Watauga High School Principal Dr. Chris Blanton has been named Watauga County Schools 2019-20 Principal of the Year. Blanton was presented the award by a delegation of family, peers and Watauga County Schools leadership in a surprise ceremony February 22.
Blanton, who has served as the principal of Watauga High School for two years, said he was honored to have been recognized by his colleagues across the district.
“It is a huge honor to work for Watauga County Schools and serve as the Principal at Watauga High School,” Blanton said. “It’s humbling to be chosen by such an accomplished group of administrators who I respect more than they will ever know. I’m constantly learning from them and I appreciate them helping me grow as an administrator.”
Blanton went on to thank his staff and students.
“I’m very lucky to work with the best staff and students anywhere. They’re the reason Watauga High School and Watauga County Schools is the best place to learn and work in North Carolina.”
Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott, who presented Blanton with the award along with school board Chairman Ron Henries and Vice-Chair Brenda Reese, congratulated Blanton on his recognition.
“I feel blessed and honored to work in a school system full of so many dedicated leaders,” Elliott said “Our principals, teacher leaders, district leaders and so many others are dedicated to our vision of being the best place to learn and work in North Carolina. The fact that our principals select the recipient of the Principal of the Year award speaks highly of Dr. Blanton. They know what a great job he is doing and wanted to recognize his efforts with this award.”
Elliott said Blanton’s job was made even more challenging and important since he is tasked with taking the lead at Watauga’s only high school.
“Being the principal of the one and only high school in our county is no small job,” Elliott said. “Dr. Blanton faces many challenges every day, but he is continually optimistic and positive about the great things happening at WHS. He has very high expectations for his staff, for the students, and most of all for himself.
“In just two years, Dr. Blanton has supported and led teacher efforts to improve professional learning and collaboration among staff members. He is constantly looking for new way to support and improve options for all students, including alternative options for our most-struggling students.”
With his award, Blanton will now be in the running to receive the regional Northwest North Carolina Principal of the Year Award.