Introducing Mr. Locklear
By: Kylie Radford
Inspiring. That’s the word I would use to describe Mr. Locklear. In every aspect of life Mr. Locklear strives to not only improve himself, but also the lives of those around him. Since these actions should not go unnoticed, this article will serve the purpose of bringing them to light.
Mr. Locklear began at Apex High School in January this year, ending off the monstrosity which was the 2020-21 school year. That makes this school year his first full year as an Apex High School faculty member. When asked why he chose to work at Apex High School, he stated that Apex High School has always been very high-performing, but he saw ways that the school could improve as a whole. He also stated that he loves all the spirit that the Apex High School community brings to the table.
Mr. Locklear grew up in Pembroke, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his free time he likes to run, play tennis, dance, go to theatre performances, and travel. He is a big advocate for social justice and mental health, so he does advocacy work and provides therapy on the weekends. Mr. Locklear also supervises the Apex Ambassador Program here at Apex High School, which is designed to aid the Freshman class as well. He is also on the NC School Counselors Association Board of Directions as an Emerging Leader. He enjoys making decisions that affect not only Apex High School students, but the entirety of North Carolina’s student body. He recently gave a presentation at their conference on the importance of building an inclusive community for queer and LGBTQ+ students.
Mr. Locklear currently holds the position of Freshman counselor, which entails the supervision of the entire Freshman class. In previous years, the freshmen class has always been included in the alphabetized arrangement of counselors, along with the other grade levels. Mr. Locklear explained the reason for this change in organization: the senior and junior classes often require a lot of attention and support as they apply for colleges and such. The problem with this system is that it often results in the Freshman class taking a back seat. Mr. Locklear explained that he used to be a counselor for all grade levels, and in that position he began to see that the Freshmen needed help which was not being fully provided.
Mr. Locklear hopes that in his new position, he is able to ensure that no freshmen are falling through the cracks while making the big transition that is from Middle to High School. Mr. Locklear explained that Freshman year sets the foundation for your entire High School career. Research shows that if students fall behind in their Freshman year, it is much harder for them to succeed in the rest of their High School career. Through this role, Mr. Locklear plans to focus on the Freshmen class and address their specific needs throughout the school year. In this transition period, he wants every freshman student to feel supported academically, as well as socially and emotionally. One of Mr. Locklear’s goals is that every Freshman student is able to build strong, positive relationships this school year. He wants to provide the Freshman class with what they need in order to reach their career and college goals. Mr. Locklear plans to facilitate this development through individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons. Mr. Locklear stated that his favorite thing about being the Freshmen Counselor is partaking in fun activities to build community and promote engagement. He enjoys the entirety of program planning. His hope in making this transition is that he can make an impact on the Freshman class for many years to come.
When asked what motivates him to do so much for others, Mr. Locklear explained that he wants to make an impact: Where he grew up, many students struggled. His High School Counselor was able to help him greatly, and he wants to help students succeed as well. His mentality is that if he gives his best to his students, then they will have the best outcomes. Mr. Locklear stated that so many people inspire him, both within or outside these school walls. Witnessing the impacts of others pushes him to be better, but also serve others better. Mr. Locklear explained that of all his accomplishments, his proudest is his Educational journey. Mr. Locklear is a first-generation college student, currently pursuing a doctorate degree. He is currently earning a PHD in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development with a concentration in Counseling and Counselor Education. I believe that this journey well demonstrates the motivation and perseverance of Mr. Locklear.
If any Freshmen find themselves needing assistance, Mr. Locklear’s office is located in the Freshman Hub, on the second floor next to the media center. Freshmen can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.