Principal of the Year
Each year an outstanding public school principal earns distinction as the Tennessee Department of Education Principal of the Year (POY). This honor is earned by demonstrating superior abilities in:
- managing and motivating students and faculties;
- evoking high standards;
- demonstrating a commitment to excellence;
- implementing innovative programs; and
- having a track record of exceptional gains in student learning.
The winner is honored annually at the Principal and Supervisor of the Year Banquet.
Eligibility & Selection Process
A Principal of the Year Nominee must:
- have a minimum of five (5) years of professional experience in Tennessee public schools.;
- have a minimum of three (3) years of experience as a principal; and
- at all levels of recognition, must be employed as a principal in a Tennessee public school system.
Directors of schools will nominate one principal from each district using the online POY Nomination Form.
The 2020-21 nomination deadline is Feb. 28, 2020.
- Beginning in April, a panel of independent reviewers with representatives from each CORE region convene to score written applications submitted by each nominee. Application scores are averaged to select nine finalists, one from each CORE region and the Shelby County-Municipals group.
- Each finalist’s school must lie within the boundaries of the CORE area that he or she is chosen to represent.
- Finalists will be notified of their status by July.
- In August, the nine finalists progress to the interview stage of the selection process.
- The Grand Division winners and the Tennessee Principal of the Year are selected by combining each nominee’s average application score and average interview score.
Projected 2019-20 Timeline
|By 12 p.m. CT
|Directors of schools (or their designees) submit the nomination form for Principal of the Year (POY)|
|March 2||Department sends nominees the link to the POY application|
|By 5 p.m. CT on April 1||POY nominees submit application online.|
|April||A panel of independent reviewers with representatives from each CORE region selects one principal from each CORE region and the Shelby County-Municipals group to advance as a finalist to the interview stage|
|July||Announcement of the nine Principal of the Year finalists|
|August||Interviews held at the Andrew Johnson Tower in Nashville|
|Fall 2020||Supervisor of the Year and Principal of the Year recognition banquet in Nashville|
|2019-20||LeAndrea Ware||The Howard School||Hamilton County Schools|
|2018-19||Vicki Shipley||Munford Middle School||Tipton County Schools|
|2017-18||Robin Copp||Ooltewah High School||Hamilton County|
|2016-17||Docia Generette-Walker||Middle College High School||Shelby County Schools|
|2015-16||Peggy Greene||Ridgeview Elementary School||Washington County Schools|
|2014-15||Ronald Hughes||Apison Elementary School||Hamilton County Schools|
|2013-14||Martha Fisher||Cascade Elementary School||Bedford County Schools|
|2012-13||Jane Winter||Minglewood Elementary||Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools|
|2011-12||Rita White||Riverwood Elementary||Memphis City Schools|
|2010-11||Tim Setterlund||Collierville High School||Shelby County Schools|
|2009-10||Janice Womble||Deery Eakin Primary School||Bedford County Schools|
|2008-09||Warner Ross||Bolivar Middle School||Hardeman County Schools|
|2007-08||Scott Owens||Rhea Elementary School||Paris Special Schools|
|Margaret McKissick-Larry||Avon Lenox School||Memphis City Schools|
|2006-07||Catherine Battle||Snowden School||Memphis City Schools|
|2005-06||Rhonda Kennedy||Hazelwood Elementary School||Clarksville-Montgomery County|
|2004-05||Philip L. Kiper||Bledsoe County Middle School||Bledsoe County Schools|
|2003-04||Deborah Alexander||Kingston Elementary School||Roane County Schools|
|2002-03||Robbie Robinson McGowan||Mooreland Heights Elementary School||Knox County Schools|
|2001||Dr. Julie Williams||Hunters Lane Comprehensive High School||Metro/Davidson County Schools|
|R. Michael Landis||West Middle School||Tullahoma City Schools|
|Virginia McNeal||Alton Elementary School||Memphis City Schools|
|2000||Tommy Everette||Karns High School||Knox County Schools|
|Jerry McNabb||Jasper Middle School||Marion County Schools|
|Mickey Hatcher||Unicoi Elementary School||Unicoi County Schools|
|1999||David L. Daniel||Loretto High School||Lawrence County Schools|
|Donna C. Trevathan||Warren County Middle School||Warren County Schools|
|Julia Price||Alpha Elementary School||Hamblen County Schools|
|1998||James David Heath||Brentwood High School||Williamson County Schools|
|Tom L. Barnard||New Providence Middle School||Clarksville-Montgomery County|
|Sue Carmichael||Bon DeCroft Elementary School||White County Schools|
|1997||John W. Snider||Dyer County High School||Dyer County Schools|
|Elbert Milton Ross||East Middle School||Metro/Davidson County Schools|
|Peggy C. Willocks||Harold McCormick Elementary School||Elizabethton City Schools|
|1996||Dr. Martha Glover||McNairy Central High School||McNairy County Schools|
|James A. Sawyers||DuPont Middle School||Metro/Davidson County Schools|
|David Moore||Delano Elementary School||Memphis City Schools|
|1995||Vicki Dunaway||Powell High School||Knox County Schools|
|Carolyn R. McPherson||John Sevier Middle School||Kingsport City Schools|
|Kay Awalt||Moore Elementary School||Franklin Special School District|
|1994||Joe Yeager||Page High School||Williamson County Schools|
|Donald Allen Rogers||Unicoi County Middle School||Unicoi County Schools|
|Dr. Brenda T. Gulledge||Highland Elementary School||Greeneville City Schools|
|1993||Shirley Rose Ellis||Hampton High School||Carter County Schools|
|Dr. Samuel Humphreys||University School||Washington County Schools|
|Dr. Jim Luckey||Idlewild Elementary School||Memphis City Schools|
|1991||A. D. Hancock||Hunters Lane High School||Metro/Davidson County Schools|
|Thomas W. Hayes||Robertsville Junior High School||Oak Ridge City Schools|
|Ben K. Wilson||Ingleside Elementary School||Athens City Schools|