CHARLOTTE - Oct. 29, 2012 - UNC Charlotte alumna Tonya Kales has been named 2012-13 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Principal of the Year.
Kales is a Project L.I.F.T. finalist and principal of Ashley Park Elementary School. A product of CMS, Kales earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNC Charlotte. She is currently working toward a doctoral degree in education at the University.
Kales began her teaching career at Allenbrook Elementary and then moved to Smithfield Elementary, earning National Board certification.
In 2000, Kales was selected as a North Carolina Principal Fellow. She became an assistant principal of Smithfield Elementary before serving as principal of McAlpine Elementary. She joined Ashley Park Elementary in 2009 as part of the Strategic Staffing initiative, which places a principal with a proven track record ofsuccess in low-performing schools. Under Kales’ leadership, Ashley Park’s overall composite score went from 29.9 percent to 65.3 percent. The school’s science scores are also above the district average.
Principals representing CMS’ six zones were selected by their peers as finalists for the annual honor. According to thePrincipal of the Year program, candidates should merit the respect and admiration of students, teachers, co-workers and parents. They should be active, not only in their schools, but also in their communities where they distinguish themselves as leaders.
Four of the six CMS 2012-2013 finalists were UNC Charlotte alumni, including Patricia Sexton, Pinewood Elementary; Sheila Ijames, Hawthorne High School; and Teresa Cockerham, William A. Hough High School.
Kales will compete with other award recipients from the southwest region of the state for the Regional Principal of the Year award. The 2013 State Principal of the Year will be announced in the spring.