National Assistant Principal of the Year goes to… Springdale’s Chelsea Jennings

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It's only happened twice in Arkansas!

Springdale: Lakeside Assistant Principal Chelsea Jennings.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Lakeside Junior High School’s Assistant Principal Chelsea Jennings is named the 2021 National Assistant Principal of the Year.

“The announcement is a big, big deal, because it’s only happened twice ever in Arkansas,” said Springdale Public Schools Communications Director Rick Schaeffer.

Lakeside Junior High School’s Assistant Principal Chelsea Jennings

The first recipient was current Lakeside principal Dr. Michael Shepherd, who was assistant principal at Springdale Har-Ber High School at the time.

The award was given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Jennings said since learning about the news she’s had a smile from ear to ear. The fifth-year Lakeside assistant principal said, “I’ve also shed a few happy and emotional tears. I am honored to be recognized among so many deserving and talented administrators and I am excited to represent the work we do in Springdale to support every child.

“I know this award brings with it an important responsibility and opportunity to use my voice to shape the future of education, a task I accept with pride and gratitude.”

NASSP Chief Executive Officer Ron Nozoe said Jennings offers tremendous leadership, “in developing a positive school culture to ensure the well-being and safety of her students, their families and their community. We salute her drive and efforts to prioritize the social-emotional well-being of her students through innovative solutions and continued advocacy.”

“We are overjoyed with the accomplishment of Chelsea Jennings,” said Springdale Superintendent Dr. Jared Cleveland. “She has worked her way from teacher to curriculum specialist to the assistant principal with a focus on impactful curriculum that nurtures the whole child.”

Last December, Jennings was honored in a surprise ceremony with the Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year.

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