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Maria Johnson Named 2017 NC Southeast Region Principal of the Year

 Maria Johnson
Maria Johnson
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Northside High School Principal Maria Johnson was surprised today with the honor of being selected as the 2017 North Carolina Southeast Region Principal of the Year. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wells Fargo, the program sponsor, award this prestigious honor. Johnson was named Onslow County Schools’ Principal of the year last October.


As juniors gathered with Johnson in the auditorium to receive information about class rings and seniors to receive graduation details, Superintendent Stout and executive staff appeared from behind the stage curtain to announce the honor. Also in attendance was Cindy Rigsbee, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction regional education facilitator for the Southeast Region. Rigsbee said the selection committee chose Johnson for several reasons; among them the way she embraces and adapts to the military community, her passion and commitment to Onslow County Schools, and her high expectations for students and staff.


Johnson addressed her audience. “You guys are what make Northside what it is …. I’m not standing here, although I really appreciate it, I really do appreciate (the honor), but I just want you guys to know that I know that all good things that come through me start with you and start with the teachers, and I just love you guys dearly, so thank you very much.”


Johnson has 27 years as a teacher and administrator in the OCS district, and has served as Northside’s principal for the past six years.


She graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and began teaching English. She earned a Masters of School Administration Instruction and Leadership from East Carolina University and also a Masters of School Administration Curriculum Specialist degree from ECU.


Under Johnson’s leadership Northside High School was validated as an AVID National Demonstration site in 2015 by AVID Center. It is the first high school in North Carolina to receive the designation. Northside High School is the only school in the district to exceed growth for the last five years.


The southeast region is comprised of 12 school districts and approximately 250 principals. Johnson will now compete against seven other regional winners for the title of North Carolina Principal of the Year. The state winner will be announced in May.


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