Chera Bessire Named 2017 State Assistant Principal of the Year

The award recognizes assistant principals who have demonstrated a positive impact on their students and learning.

Chera-BessireA philosophy of keeping kids first has led Bennett Elementary’s Chera Bessire to be named the 2017 State Assistant Principal of the Year by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

“Assistant principals are key to a school’s success,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said. “We are proud to recognize Chera as an outstanding school administrator. Her ability to connect with students and learn their stories is a shining example of great school leadership.”

Building relationships with stakeholders and making connections with hard to reach students are the hallmarks of Bessire’s success. Serving as an assistant principal since 2008, Bessire models excellence and sets high expectations for those around her. She anticipates campus needs and considers the position of all stakeholders when analyzing possibilities. Her ability to see the big picture has led to improvements in the master schedule, grade level team configurations, parent communications and student advocacy all of which has resulted in increased student learning.

“Chera models what it is to be a public educator where every child deserves to be accepted, loved and taught at high levels,” Principal Michelle Elliott wrote in her recommendation letter. “No matter the child, no matter the circumstance, Chera is a champion for children!”

The peer-selected award recognizes assistant principals who have demonstrated a positive impact on their students and learning.

Criteria includes:

  • A commitment to excellence and exceptional leadership as evidenced by student achievement and programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students.
  • Firmly established community ties and respect from teachers, students, and the community.
  • Exceptional leadership in a particular school program.

The National Assistant Principal of the Year award is sponsored by TEPSA in coordination with the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Horace Mann supports the Texas program.

“We are honored to recognize exceptional leaders like Chera Bessire,” said Lori Gray, Horace Mann Business Development Leader.  “She’s a true example of an extraordinary administrator and her ability to touch the hearts of her students makes her a true champion for children.”

TEPSA, whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas Pre-K through eighth grade school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA represents more than 5,800 members who direct the activities of more than 3 million Pre-K through eighth grade school children.

Horace Mann is the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators’ financial needs. Horace Mann provides auto, home and life insurance, retirement products and other financial solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois.  For more information about the company, visit