Whittier Education Campus principal named District of Columbia Public Schools' Principal of the Year

A one-time District of Columbia Public Schools student who grew up to be a teacher then became a school administrator was named DCPS's Principal of the Year.

Tenia Pritchard entered the packed cafeteria at Whittier Education Campus in Northwest D.C. on Friday not knowing she was the reason everybody gathered there.

"Out of so many tremendous leaders we have here at DCPS, you are being honored as our 2018 DCPS Principal of the Year," DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson announced as students and staff cheered.

Pritchard, a graduate of Eastern High School, said it was always her dream to be an educator.

"I always wanted to be an educator ever since I was a little girl. I always said that I wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to give DC Public Schools the same opportunities that they provided to me as a student and so that is the work that I do," Pritchard told FOX 5.

A former teacher at Whittier Education Campus, Pritchard is now working on her second master's degree and a doctorate. The principal said one of the core beliefs she tries to instill in her students is that hard work pays off.

"My motto is: start where you are, but don't stay there. As children, as adults, we all have our personal stories. But no matter where you are you can achieve whatever you would like," Pritchard said.

In the video player above, FOX 5's Bob Barnard takes us to the celebration for the District of Columbia Public Schools' Principal of the Year.