Perquimans Co. educator, ECU grad named Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year for 2017


CARY, N.C. (WNCT) – The principal of Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County is Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year for 2017.

Jason Griffin won the title of the state top school administrator at an awards luncheon Friday in Cary. He was tapped from a field of eight regional finalists chosen earlier this year following interviews and visits to their schools by the selection committee for the award.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson commented that Griffin exemplifies the qualities of leadership essential for helping teachers excel and students to achieve.

“Hertford Grammar School’s strong progress is clear evidence of Jason’s leadership,” Johnson said. “He makes smart use of data to work with his teachers to personalize learning for all students. He delegates to help his teachers grow as leaders themselves, and he works to provide them with innovative strategies to improve teaching and learning for students.”

Hertford Grammar School, a Title I school, where nearly two-thirds of the 400-plus students are from low-income families, achieved a school grade of “B” for the first time last year. The school, which enrolls third through fifth graders, was also just one of six elementary schools in the state’s northeast education region to earn at least a B while also exceeding their targets for academic growth.

In naming Griffin the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, Wells Fargo Senior Community Relations Manager Juan Austin commented, “Our education system has never been at a more critical juncture than now, and with administrators like Jason, we can see how dedication and effort connects with students, staff and parents on so many levels at Hertford Grammar School. So I’m pleased that we have the opportunity to reward his outstanding work and hold up Jason’s example for others to hopefully follow.”

Griffin joined the faculty at Hertford Grammar in 2011 as a third-grade teacher. He also served as dean of students before being named principal. He was previously a second-grade teacher at Perquimans Central School, from 2008-2011, starting his education career in 2002 as a third-grade teacher at E.J. Hayes Elementary School in Martin County, where he taught for six years.

He’s a graduate of East Carolina University.

“I believe my leadership style, collaboration with our district personnel, hiring effective teachers, and my understanding of schoolwide data has helped Hertford Grammar School become one of the most improved schools in Region I and in North Carolina,” he wrote.

The other regional Principal of the Year finalists for 2017 were:

  • Southeast: Maria Johnson, Northside High (Onslow County Schools);
  • North Central: Kiley Brown, Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary (Orange County Schools);
  • Sandhills: Mary Hemphill, I. Ellis Johnson Elementary (Scotland County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad: Jusmar Maness, Balfour Elementary (Asheboro City Schools);
  • Southwest: Amy Rhyne, East Iredell Elementary (Iredell-Statesville Schools);
  • Northwest: Jeffrey Isenhour, Bunker Hill High (Catawba County Schools); and
  • Western: Doris Sellers, A.C. Reynolds High (Buncombe County Schools).

Regional winners will each receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for their schools.

Griffin receives $3,000 for personal use and $3,000 for his school as Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. He also receives professional development and resources supporting global awareness in the curriculum for his staff thanks to Education First Tours, and a custom­made NC Principal of the Year signet ring and pendant from Jostens Inc.

Wells Fargo will furnish him with a stipend to travel across the state as an ambassador for education while he continues to lead his school next year. He will serve as a member of the State Superintendent’s Principals’ Advisory Committee, as an advisor to the State Board of Education and also to the board of directors for the NC Public School Forum. In addition, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will sponsor his enrollment and completion of the Education Policy Fellowship Program and he will compete for national recognition through the NC Principals and Assistant Principals Association. He also will chair the 2018 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Selection Committee.

Additional information about the NC Principal of the Year program, is available online. You also can follow the North Carolina Principal of the Year finalists on Twitter at #NCTOYPOY.

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