Principals Groups Congratulate Principal Ambassador Fellows and Commend USED

Cumberland Principal Praised for Fostering Culture of Achievement

Alan Tenreiro of Cumberland High School in Cumberland, RI, has been named the 2016 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The award was announced today at a surprise assembly at his school attended by Gov. Gina Raimondo, Sen. Jack Reed, Rep. David Cicilline, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner, numerous state and local officials, students, teachers, and Tenreiro’s family. The announcement came as part of NASSP’s celebration of National Principals Month.

Under Tenreiro’s leadership, Cumberland High School has seen increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, and the number of students gaining admission to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. Emphasizing essential skills for student success after graduation, Cumberland has doubled its Advanced Placement class offerings and expanded its STEM courses to include pre-engineering, robotics, and a biotechnology pathway. Tenreiro also invested in the school’s current standards-based system, which has led to more uniform expectations for students, clearer feedback to students, and a focus on reporting what has been learned—not just what students have done.

Tenreiro holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in educational administration, both from Rhode Island College. He also holds a certificate of advanced graduate study from Northeastern University.

“Alan Tenreiro works diligently to help students reach high standards, but in the context of the students’ genuine interests,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “His passion for personalizing the school—a hallmark of NASSP’s Breaking Ranks framework for school improvement—keeps him moving ever forward to find creative ways to ensure each student in his school is known and well served.”

“We’re happy to see Alan get this recognition,” said Cumberland Superintendent Dr. Phil Thornton. “He and his team have done a tremendous job in transforming Cumberland High School into a statewide—and now a nationally recognized—leader in educational excellence. I think Alan epitomizes all of our principals and assistant principals. If it were up to me, all of our principals would be so honored. They all do a great job.”

The search for the 2016 national principal of the year started in early 2015 as each state principals association selected its state principals of the year. From this pool of state winners, a panel of judges selected three finalists. A separate panel then interviewed and rigorously reviewed the finalists’ applications to select the national winner. Each finalist received a $250 grant and the national winner receives an additional grant of $250. The grants will be used to improve learning at the school.

For more information about the NASSP Principal of the Year program, please visit

Bob Farrace, NASSP,, 703-909-4661
Justin Martin, Cumberland School Department, 774-275-9113



The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.

About Cumberland Schools

Located northeast of Providence, RI, the town of Cumberland is known for progressive educational leadership, high quality schools, and a dedication to instruction. The Cumberland Public Schools serve approximately 4,700 students and employ 600 professionals dedicated to these students.