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Idlewild Elementary principal named Southwest Region Principal of the Year

Larenda Denien was previously named 2021-2022 CMS Principal of the Year in October.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Idlewild Elementary School Principal Larenda Denien is the 2021-2022 Southwest Region Principal of the Year.

The award is given by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.  

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Denien is now one of eight regional winners who will compete for the state's Wells Fargo Principal of the Year award. She previously won CMS Principal of the Year in October 2021. 

Denien says she’s most proud of the culture she’s created at Idlewild. 

“It’s a dynamic place to be," she said. "I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished, and I just want our strong positive culture to continue on for decades and years to come well past my retirement."

Denien has spent seven years as a principal at Idlewild. The district says under her direction, Idlewild has been named a National Magnet School of Excellence annually since 2012 and won the coveted Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Award for top magnet school in America in 2017. 

Now a state selection committee is reviewing portfolios and will have interviews for each of the eight regional winners.

A winner will be announced in May.

Denien was surprised by her family, friends, staff, and leadership at the school with the award Thursday afternoon.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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