First Flight Middle School Principal Dr. John Donlan has been named the Dare County Schools 2011 Principal of the Year in a program sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wells Fargo.
Donlan holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree from Old Dominion University. Donlan served as an elementary teacher for ten years. He also served as an elementary principal in Norfolk City Schools for nine years.
In 2000, Donlan was hired by the Dare County Board of Education as assistant principal at First Flight Middle School. Two years later, he was promoted to principal at the school. In 2005, he was assigned as the principal to open the new Nags Head Elementary School, a post he held for three years before returning to First Flight Middle School as principal in 2008.
Donlan states that his dissertation, The Relationship Between Rural Middle School Student Mathematics Achievement and Classroom Sense of Community, validates his leadership style. “The findings of this study can be generalized to other educational environments,” maintains Donlan. “Because of this research, I focus on the perceptions of sense of community for students and staff, and I strive to cultivate a positive environment for all. This study has enhanced my ability to recognize, establish, and build positive relationships, thus providing a school community in which everyone is a valued member.”
“Dr. John Donlan is a highly-valued member of the Dare County Schools administrative team,” said Superintendent Sue Burgess. “Dr. Donlan has the ability to balance the needs of students, staff, and parents. He builds strong partnerships with the community. He is a fine representative of our principals as the Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.”
Dr. Donlan resides in Nags Head with his wife Lori and their son, Martin, 14, an eighth grader at Manteo Middle School.