Nov. 13, 2020 – Marilyn Barnwell and Lisa Corprew were both confused and anxious as they rushed outside of their respective schools.
Both had been told there was an urgent matter that needed their attention.
But as they saw the balloons, the cameras, the gathering of school and district colleagues, the towering Jaxson de Ville and finally, a smiling superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, the confusion gave way to surprise and then tears.
Barnwell, Alfred DuPont Middle School principal, was announced as the district’s “Principal of the Year.” Corprew was announced as the district’s “Assistant Principal of the Year.”
“I am so absolutely floored that this happened, and I am so appreciative and honored to receive this award,” said Barnwell, a 20-year educator who has helmed DuPont for eight years. “It’s not just a one-person award. It takes a whole team to pull a whole community together in the way we have here at DuPont, so I’m proud of this entire team. I carry this award on behalf of my parents, my faculty and my students.”
Barnwell was recommended by Region Superintendent for Middle Schools, Dr. Michael Henry.
“Without a doubt, Mrs. Barnwell is a dynamic, innovative educator who serves as a quintessential leader amongst her peers,” wrote Henry in his nomination letter. “Please know that she does not work for accolades. In fact, she simply wants to inspire others to be the best, support her administrators and teachers, and set a classic example of leadership for her colleagues.”
He noted that she was designated to serve as a “leader of leaders” in the middle school region, a role that includes mentoring new principals.
Like Barnwell, Corprew, a 21-year educator, said she was stunned by today’s announcement.
“I’m nosy so I usually figure everything out,” laughed Corprew. “It’s very hard to surprise me, but it was an amazing surprise. I’m in shock right now. I feel amazing, I feel honored, and I’m still processing.”
Corprew was nominated by Region Superintendent of the Office of Innovation and School Improvement, Jud Strickland.
“Ms. Corprew’s warm and upbeat nature is evidenced by the positive and joyful learning environment in her building,” wrote Strickland. “She sets a tone at Arlington Middle School with her ‘student first’ attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to support children.”
Strickland said an example of her “team first” attitude is when she was asked to temporarily transfer to another school midway last year and assist with addressing some of its challenges.
“Ms. Corprew accepted graciously and immediately improved the culture and climate at the school,” said Strickland.
Both Barnwell and Corprew were selected among other stellar finalists in their categories.
The list is below. Each will be recognized at the upcoming regular Board meeting in December.
Principal of the Year Finalists
- Kimberly Dennis, Fishweir Elementary
- Dean Ledford, Fletcher High
- Shirley Winfrey, Hyde Park Elementary
Assistant Principal of the Year Finalists
- Darrell Edmunds, Love Grove Elementary
- Marie George, Atlantic Coast
- Lori Westberry, Southside Middle
They will also be honored at the annual EDDY awards. Managed by the Jacksonville Education Fund (JPEF), the EDDY awards celebrates Duval’s leading educators.
Today’s Prize patrol included members of JPEF and Equitable Advisors, a sponsor for the EDDY awards and other education initiatives in Duval County.