About Our Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Penni Beth Crisp

Dear Matthews Elementary School Families,

Founded in 1906, Matthews Elementary is one of the oldest schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Our school has a rich history of academic and cultural excellence that is the result of strong connections between the school staff, families and the community. Located in downtown Matthews, we partner with numerous businesses and organizations to serve the more than 1,000 students on our campus.  Our vision includes a focus on learning that is rigorous, relevant, collaborative, differentiated, positive and promotes character to prepare our students for the 21st century. Our mission is to work interdependently to live learning and we emphasize willing what we want for our school, students and ourselves.

The primary areas of focus of the Matthews Elementary family include building the staff, uniting the community and growing our students. We strive for continuous improvement with a strong core of both academic and social-emotional learning as well as tiered systems of support for intervening and enriching learning.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to join this amazing staff and community. I have worked in CMS for 25 years as an educator and attended CMS schools through elementary, middle, and high school. This is my third year at Matthews Elementary School. I have also been principal at Lansdowne IB World School, Clear Creek Elementary, and a principal and assistant principal at Torrence Creek Elementary School. I also taught fifth grade at Lansdowne before returning to school to become an administrator. 

I received my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  I have also completed my graduate degree in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Supervision at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I have been married to my husband, Bryant Crisp, for 25 years, and we have two children, Garrett, 21, and Caroline, 16. Our son is a senior at Queens University majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and he is a pitcher for the baseball team. My daughter is in eleventh grade at Piedmont High School in Union County and she plays volleyball year round. 

As a teacher and an administrator, I have always felt strongly that all students can succeed if we provide them with the tools needed for success and the best environment for growth and learning. I will work with our staff, families, and the community to make sure that the needs of all students are met. I believe that student achievement is built through rigor, relationships, and relevance. I will work to ensure that these characteristics are present daily in our school whether we are physically in the building or learning remotely.

Thank you for choosing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Matthews Elementary.

Penni Beth Crisp, Principal