- Principals are judged on many criteria. Each is expected to merit the respect and admiration of students, teachers, and other professional coworkers, parents, and members of his or her community. Involvement in the community, as well as in school activities, also is considered. Candidates are expected to provide opportunities for academic achievement to a diverse student population.
- The POY awards program recognizes principals at the local, regional, and statewide levels. To advance in competition, the nominee must prepare an in-depth written portfolio for review by a selection committee in each education region.
- After candidates are nominated by their districts, a regional selection process follows that includes a rigorous portfolio exercise and an interview at the regional level, which includes representation of our Wells Fargo sponsor.
- Regional selection committees read and evaluate each candidate's portfolio, and personally interview each to name a regional winner and a finalist.
- One principal is selected to represent each of the eight regions of North Carolina. The Regional Principals of the Year continue by participating in the process at the state level, which includes another interview process by the state selection committee. The state selection committee members are chosen based on their dynamic public record in support of education.
- Since the program's inception, 36 state Wells Fargo Principals of the Year, 232 regional award recipients, and 2,975 Wells Fargo Principals from across the state have been added to this auspicious roll. Wells Fargo has provided more than $1 million in cash awards to these individuals.
- The culmination of Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Program is a ceremony in Raleigh, where the statewide winner is announced. The date is set to coincide with the N.C. State Board of Education meeting. The N.C. State Superintendent of Public Instruction and other board members are invited to attend.