John Sevier Middle School Principal Named a 2016 National Distinguished Principal

Published October 7, 2016 at 11:46 a.m. 

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Dr. Holly Flora, John Sevier Middle School Principal, is among 58 outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad who have been named as 2016 National Distinguished Principals (NDP) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The NDPs will be honored today, Oct. 7 at an awards banquet at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., as part of a two-day program.

Established in 1984, the National Distinguished Principals program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals will also have the opportunity to share best practices. The 58 principal honorees are selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools. 

“This is an outstanding accomplishment for Dr. Flora and for Kingsport City Schools,” said Dr. Lyle Ailshie, Kingsport City Schools Superintendent. “We applaud Dr. Flora’s leadership and dedication to the students and staff of KCS.  Our community is fortunate to have her as an integral part of our leadership team.”

In May 2016 Flora was named a 2016 Tennessee National Distinguished Principal. She is serving in her second year as principal at John Sevier Middle School.  Prior to that, she served as principal at Jackson Elementary School and as KCS System-Wide Literacy Coordinator.  During her time at Jackson, the school was designated as being in the top five percent in the state for performance, as measured by overall student achievement levels, and for year-over-year progress, as measured by school-wide value-added data.  Before her administrative roles, Dr. Flora taught at both Lincoln Elementary School and Washington Elementary School. In addition, she is a current Tennessee Principals Association board member and has served in several leadership roles since 2012 including vice president, president elect, present and past president.

“This recognition is a reflection of the hard work of all of those with whom I have had the privilege to work,” said Flora. “I am fortunate to work in a school district with colleagues who go to work each day and strive toward a shared vision for students that is better than our current reality. I have also worked alongside phenomenal teachers a both Jackson Elementary and at John Sevier Middle School who are determined to make a positive difference in the lives of students. The support that we receive from our community and from families is inspiring and it empowers and equips the educators of Kingsport to provide a world-class education for all students.”

NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly congratulated the class of outstanding principals, noting their significant influence on the students, schools, and communities they serve. “Principals are uniquely positioned to impact the academic, social, and emotional success of all students,” she said. “These exceptional leaders have proven their commitment to providing a high-quality, well-rounded education in their schools. The National Distinguished Principals program recognizes these well-deserving principals for their extraordinary passion, dedication, and contribution to their schools, their students, and their communities.”

Flora received two undergraduate degrees from Milligan College, achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in both Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. She received a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), and a Doctor of Education from ETSU in Educational Leadership and Policy.

It is particularly fitting to acknowledge the work of principals in October because it is National Principals Month, which was established to recognize and honor the contributions of school principals and assistant principals toward the success of the nation’s students, and encourage awareness of their significance. A list of the 2016 NDPs and their biographical information can be found here.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), founded in 1921, is a professional organization serving elementary and middle school principals and other education leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas. For more information on the National Distinguished Principals Award Program visit

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and a non-traditional school; with total enrollment over 7,300 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FMThe Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).