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Tennessee Names 2016-17 Principal, District Supervisor of the Year

Monday, October 24, 2016 | 08:16pm

NASHVILLE—A Shelby County high school principal and a Sumner County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education.

Docia Generette-Walker, principal of Middle College High School in Memphis, was named Tennessee’s 2016-17 Principal of the Year. Under her five years of leadership at the school, expectations were raised across the board and now all students participate and succeed in high-level courses. For their achievements, Middle College High School was recognized as a reward school for academic performance and progress in 2015, and that same year it was also named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Dr. Jennifer Brown, assistant director of instruction in Sumner County, was named Tennessee’s 2016-17 Supervisor of the Year. Dr. Brown has led the district’s teacher leader design work, created a district-wide culture that values teachers as leaders, and served as a model and coach for other districts. Under her leadership, the district has achieved the highest graduation rate it has ever had and has been recognized by the College Board as one of 10 Tennessee districts on the National AP Honor Roll.

Both awards were announced this evening at LEAD, a statewide conference for Tennessee’s leaders in districts, schools, and classrooms.

“Leaders matter. They have been critical to our children’s success in Tennessee, and both of these women represent excellence in how they lead our schools,” Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen said. “We are honored to recognize these leaders, and we hope their example will inspire more of our leaders and schools to help Tennessee’s students achieve their fullest potential.”

The annual Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year awards recognize administrators who have helped provide educational opportunities for Tennessee students through their leadership, programs, and vision. Generette-Walker and Brown were among nine principals and nine district supervisors, respectively, selected as regional finalists after being nominated by their peers for the title.

The winners for the three Tennessee grand divisions were also recognized today.

Generette-Walker was named the Tennessee Principal of the Year and West Grand Division winner. Robin Newell, principal of Mitchell-Neilson Schools in Murfreesboro City Schools, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. Susan Trent, principal of Surgoinsville Elementary School in Hawkins County Schools, was named the winner for the East Grand Division.

Dr. Brown was named the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year and Middle Grand Division winner. Michelle Elliott, supervisor in the Trenton Special School District, was named the winner for the West Grand Division. Dr. Phillip Swanson, supervisor for McMinn County Schools, was named the winner for the East Grand Division.

For questions about the Principal or Supervisor of the Year program in Tennessee, please contact Sylvia Flowers, executive director of educator talent, at For media inquiries, please contact Sara Gast at or call (615) 532-6260.