Six Principals Selected as Texas National Distinguished Principal Finalists

Award Recipient Will Receive $10,000 and Represent Texas as NDP

AUSTIN, TX – Six Texas principals were recently selected as Texas National Distinguished Principal (NDP) finalists by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA). The award recipient will be announced in May at a surprise school visit, and the principal will receive $10,000 and represent Texas in Washington, D.C. as the 2015 NDP.

The 2015 National Distinguished Principal Finalists are:
• Airemy Caudle, Cooke Elementary, Cleburne ISD
• Diane Gough, Hewitt Elementary, Midway ISD
• Jeannine Keairnes, Scarborough Elementary, Northside ISD
• Rachael Rife, Curtis Elementary, Weatherford ISD
• Amy Stephens, Wright Elementary, Lubbock ISD
• Michelle Wooten, Donald Elementary, Lewisville ISD

“These exemplary principals are guiding the future and proving students from all walks of life can be successful,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said.

TEPSA received 56 nominations for the 2015 NDP award. After a rigorous reading process, in which applicants shared their educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, a peer-¬-review committee selected six finalists. These outstanding leaders then showcased their achievements during a school visit by a team of educators. Finalists will be recognized at the TEPSA Awards Reception June 10 in Austin.

The NDP program promotes PreK-8 educational excellence and focuses on the fundamental importance of the school principal. The program honors principals who exhibit extraordinary leadership, commitment to their students and staff, service to their communities and contributions to the profession, including their professional associations. The National Association of Elementary School Principals sets award criteria. The Texas award is sponsored by TEPSA, and the program is supported with a generous donation from Mentoring Minds.

“We at Mentoring Minds are proud to partner with TEPSA as we honor exceptional educators who are positively impacting the lives of children across Texas. It is our core mission to ensure students have a quality education rooted in critical thinking that gives them life skills which extend beyond the classroom,” said Robert L. Bush, CEO of Mentoring Minds.

Partnering with educators in the continuous pursuit of providing a quality education for all students, Mentoring Minds is an educational partner focused on creating a successful learning environment for all children. Learn more at

TEPSA, whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PreK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 5,800 members who direct the activities of more than 2.5 million PreK-8 school children. Learn more at


Texas Elementary Principals & Supervisors Association | Serving Texas School Leaders
Contact: Anita Jiles, Communications Director, 512-478-5268, [email protected]