Tennessee Announces 2021-22 Principal, District Supervisor of the Year Finalists

Monday, July 12, 2021 | 01:20pm


School Leaders Receive Highest State Recognition for Dedication to Excellence

NASHVILLE, TN— Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the nine finalists for the 2021-22 Tennessee Principal of the Year and eight finalists for Supervisor of the Year awards. The finalists represent each Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) region in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division: West, Middle, and East. 

“Throughout the past year, I have seen such inspiring dedication and drive within our school leaders as they have stayed focused on putting the needs of our students first,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Having exceptional leaders in our schools is important for our students and our entire school communities, and I am grateful for their commitment to helping make Tennessee the best for all.”

The Tennessee Principal of the Year award is awarded 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 one year of experience as a principal and a minimum of three years of experience in public schools. In addition, all nominees must have a proven track record of exceptional gains in student learning. 

The nine finalists for 2021-22 Principal of the Year are:

West Tennessee

CORE Region Principal School District
Shelby/Municipals Tyler Salyer Collierville Elementary Collierville Schools
Southwest Shannon Taylor Bargerton Elementary Henderson County Schools
Northwest Kevin Turner Dyer School Gibson County Special School District

Middle Tennessee

CORE Region Principal School District
Mid Cumberland Nicole Miller Olszewski KIPP Antioch College Prep Middle State Board of Education
South Central Kelly Myers Highland Park Elementary Maury County Schools
Upper Cumberland Rebecca Ryan Findlay Elementary White County Schools

East Tennessee

CORE Region Principal School District
Southeast Autumn O’Bryan Cleveland High Cleveland City Schools
East Tennessee RaeAnn Owens Clinton Middle College and Career Academy Anderson County Schools
First Tennessee Chris Hampton Dobyns-Bennett High Kingsport City Schools

“I want to express my congratulations to each of these individuals, and it is a honor to be named a finalist and a testament to all your hard work,” said Dr. Leneda Laing, 2021-22 Tennessee Principal of the Year. “Tennessee’s school leaders and supervisors have done heroic work over the past year to continue educating and providing resources for their students and teachers, and deserve this state level recognition. It has been an honor to be part of this program and I am excited for this year’s group of finalists.” 

Each year, an outstanding public school supervisor is recognized 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 one years of experience as an administrator and a minimum of five years of experience in public schools. 

The eight finalists for 2021-22 Supervisor of the Year are:

West Tennessee

CORE Region Supervisor District
Shelby/Municipals Zoe Bozeman Bartlett City Schools
Southwest Charlotte Fisher Tipton County Schools
Northwest Rory Hinson Gibson County Special School District

Middle Tennessee

CORE Region Supervisor District
Mid Cumberland Robert Langford Sumner County Schools
Upper Cumberland Bryan Cofer Cannon County Schools

* There was no candidate submitted as the finalist for the South Central region.

East Tennessee

CORE Region Supervisor District
Southeast Sarai Pierce Sequatchie County Schools
East Tennessee Millicent Smith Lenoir City Schools
First Tennessee Vicki Johnston Kingsport City Schools

“Tennessee has outstanding school administrators and leaders that have moved mountains to continue serving students and teachers and putting their needs first this past school year,” said Dr. Kay Martin, 2019-20 Tennessee Supervisor of the Year. “Congratulations to these finalists for this much deserved recognition at the state level. I was honored to be a part of this amazing experience and program, and I am excited for this next cohort of honorees.”  

Nominations of one principal and one supervisor were accepted from the state’s school districts. Out of more than 60 applications, up to three regional semifinalists were identified by selection committees in each region, and the finalists for each award were then selected by a state-level selection committee.

Principal and Supervisor of the Year finalists will now proceed to an interview that will be held in in the coming weeks. Winners for each Grand Division and the Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year will be selected from this group and announced at the Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year Celebration held this fall. 

To learn more about the Tennessee Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year Awards, click here.

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.