Jason Bissinger, Torrence Creek Elementary School

  • Jason Bissinger, principal at Torrence Creek Elementary, believes some people are made to be in a school.

    While in college, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do post-graduation. A conversation with his counselor and volunteer opportunities working with kids at camps and coaching led him to education. Now, with 24 years with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, he considers himself one of those people.

    “I felt the impact I was making and found my love working with children,” said Bissinger. “You can have the largest impact on students and staff (working in a school). I enjoy working with our younger teachers, supporting them, and getting them excited for the future.”

    Culture building is very important to Bissinger. As a student, he recalled a teacher dressing up at a high school pep rally and the students having a fun time. Now, as a principal, he said they’re always finding different ways to keep students interested in school. For past fundraisers, students could tape him to a wall, and he kissed a pig one year.

    Bissinger said he still has past and current students who will talk to him about taping him to the wall.

    “Anything that can excite our kids about coming to school, especially at the elementary level, is so important,” said Bissinger. “If you can develop relationships with your parents, teachers, and students, you can achieve anything. The people aspect gets lost sometimes, but you have to understand where people are and what they need at the time — staff and students.”

    And that family feeling is felt by staff and students alike. Leia Stout, a former Torrence Creek Elementary student, recalled Bissinger starting at the school when she started kindergarten, but she said it felt like he had been there longer.

    Even while at Francis Bradley Middle, she still remembers how Bissinger treated everyone at the school.

    “He helped me grow and learn,” said Stout. “His leadership helped people come together. Kids felt bonded with their teachers, and teachers listened to the kids. Mr. Bissinger was professional and so good at his job, and he made it feel like a family here. I loved being at TCE.”

    And that lasting impact on students is what Bissinger loves most about being a principal.

    “I want my students to remember that I was present within the school and knew them as more than just a student, but also a person,” said Bissinger.

    Bissinger said he is honored to be recognized as a Principal of the Year finalist for the North Learning Community.

    “Being recognized by my peers, who I respect tremendously, means a lot,” said Bissinger. “(Being a principal) is a tough field, and since I’ve moved to Torrence Creek, I’ve worked with some amazing principals in the area.”