• Since 1984, Wells Fargo Bank has financially supported a program in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction to recognize outstanding principals from the North Carolina public schools. Since the inception of the program, we have recognized 38 state Wells Fargo Principals of the Year, 248 regional award recipients, and 3,167 local Wells Fargo Principals of the Year.


    The candidate must:

    • Be a principal of a North Carolina public school.
    • Have at least four years’ experience as an administrator (years may be a combination of assistant principal, principal and central office experience).
    • A principal is a person designated by a local Board of Education as the head of a school with 100 or more pupils in average daily membership (ADM) and/or with seven or more full-time, state-allotted teachers.
    • A principal is the executive head of the school
    • Be employed as a school administrator throughout the local and regional selection process.
    • Be a practicing school administrator in order to compete for the Wells Fargo Principal of the Year state title and remain practicing principal for the entire term.
    • Hold a valid principal's license.

    Candidates should:

    • Create a climate of inquiry the challenges the school community to continually re-purpose itself by building on its core values and beliefs about its preferred further and then developing a pathway to reach it.
    • Reculture the school if needed to align with school’s goals of improving student and adult learning and to infuse the work of the adults and students with passion, meaning and purpose.
    • Build a sense of efficacy and empowerment among staff that result in a “can do” attitude when faced with challenges.
    • Ensure the school is a professional learning community.
    • Create with staff opportunities for parents, community, and business representatives to participate in the school such that continued investments of resources and good will are not left to chance.

    CHCCS Principals of the Year

    2005    Susan Pegg

    2006    Jacqueline Boyd Ellis

    2007    Deshera Mack (Regional Finalist)

    2008    Amy Rickard

    2009    Valerie Reinhardt

    2010    Emily Bivins

    2011    Susan Wells

    2012    Dr. Amanda Hartness

    2013    Marny Ruben

    2014    Amy Rickard (Regional Finalist)

    2015    Dr. Darlene Ryan

    2016    Dr. LaVerne Mattocks

    2017    Dr. Beverly Rudolph

    2018    John Williams

    2019    Dr. Emily Bivins

    2020    Dr. Robert Bales

    2021    Crystal Etheridge-Epps

    2022    Crystal Etheridge-Epps

    2023    Aisha Howard

    2024    Minnie Goins