Local News

Wake County names principal, assistant principal of the year

Posted October 16, 2009 5:50 a.m. EDT

— The Wake County Public School System named John Wall of North Garner Middle School the 2009 Principal of the Year and Fay Jones of Forest Pines Drive Elementary the 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year in ceremonies Thursday night at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh.

Wall has been in education for 22 years and has been principal at North Garner Middle for four years. Prior to that, he was principal and assistant principal at Zebulon Middle and a teacher at Carnage Middle. Earlier, he taught in New York.

“An effective principal should create environments that are challenging for students, supportive of teachers and welcoming to parents,” Wall said. “Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential.”

Wall says a focus on data is a key toward understanding the needs of students.

“I have created an Academic Intervention Model that provides students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency on grade level goals and objectives and to complete missing work,” he said. “If students perform poorly on assessments or fail to turn in assignments, they are required to attend a study hall where a certified teacher works with them to ensure competency or work compliance.

"We also created monthly enhancement days to create a structure to re-teach struggling students or to enrich students who mastered the material. These enhancement days revolve around the data collected from common formative assessments in reading and math.”

Wall was a finalist for Wake County Principal of the Year in 2004; Mentor of the Year by the Helping Hands Program; and served as president of the Wake County Division of Principals and Assistant Principals.

The 2009 Principal of the Year finalists included Mary Page of Bugg Elementary, Annice Williams of Barwell Road Elementary, Teresa Winstead of Durant Road Elementary and Edward McFarland of Fuquay-Varina High.

Assistant principal winner 'uses creativity'

Jones, the 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year, has been in education for 15 years and has been assistant principal at Forest Pines Drive Elementary for five years.

Prior to that, she served as an assistant principal and teacher who split time between Green Hope Elementary, Adams Elementary and Farmington Woods Elementary. She also worked as a teacher at Farmington Woods Elementary and West Lake Elementary.

Forest Pines Drive teacher Cynthia Nanni called Jones a problem solver.

“She uses creativity to find solutions when a problem or situation seems difficult to solve,” Nanni said. “Her ability to ‘think outside the box’ is a true asset to her leadership qualities. Ms. Jones is an advocate for the ideas and programs she believes would be beneficial to our school and is diligent in finding ways to make them happen.”

The 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year finalists included Melissa Blackmon of Willow Springs Elementary, Lisa Brown of Leesville Road Elementary, Christopher Coby of Wendell Middle and Robert Matheson of Apex High..

Winners, finalists receive awards

The 10 finalists received an acrylic award and a rolling cart filled with office supplies compliments of Office Depot. The principal finalists received a monetary award that was given by Hunt Ward, Lifetouch Studios. Each assistant principal finalist received a monetary award that was made possible by Jubal Stagner and Kim Trezona of Jostens.

The Principal of the Year received a $1,000 check compliments of Hunt Ward of Lifetouch Studios as well as a rolling cart filled with miscellaneous office supplies and a HP Deskjet combination printer/scanner/copier compliments of Sonya Reid of Office Depot.

The Principal of the Year’s school received a $500 monetary award compliments of Michael Strawbridge, Strawbridge Studios.

The Assistant Principal of the Year received a $500 check, compliments of Jubal Stagner and Kim Trezona of Jostens as well as a rolling cart filled with miscellaneous office supplies and a HP Deskjet combination printer/scanner/copier compliments of Sonya Reid of Office Depot.

Principals and assistant principals are nominated by their peers. Each finalist is required to submit a portfolio, receive a site visit, and is interviewed by a panel of educators and community members.