Coach Paul Dinkenor retires

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Paul Dinkenor, history teacher and former coach, with his former teams. He coached and taught at Leesville. (Photo courtesy of LRHS News)

Paul Dinkenor, teacher of 30 years at Leesville Road High School, is officially in his last week of teaching. He has been at the school since 1993, the school’s opening year. Through his 30 years he has taught AP European history, world history, paideia and a religions and Bible class. 

Dinkenor attended Manchester Grammar school and went on to gain his teaching degree from The University of Cambridge. Dinkenor wanted to become a teacher because in high school he admired his teachers and everything they did to assist him. He thought teaching would be a fun and engaging opportunity. 

Dinkenor grew up in Manchester until 1984 when he moved to the United States. He chose to move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina because he likes James Taylor, and he had a connection with Chapel Hill.

Out of the classes he has taught, Dineknor’s favorite class is Religion and the Bible. During this class, he teaches students about the 5 major religions around the world. He teaches the students history about them, as well as how they have evolved and compared to other religions. Dinkenor also educates his students on the Bible, as a historical book. 

While Dinkenor continues to teach his students daily, he also furthers his knowledge on religions and the history of the bible. 

“I knew absolutely nothing in 1994, when we started, and I have now learned an enormous amount, and I am still learning stuff everyday,” said Dinkenor.

Mr. Dinkenor is not the only family member to be a part of the Leesville community. Through his work he met his wife, Heather Dinkenor, a former English teacher at Leesville. Their two children also went through the Leesville schools, elementary through high school.

“So in terms of my wife, myself, and our 2 children — we as a whole have been here for 18 years, together, in one place. We have given a lot of our time and effort to the school, which has given back to us enormously. So, it has been a happy marriage,” said Dinkenor.

Throughout his 37 years of education, he has also worked with the Leesville soccer program, as varsity head coach. He led both teams, boys and girls, to many wins, titles, and championships. He stepped down from this position after the men’s season in 2022. 

“Just great memories — memories of hundreds and hundreds of really great people. I feel like we worked very hard and achieved a lot. The teams won 5 state championships, about 21 conference champions, about 10 conference tournament championships and countless individual awards which are too numerous to mention. I am honored to have done it,” said Dinkenor. 

Dinkenor’s coaching efforts did not go unnoticed: He had won many coaching awards. As well as, in February of 2023 Coach Dinkenor was recognized and put into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame for his accomplishments throughout his career. 

Dinkenor plans on continuing his coaching career at North Carolina FC Youth where he can teach young girls soccer skills. He also plans to work at the YMCA, as a bus driver for the summer camps, and assist at Norwood Garden Nursery. 

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