Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced Ooltewah High School Principal Robin Copp is one of nine finalists for the 2017-18 Tennessee Principal of the Year award on Monday.
The finalists represent each Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) region in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division (West, Middle and East). Ms. Copp was named Principal of the Year for the Southeast CORE region this past April. Since that time, she competed against 19 other principals across the state to advance to the final round. She, and a middle school principal in Marion County beat the more than 150 principals nominated for the Southeast Region.
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.”
HCDE Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson was not surprised by the announcement. “Her sense of urgency and commitment to excellence were evident as great learning was taking place on Day one,” Dr. Johnson said.
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.