Rockingham County, NC -- After a serious accident last month, the McMichael High School principal is being rewarded with one of the state's highest educational honors.
Principal Leigh Jones has been named the Piedmont-Triad/Central Regional Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. Along with the award, Jones will receive $1,000 for personal use and another $1,000 for McMichael High School.
Students and faculty surprised Jones in the hospital Tuesday where she remains following a head-on collision in January.
Of course, this wasn't the focus of today's celebration; it was all about the great things that are going on at McMichael High.
"I am so proud to be a member of Rockingham County Schools and to be the principal of McMichael High School," Jones said. "I have phenomenal teachers and students here at McMichael. All of our accomplishments are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of DMHS' students, staff and community. I am so thankful to them for all that they do. I'm only a motivator to help them continue to push forward."
Jones' colleagues also spoke highly of the principal.
"I am extremely proud of Ms. Jones. The high school principalship is a challenging and demanding role, but she inspires, empowers and focuses on what is best for her students," said Dr. Rodney Shotwell, superintendent of Rockingham County Schools. "Leigh Jones is one of the most driven people I have ever worked with, and our students, staff, and community are fortunate to have her leadership at McMichael High."
Jones is now one of the eight principals being considered for the 2013 State Principal of the Year. A state selection committee will review the portfolios of the eight regional winners and visit each candidate's school.
The winner will be announced in the spring.