Educator Profile    Educators

Abbey Kidwell (TN '23)

Assistant Principal

Clinton Elementary School
Clinton, TN

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

At the time of the Award, Abbey Kidwell was:

Assistant Principal
Clinton Elementary School
Clinton, TN

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Biographical Information

Rain or shine, Abbey Kidwell spends her mornings greeting students and families outside of Clinton Elementary School, where she serves as assistant principal. A former fourth grade teacher, Kidwell draws from her own classroom experience to guide her as an instructional leader. She oversees the Response to Intervention (RTI) program, visiting classrooms to address students’ individual needs and collaborates with the district instructional coach, the English language arts (ELA) coach and the math coach to help students reach their maximum potential. Advocating for the whole child, Kidwell helps to select students in each grade for the Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps (TN ALL Corps) program. By monitoring data meetings and follow-ups for hundreds of students, she pinpoints where extra supports may be needed and directs action plans. Kidwell’s work has contributed to Clinton Elementary’s consistent designation as a Tennessee Reward School for academic growth.

Kidwell is an integral part of Clinton Elementary School’s comprehensive educator leadership and support structure, implemented through a partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). A thoughtful, informed decision-maker on the school’s leadership team with the principal and teacher leaders, Kidwell helps drive professional development, collaboration and mentorship across her school and district. Kidwell is always on the move, supporting new and veteran teachers alike by providing meaningful feedback on best practices and helping supervise the transfer of learning to the classroom. As leader of the district’s new teacher academy, she creates a syllabus, provides regular trainings and check-ins, brings in presenters, and participates in site visits. Her impact has led to exciting opportunities to share her expertise on a broader level, including serving on former Governor Bill Haslam’s Teacher Cabinet and School Safety Working Group as well as presenting at the 2023 NIET National Conference on increasing the effectiveness of district instructional learning teams.

A positive force and role model in the community, Kidwell presents to members of the Chamber of Commerce during their visits to Clinton and works closely with the Rotary Club. She expresses her dedication to students daily during her morning announcement: “If nobody has told you, remember that I love you today.”

Kidwell earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Carson-Newman University in 2011 and a master’s degree in leadership and supervision from the University of Tennessee in 2019.

Press release: Clinton Elementary Assistant Principal Gets Surprise of a Lifetime with $25,000 Milken Educator Award 

Abbey Kidwell In The News

WATCH --> Clinton Elementary School Honored with Milken Educator Award to Abbey Kidwell
CityCurrent  |  Apr 20, 2024  |  Memphis, TN

Teaching Kids Well
The Courier News  |  Apr 03, 2024  |  Clinton, TN

WATCH --> Clinton Educator Wins National Award
WBIR-TV  |  NBC  |  Mar 28, 2024  |  Knoxville, TN

Watch the Assistant Principal from Clinton Elementary School Win an Award
Knoxville News Sentinel  |  USA Today Network  |  Mar 28, 2024  |  Knoxville, TN

WATCH --> Clinton Elementary Assistant Principal Surprised with Award, $25k Prize
WATE-TV  |  ABC  |  Mar 28, 2024  |  Knoxville, TN

Clinton Educator, Oak Ridge Native Wins $25,000 Teaching Award
Oak Ridger  |  USA Today Network  |  Mar 28, 2024  |  Oak Ridge, TN

WATCH --> East Tennessee Educator Wins National Award
WVLT-TV  |  CBS  |  Mar 28, 2024  |  Knoxville, TN