Mary Smalling, principal at Hardin Park School, has been named Watauga County Schools Principal of the Year for 2014-15. Her selection was announced in a surprise visit to Hardin Park Thursday morning by WCS Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca, Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin, and other representatives of the Watauga County Schools central office. Several hundred students in the gymnasium for the occasion clapped and screamed their approval as the announcement was made.
Smalling responded to the honor by telling the assembled students and school personnel “the reason I am Principal of the Year is because of you guys.  It’s the students and staff that I work with every day at Hardin Park that make this such a great school.  We have a wonderful community as well, and I am truly grateful for their support.”
Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca congratulated Smalling on her award and praised her leadership at Hardin Park.  “Mary Smalling is truly an outstanding principal. She is always committed to making the school more effective and more welcoming for all its students.  She brings out the the best in her personnel with her respectful and inclusive leadership, and she never wavers in her focus on what is best for the children she serves.”