May 25, 2021
SALISBURY – Partners In Learning, Executive Director, Normal Honeycutt,
was honored with the Hometown Hero award at the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers game on Friday,
May 21st. Celia Jarrett, Partners In Learning Board Chair, submitted the following letter in
consideration for her award.
Norma Honeycutt is our hero who supports struggling families and their young children
with special needs. She recognizes education as a key to success and tirelessly advocates
for early childhood education and special needs children. She is the Executive Director
of Partners In Learning and Family Resource Center. Her passion and leadership have
grown this organization to offer care for Infants through 12-year-olds, specializing in
care for special needs children and supporting families throughout our community.
Norma makes sure families with special needs children are not alone. Whether it be a
a premature infant born with developmental delays, a child born with Downs Syndrome, a
non-responsive toddler on the Autism spectrum or child with confining physical
disabilities, she advocates and empowers parents to find rehabilitative therapies and
childcare so their child can thrive.
Norma has a passion for giving young families a needed hand up. She locates housing
for young mothers, offers work to parents, finds them needed funds and encouragement to
continue their education. Norma goes into the homes of struggling parents to offer Triple
P parenting classes spends evenings teaching a mom how to set up a bedtime routine or
afternoons with parents and children at their needed appointments.
Early childhood education is Norma’s passion. Whether leading teacher conferences for
area childcare providers or traveling to Raleigh to offer her expertise, Norma seeks ways
to build up the childcare profession.
Norma’s loving passion is building the future of our community one family and child at a
This nomination and award were kept a complete secret from Norma. Staff from both the
Catawba and Novant locations were in attendance, along with many families, board chair – Celia
Jarrett and family, as well as, other directors from the community. After all, Norma has touched
many lives in Rowan County. Norma was in complete shock with the outpouring of love. Norma
stated, “There are not enough words to say how special, loved, and humbled I feel. It was an
honor to receive this recognition for doing what I am called to do. Thank you to all the hero’s
that have served with me throughout the years.”
Krissy Weeks, a teacher at Partners In Learning, stated, “A mentor to so many including myself.
Norma fights tirelessly in Raleigh with state legislatures and here in our own backyard to make
sure the rights of every child are upheld. She is who I want to be when I grow up.” Destiny
Veitch also stated, “Couldn’t ask for a better place to work. Norma, we all love you very much
and are so grateful for all you do!”.
Cassie Karriker, Early Intervention Director at Partners In Learning, commented “She has
basically raised me from a teen mom to where I am today. She helps coach me with my own
daughter with ADHD and she has advocated for my education harder than any person in my life.
Would be so lost without her! Nobody deserves it more.”
After the nomination was posted on WBTV’s social media page, comments from families and
teachers began pouring in. Tracy MacKay-Ratliff commented on the post saying,
“This is awesome and so well worth it! You are an amazing lady & thanks for all you do! With
your help and advocacy (and helping me to be my kid’s #1 advocate) our Seamus is walking
across the graduation stage with a full 2-yr scholarship, which you said he would do when he
was 5 with Asperger’s in his IEP review! I will never forget all your love and support for our
family and all the PIL families! Thank you!”
Partners In Learning is celebrating its 25th anniversary, with Norma Honeycutt leading and
growing the organization for 23 years. She is continuing to lead this organization into the future
with the upcoming construction of its new facility on Martin Luther King Blvd. The dream is to
bring an Autism Clinic to Rowan County that can serve one in 39 children diagnosed as
having autism in North Carolina (according to ADDM 2020 data).
Partners In Learning serves as the Model Inclusive Center in Rowan County accredited by the
National Association for the Education of Young Children. Partners In Learning provides
center-based early care and education to over 200 children weekly, and community-based early
intervention services to 150 weekly. Partners In Learning’s services reach beyond just the walls
of the classroom, and deep into the community. With Triple-P services, family support programs,
and mentoring programs aimed at supporting other childcare centers in the community. Norma
Honeycutt is continuing to lead this organization into the future. With the upcoming construction
of its new facility on Martin Luther King Blvd., Norma’s dream to bring an Autism Clinic to
Rowan County will be realized.
For more information about the center, visit epartnersinlearning.org.