MSD Wayne Principal Honored for Work with Exceptional Children

Jennifer Nichols, principal of McClelland Elementary, has been named 2020 Outstanding Administrator of the Year by the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children.

“Jennifer has demonstrated her knowledge, skill, and sensitivity in advancing the opportunities, life potential, and achievement of children with disabilities,” said MSD Wayne Director of Special Services Dr. Tara Rinehart. “She has done this by creating an inclusive building that serves more students with significant disabilities than any other building in our district.”

Mrs. Nichols is credited with overseeing the implementation of a strong social and emotional learning culture at McClelland. This has helped students and staff understand how to manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

“Her passion is contagious and her compassionate heart beams throughout her school,” said Dr. Rinehart. “Jennifer is the type of principal that every teacher wants to work for, because she is a passionate leader who brings out the best in people.”

“I feel blessed and humbled to be recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children,” said Mrs. Nichols. “It is a privilege to watch our exceptional scholars grow and learn, and achieve at high levels because of the tremendous teachers, therapists, and support staff helping them along the way. I am excited to be a small part of their success, and I am honored to represent the McClelland Elementary community and the MSD of Wayne Township.”

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township has had a strong showing in the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children awards in recent years. Officer Norman McDuffie received the organization’s Distinctive Service of the Year Award in 2015. In the same year, Ben Davis High School Principal Sandra Squire received the Outstanding Secondary Administrator of the Year Award, and Wayne Township Preschool Assistant Principal Gay Christy received the Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award. MSD Wayne Superintendent Jeff Butts was the winner of the Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award in 2017.


The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township provides multiple pathways to success for more than 16,000 students, preschool through high school. Located on the west side of Indianapolis, MSD Wayne works in partnership with the Wayne Township community to help every learner achieve excellence. To learn more about MSD Wayne, visit, or follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @WayneTwpSchools and @WayneTwpSuper.