Phone: 704-836-9117


Degrees and Certifications:

Dawn Lavinder

I am honored to serve as the principal at McAdenville Elementary School!  Education has always been my passion as evidenced by my 26 years in the profession.  I started my career here in Gaston County Schools serving as a 4th grade teacher at Lingerfeldt, W. A. Bess, and Sherwood Elementary Schools before serving as a School-wide Enrichment Model Facilitator at Pinewood Elementary.  When my husband was transferred to the Greensboro area, I taught 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades in the Alamance-Burlington School System.  During that time I also earned my Masters in Gifted Education from UNCC and my National Board Certification.

As much as I loved being a classroom teacher, I was also intrigued by the challenge of administration and sought my Masters in School Administration from UNC Chapel Hill as a North Carolina Principal Fellow. Coincidentally, I also started my career as an administrator here in Gaston County Schools, serving as an assistant principal at Stuart Cramer High School for 4 years and as the assistant principal at New Hope Elementary School for 1 year. This year will be my 5th year serving the community as the principal at McAdenville Elementary. It is an honor to serve such a great community of students, staff, families, businesses, and organizations. 

I live in Belmont with my husband, Todd; and our 2 daughters, Regan, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; and Riley, a freshman at Central Piedmont Community College.  And I can’t forget our cat Harry and our dog Zeek! I enjoy cheering on the Carolina Panthers, reading, shopping, and spending time with my family. A highlight for our family each year has always been a visit to Christmas Town USA to take in the beautiful lights, decorations, and community spirit!

I am looking forward to serving the students, teachers, parents, and community of Christmas Town USA during the 2023-2024 school year!