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Springdale's Jennings named nation's assistant principal of the year

by Dave Perozek | April 9, 2021 at 10:45 a.m.
FILE -- In this file photo, Chelsea Jennings speaks Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020 at Lakeside Junior High School Assistant Principal after she received the Arkansas Assistant Principal of the Year award from the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. Wampler)

Chelsea Jennings, assistant principal of Springdale's Lakeside Junior High School, is this year's national assistant principal of the year, the National Association of Secondary School Principals announced in a news release Friday.

The assistant principal of the year program honors outstanding assistant principals who advance their profession and provide top-quality learning opportunities for their students, according to the release.

"We are proud to recognize Chelsea Jennings as the 2021 NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year for her tremendous leadership in developing a positive school culture to ensure the well-being and safety of her students, their families and their community," said Ronn Nozoe, the association's chief executive officer, in the release. "We salute Ms. Jennings' drive and efforts to prioritize the social-emotional well-being of her students through innovative solutions and continued advocacy. During one of the most challenging years ever faced by the education community, it's inspiring to see how Ms. Jennings has worked to support and empower families to feel safe and connected."

Jennings is in her fifth year as assistant principal at Lakeside. She taught two years at Kelly Middle School and six years at Springdale High School before becoming a district teacher on special assignment, according to the Springdale School District's website.

She's the second assistant principal in Arkansas ever to win the national award, said district spokesman Rick Schaeffer. The other was Michael Shepherd in 2011 when he was an assistant principal at Springdale's Har-Ber High School. Shepherd is now principal at Lakeside.

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