A Cherokee County School District Principal is a finalist for a statewide Principal of the Year Award!
Mill Creek Middle School Principal Matthew May is one of five finalists for the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals’ Principal of the Year award.
“Congratulations to Matthew and the entire Mill Creek community on this well-earned honor,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re so proud of all that Matthew has accomplished with his Wildcat team, from its academic success to its strong school spirit and sense of community. He is an outstanding representative of our school district, and we wish him all the best as he is considered for this prestigious state award!”
The award, which is open to middle and high school principals statewide, recognizes principals who excel in educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service. The finalists were selected from a large statewide pool of nominees; applications must include a thorough review of the school’s performance with specific data points.
Following final interviews of the finalists, the judges will select a winner, who will be announced later this school year and then represent Georgia in the competition for the National Principal of the Year title. Principal May will be recognized by the School Board and Dr. Hightower at a future school board meeting.
Principal May, who has 21 years of experience as an educator, began leading Mill Creek MS in 2018. Last spring, he was named the Outstanding Principal of the Year for middle schools by the regional District 13 PTA. He earned the same award from the Cherokee County Council PTA in 2021.
Colleagues praise Principal May for his excellence in classroom instruction and how that expertise positively impacts the school as a whole. CCSD Chief Operations Officer Dr. Debra Murdock, whose office oversees administrative leadership, said Principal May also is known for his dedication to improving school culture and climate.
“Matthew May is an exceptional principal who has served with distinction the students, parents and staff of Mill Creek Middle School,” said Dr. Murdock, who is a past Georgia Principal of the Year winner. “Mr. May is a leader who believes in the fundamental goals of building thriving school cultures where students can pursue great academic and social achievements. He and his staff place high priorities on hearing from students, parents and staff in building goals that promote continuous improvement.”
A past Teacher of the Year, Mr. May served for two years as an assistant principal at Sequoyah High School, with a focus on overseeing curriculum and instruction, prior to his appointment to Mill Creek MS. During his teaching tenure, which began in 2002, Principal May taught social studies at Woodstock HS for eight years and then for five years at River Ridge HS, where he was named department chair and the 2015 Teacher of the Year. An accomplished Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, he also was tapped to serve as a teacher on special assignment at Etowah High School for a year.
He has earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from Kennesaw State University, and a specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. He has completed multiple levels of the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy, CCSD’s internal leadership development program.
Principal May followed in the career footsteps of his mom, who taught in CCSD for 26 years. He and his wife, Kristin, have one son who is a CCSD student.