U.S. Secretary of Education Announces Recipients of the 2023 Terrel H. Bell Awards for Outstanding School Leadership


U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona today announced the recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership for 2023. All nine school leaders from the 2023 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored during the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023.

“Great principals play a pivotal role in building thriving school communities and empowering teachers to meet the diverse needs of every student,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Award, you have served as catalysts, fostering positive school cultures, and finding new ways to engage students, parents, families, educators, and staff. You continue to Raise the Bar as school leaders, and your dedication inspires others to bring their best each day. The prestigious Bell Award is our way of recognizing and celebrating your hard work and indispensable leadership.”

Named for the second U. S. Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell, the Bell Award honors school leaders who are committed to education as a powerful and liberating force in people’s lives. The award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process.

The U.S. Department of Education, together with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Association for Middle Level Education, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, present the Bell Awards to principals of National Blue Ribbon Schools for their outstanding work and the vital role they play in guiding their students and schools to excellence, frequently under challenging circumstances.

The 2023 recipients are:

CA - Hacienda Heights Dr. Danielle M. Kenfield  Glen A. Wilson High School 
CA - Hacienda Heights Dr. Paulina Cho Wedgeworth Elementary School
FL - Hollywood Ms. Johna Rae Giordano Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science
IL - South Beloit Mr. Kevin Finnegan Prairie Hill Elementary School
KY - Louisville Ms. Amy B. Sample Saint Xavier High School
PA - Exton Sister Teresa Ballisty, IHM  Saints Philip and James Elementary School
TX - Houston Mr. Frank Ward, Jr. Nitsch Elementary School
WI - Brookfield Mr. Andrew T. Farley Brookfield East High School 
WY - Casper Mrs. Anna Lavi Sagewood Elementary School

Visit the website to learn more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program and the Terrel H. Bell Awardees.