MORESVILLE, N.C. Mooresville Middle School has been in the spotlight a lot lately.

The President visited last year and they re home to the National Superintendent of the Year. Now they can also claim the North Carolina Principal of the Year.

This is kind of home for me, says Dr. Carrie Tulbert. The principal at Mooresville Middle graduated from the Mooresville school district and was assistant principal before being named principal, but it's more than just her history at the school that has her feeling at home.

Walk the halls with her and you'll see.
We've developed a really positive culture in which teachers intentionally build relationships with their students you can see this teacher is fist-bumping his kids as they come in and that s part of what we expect - teachers to greet the kids and engage with them. That s part of our culture in developing positive relationships with our students, she says.

It's also part of the reason she was just named the North Carolina principal of the year.

I m incredibly proud and it s all about what our school is doing, it s not about one person.

Teacher Susie Hudson says working with the Principal of the year is a great honor. It means that I think she s leading us in the right direction. It also means that were doing something good here. Not good, great.

Student Ariana Henderson says, I think we re awesome and we have computers.

That's another big part of it. Tulbert lead the way in making sure all kids at the school have laptops for school and home.

Superintendent Mark Edwards, who was named the national superintendent of the year last year, - says yes, the technology is a huge resource, but Tulbert's greatest strength is her push to build strong relationships.

I think it s translated to one of the best middle schools in the country, Edwards says.

We ve been very intentional about building a culture that s focused on kids and developing relationships with them in a positive way. Once you develop a relationship with them they can learn in a much safer and more comfortable environment, Tulbert adds.

The kind where fist-bumps are the norm.

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