*Information provided by Watauga County Schools*
Valle Crucis Principal Preston Clarke has been named Watauga County Schools Principal of the Year. Clarke was presented the award by WCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott, representatives from WCS and members of his family in a surprise ceremony Friday morning.
Elliott said Clarke’s dedication and commitment to Valle Crucis was a testament to his passion for the school and his ability as an administrator.
“Mr. Clarke is one of the principals that I’ve had the opportunity to hire in my short time as superintendent, and I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work that he is doing here,” Elliott said. “Mr. Clark loves Valle Crucis School; he is committed to Valle Crucis School, and he is constant advocate for his teachers and staff.”
Clarke, who accepted his award accompanied by his wife and children in front of the entire student body, thanked his teachers and staff for their work.
“This is not an individual recognition – this is really a reflection of our school, staff, students and school community,” Clarke said. “This is a reflection of the great work that so many people do here at Valle Crucis every day. I am certainly surprised and certainly honored. Thank you for allowing me to represent such a wonderful school. It is an honor and privilege to come here and work every day with all of you.”
Clarke, a 2006 graduate of Appalachian State University, is in his third year as principal at Valle Crucis. He has worked in Watauga County Schools for 11 years, both in the classroom as a social studies teacher, and as an assistant principal at Watauga High School.
His wife, Hannah, is a middle school math teacher at Parkway School, where the couple have a son attending Kindergarten.
Clarke will awarded $500 and will be recognized at an upcoming meeting of the Watauga County Board of Education. He will now be in contention for the regional northwest North Carolina Principal of the Year Award.
Watauga County Schools Principal of the Year award winners are nominated and chosen by their peers — principals from each school in the district.
Photos: Watauga County Schools
Preston Clarke with Dr. Scott Elliott
Preston Clarke with wife Hannah and children Emma and Landon.
Katie Matthews' first-graders show Mr. Clarke some love.