North Heights Junior High principal, Theresa Cowling, has been named Regional Principal of the Year.

This honor from Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. This annual award recognizes exemplary magnet school principals from MSA’s eight regions who have demonstrated a strong commitment to maximizing learning opportunities for all students through theme-based education, while also setting high expectations within their schools and communities. Region 5 includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Mrs. Cowling graduated from Lewisville High School. Upon graduation, she received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in Magnolia, AR. In 2001, Mrs. Cowling obtained a Master of Science in Elementary Education from SAU.

With over 30 years in education, Mrs. Cowling has served as a teacher, Gifted and Talented coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. Under her leadership at North Heights Junior High, the campus received the Shannon Wright Award, and was recognized as a school of distinction by Magnet Schools of America in 2016, 2017, and 2018.     

Mrs. Cowling believes it is important to communicate the school’s culture and vision in every aspect of the school day. “One of my goals is to encourage and support my staff as we work together towards academic success for all students,” Cowling stated. “It takes shared responsibilities and strong relationships with staff and students to truly impact student achievement.”

Mrs. Cowling will be recognized and receive her Regional Magnet School Principal of the Year Award during an awards ceremony held at Magnet Schools of America’s 36th National Conference hosted by Chicago Public Schools in Chicago, Illinois April 25-29.  She is also eligible to be selected as the National Magnet School Principal of the Year, which will be announced on the last day of the national conference.

Regional Principals of the Year are acknowledged by their peers for their noteworthy contributions made to their profession and have demonstrated excellence in the following areas:

•  Promoting equity and diversity among students and staff within their
magnet school;

  • Providing equitable academic opportunities for all students;
  • Leadership implementing and sustaining an innovative magnet
    program;
  • Evidence of leadership within the school district and the community.

To be selected as a Regional Principal of the Year, candidates must first be nominated. Then they are required to submit a narrative application and three recommendation letters, including one from a parent, one from a community partner, and one from a co-worker or an administrator. In addition, they must be a member of Magnet Schools of America and have served as their school's principal for a minimum of three years. All applications are reviewed and scored by a panel of magnet educators.

To learn more about the Magnet Schools of America Principal of the Year program, please visit this website.