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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: JANUARY 22, 2009


Eight principals were recently selected to represent their regions as regional Wachovia Principals of the Year and will now compete for the title of 2009 Wachovia North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2008 Wachovia North Carolina Principal of the Year, Debra Morris, principal of A.L. Brown High School (Kannapolis City Schools).

The regional principals of the year are as follows:

  • North Central Region: Matthew Wight, Apex High (Wake County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Donald Sisson, Northeastern High (Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools);
  • Northwest Region: DeAnna Finger, Tuttle Elementary (Catawba County Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Vann Pennell, South Brunswick High (Brunswick County Schools);
  • Southwest Region: Steve Hall, Bruns Avenue Elementary (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Jeffrey Jernigan, Cape Fear High (Cumberland County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Sabre Robinson, Eastlawn Elementary (Alamance-Burlington Schools); and
  • West Region: Ronette Dill, Saluda Elementary (Polk County Schools).

"Congratulations to these outstanding school leaders on their selection as regional Wachovia Principals of the Year," State Superintendent June Atkinson said. "I appreciate Wachovia Corporation for its continued support of this recognition program."

"At Wachovia, we believe every child deserves a quality education, but we need extraordinary educators to make this possible,” said Juan Austin, Wachovia's Community Affairs Manager. “We are proud to support this program and honor the men and women who are role models for all of us as we strive for excellence in our own fields. We praise this year's Principals of the Year for what they do every day for our children."

A State Selection Committee will review the portfolios of the eight regional winners and visit each candidate's school campus. Results of these site visits, portfolio assessments and personal interviews will be used to determine the 2009 Wachovia North Carolina Principal of the Year.

The recipient will be announced on April 2 in Raleigh at a state luncheon sponsored by Wachovia Corporation to honor the regional winners. The Wachovia North Carolina Principal of the Year will receive a $3,000 check for personal use and/or professional development and a $3,000 check for his or her school to purchase materials or other equipment. The winner also will serve a one-year term as advisor to the State Board of Education. The eight regional winners each will receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for their schools.

Since the program began in 1984, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wachovia Corporation have recognized 28 Wachovia Principals of the Year, 178 regional recipients, and 2,334 local recipients. In addition, Wachovia has provided more than $1 million in cash awards to these individuals. In its 26th year, the program provides a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding principals from North Carolina public schools.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.