Dr. LeAndrea Ware is the Tennessee Principal of the Year
Posted on 11/11/2019
Photo of Dr. LeAndrea Ware with awards.Dr. LeAndrea Ware, principal of The Howard School, was named the 2019-2020 Tennessee Principal of the Year at the Tennessee Department of Education’s LEAD conference in Nashville last night. The announcement came during the annual honorary banquet at the conference.

“It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I accept the honor and privilege of being named the 2019-2020 Tennessee Principal of the Year,” said Dr. Ware. “There is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that fuels my passion to do this work. It says: ‘An individual has not started living, until he or she can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns, to the broader concerns of all humanity.’ That concern is our moral imperative to work together to positively impact the lives of all students!”

Dr. Ware returned to her alma mater at the end of the 2017-2018 school year as interim principal to lead The Howard School through the remainder of the year, and her love for the school and community led her to become the permanent principal at Howard. She has a passion for exuding HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) and working to foster an environment of success for all students and teachers. She also believes in shared leadership and empowering students and teachers to engage in school leadership in creating positive change.

“This momentous occasion in my career has been made possible through the support of so many champions in my life,” added Dr. Ware. “To Commissioner Penny Schwinn and the Tennessee Department of Education, I say thank you for fostering excellence in education in the great state of Tennessee. To my amazing husband and three beautiful children, thank you for always being the wind beneath my wings. To Superintendent Bryan Johnson, the Hamilton County Board of Education, Hamilton County Schools colleagues, and my entire Howard School family, scholars, and community thank you for diligently pouring heart and soul into our daily resilient pursuit.”

Some of The Howard School innovative programs and strategies established under Dr. Ware’s leadership include:

• Transition Academy: A customized non-traditional learning program for students with extenuating circumstances
• Intermission vs. Suspension: Students are assigned to a smaller, intensified learning lab instead of short-term suspension
• Saturday Success Academy: Extended and enriched Saturday learning labs for high school scholars
• New Comer Center: One-year of intensified language acquisition support for non-English speaking students to build a strong English speaking foundation
• Intensified Support Services: Combining the skills of behavior specialists and school counselors to provide customized support to help restore and rebuild student
• Attendance Mentor Initiative: All faculty and staff members assigned as attendance mentors to help reverse chronic absenteeism trends of students.

Great teachers and great leaders in our schools are at the very core of what makes an excellent school and school district,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “ Principal of the Year for the state is a significant honor and a recognition of the leadership Dr. Ware is providing at The Howard School and in Hamilton County Schools.”

Great teachers and leaders are the focus of Action Area 3 in the five-year strategic plan for Hamilton County Schools known as Future Ready 2023. The plan elevates the importance of great teachers and leaders and the essential part these educators play in the success of children in school and after graduation.

The Tennessee Principal of the Year award is given annually to a school leader for outstanding service in education and exceptional leadership that drives school improvement. Candidates must have a minimum of three years' experience as a principal and a minimum of five years' experience in Tennessee public schools. The annual Principal of the Year award recognizes administrators who have helped provide educational opportunities for Tennessee students through leadership, programs, and vision. Ware was among nine principals selected as regional finalists after being nominated by her peers for the title. The winners for the three Tennessee grand divisions were also recognized at the honorary banquet. Ware was also named East Grand Division winner.

“As long as I have breath in my body and fire in my soul, I will fervently continue my service as a ferocious advocate and courageous leader, seeking to positively impact children,” said Dr. Ware.