Remembering NC State’s Educational Leadership Academy Executive Coach Freda Cole
Freda Cole, an executive coach with NC State’s Educational Leadership Academy (NELA), passed away on April 18, 2022. Cole was a well-loved, former longtime principal in Wake County known for her advocacy for year-round schools and for making a positive difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of children and colleagues throughout her career.
Cole began working as an executive coach following her retirement from the Wake County Public School System after 33-plus years in K-12 education. She taught elementary school for 11 years before earning a school administration degree from N.C. Central University and becoming an assistant principal and then a principal.
She was a principal in Wake County for 18 years before retiring, including serving as the founding principal of two new elementary schools and the principal of Wake County’s first multi-track, year-round school.
As an executive coach with NELA, Cole supported new school leaders and helped them build their leadership capacity. She was an excellent mentor who valued relationships above all else, exemplifying why NELA has become a national model for preparing exceptional principals.