Principal Story

Principal Story: A North Carolina NOW Special

“We have no good schools without good principals.”

– Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; former CEO, Chicago Public Schools

The Principal Story on North Carolina Now is a 2009 series that highlighted the exemplary leadership of some select North Carolina school principals. These distinguished school administrators have shown great strengths as the leaders of their schools and in their execution of the seven critical evaluation standards for North Carolina principals developed from the Wallace Foundation recommendations.

This series featured on North Carolina Now, UNC-TV's flagship public affairs series, utilized the public television network's statewide reach to raise awareness and educate school leaders, educators, and the public about new principal evaluation standards. The series examined each standard and how the principals created successful learning communities in their school environments and fostered high student achievement. The series compliments the upcoming PBS broadcast of The Principal Story documentary.

As part of The Principal Story series, North Carolina Now highlighted three individual principals and their schools, as well as three Columbus County principals, within the following "Featured Projects."

  • Jay Jones-Principal/Konnoak Elementary School, Winston Salem, NC 

  • Lee Johnson-Principal/Wayne Early College, Goldsboro, NC

  • Leicha San Miguel-Principal/Hillcrest Elementary School, Morganton, NC

  • Cassie Cartrette, Mark Bridgers, and Tanya Head/ Principals-Columbus County Schools, NC

The series concluded with an hour-long Education Forum program aired in September 2009. Education Forum took an in-depth look at North Carolina’s new principal evaluation standards.

The series compliments the PBS broadcast of The Principal Story, a PBS Documentary Film on School Leadership. 

The Principal Story is a national broadcast film and media outreach project, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. Its purpose is to raise the visibility of leadership as a lever for school improvement, especially in our most challenging schools.

Produced by Nomadic Pictures, The Principal Story premiered nationally as part of the acclaimed P.O.V. series in September of 2009.

The Principal Story tells two stories, painting a dramatic portrait of the challenges facingAmerica's public schools – and of the great difference a dedicated principal can make. Funded by The Wallace Foundation, The Principal Story is a national PBS broadcast film and media outreach project. The documentary and related video and print materials are designed to connect educators, policymakers and those interested in learning more to reliable, useful resources. Outreach Extensions is managing the national media outreach campaign. This project is part of The Principal Story outreach campaign, which is made possible by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, a source of ideas for improving school leadership.

The Wallace Foundation

For more information on the film and related outreach, visit For more information and research about education leadership, visit the Wallace Knowledge Center at