Chelsea Jennings with award

Chelsea Jennings of Lakeside Junior High has been named Arkansas Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators.

In her fifth year as assistant principal at Lakeside Junior High, Jennings taught two years at J.O. Kelly Middle School and six years at Springdale High School before becoming a district TOSA (teacher on special assignment.

“I was surprised, excited and a little shell shocked when I found out,” said Jennings, a University of Central Arkansas graduate. “I am proud to represent Lakeside, the Springdale School District and the state of Arkansas, especially considering there are so many great educators in our state.

“This award is the result of a strong collaborative culture at Lakeside. Our principal, Dr. Michael Shepherd, has been a mentor to me, and our faculty members are amazing. They are not afraid to take risks.”

Shepherd said, “Chelsea has all the ideals of leadership. She is an outstanding leader, colleague and friend.”

Springdale District Superintendent Dr. Jared Cleveland added, “We are very proud of Chelsea. We are excited she is in Springdale and for the work she does every day. Her character shines through in everything she does.”

Dr. Mike Hernandez, Executive Director – Elect of the AAEA, presented the award in the Lakeside cafeteria in front of members of the school’s faculty and district administrators. He explained, “The award is given annually to a secondary level assistant principal who has succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students and has been acknowledged by peers for exemplary contribution to the profession.”

Jennings is the fifth honoree from Lakeside during 2020. Joel Lookadoo is the current Arkansas Teacher of the Year, Lauren Willis is the Arkansas Junior High Counselor of the Year, Brian Johnson is the Arkansas Junior High Library Media Specialist of the Year and Rachel Cornett is the Junior High Regional Choir Director of the Year. 

The whole district working for the whole child is another reason Springdale Public Schools are #THEChoice.