Thursday night was a night Vicki Shipley likely will not forget: It was her both her birthday and the day she was named the state's Principal of the Year.
An educator for the last 40 years, Shipley started as assistant principal at Munford Middle in 2001 and has been the school's principal for the last eight years.
"I'm really excited about this," she said in August. "We have such good teachers and students here and I haven't done anything on my own, it's all because of them."
Shipley was nominated for the honor at a principals' meeting and was announced a finalist in August.
As principal, she has worked to ensure that the administrative team provides a clear focus on academic success through collaboration. Shipley also models the importance of professional learning by being an active principal study council member, attending TEAM training along with her teachers, and strives to learn at least one new thing every day, the Tennessee Dept. of Education said.
"We are so excited that Mrs. Vicki was selected as one of the nine district principals of the year," said Tipton County Director of Schools Dr. John Combs. "She loves her school and it shows every day by the time and energy she expends leading Munford Middle School. Mrs. Shipley has been an inspiration to me personally, and I appreciate the many contributions she has made to the students of this school system."
Munford Middle is also home to Teacher of the Year finalist Carlin McGlown.
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.