Dr. Jeff Perry, Hamblen County school superintendent, said Thursday he is proud that two Hamblen County educators were finalists for state Principal of the Year and Superintendent of the Year.
Jeff Kinsler, principal for Morristown-Hamblen High School West, and Chuck Carter, supervisor for Hamblen County Career & Technical Education, learned Wednesday they had not been named as top finalists in those categories.
“We were disappointed they weren’t recognized as principal and supervisor of the year because we certainly think they have those attributes,” Perry said.
Kinsler and Carter were both part of nine finalists in their respective category. Out of those nine, three were chosen as Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year, as well as naming three Grand Division winners for East, Middle and West Tennessee.
Both awards were announced at an honorary banquet in Nashville during the department’s LEAD conference, a statewide convening for Tennessee’s leaders in districts, schools, and classrooms.
Dr. LeAndrea Ware, principal of the Howard School in Hamilton County Schools, was named Tennessee’s 2019-20 Principal of the Year.
Dr. Michelle Goad, instructional supervisor for grades 5-8 and testing coordinator in Gibson County Special School District, was named Tennessee’s 2019-20 Supervisor of the Year.
Ware was also named East Grand Division winner. Sara Cope, principal of BonDeCroft Elementary School in White County Schools, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. Varissa Richardson, principal of Munford Elementary School in Tipton County Schools, was named the winner for the West Grand Division.
Goad was also named West Grand Division winner. Jennifer Malone, supervisor for Loudon County Schools, was named East Grand Division winner. Bonnie Patterson, supervisor for Cannon County Schools, was named Middle Grand Division winner.
Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Scwhinn said in a statement she was proud of the accomplishments and work of all those honored.
“As a former principal, I’m continually inspired by the caliber of principals and supervisors that we have across this great state, and I am truly honored to recognize these outstanding individuals who work each day to make sure our students are receiving the best possible education,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
Perry praised Kinsler’s and Carter’s work within the Hamblen County school system.
“When you’re recognized as one of the top nine individuals in the state, that’s still a major accomplishment,” he said.
The honors followed educator Brian McLaughlin, a West High School math teacher, being named Teacher of the Year in September.
Perry said the two educators who came up short on the awards are not just outstanding educators, but outstanding people. He said he knows they don’t do their jobs for individual awards or to get a piece of the “spotlight.”
“They’re doing it because they can make a difference in a child’s life every day,” he said.