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ABSS announces principals of the year

Principal of the Year Dan McInnis, Wendy Nelms, Assistant Principal of the Year and Superintendent Bill Harrison

Principal of the Year Dan McInnis, Wendy Nelms, Assistant Principal of the Year and Superintendent Bill Harrison

Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Named

Congratulations to Dan McInnis, principal at Eastlawn Elementary and to Wendy Nelms, assistant principal at Woodlawn Middle!

On Thursday evening, October 13, Dan and Wendy were announced as the Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year at a dinner for all nominees at The Cutting Board in Burlington.

The distinguished list of nominees also included Emmet Alexander (Cummings), Brie Butler (Broadview), Jack Davern (Elon), Greg Hook (Hawfields) and Darrell Thomas (CTEC) for Principal of the Year and Yolanda Anderson (Williams), Craig Dodson (Smith), and Greg Randall (Broadview) for Assistant Principal of the Year.

In ABSS, Dan became principal at Eastlawn Elementary in 2012 and served as assistant principal from 2011 to 2012. Wendy has served as assistant principal at Woodlawn since 2012 and previously at Eastern Alamance High from 2005 until 2012. Thank you for your outstanding service to children!

Check out the story from The Times-News:

Eastlawn Elementary School principal Dan McInnis gives a speech after being named the principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13.

Photos by Steven Mantilla / Times-News

Eastlawn Elementary School principal Dan McInnis gives a speech after being named the principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13.

ABSS announces principals of the year
Eastlawn’s McInnis, Woodlawn’s Nelms recognized at Thursday night event
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 10/14/16  
Reprinted with permission.  

Eastlawn Elementary School principal Dan McInnis shakes hands with superintendent Bill Harrison after being named the principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13. Woodlawn Middle School assistant principal Wendy Nelms shakes hands with superintendent Bill Harrison after being named the assistant principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13.

Eastlawn Elementary School principal Dan McInnis shakes hands with superintendent Bill Harrison after being named the principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13.

Woodlawn Middle School assistant principal Wendy Nelms shakes hands with superintendent Bill Harrison after being named the assistant principal of the year at The Cutting Board on Oct. 13.


  The Alamance-Burlington School System Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year are Dan McInnis of Eastlawn Elementary and Wendy Nelms of Woodlawn Middle.

   The announcements were made during a buffet-style dinner at The Cutting Board in Burlington on Thursday night, a change from the usual “prize patrol” flower delivery the school system has done in the past.

   Donna Westbrooks, director of Teacher Recruitment and Induction, and host of the event, says they wanted to do something that would celebrate all of the nominees as well as the winners.

   Joe Ferrell, executive director of Secondary School Leadership and former principal of Williams High School, and last year’s Principal of the Year, read quotes from students about each nominee to show how each principal and assistant principal affects the students.

   One fourth-grader said McInnis is “inspiring, encouraging and helpful,” and that “hopefully he’ll be here for a very long time.” A fifth-grader said he “says hello to everybody and is dependable.” Others said he is reliable and always checks on them when they’re in the classroom.

   McInnis says he’s lifted up by the outpouring of support around him.

   “I am really blessed and really humbled. The interview committee asked me what [winning] would mean for me, and I said, ‘It’s not a ‘me,’ it’s a ‘we.’ … I’m supported by great teachers, great staff, great families at the school, and then I see all of the people in the community that believe in public education and support us, and I’m really humbled and really thankful to get to serve,” McInnis said.

   Nelms’ students commended her for being a role model. One seventh-grade student said “her love for students and staff shows every day” and that she “has great taste and style.” Another student said, “I can depend on her to give me plenty of hugs and smiles.”

   Nelms accepted her award with a smile and a short statement of appreciation.

   “I am truly honored to represent everyone in the ABSS system. I’m so grateful, and I thank everyone for their support, always,” she said.

   Superintendent Bill Harrison closed out the ceremony, expressing his pride in each of the nominees and the school system as a whole.

   “This is my 23rd year as a superintendent. I semi-retired for a year and a half and came back here for a short period of time, but I realized something special was happening here, and I wanted to be a part of it, and the something special is because we have special people,” Harrison said.

   “I’m incredibly proud to tell people that I work at ABSS, and tell people about the professionals with whom I have an opportunity to learn and grow every day.”

   The nominees included Emmet Alexander (Cummings), Brie Butler (Broadview), Jack Davern (Elon), Greg Hook (Hawfields), Darrell Thomas (CTEC), Yolanda Anderson (Williams), Craig Dodson (Smith), and Greg Randall (Broadview).



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