Nine outstanding public school principals have been selected as regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year who will now compete for the state title of 2023 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2022 recipient, Dr. Patrick Greene, principal of Greene Central High School (Greene County Schools).
The nine regional Wells Fargo principals of the year are:
- 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: Dr. 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 – such as this year’s regional Wells Fargo finalists – are essential to the goal of ensuring that every student in North Carolina have a highly qualified, excellent teacher.
“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. Leaders in education have the ability to improve outcomes for so many. These nine principals exemplify what it means to be a truly strong and effective leader.”
Tabari Wallace, special advisor to the superintendent for principal engagement, also emphasized the importance of a principal’s leadership skills.
“Excellent principals are true difference-makers in their schools,” Wallace said. “These innovative leaders show up and give their best every day for their schools and change lives. I can’t wait to see what phenomenal work this group of dedicated leaders in education do as 2023 Wells Fargo Regional Principals of the Year.”
The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Award was introduced in 1984 to recognize the critical role of the principal in establishing a culture that supports the pursuit and achievement of academic excellence in North Carolina schools. The 2023 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year will be announced May 19.
This year, with support from Equitable, the May 19 ceremony will be livestreamed on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for additional details and more information.