Piedmont High School Principal Dr. Adam Clemons Named Finalist for National Principal of the Year

Adam Clemons, principal of Piedmont High School, has been named one of three finalists for NASSP's National Principal of the Year Award.
Aug 25, 2020 by Alyssa Godfrey, CLAS Director of Communications and Technology

Piedmont, Ala – August 24, 2020:  Dr. Adam Clemons, principal of Piedmont High School in the Piedmont City School System, has been selected as one of three finalists for the National Principal of the Year Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Clemons was named the Alabama Principal of the Year by the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) earlier this year. 

Adam Clemons has 19 years of experience in the field of education with the last 12 years served as an administrator. In 2013, Clemons was chosen as the principal of Piedmont High School. In his educational career, he has had the roles of teacher, department head, assistant principal, and principal. Clemons received his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University, and his education specialist and doctorate from Argosy University. 

When Adam Clemons became principal of the small, rural high school in 2013, he set out to help kids feel socially connected, be academically successful, and have an advantage as they enter college or the workforce. Clemons developed a teachers-as-advisers program—which was then used as a model for the state of Alabama—to provide a 30-minute advisory period to allow teachers and paraprofessionals to build relationships that support students academically, psychologically, and emotionally. Working with district leaders, Clemons helped implement mental health counseling services and training for teachers at local schools so students didn’t have to travel out of town for counseling services, saving both time and expenses. In Clemons’ time as principal, extracurricular participation has grown by 20 percent, the graduation rate has risen by 8 percent, and discipline referrals decreased by over 50 percent. 

“On behalf of Piedmont City Schools staff and students, I would like to congratulate Dr. Adam Clemons on being selected as a finalist for NASSP Principal of the Year,” said Mike Hayes, superintendent of Piedmont City Schools. “Through Dr. Clemons’ leadership, Piedmont High School has risen to one of the top academic, athletic, and fine arts schools in Alabama. What has occurred at PHS during his tenure is a testament that strong leadership can turn a small, rural school with high poverty into a model for any school in the nation. 

“As president of the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals, I want to congratulate Adam Clemons for being named one of the three finalists for National Principal of the Year. This is a huge honor for not only Mr. Clemons but also for the state of Alabama and AASSP. We could not have picked a better person to represent Alabama and I’m so glad to see him get the recognition he so richly deserves,” added AASSP President Joe Toomey. 

“It is no surprise that Dr. Adam Clemons is a finalist for the National Principal of the Year! He is a leader among leaders who quietly goes about making Piedmont High School an outstanding example of a school on the cutting edge of instructional progress,” commented AASSP Assistant Executive Director Katrina Akers. 

“I am so very pleased that Dr. Clemons was named a finalist for the National Principal of the Year Award. He exemplifies the criteria for this award as evidenced by the success of Piedmont High School under his leadership,” said CLAS Executive Director Dr. Vic Wilson. “This is one of many shining examples of the excellent things happening in public education across the state of Alabama.” 

 “I am absolutely thrilled that Dr. Adam Clemons has received this well-deserved acknowledgement of his outstanding service in education. Let’s celebrate that we are so fortunate to have someone of his caliber in Alabama education. I have had the good fortune to work closely with Dr. Clemons over the past seven years. In that time, I have observed his relentless, passionate drive to offer engaging, innovative, meaningful, and fun academic and extracurricular opportunities so that all of his students can participate in classes and activities that excite and engage them,” commented Dr. Cynthia McCarty, Alabama State Board of Education member for district 6. “Dr. Clemons is simply an outstanding educator, one who motivates his students, staff, and faculty to be the best they can be.” 

The Alabama Principal of the Year Award is sponsored by the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals and American Fidelity Assurance. A trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the NASSP Principal of the Year Awards Program is provided by AASSP.  Additionally, an office makeover is provided by Interior Elements. 

“Nothing excites us more than seeing education leaders receive well-deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication. This year is an Alabama ‘first,’” said Dan Chappel of Interior Elements. “Well done, Adam, you’ve earned it!” 

“American Fidelity proudly congratulates Adam Clemons as a finalist for National Principal of the Year. We’re honored to know Dr. Clemons and to sponsor this prestigious award for Alabama schools. American Fidelity is deeply rooted in the education community and considers it a privilege to support school administrators and education professionals through benefits administration and supplemental insurance,” added American Fidelity Sales Manager John Cole. 

About AASSP and CLAS: The Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals is an affiliate association of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS).  CLAS is an umbrella association that serves eleven different affiliates comprised of Alabama’s public school administrators.  CLAS is dedicated to providing the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support.  For more information, visit

About American Fidelity Assurance: American Fidelity Assurance provides employee and employer benefit solutions for education employees. They are a long-time supporter of CLAS and the sponsor of the Alabama High School Principal of the Year award. 

About Interior Elements: Interior Elements is a furniture dealer that services the K-12 market. Each year, Interior Elements provides an office makeover for the Alabama High School Principal of the Year. 

About NASSP’s Principal of the Year Program: The NASSP Principal of the Year (POY) program honors State Principals of the Year from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity. Out of these exceptional school leaders, three are selected as finalists and one is ultimately selected for the National Principal of the Year award. The award recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. For more information on the POY program, please visit   

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