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Tennessee Announces 2019-20 Principal, District Supervisor of the Year Finalists

Administrators receive state’s highest mark of recognition through rigorous application process
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 10:48am

NASHVILLE— Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced the nine finalists for the

2019-20 Tennessee Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year awards 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).

“Strong leadership is vital to the success of our students,” Schwinn said. “I’ve traveled the state and have seen first-hand how leaders positively impact our students on a daily basis. These are the people who go above and beyond for our kids and educators. It is my pleasure to recognize and celebrate these dedicated leaders who support education across the state.”

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.

The nine finalists for 2019-20 Principal of the Year are:

West Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Shelby/Municipals Anna Jones Arlington Elementary Arlington Municipal School District
Southwest Varissa Richardson Munford Elementary School Tipton County
Northwest David Kibbler Henry Elementary School Henry County
Middle Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Mid Cumberland Jessica Harris Minglewood Elementary School Clarksville-Montgomery County
South Central Julie Tidwell Mt. Pleasant Elementary Maury County
Upper Cumberland Sara Cope BonDeCroft Elementary White County
East Tennessee
CORE Region Principal School District
Southeast LeAndrea Ware The Howard School Hamilton County
East Tennessee Jenna Sharp Clinton Elementary School Clinton City Schools
First Tennessee Jeff Kinsler Morristown-Hamblen High School West Hamblen County

Each year an outstanding public school supervisor earns distinction as the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate a record of implementing innovative programs and managing and motivating students and faculties. Additionally, the nominees must have a minimum of three years' experience as a administrator and a minimum of five years' experience in Tennessee public schools.

The nine finalists for 2019-20 Supervisor of the Year are:

West Tennessee
CORE Region Supervisor District
Shelby/Municipals Korrie White Bartlett Municipal School District
Southwest Susan Farris Lauderdale County
Northwest Michelle Goad Gibson County Special School District
Middle Tennessee
CORE Region Supervisor District
Mid Cumberland Joseph Jones Cheatham County
South Central Robb Killen Maury County
Upper Cumberland Bonnie Patterson Cannon County
East Tennessee
CORE Region Supervisor District
Southeast Michael Kahrs Cleveland City Schools
East Tennessee Jennifer Malone Loudon County
First Tennessee Charles Carter Hamblen County Schools

Principal and Supervisor of the Year finalists will proceed to an in-person interview that will be held in in the coming weeks where each will meet with a panel of interviewers made up of department staff and other education leaders. Winners for each Grand Division and the Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year will be selected from this group and announced at a banquet on Nov. 5, during the department’s LEAD Conference in Nashville.

For more information about the Principal or Supervisor of the Year program, contact David Donaldson, assistant commissioner of human capital, at David.Donaldson@tn.gov. For media inquiries, please contact Jennifer Johnson, director of communications, at 615-532-6260 or Jennifer.Johnson@tn.gov.