Tift College of Education Alumnus Dr. Tommy Welch a Finalist for National Principal of the Year


ATLANTA – Mercer University Tift College of Education alumnus Dr. Tommy Welch was named a finalist for the 2018 National Principal of the Year award, presented by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Dr. Welch, principal of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and administration from Tift College in 2015.

“We are very proud of and excited for this honor that Dr. Welch has received,” said Dr. N. Jean Walker, assistant professor of educational leadership and former colleague in the Gwinnett County Public School System. “He is a reflective and deep thinker in addressing the issues and challenges facing school administrators of today and the future. He not only focuses on his individual growth as a leader, but also on the growth and development of those he leads. Dr. Welch is the epitome of a transformational educator.”

During his six years as principal at Meadowcreek, Dr. Welch has taken one of Georgia's largest and lowest-performing, yet most diverse, urban schools and raised the graduation rate from 47 to 73 percent.

He has implemented several new initiatives, including the introduction of more STEM courses, project-based learning, on-campus internships with business partners and state politicians, and the transformation of the school into five smaller college- and career-themed learning centers. Meadowcreek has Georgia's first full-service bank in a school, as well as a makerspace designed in collaboration with Georgia Tech.

Dr. Welch was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He relocated to the Atlanta area to accept a position as a social studies teacher and coach at Meadowcreek, and went on to obtain an Ed.S. from Piedmont College, an add-on endorsement from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from Mercer.

He served as an assistant principal at Meadowcreek prior to being named principal in 2011.

Dr. Welch and two other finalists will be recognized at the 2017 NASSP Principals Institute – an event that convenes all state principals from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools and the Department of Defense Education Activity – held Sept. 24-27 in Washington, D.C.

The National Principal of the Year will be announced in October during National Principals Month.

For more information on the Principal of the Year program, visit www.nassp.org/poy.

About the Tift College of Education

Mercer University's Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University's three Regional Academic Centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. The College offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Practitioner,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. education.mercer.edu