Sparks’ Waddell Named Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year


Cynthia Waddell
Cynthia Waddell. Image: Carla O’Day

Sparks High School’s assistant principal was honored Thursday by the Nevada Association of School Administrators, which named her the state’s top assistant principal.

Cynthia “CJ” Waddell will travel to Chicago in July to be recognized as one of 53 middle school and high school assistant principals in the nation to receive this recognition.

“She is a fierce advocate for our students, and she brings her heart and soul to everything she does with our scholars at Sparks High School,” Sparks principal Kevin Carroll said.

Waddell has worked for the Washoe County School District since 1999, serving as a French and Spanish teacher, swimming and soccer coach, dean of academics, and dean of behavior management. She became assistant principal at Sparks High in 2014, assigned to both the behavior management and curriculum and instruction offices. She had previously been at Reno and North Valleys high schools.

“I am surprised and honored to receive this distinction,” Waddell said. “I love my job and have always wanted to make a difference for kids. It’s so important that our students know we believe in them and that they know we are here to help them succeed.”

Waddell studied school administration at the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned her certification in world language education at the University of Iowa, her master’s degree in French Literature at Arizona State University, and her bachelor’s degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

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Carla O'Day
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Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.