UT Honors Knox, Tipton County Educators for Excellence in Leadership

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Clifford Davis Jr. with Susan Benner, associate dean and director of the Graduate School of Education.

A Knox County administrator and a Tipton County principal are the latest recipients of UT awards that recognize outstanding education leaders in the state.

Clifford Davis Jr., executive director of secondary education for Knox County Schools, is the recipient of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Excellence in Educational Leadership Award.

Margaret (Peggy) Barber Murdock, principal at Covington High School in Tipton County, is the recipient of the William J. and Lucille H. Field Award for Excellence in Secondary Principalship for the State of Tennessee.

Both awards are being presented through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies within the UT College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Davis was selected for the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award for his commitment to ensuring the quality of aspiring principals and their ability to work toward improving student achievement. The award is an annual recognition for practicing school administrators who have made significant contributions to improve administrator preparation.

Davis has been in education administration and supervision for more than twenty-five years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, a master’s degree in mathematics from UT, and education specialist and education doctorate degrees in administration and supervision from UT.

Margaret Murdock (left) with Susan Benner, associate dean and director of the UT Graduate School of Education.

Murdock is the twelfth winner to date of the William J. and Lucille H. Field Award. Established in 2001, it identifies a Tennessee secondary school principal whose life and work are characterized by leadership excellence. It recognizes those who demonstrate the values of civility, candor, courage, social justice, responsibility, compassion, community, persistence and service in and through their work.

Under Murdock’s leadership, Covington High School was named a Bronze Level High School in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of the Best High Schools for 2012. The school also was awarded the SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) Prize for high schools in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, the school won an award for having the best regional peer tutoring program, a program that provides high-poverty high-achieving students an after-school job.

Murdock has been an educator for almost thirty years. She holds bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mississippi University for Women, a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Memphis, and an education specialist degree in urban school leadership from the University of Memphis. She has been principal of Covington High School since 2008.

CONTACTS:

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, lola.alapo@tennessee.edu)

David Lomascolo (865-974-6179, dlomasco@utk.edu)

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