Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Rutherford principals honored: Ash, Creasy named Tennessee's top principals for 2012

Posted on September 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Sen. Lamar Alexander met with two Rutherford County Schools principals last week who traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in a three-day institute for principals from across the country.

La Vergne High’s Dirk Ash and Larry Creasy of Stewarts Creek Middle were named Tennessee’s 2012 principals of the year by National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Both were nominated by the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals for their performance at their respective grade levels over the past year. They were honored along with other state winners at the Principal’s Institute and Awards Banquet in Washington, sponsored by MetLife and NASSP in association with the U.S. Department of Education, according to a news release from Alexander’s office.

The institute brings together the top educators from around the country to make connections and discuss best practices, and includes a day for winners to meet with legislators and discuss educational issues and matters of importance for their schools.

As he congratulated Ash and Creasy, Alexander said, “Your work has an impact on students, teachers and your entire community and we all owe you thanks for being so dedicated to excellence at such an important job.

“A good leader is indispensable to a good school. No one works as hard or has to be faster on his or her feet than a school principal. To be named one of the state’s top principals is one of the highest honors a Tennessean can receive,” the senator added.

Ash, received the same award in 2010 for accomplishments as principal of La Vergne Middle. Of this year’s honor while at the high school, he said, “We’ve only just begun, and I only think we will keep improving.”

Creasy credits his success as principal of Stewarts Creek Middle to his prior teaching and administrative experience at Smyrna and Siegel middle schools. He taught at Siegel Middle while Ash served as an assistant principal.

“This award is not a reflection of me. This award is a reflection of what a great faculty and staff I have and the hard work that they put in and the dedication that they give our students every day, and that shows with our students’ performance,” Creasy said.

NASSP began the Principal of the Year award in 1993 to recognize “outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.”

During their meeting, Alexander and the principals agreed on the importance of consistent communication between those in Washington and educators on the state and local level, as well as the need for Congress to fix No Child Left Behind.

A former U.S. Secretary of Education and senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Alexander introduced several bills to fix the law and also supported additional bipartisan legislation with other Republican senators.

“It is time to move most decisions about whether teachers and schools are succeeding or failing out of Washington and back to states and communities,” said Alexander, the son of an elementary school principal.