‘He was just a great guy’: Family, friends celebrate life of beloved CMS principal

CHARLOTTE — Family and friends are gathering Tuesday to celebrate the life of a beloved Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools principal.

Loved ones of Dr. Eric Ward, Sr. have planned a public viewing at 11 a.m. that will be followed by a celebration of his life at Forest Hill Church.

Ward worked for CMS for more than two decades. He served in various roles, starting as a high school math teacher and then climbing the ranks as assistant principal and principal for several schools. He most recently worked as principal of Harding High.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators posted on its Facebook on Sept. 23 that Ward had passed away.

Educators said Ward was well known for his supportive leadership and sense of humor, and he will be missed by many.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to Dr. Ward’s wife and children, the Harding High, Olympic, West Mecklenburg, Wilson, and Independence community, and the many people whose lives Dr. Ward touched,” the CMAE said in the Facebook post.

Pastor Darrell Williams was one of many touched by Ward. Core Church is across the street from Harding High and they worked together to support the school community.

“He was just a good guy and it was just easy to be around him. Again, his passion for the kids, his passion for the staff, it just spilled out from him when you spoke with him,” Williams said.

He shared just how hands on Ward could be with his students.

“He was just a great guy just to be around. I remember when he really started working out with the football team and throwing up a bunch of weights, and he was like, ‘Hey man, you want to get out there?’ and I was like, ‘I’m good, I’m good,’” Williams said. “Infectious personality that just went a long way and you’ll see that with the response and everyone he’s touched. It just goes a whole lot further than we can even imagine.”

Ward leaves behind his wife and two children.

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