Finkbeiner named Hoke High interim principal, school plans in-person graduation

Finkbeiner named Hoke High interim principal, school plans in-person graduation

[Photo: Sabrina Finkbeiner, interim principal of Hoke County High School. Photo submitted by HCS.]

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Sabrina Finkbeiner, an administrator with more than 24 years of experience in education, will serve as the interim principal for Hoke County High School.

Finkbeiner was named interim after principal Dr. Adell Baldwin announced he was taking an administrative position with the Scotland County school system.

“It’s an honor to be entrusted with the care of Hoke County High School and the achievements of our students,” Finkbeiner said.

The interim principal is from eastern Pennsylvania and has a degree in elementary education from Pennsylvania State University. She holds multiple additional degrees and certifications in the field of education, including having recently earned her educational superintendent’s license. She is currently furthering her studies and is in the dissertation proposal phase of a program at Gardner-Webb University.

Before coming to Hoke County, Finkbeiner worked with other school systems including Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. She led the engineering academy at Vance High School, now named Julius L. Chambers High School, and has many years of experience in high school education. She has an extensive background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focused education.

“I believe as I promote the STEM model that all students can design, create and globally innovate,” she said. The school system works to prepare students to be life, career, college, and military-ready, and ready for anything that comes in the 21st century, she said.

Finkbeiner and her husband, who also works for Hoke County Schools, have been married for 30 years. The couple has two grown children, and their son recently graduated from Belmont Abbey College.

Finkbeiner joined Hoke County Schools six years ago, hired as an assistant principal by then-principal Roger Edwards. She was promoted to associate principal three years ago under former principal Baldwin.

Under her leadership, Hoke High will focus on providing a safe learning environment for students through the COVID-19 pandemic, and on providing a rigorous curriculum.

The current hybrid learning environment requires extensive planning and a great deal of support, and the school has “outstanding teachers” who can do so, Finkbeiner said.

As she serves as interim principal, Finkbeiner said she plans to emphasize continuing the work that has come before, including maintaining a successful graduation rate, the one-to-one Chromebook program for students, rigorous courses for career and technical education and the support systems that are in place.

Asked about whether she would be interested in possibly being a candidate for the principal position, when the Board of Education works to select the next principal, Finkbeiner said she would be, and looks forward to “continuing the excellent work” in leadership from previous years at the high school.

<02>In-person graduation planned

<01>After receiving feedback from students and parents, Hoke High School is planning to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for graduating seniors this June.

Right now details are still in the works, but based on the school community’s response, it’s what students and their families want for their special day, Finkbeiner said.

“We were very careful to ask the seniors to provide us feedback and the majority of feedback was a traditional ceremony, so we are happy to offer them that ceremony,” she said.

There will still be safety protocols in place for the event, which will be ticketed and require people attending to follow social distancing guidelines.

“At this time we’re planning extensively,” Finkbeiner said. “We are inviting parents and family to attend with tickets based on the health guidelines at the time.”

The students will have their traditional caps and gowns on the field and be able to walk across the stage, she said.

More information about the Class of 2021 graduation will be provided in the coming weeks as the school system solidifies the plans.

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