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Munford Elementary Principal Varissa Richardson is a finalist for Principal of the Year

“Strong leadership is vital to the success of our students,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “I’ve traveled the state and have seen first-hand how leaders positively impact our students on a daily basis. These are the people who go above and beyond for our kids and educators. It is my pleasure to recognize and celebrate these dedicated leaders who support education across the state.”

To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of three years' experience as a principal and a minimum of five years' experience in Tennessee public schools. In addition, all nominees must have a proven track record of exceptional gains in student learning.

Richardson was Tipton County's Principal of the Year this year and MES was one of five Rewards Schools in Tipton County. She is a graduate of Humboldt High School, the University of Memphis and Trevecca Nazarene University.

"We are ecstatic that Ms. V was chosen as one of the finalists for 2019 Tennessee Principal of the Year," said superintendent Dr. John Combs. "I've worked with Principal Richardson for over 20 years in the Tipton County School system including our time teaching high school together. She is, without a doubt, an amazing and selfless advocate for our children and we are so proud she is a part of this team!"

Other finalists are Anna Jones (Arlington Elementary), David Kibbler (Henry Elementary), Jessica Harris (Minglewood Elementary), Julie Tidwell (Mt. Pleasant Elementary), Sara Cope (BonDeCroft Elementary), LeAndrea Ware (The Howard School), Jenna Sharp (Clinton Elementary) and Jeff Kinsler (Morristown-Hamblen High School West). 

Principal and Supervisor of the Year finalists will proceed to an in-person interview that will be held in in the coming weeks where each will meet with a panel of interviewers made up of department staff and other education leaders. Winners for each Grand Division and the Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year will be selected from this group and announced at a banquet on Nov. 5, during the department’s LEAD Conference in Nashville. 

Last year, Munford Middle School's Vicki Shipley was Tennessee's Principal of the Year.