Wake County Public School System

Hall of Fame


Leon Herndon

Born in Apex, Leon Herndon attended school in Chatham County and later Shaw University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in biology. He then attended NC College (now NC Central University), earning his master’s degree in education. He started his educational career as a high school science teacher in Robeson County. He returned to the Triangle to teach science at Ligon High School and later at Enloe High School. In 1972, he made history at Enloe by becoming the first Black Principal of a predominately white school in the county’s history. In 1983, Herndon made history again by becoming the first Black principal of Apex High. Following his retirement from WCPSS, and until his passing in March of 2023, Herndon focused on early childhood education, joining his wife, Shirley, in founding Bright Beginnings Child Development Center in Cary.

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