Southwood Elementary School surprises principal with Regional Principal of the Year announcement

What's Right with Our Schools

LEXINGTON, N.C. — It’s hard to keep elementary students quiet especially when they are all gathered in one room. But the students at Southwood Elementary in Davidson County knew this was a big surprise for their principal Ashley Lemley.

She’s the principal of the year for Davidson County was just chosen as the Wells Fargo Piedmont-Triad Regional Principal of the Year.

This means she is now one of eight principals across the state competing in the state selection process.

The students, staff and some parents at Southwood along with Lemley’s family all gathered to surprise her with that news.

Stunned, Lemley said, “I did not think I would be chosen for this. I am very honored.”

But the principal of eight years was quick to give her students and staff the credit for her making it to the finals.

“We are a true school family,” she said. “I think our kids and our parents and our students make us look really good in my role because they do great things and that gets out there. Southwood does amazing things.”

She is now one of eight finalists from across the state. The winner of the North Carolina Principal of the Year will be announced in May.

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