Engage. Inspire. Empower.

Meet our Administration

James E Byrd headshot

James E. Byrd

Principal, Mill Creek Middle School


Meet James E. Byrd, Principal


Email: james_byrd@catawbaschools.net

Joined Team CCS - July 2017

I taught secondary English and coached track and field at North Wilkes High School (my alma mater) for nine years before moving to Catawba County. While teaching English at Bunker Hill, I coached wrestling at River Bend Middle School, and assisted with the Bear track team. I spent four years as assistant principal at North Wilkes Middle School before moving to BHHS as assistant principal and athletic director. Now, in 2023,  I am excited to be joining the Mill Creek family as principal. 

BSEd (German), Western Carolina University
MAT (English), Appalachian State University
Principal Licensure Add-On--Gardner-Webb University

Why I Became an Educator 
It seems that fate deemed for me to have a role in education. My mother was a substitute teacher turned teacher's assistant, and both she and my father led Sunday School classes and taught Vacation Bible School. From my mother, I learned classroom management, and from my father, I learned the value of teaching young people to conduct research rather than just  give them an answer. 

I had a myriad of insightful, inspirational, and influential instructors throughout my education, and each of them (ranging from the kindergarten teacher who challenged me to learn the names of all of the presidents, to the college professor who explained to me that talent could only get a person so far) played major roles in guiding me into this field. 

Favorite Place in Catawba County
I am growing to love River Bend Park. Though it is small compared to other hiking venues, it is laid out to where a person can have a wide variety of hikes in terms of surface and difficulty.  

Favorite Activities
I enjoy wandering about--whether that is hiking in a park, or just meandering around places like downtown Conover. There is so much of the world missed when driving by it that walking allows one to experience. In addition, I recently have taken up the ukulele, which is great because it gives my daughter the opportunity to teach me skills as she improves her own.

Something Unique About Me
I have a BSEd in German.

Zindy Wilfong, Assistant Principal

Zindy Wilfong

Assistant Principal, Mill Creek Middle School


Meet Zindy Wilfong, Assistant Principal

I am honored to be a part of Mill Creek Middle School as the Assistant Principal.


I worked in Marketing and Accounting for several years. In 2007 I decided to become a Spanish teacher and obtained my teaching license as a Lateral Entry educator. Being born in Costa Rica, I felt excited to teach students my language and culture. I have spent the last 15 years with Catawba County Schools. I started my teaching career at Maiden Middle School as a Spanish teacher. In 2021, I took a position at Maiden High School and continued teaching Spanish.


Appalachian State University – Graduate Certificate in School Administration    

Appalachian State University – Masters, Instructional Technology

Professional Education License, Spanish (Grades K-12)- RALC

B.S. Business Administration- Gardner Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC
Why I Became an Educator

I am passionate about empowering students to reach their full potential and invest in their education. I also come from a family of educators. My father was a principal, and my grandmother, two aunts, and a sister were teachers as well.

Favorite Activities

I love to spend time with my husband and two daughters. I enjoy practicing yoga, reading and watching TV.

Meet our Office Staff