By Michelle Cassell
Scarlett Steinert, director of Healthful Living, P.E., Athletics and Driver’s Ed, of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is the first woman recognized in the Women’s Leadership Spotlight of this school year. The recognition was presented by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and Blue Cross NC in October.
“No matter if I am a teacher in the classroom, in an administrator’s role or at the district or state level, I strive to make a positive difference in the life of the students and teachers,” said Steinert.
She is Director of Healthful Living, Athletics & Drivers Ed. Instructional Services, Equity & Engagement Department Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
She was a multi-talented student-athlete growing up in Mooresville, North Carolina, during her Little League years. Throughout her middle and high school years, she lettered in three sports (volleyball, basketball, and softball, plus band) in addition to running track and cheerleading. In her first year on the volleyball team, she won the “Golden Spike” award. She excelled in student teaching under Dr. Sherry Salyer, and upon graduation, took over Salyer’s position in her first year of teaching in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools.
High school diploma from Mooresville Graded School District in 1987
B.S. degree in Exercise Sports Science from UNCG in 1992 (K-12 teacher Healthful Living teacher certified)
Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003
Since that time, she has been recognized for her gifts as a teacher, coach, and now as an administrator.
There have been many highlights over the years, including teaching many kids the joy of movement and athletics. A coaching highlight was her first year as a Head Coach of the Columbus High School (Marshfield, Wisconsin) volleyball team, when she led them to the State Championships. When Steinert was in her Master’s program, she was recognized unanimously by her peers as the best teacher to lead the newly formed Middle School, where she became its inaugural principal at age 26.
In 2008, when Steinert’s father was sick with cancer and she and her family were ready to get out of the snow, they moved back to North Carolina, landing a job in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, thanks to a physical education program grant.
The strong relationships she developed in those formative years led her to her career spanning nearly 30 years (and counting) as a vibrant force in education, her passion still focused on helping the community of educators she serves. Among her most treasured honors are:
- 2008 Leader Award from Neenah Police Department
- 2011 NC DPI In-School Prevention of Obesity & Disease
- 2012 NC Healthful Living Coordinator of the Year
- 2013 NC DPI School Health Champion of the Month
- 2016-2019 NCHSAA Board member for four years
- 2018-19 NCHSAA Committee Chair
- NCHSAA 2020 Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award
Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news.