Dr. John Boldt has spent the entirety of his adult life—and career in education—in North Carolina, and his warm, native-sounding southern accent is a testament to that. He’s lived on three continents and has a diverse teaching resume—anthropology, social studies, and varsity soccer—contributing to his approachable and open-minded leadership style. He’s also extremely upbeat, and a trip to his office is a true juxtaposition; Monk chants emanate from a stereo next to a size-22 Air Jordan sneaker, which he keeps displayed as an icebreaker.

Dr. Boldt is the Principal at Southern Wayne High School in Dudley, North Carolina, about an hour southeast of Raleigh. Despite being located in a very rural area, Southern Wayne has a large student population, with just over 1,000 students across the four grades. A high percentage of Southern Wayne’s graduating students join the military; an understandable outcome given their proximity to Fort Bragg.

Dr. John F. Boldt

In the context of education, student tardies are always inevitable, and are present in all schools, no matter what size or location. It’s the great equalizer; the one problem that all schools can relate to.

Southern Wayne is no exception, and before Hero, their problem with tardies was their biggest disciplinary issue. Given the sheer volume of students, the amount of tardies they processed on a day-to-day basis was staggering and overwhelming. They just couldn’t keep up using the manual paper process that was in place. And what’s worse, the students adopted a lackadaisical approach to being late. Paper processing comes with a high margin of error, and accurate records and consequences were impossible to maintain.

“Teachers no longer have to fight the cell phone or dress code battle”

Drawn by the allure of digitizing the time-consuming and arduous task of manual tardy processing, Southern Wayne started using Hero. Under the direction of Dr. Boldt, students came in to the 2014 school year with Hero in place. Administrators, teachers, and staff began to see results immediately. Minor disciplinary incidents decreased in the first 4 months—dress code violations by 70% and cell phone violations by 77%. Major disciplinary incidents decreased dramatically as well, with a 75% decrease in overall referrals when you compare 2013 numbers with the first quarter of 2014.



But the most impressive results they achieved is with their unexcused tardies. In the first four months of Hero implementation, Southern Wayne was able to see an 89% reduction in unexcused tardies. In September, they were processing over 1,000 tardies a month. By December, those numbers plummeted to under 150.


“It has changed the focus of the school from one of ‘gotcha’ to one that puts the important things first”

When asked what is responsible for such staggering results, Dr. Boldt gives the answer that most Hero customers give – student accountability. Digitizing the tardy-tracking process provides the consistency and accuracy needed to make students (very quickly) take responsibility for their actions. No more slipping through the cracks. A tardy is always a tardy, whether they lose their paper pass or not, because with Hero that information is digitally saved. Southern Wayne is proof that when they are held accountable, students will be more motivated to arrive to school on time.

Dr. Boldt is proud of the success over the past year, and he should be. We’re proud of his success too.


If you’re busy, get stories like this straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters.