Brunswick County administrator picked as finalist for N.C. Principal of the Year

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Molly White.
Molly White.

A Brunswick County principal has been named among the best in the state.

Molly White at Lincoln Elementary School was recently named the Southeast Region Principal of the Year. She beat out winners from 12 area districts to earn the honor.

Brunswick County school board members and district officials surprised White Friday at the school with the announcement.

White, who has been principal of Lincoln for two years, has more than two decades of experience as a classroom teacher and administrator.

“Her belief in the spirit of team work, collaboration and promoting teacher leadership lives within the school,” Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said.

White was nominated–and voted on–by her peers earlier this year to become the county’s top principal. As part of the regional selection process, she had to compile a portfolio and be interviewed by colleagues across North Carolina.

“When teachers are seen as leaders on their team and in the school, shared decision making at the school improvement team table is respected as most feel they have influence on the decisions being made,” White wrote in her portfolio. “No one person alone can do this, especially the principal, so all staff must come together to influence what is best for students.”

That formula–coupled with setting a high bar for achievement–appears to be working, as Lincoln has exceeded growth standards on state proficiency exams since White took the helm.

White will now compete against the seven other regional winners for the title of North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will be announced in May 2016.

If White makes the cut, she’ll become the second Brunswick County principal in recent history to win the award. Former South Brunswick High School principal Vann Pennell, who has since retired from the district, was the 2009 North Carolina Principal of the Year.