Carol McGillONLINE

Fairmont Principal Carol McGill was announced as one of nine finalists for the 2017-2018

Tennessee Principal of the Year award.

The winner will be announced on October 16.

McGill has been principal for 16 years at Fairmont Elementary and it doesn’t take long for her to identify what she loves about her job.

“The students,” she said through a smile. “It’s totally all about the students. You can have a really bad day and in five minutes of opening car doors or greeting students and speaking with them, your day just brightens right up.”

McGill was nominated last March and wrote six essays on different topics that included leadership skills and other things that are required of instructional leaders. From there the field was narrowed to nine, with an interview to be the next stage of the contest.

Johnson City Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Barnett said that he was proud of McGill for all the work she has done for the system through her time.

“Carol McGill models and expects high standards in all areas of the educational program at Fairmont,” Barnett said. “She is a wonderful role model for aspiring principals and current principals in the Northeast region of Tennessee.  She has earned a wonderful legacy of developing teachers who inspire students and nurture high achievement in all their children.”

McGill started as a teacher at Cherokee Elementary in 1993. After that she moved to Woodland before becoming assistant principal at Indian Trail. McGill said that making the trek through all levels of the school system is something that gives her a great connection with her staff. McGill also said she is proud to represent them and her school district with her nomination.

“It feels like your responsible for upholding Johnson City Schools and helping them to be in a light that draws honor to the entire system and paints a great picture for the entire state to see,” McGill said. “I’m glad I can help people see all the great things that go on in the Johnson City Schools.”

The Tennessee Principal of the Year award is given annually to a school leader for outstanding service in education and exceptional leadership that drives overall improvements in his or her school. To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of three years' experience as a principal and a minimum of five years' experience in Tennessee public schools. In addition, all nominees must have a proven track record of exceptional gains in student learning.

Other finalists include:

East Tennessee

Carol McGill, Fairmont Elementary School, Johnson City Schools

Robin Copp, Ooltewah High School, Hamilton County Schools

Jeff Harshbarger, Norris Middle School, Anderson County Schools


West Tennessee

Tracie Thomas, White Station Elementary, Shelby County Schools

Stephanie Coffman, South Haven Elementary, Henderson County School District

Linda DeBerry, Dyersburg City Primary School, Dyersburg City Schools


Middle Tennessee

Kenneth “Cam” MacLean, Portland West Middle School, Sumner County Schools

John Bush, Marshall County High School, Marshall County Schools

Donnie Holman, Rickman Elementary School, Overton County Schools