From The Providence Journal
Published October 5, 2015
By Linda Borg
It’s no exaggeration to say that teaching is in Alan Tenreiro’s blood.
His mother was a teacher. So are his sister and his uncle. His grandfather was an assistant principal at what is now Shea High School in Pawtucket.
Yet no one seemed more surprised than Tenreiro, the principal of Cumberland High School, when his superiors announced that he was the 2016 National Principal of the Year, a first for Rhode Island. The auditorium, packed with teachers, two rows of relatives and the entire senior class, went wild with applause and cheers.
“I don’t know what to say,” Tenreiro said as he was handed a towering glass trophy with a vivid red slash. “I’m usually not at a loss for words.”
“This is the best principal in America right here,” said U.S. Rep. David Cicilline.
A phone suddenly rang from the podium. It was U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the line.
“I want to thank you for all of your hard work,” he said. “I really appreciate your leadership.”
Tenreiro, Rhode Island’s Principal of the Year, was chosen out of field of 50 competitors by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. From this pool of state winners, a panel of judges elected three finalists. A separate panel interviewed the finalists and chose a national winner, who receives a $250.
Tenreiro, 41, is widely credited with turning Cumberland High School from a middling school to an exceptional one. During his four-year tenure, the high school has doubled its Advanced Placement courses, improved graduation rates and decreased school suspensions. Cumberland High has also beefed up its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) offerings to include pre-engineering, robotics and a bio-technology program.