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Gwinnett educator named finalist for National Principal of the Year

Dr. Tommy Welch is starting off the new school year on a high note.

The Meadowcreek High School principal has been named one of three finalists for the 2018 National Principal of the Year award, given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. 

Welch previously won Georgia’s principal of the year award from the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. That put him in contention for the national honor.

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Welch has been principal of Meadowcreek since 2011, and has been at the school since 2003. He began as a teacher, eventually serving as assistant principal and interim principal before becoming principal. 

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When he took the top job at the Norcross school, Welch instituted a five-year turnaround plan that included adding more Advanced Placement courses. Meadowcreek’s graduation rate has improved from 52 percent in the 2013-14 school year to more than 73 percent in the 2015-2016 school year, according to state data. 

The National Teacher of the Year award will be presented during the Principals Institute in Washington, D.C., between Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. The other finalists are Akil Ross of Chapin High School in South Carolina and Jack Baldermann of Westmont High School in Illinois. 

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You can find more information about your county schools, such as test scores, graduation rates, and school climate ratings at the AJC's Ultimate Atlanta School Guide.

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Lucan Sims is a Braves prospect who played at Brookwood High School.

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