Mrs. Cindy Caudle worked at North Wilkes for 20 years as a Media Coordinator, Staff Development Coordinator and Distance Learning Coordinator, and was the North Wilkes Learn NC liaison for Wilkes County Schools. Mrs. Caudle also served as the varsity football videographer for 23 years, and has spent the last 40-plus years as a vital member of the school’s Athletic Booster Club. Mrs. Caudle is the wife of recent Hall of Fame inductee Roger Caudle, who taught and coached baseball at North Wilkes. During her tenure at North Wilkes, Mrs. Caudle received the Athletic Booster of the Year award and the Principal’s Award, and was a member of the National Education Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators, North Carolina School Library Media Association, and the North Carolina Technology in Education Society. Currently, Mrs. Caudle is a member of the Wilkes County Retired School Personnel..
Ms. Debra C. Denny worked for 28 years as a custodian at North Wilkes. Ms. Denny was responsible for the upkeep of not only the school building and surrounding grounds, but also of the various athletic fields and gymnasiums on campus. Mrs. Lisa Joines, the current principal at North Wilkes, said of Ms. Denny, “our school has been fortunate to have staff members who consider working at North to be more than just a job. To them, North High is a part of their extended family, and they take pride in every aspect of our school life. We are proud tonight to recognize one such staff member who had a long and dedicated career with us – Ms. Debbie Denny. Debbie worked long and tirelessly as one of our custodial team here at North, and she is fondly remembered as a person who would always go out of her way to help any staff member in any way possible.” Mr. Jarvis Handy, a current custodian who worked with Ms. Denny during her time at North Wilkes, said, “Debby was someone I looked up to, a great mentor and co-worker. She took pride in the entire school, and the campus was always immaculate when she served as head custodian. Debby’s Viking Pride shown through as well, as she was always eager to lend a helping hands to staff and students.” .
Mr. Doug Eller taught English at North Wilkes from 1980 to 2007, and for six of those years served as the English Department Chairperson. Mr. Eller also enjoyed a long and successful tenure as the school’s Head Varsity Basketball Coach. While a coach, Mr. Eller’s 1988 squad was the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state academic champions, and in 1983 his team was the District runner-up in basketball. In 2003, Mr. Eller was named North Wilkes Teacher of the Year. Mr. Eller was a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association from 1976 to 2007. Mr. Eller attends Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, where he has served as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Dr. Heather Mullins is a former student and teacher at North Wilkes who currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Newton-Conover City Schools. Dr. Mullins was a three-sport athlete at North Wilkes, and was named Miss North High and Female Athlete of the Year in 1991. Dr. Mullins was named to the All-Conference basketball teams in 1990 and 1991, and All-Conference volleyball teams in 1989 through 1991. Dr. Mullins was a three-time conference champion in the shot put, and was the state runner-up in the shot in 1991. Dr. Mullins currently shares the school record for points in a basketball, with 42 points, with fellow Hall of Fame member Christy Gambill. Dr. Mullins was a Morehead Nominee and a member of Northlanders, in addition to being named to North Carolina Honors Chorus in 1991 and All-State Chorus in 1990 and 1991. As an English teacher at North, Dr. Mullins started the Indoor Track program and the Interact Club, and coached volleyball and indoor and outdoor track and field.
Dr. Ric Vandett taught English and coached football, basketball, softball, baseball and track during his 14 years at North Wilkes. Dr. Vandett was the North Wilkes Teacher of the Year in 1988, the Regional Teacher of the Year in 1989-90, and a runner-up that same year for the North Carolina State Teacher of the Year award. Dr. Vandett was twice named Coach of the Year in basketball and softball, and won two conference championships as the head football J.V. coach and one conference championship as the head softball varsity coach. Dr. Vandett earned his Educational Doctorate in 1997 from Columbia University, and was named the Hickory Sunrise Rotarian of the Year in 2015. Dr. Vandett is highly involved in his community; among his many service accomplishments are a stint as former chairman of the Hickory Area Red Cross and former president of the Hickory Sunrise Rotary. Currently, Dr. Vandett serves as the chair of several organizations, including the Foothills Homeless Veteran Stand Down.
Mr. Eugene Wingler spent 27 years at North Wilkes as an Industrial Arts instructor, as well as three years in the same capacity at the Wilkes Career Center. While at North Wilkes, Mr. Wingler taught architecture, drafting, furniture and cabinet making, and numerous woodworking courses. While at North Wilkes, Mr. Wingler worked on the athletic fields, remodeled dressing rooms and dugouts, built cabinets for school offices, and built cabinets, tables, and shelving units for the entire school to help usher in the computer and internet age. Mr. Wingler also volunteered with Wilkes Habitat for Humanity following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Wingler was a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators and the National Education Association.