Chattanooga Principal Selected as 2020 National Distinguished Principal from Tennessee
Posted on 05/22/2020
Photo: Dr. Ashley Aldridge Wilson, principal at Nolan Elementary SchoolDr. Ashley Aldridge Wilson, principal at Nolan Elementary School, has been named the 2020 National Distinguished Principal from Tennessee by the Tennessee Principals Association. She is the only principal in Tennessee to receive the honor for 2020.

Dr. Wilson was awarded this honor for her collaborative leadership vision, which includes shared leadership at every level of a school, a collective focus on student achievement, reflective dialogue and learning, exemplary operating principles, and open communication. She has 13 years of experience as an administrator in districts across Tennessee and has been principal at Nolan Elementary since 2018.

"I am truly humbled by this beautiful honor," said Dr. Wilson. "I feel incredibly blessed to serve our community and be a part of the Nolan family. This award speaks to Nolan's dynamic teachers who are deeply caring and talented, our students who give their best effort and have kind hearts, and our families who rally to support this special place."

At Nolan Elementary, Dr. Wilson has cultivated a positive climate and culture by building relationships with students, staff, families, and community members. Nolan's faculty collaborates to define and agree upon operating principles, a vision, and shared norms and values about teaching and learning. Dr. Wilson believes each child deserves individualized support and has worked to provide a master schedule that provides daily intervention and enrichment time for every grade level at Nolan Elementary. She has also engaged numerous community partners to provide support for students and staff. The support included donations to help educate children and training more than 125 volunteers to assist with school needs.

Dr. Wilson has completed numerous leadership growth opportunities, including the Public Education Foundation's Leadership Fellows Program, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network's Innovative Leaders Institute, and served as a member of the Tennessee Department of Education's Tennessee STEM Leadership Council (2016-2018). She is currently working to become a Nationally Certified Mentor through the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Mentoring Program to help develop other school leaders. Dr. Wilson earned a doctorate in learning and leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2009.

The National Distinguished Principals Program, established in 1984, recognizes excellence in school leadership of elementary and middle-level principals. In October, Dr. Wilson will be honored as Tennessee's 2020 National Distinguished Principal at the National Distinguished Principals Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.