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Dr. Harrill is awarded Southern Learning Principal of the Year

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Dr. Harrill is Awarded “Principal of the Year”

It was a normal morning for Dr. Tracey Harrill.

Sitting at her desk, Harrill was practicing her announcements for that day’s “Hot Topics with Harrill” when she heard a knock on her door.

“Suddenly, my secretaries, assistant principals, and even my Superintendent (Kathy Elling) came into my office with flowers,” Harrill said. “They told me I was the Southern Learning Principal of the Year!”

Harrill was nominated by 1 of ten learning communities in Charlotte through submitting her portfolio to a board.

“Under Tracey’s direction, Providence continues to be a nationally-ranked, high-performing school and has exceeded growth for three consecutive years,” Elling told the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website.

Harrill, however, was convinced that someone else would take the prize.

“I was very surprised,” Harrill said. “I didn’t even vote for myself.”

Despite her accomplishment, being a principal was not on Harrill’s radar when she entered college.

“I went to UNC as a pre-law major and then realized I didn’t want to go to school for such a long time,” Harrill said. “I figured that since I loved history so much I might as well teach it, so I became a history teacher at Independence High School.”

After teaching for a few years, Harrill decided she wanted to go back to graduate school.

“The state offered a Principal Fellows scholarship, and I decided to apply,” Harrill said. “If I got accepted, then it was meant to be.”

Harrill ended up winning the scholarship, so the state paid for her to go to graduate school. Soon after, she became an assistant principal at Northeast Middle School in Charlotte.

“I was moved into the principal position,” Harrill said. “The children were petty and whiny, and I knew I wanted to work with high schoolers.”

Moving to Providence in the summer of 2009 was the right choice for Harrill, and she is “very happy with her role.”

“I love working at a place where students are motivated,” Harrill said. “Even our ‘average students’ are trying their best, and I couldn’t be prouder to help them as their principal when I can clearly see how much they are helping themselves.”

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Dr. Harrill is awarded Southern Learning Principal of the Year