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In this unforeseeable time, most of our seniors at Currituck County High, including me, have felt the impact of the worlds’ devastations. We finally had a win when we got the news about graduation. All of the fighting never went unnoticed. Gratitude. That’s all there is to say towards a man who would give up anything for the students within the walls of that sacred building. I’ve seen this man put up a fight for our students and our staff. Dr. Matney pushed to better our education and our school. Before this year ended, he was working towards our national accreditation as an honors school. With the help of him, we would have never been able to host the Knights Chapter of the National English Honors Society. With the hopes that NEHS would be a success, Matney wanted to push for other Honors Societies for the coming year. I know this will extremely improve our school because it improves the overall acceptance rates into higher education and broadens the opportunities for each student. One of the number one reasons for my acceptance into college was because of my induction, and I could not be more grateful for that experience.

Not only did he push for better education, he pushed for all around school morale. Every single morning, like clockwork, he would open the doors to the school for students to enter and greet them with a smile. You would always find him talking and joking with a passing by student or staff member. To be quite frank, I do not think I ever saw anyone not enjoy his presence. Furthermore, this year was unlike any year I have attended Currituck County High. Football season is extremely important to the residents of Currituck and the students of our high school. As a member of the marching band, we participated in at-home games, but there was always a division—almost cliché--between the band, the cheerleaders, and the football team both on and off the field. However, this year, something clicked. Matney pushed for the band to be included on the field with the players and cheerleaders. Before every march out onto the field, we stood side by side with the football players. I can’t even describe the amount of pride that coursed through my body when this moment happened. After every winning game, we were invited to celebrate with the team down on the field. Finally, we were given a community. After this season, there was a strong feeling of unity between not only the football community, but every student at Currituck. Our student section was the strongest it has ever been, with themes to showcase our Knight pride. Our boys went all the way to second-round states, which has not happened in 30 years, due to all the support that Matney built into place. To further the fact that he believed in school support, Matney fought for the band to travel with the team so that all of Currituck would feel present in this historic event. After losing the game, there was no one from Currituck who was not crying or perceivably upset. It was not just the players, but the cheerleaders, the band, the student section, the parents, and you guessed it, Dr Matney himself. He joined the huddle with the coaches and gave a speech about how proud he was to have been able to have been apart of this community. He told those boys to look up and be strong because they did win. They made it to states!

On top of running the school and pushing to support every student, he knows every students name by heart and their home lives. Why is this important? Because he connected with everyone on a personal level and made sure to provide the adequate structure each student needed. There was a point in time where I took on too much than I could handle with my classes and became deeply encompassed with stress. The only way I could evade from my situation was to get a written approval by Dr Matney himself. Luckily, he understood my circumstance and was willing to provide such paperwork to fulfill my request. Again, gratitude! This man did everything for the students at CCHS. Not once was a decision ever made to benefit himself. Everything was for us. Even now, he ensures that he will always be supportive of our 2020 seniors and provides us with a resilient strength to carry on. Dr Matney always came to bat for us, so now it is our turn to rise up and fight for him! I am PROUD to have him as my principal. I am GRATEFUL to have him as my principal! And I am willing to do whatever it takes to ensure he comes back next year and many years into the future. Especially, since my younger brother will be attending CCHS in 2021. He deserves a principal that will fight, protect, and support him and every other student within that building! Everyone deserves a principal like him! Matney should not be punished for fighting for a better chance for our seniors. He should not be punished for creating a united environment and a strong support system. If we let this happen, then what does that tell you about our community? Someone who does so many good things should be celebrated. Please see that he is essential to this community and to the students! Please, WE WANT MATNEY!!


Kilani Richardson