Tennessee Department of Education Announces 2017-18 Principal of the Year Finalists

Monday, August 14, 2017 | 09:46am

NASHVILLE—Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the nine finalists for the 2017-18 Tennessee Principal of the Year award today. The finalists represent each Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) region in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division (West, Middle and East). Winners for each Grand Division and the Tennessee Principal of the Year will be selected from this group and announced at a banquet on Oct. 16, during the department's LEAD Conference in Nashville.

"Successful schools begin with great leaders, and these nine finalists represent some of the best in our state," Commissioner McQueen said. "The Principal of the Year finalists have each proven what is possible when school leaders hold students and educators to high expectations. Through investments and expansions of school leader pipeline programs, we will continue to see excellent school leaders throughout the state."

The nine finalists for 2017-18 Principal of the Year are:

West Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Shelby/Municipals Tracie Thomas White Station Elementary Shelby County Schools
Southwest Stephanie Coffman South Haven Elementary Henderson County School District
Northwest Linda DeBerry Dyersburg City Primary School Dyersburg City Schools


Middle Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Mid Cumberland Kenneth (Cam) MacLean Portland West Middle School Sumner County Schools
South Central John Bush Marshall County High School Marshall County Schools
Upper Cumberland Donnie Holman Rickman Elementary School Overton County Schools


East Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Southeast Robin Copp Ooltewah High School Hamilton County Department of Education
East Tennessee Jeff Harshbarger Norris Middle School Anderson County Schools
First Tennessee Carol McGill Fairmont Elementary School Johnson City Schools

The Tennessee Principal of the Year award is given annually to a school leader for outstanding service in education and exceptional leadership that drives overall improvements in his or her school. To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of three years' experience as a principal and a minimum of five years' experience in Tennessee public schools. In addition, all nominees must have a proven track record of exceptional gains in student learning. For more information on eligibility and the selection process, visit the department's website.

For more information about the Principal of the Year program, contact Sylvia Flowers, executive director of educator talent, at Sylvia.Flowers@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of strategic communications and media, at (615) 532-6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.