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K.C. Sinclair Scholarship
|Kenneth C. “K.C.” Sinclair came to Charlotte in 1948, to teach industrial arts and math at Central High School and later at Garinger. Preparation for this occupation included serving as an officer in the Navy during WW II, as well as, earning Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees from Western Kentucky University.
During his 34 years of teaching, he was a leader and held offices in local, state, & national professional associations whose purpose was the promotion of sound educational procedures and the welfare of teachers. Among these are the Charlotte Classroom Teachers Assn, N.C. Education Assn, N.C. Industrial Arts Assn, National Education Assn, & American Industrial Arts Assn. His former students remember him for his expert tutelage, building a foundation for their respective successes, particularly in the fields of engineering. He would not tolerate, nor pass, a student who made no effort, but went out of his way to help anyone who tried, even if their ability was somewhat lacking.
Recognizing the need for an instrument to serve the financial needs of local teachers and school employees, K.C. was recognized as the driving force behind establishing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Teachers’ Credit Union. “The Credit Union” was first run out of a utility room, converted to office, connected to his classroom at Garinger High School. The teachers & staff at Garinger were among the charter members but soon it grew until teachers & staff from other Charlotte Mecklenburg schools began joining too. He served as manager, treasurer, and member of the Board of Directors from its charter by the State of N.C. in 1962, until his death in 1989. The Credit Union was growing so fast that in 1982, K.C. retired from teaching and dedicated full time to the Credit Union, opening the first “real” Credit Union office on Idlewild Road. He learned all about computers so that the Credit Union could develop its own system, have all the accounts & accounting on computer, and generate its own statements (also in 1982).
K.C. was also active in the community and in his church Providence United Methodist. He was the only official basketball timekeeper at the original Charlotte Coliseum, now Independence Arena. Training & practice for this came from timing Central and Garinger High School basketball games. For many years, he also coordinated the referees for all of the Charlotte area high school basketball games. Several successive summers in the late 1950s, he spearheaded the Sardis-Providence Recreation Assn, aimed at providing fun, wholesome, organized summertime activities available to all school age children within that general area at a reasonable cost (schoolteachers weren’t paid much then either). Additionally, K.C. tried to keep up with his active wife and busy daughter.
Upon his death, his family set up the K.C. Sinclair Scholarship asking that memorials be sent rather than flowers. At the end of the next fiscal year, the Board of Directors passed a motion that each year
* $2,500 Scholarships will be given to 2 graduating high school seniors
His legacy includes two grandsons, the Credit Union, and the K.C. Sinclair Scholarship to help other young people attain their goals through education. Scholarship candidates do not have to have the very best grades and scores, but must exhibit leadership, an idea of some goal at this point in their lives, an ability to describe that goal and express its meaning to them, and a willingness to work to achieve their goal.