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Rea View principal Donna Cook chosen UCPS Principal of the Year

Donna Cook, principal at Rea View Elementary, reacts to being named the 2011-12 Union County Principal of the Year. Also pictured, center, is her husband, Bill Cook, Marvin Ridge High School principal, who was also nominated for the top principal award. (Below) Kim Warr, assistant principal at Cuthbertson High School, was named the 2011-12 Assistant Principal of the Year. Also pictured, from left, is her principal, Rob Jackson, and at right, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis.

The 2011-12 Union County Public Schools Principal of the Year is Donna Cook, principal at Rea View Elementary School.

The announcement that Cook was chosen by her peers as the top principal came at today's (Oct.13, 2011) principal of the year luncheon.

Cook, who was also a student in Union County schools, has been an educator here for 19 years. She spent 10 years at Unionville Elementary, five and a half as principal, and is now principal at Rea View Elementary, which opened in 2007.

Upon accepting the Principal of the Year award, Cook spoke about the support she gets from not only her husband, Bill Cook, but their children, as well.

"I obviously have very good family support," she said. "I have some built in, talking it through, problem solving support from Bill, and our boys are super understanding about having parents whose work and lives have to blend together."

Cook said her earliest foundational training was with her parents. "Two of the core values that we were raised with were the value of education and the value of hard work. This career has certainly given me a really great opportunity to merge both of those things."

She also thanked her colleagues for their support. "I view this as a room of kindred spirits, because we all know the responsibilities that we're carrying, and it's so wonderful to know that we do support each other. We know and understand the challenges. I find the work very challenging and rewarding. I'm very humbled to be chosen, because I know the great work and the smart people that you are. Thank you for giving me the chance to represent you."

Kim Warr from Cuthbertson High School was chosen as the 2011-12 Assistant Principal of the Year. Warr was also nominated last year.

"To my fellow nominees, you are amazing administrators to do what you do every day for students, and just to be nominated with you is an extreme honor,â" she said. "I say every day I get to work and live my dream. I absolutely love working with the students, staff and community at Cuthbertson High School. They make what I do worth it every single day."

Warr also thanked her principal, Rob Jackson, for giving her the chance to be an assistant principal. When he opened Cuthbertson High School, he took a gamble with me, a brand new assistant principal in a brand new district. Mr. Jackson, you're an excellent leader and role model, and a mentor to me. I'm very grateful for all the opportunities and the faith you have in me."

Jackson was chosen as last year's top principal of the year and went on to win the state title. He will now compete for the national title.

At the close of the program, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis commended all the principals and assistant principals for their hard work. I appreciate you and the work that you do," Davis said. "You're what makes this a great school system. We celebrate all principals and assistant principals today."

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Oct 13, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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