Though he hasn’t been a part of the community for terribly long, Matt Maitland has obviously made an impact. As the principal of Charlotte Middle School, Matt has a direct effect on the lives of many Charlotte youth. It’s because of his exceptional commitment to the children of this community that the Charlotte Frontier Days Board of Directors has named him 2018 Frontier Days Grand Marshal.
“My wife, Amanda, was very happy for me,” Matt said of the news. “She knows how much time and effort it takes to be an educator so she was happy for me and proud of the fact that the community was recognizing some of the effort I’ve given over the last seven years.”
Students at the Middle School aren’t the only youth Matt focuses on. He and Amanda have four children, and are foster parents to two more, all of which are under the age of 10.
“It required some explanation as to what a ‘Grand Marshal’ actually was,” Matt said of sharing the news with his kids. “Once they realized that I got to be in a parade, they were very excited. All they care about is being in the parade with Daddy.”
The Maitlands have made it a point to take part in Frontier Days since moving to the community in 2012. The parade is obviously a big hit with the kids, but Matt said he is most looking forward to taking part in the Marcia Weld Scholarship competition.
“As an educator I already have that passion and it’ll be great to be a part of something that gives aid to a student who is pursuing their own educational dreams and passions,” he said.
Member of the Frontier Days Board said it’s Matt’s ability to make learning a fun process for his students that really makes him stand out.
“Matt makes it a point to attend extra-curricular activities including sporting events, after school dances, robotics events,” said board member Tammey Wine. “Matt makes it a point to support our children not only at school during the regular school day, but you can also find him at the school frequently on the weekend helping children that are struggling.”
Helping students succeed helps instill pride within themselves. Similarly, Matt said events like Frontier Days instills a sense of pride in the Charlotte community.
“People come from all over the area, even outside Charlotte, and they get to see our beautiful town, the businesses, the people,” he said. “They can feel the pride that we have in being fortunate enough to live here. It creates a sense of identity for all of us in Charlotte.
“I also think that you can’t underestimate the importance of having events that are just plain fun for families,” he added. “That’s what Frontier Days is … just plain fun.”