Sharon McNary for Vice President 2020

Sharon McNary

Candidate for 2020 Vice President

Principal of Richland Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

“The Collaborative Leader Supporting Each Other”

We moved seven times while growing up, so I learned at a young age that if I wanted to “be in the know,” I had to meet new people and get involved. Within my first few months as an elementary school principal, I quickly realized the same premise that I learned as a very young child, and that is no matter what we do, we need people in our lives who are experiencing similar challenges.

I have grown tremendously as a school leader by being a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Tennessee Principals Association. I have learned best practices throughout the years by attending the NAESP Annual National Conferences. These practices have improved teacher effectiveness, thus improving student achievement. I have met principals from across the nation with problems like mine, and together we have worked through these problems to help improve our school communities.  

Through my tenure as NAESP Zone 4 Director, I have seen firsthand what NAESP does to strengthen the principalship. I have had the opportunity to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill and know that NAESP truly has the best interest of all principals in mind with everything they do. I have also attended several state conferences, where I spoke to numerous principals about their biggest challenges as a school leader.   I also shared how being a member of NAESP has helped me through some these challenges.

The best professional decision I have made in my 36- year career as an educator was to join TPA and NAESP serving as the President and State Representative of the former and Zone 4 Director of the latter. I firmly believe that as a collective voice, we can make a difference for our profession, and most importantly, for the students we serve. We must continue to strengthen the principalship and the association, and together we can. We need to reach out to members and non-members show the relevance and impact that NAESP can have on them personally and professionally and also for their children and schools.

If given the chance to serve as the NAESP Vice President, I am committed to continue strengthening our relationships with school administrators at all levels. If we keep principals at the center of decisions that impact the success of school communities, we will make a difference.  

I was honored and humbled to serve on the NAESP Board of Directors for four years, and it would be my distinct honor to serve as the next Vice President of the NAESP.

Professional Preparation

Masters +45 with an endorsement in Administration, University of Memphis, 1994
Masters in Special Education, Memphis State University, 1986
B.S. in Special Education, Memphis State University, 1983

Professional Experience

Principal, Richland Elementary, Memphis, TN, 2004-present
Assistant Principal, Richland Elementary, Memphis, TN, 1999-2004
Special Education Teacher, Kingsbury HS, Memphis, TN, 1997-1999
Special Education Teacher, Avon Lenox, Memphis, TN, 1983-1997

Professional Affiliations

NAESP Coach, 2019
NAESP Certified Mentor, 2019
NAESP Zone 4 Director, 2015-2019
NAESP State Representative, 2012-2015
TN Principals Association (TPA) President, 2012
TPA President-Elect, 2013
TPA Vice President, 2012
TN Department of Education Assessment Task Force Committee Member, 2012
TPA Membership Director, 2005-2012

Other Positions

Shelby County Schools Principal Pipeline Mentor, 2016-current
Recreation Director, Hope Presbyterian Church, 1996-1999
Vacation Bible School Director, Hope Presbyterian Church, 1995
Vacation Bible School Teacher, 1992-1995
Sunday School Teacher, 1993-1995

Professional Accomplishments

2019 TN Rewards School (Highest award for achievement- only top 5% in state are eligible)
2018 TN Rewards School
Shelby County Schools Outstanding Performance, 2017-2018
TN Department of Education, Principal of the Year West Grand Division Winner, 2014-2015
University of Memphis Alumni, College of Education, Hall of Fame Inductee, 2014
NAESP National Distinguished Principal Award, 2013
TPA Past President Award, 2012
TPA Meritorious Award for Exemplary Service and Commitment, 2012
Memphis City Schools Faculty Academy, 2007-2008