A new administrative team for the 2023-24 academic year is set for Polk County Middle School.
Current Vice-Principal Adam Dedmon has been named the school’s new principal, replacing Todd Murphy, who recently accepted a position as Human Resources Director for Polk County Schools. Assuming Dedmon’s position as vice-principal will be Lori Byars, currently an English Language Arts teacher at the school.
Dedmon will become just the third principal in Polk County Middle’s history, following Hank Utz and Murphy. He joined the Polk Middle administrative team in 2022 after spending two years as an assistant principal at North Shelby School, that role following two years at Polk County High School where he taught and coached wrestling and football.
“It is an honor to be named as the next principal at Polk County Middle School,” Dedmon said. “I will strive to inspire and guide our students, teachers, and staff towards academic excellence, personal growth and a vibrant school community.
“Together, we will cultivate a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and innovation, ensuring that every student thrives, every teacher excels and every parent feels confident in the bright future we are building together.”
Dedmon began his career in education at Chase High School, spending nine years there as an exceptional children’s teacher. He also built the Chase wrestling program into one of the state’s best and was a three-time Academic All-American wrestler at UNC Pembroke.
In addition to his undergraduate degree from UNC Pembroke, Dedmon holds a master’s degree in school administration from Converse College.
Byars joins the PCMS administration after spending more than 22 years as a classroom instructor in Polk County Schools, teaching at Polk Central Elementary and Polk County Middle School. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and former Polk Central Elementary Teacher of the Year.
“I am honored to be named the new assistant principal of Polk County Middle School,” Byars said. “I am excited to continue supporting the students, faculty and community of Polk County in my new role. I am blessed to work in Polk County Schools and appreciate all the support I have received over the past 22 years.”
A graduate of Polk County High School, Byars holds an undergraduate degree from Gardner-Webb University and a master’s degree in elementary education, curriculum and instruction from Appalachian State. She also has a graduate certificate in school leadership from Appalachian State.
“Polk County Schools is excited to announce that Adam Dedmon will be the next principal of Polk County Middle School,” said Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene. “During his time with us as a teacher and building administrator, Mr. Dedmon has evidenced strong leadership skills and attributes that will serve him well in this new position. His commitment to students and our community will continue to shine through as he leads Polk County Middle.
“Polk County Schools is pleased to have Lori Byars joining Mr. Dedmon as assistant principal of Polk County Middle School. Mrs. Byars has performed well in the leadership opportunities she has been given, and I feel confident she will continue to grow into an outstanding school leader while effectively serving the students and staff at PCMS.
“We are proud of Mrs. Byars being a Polk County Schools graduate, and we are glad she has been chosen to take on this challenge.”