther, I contacted her. Luckily, she responded! Brie and her followers sent my African American Studies and American History students to see her movie. We rented out AMC at Concord Mills where every student received snacks. It was so incredible to see my students witness the generosity of others firsthand. And to see that social media can be used for good. The video that I uploaded to Brie Larson was viewed over 90,000 times (the kids told me that we went viral)! My heart was so full.

You get to know your students through storytelling. What drives the listener in you?

My passion is my kids. And by that, I mean both my own children and my students. I want them all to know that they matter. I teach ELL (English-language learner) students in my American History class, and they in turn teach me so much. Their stories of coming to the US and how much education means to them are held dear to my heart. I want each student to know and understand that I am here for them, that I want them to be successful in all areas of their lives.

You were the recipient of an impressive accolade. Tell us more!

I was selected to study at the European Union in Brussels, with the UNC Center for European Studies, this past summer. This was my first time overseas, as well as the first time I traveled by myself. It was incredible.

How has teaching threaded through your family and community?

My own children love being around my school kids, watching them in sports and plays and concerts. They love being a part of the Indy community; my sons both love baseball and play for the Mint Hill Athletic Association.

People often accuse me of loving my job too much, and I am ok with that! If you don't love what you do, then why do it?!

Charlotte sports fan?

Yes, I have so much love for my hometown teams! I love the Panthers, through their highs and lows, and even worked a parking lot for Panthers’ games for 15 years. It was a blast. My love for the Hornets goes way back. We have season tickets for the Charlotte Knights; our sons love going to the games. And of course, I love my Atlanta Braves.

Teachers often have side-hustles. Do you have one?

As you can tell, I love my job as a teacher, but we know we don't make the "big bucks!" So, I recently become a travel agent with A Way to Go Travel in Greensboro, NC. The opportunity allows me to continue to have a positive impact on others through putting together experiences, thus memories, for people. Disney is one of my areas of expertise—I can tell you all the insider tips for an unforgettable trip!

What are some of the places that you have helped people get to?

I have sent people to Nepal on a 13-day self-discovery journey, honeymoons to Hawaii, and girl-getaways to Jamaica! I love helping while learning about other areas of the world.

After all your hard work, where would you send yourself for a vacation?

My dream vacation is a hammock between two palm trees with fresh drinks, a soft breeze, and waves breaking on the sand. I love to have my toes in the sand anywhere, reading or napping in the sun, as long as I have my Chapstick (an addiction I developed while at App State). The boys can come too, but mommy needs her alone time too!

Facebook @NoelHamrick

Twitter: @Hammytyme

Instagram @Hammytyme2000


People of CLT publishes stories about everyday Charlotteans and Carolinians. We celebrate YOUR story because YOU matter. It is our mission to promote inclusiveness, unity, understanding, community, diversity, empathy, and compassion.

Stories have power—they teach, inspire, motivate, and challenge us. Stories help us to not only see others, but to see ourselves more clearly, as we connect with the life stories of those in our community; a community that is strengthened by the power that is unleashed by the collective energy of individual stories.

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