Before there was a town of Kannapolis, there were little one-room schools where all grades met together. Charles McIver School was opened in 1908 with a principal, Clell Caldwell, and three elementary teachers, Misses Ollie Cook, Maggie Efird, and Dora Moser. There was no central heating, central air, or even plumbing in the school. The school enrolled about 200 students in 1909. James Cannon donated land and loaned the school board $2,500 for the construction of the school. Ten years later the high school curriculum was added with the first high school class, consisting of 5 girls, graduating in 1921. In the fall of 1917, the second school was built on land donated by J.W. Cannon. It was a two-story, eight-room school with seven teachers and one principal. The school was located in the north end of town and was referred to as the “North School”. McIver School then became known as the “South School”. In later years, it was named Woodrow Wilson and has recently been renamed North Kannapolis Elementary School. A few years later a third school was built in the southeast section of town and was named Centerview School. In 1924, the J.W. Cannon High School was built east of town.
The Kannapolis City School System was created by the North Carolina Legislature on March 28, 1935. J. W. Bullock became superintendent and remained in that position until his retirement in 1971. Dr. Grier Bradshaw served from 1971-1989. Ralph Johnson served from 1989-1992, and Dr. Edward B. Tyson served from 1992 until June 2001. On July 1, 2001, Dr. Jo Anne A. Byerly became the fifth superintendent of Kannapolis City Schools and the first woman to hold the superintendent's position. Dr. Pamela Cain became the sixth superintendent in July 2010 and served until October 2015. In January 2016 Dr. Daron "Chip" Buckwell was named the seventh superintendent and served until July 2021. Mr. Kevin Garay was selected as the eighth superintendent of Kannapolis City Schools and began his term in July 2021.
Kannapolis City Schools is proud to offer magnet programs: Dual Language Immersion and Global Studies at Fred L. Wilson and Jackson Park Elementary Schools and A+ Arts Magnet at G. W. Carver Elementary. Additionally, our individual elementary schools focus on STEM, Classrooms of Tomorrow, and Wellness and Learning.
Creating the Future
Kannapolis City Schools surrounds one of the world’s premiere centers of scientific discovery, the NC Research Campus. It is an extraordinary system focused on Creating the Future. KCS gives students the tools to be world class and offers a comprehensive array of programs and resources that are unmatched anywhere in the state. We feature a highly acclaimed STEM Academy, exclusive partnerships with the NC Reseach Campus, Global Studies, a Dual Language Immersion program, A+ Arts program, Robotics, Culinary Arts, Engineering, and teachers that are rated among the most effective in the region.Kannapolis City Schools’ students achieve unparalleled success. We are the home of North Carolina’s Student Apprentice of the Year, the state’s top cheerleading squad, and winners of the 2019 Governor’s Award of Distinction for innovative business partnerships that give KCS students some of the best career opportunities in North Carolina. Our students also earn millions in college scholarships each year.With these outstanding advantages and the tremendous support of our families and community, we are truly CREATING THE FUTURE.