Nine school principals have been selected as regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year. The principals lead schools in eight North Carolina State Board of Education Districts. There is also one charter school principal among the finalists vying the 2023 honor.
This year’s winner will succeed Patrick Greene, principal of Greene Central High School (Greene County Schools).
Here’s the list of the nine finalists:
- Northeast: John Lassiter, Hertford Grammar (Perquimans County Schools).
- Sandhills: Jim Butler, Richmond Senior High (Richmond County Schools).
- Northwest: Jessica Gravel, Drexel Elementary (Burke County Public Schools).
- Piedmont-Triad: Donna Bledsoe, Cedar Ridge Elementary (Surry County Schools).
- Southeast: Ashley Faulkenberry, Trent Park Elementary (Craven County Schools).
- North Central: William Logan, Hillside High (Durham Public Schools).
- Western: Ruafika Cobb, Ira B. Jones Elementary (Asheville City Schools).
- Southwest: Tonya Williams, Concord Middle (Cabarrus County Schools).
- Charter: T.J. Worrell, NE Academy for Aerospace and Advance Technologies (Elizabeth City).
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said that strong and effective principals are essential to school success.
“A principal sets the standard,” Truitt said. “They lead by example for everyone in their school – students, educators, support staff, and everyone else who walks through that building,” Truitt said in a news release announcing the finalists.
The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year serves as an advisor to the State Board of Education. The state principal is expected to attend and actively participate in state board meetings.
In addition, the Wells Fargo Principal of the Year will compete for the National Principal of the Year honors through the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association (NCPAPA).
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