Home of the Dragons

Dr. Jim Helf - Principal

Welcome to a new school year at W.R. Odell! I am very excited and honored to be your Principal. I am originally from Western New York and have been in the field of education for more than15 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland, a master’s degree in curriculum and supervision from UNC Charlotte and my principal’s license from Winthrop University. I have also earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership from UNC Charlotte.

I began my career as a classroom teacher teaching both 2nd and 5th grade in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Since then, I have been an Assistant Principal at South Rowan High School in Rowan Salisbury Schools, an Assistant Principal at Wolf Meadow Elementary in CCS, and an Assistant Principal at W.R. Odell. 

I am married and have three sons. My wife Shawnna, is an Associate Professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at Winthrop University. Nathan, my oldest son is a sophomore at Indian Land High School, A.J. is a 4th grader at Odell, and Evan is a 3rd grader at Odell.

Mrs. Jennifer Laxton - Assistant Principal

Thanks for visiting my page!  I am thrilled to start my third year as one of the Assistant Principals here at WR Odell Elementary. I enjoyed working with all of our students and families last year, and cannot wait to continue working with all of you this year.  If you ever have questions or concerns about 

My education started in New York where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from SUNY College at Fredonia. I then attended Valdosta State University to earn a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in reading and mathematics. My Principal’s Certification is from Lamar University. During my time as a classroom teacher, I worked in both elementary and middle schools across the country. My previous administrative experience was as Coordinator of K-12 Mathematics in Tucson, Arizona. 

I am originally from Western New York, but have lived in many places. As a military family, we have had the opportunity to travel the country. While the traveling was exciting, we chose to grow some roots in Cabarrus County. My husband, Matthew, now serves in the North Carolina Air National Guard as an Air Traffic Controller. We have two children who attend Odell Elementary as well.

I believe Odell is a wonderful school where the faculty and staff help to build a love of learning in each child. Each classroom teacher has created a nurturing environment where the students are challenged and supported along their academic journey. I look forward to working with this community for many years to come!

Last Modified on February 6, 2017