The part of my job as superintendent that I love more than anything is when I get to visit our schools and classrooms and see our educators and students in action. And as superintendent, I fully understand that my work is wholly dependent on our team leading where they work in our district. There are few people that I rely more upon than our school administrators.
I am so proud of our school leadership. I truly think we have the best team of principals and assistant principals in the state! I was thrilled to go out to our schools last week to surprise several of them as finalists for Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.
We will name the winners at the APyeS awards program on Tuesday, October 29, at the Delta Flight Museum.
Before I reveal the finalists, I want our community to understand how much responsibility we have directed to our school-based leadership in recent years. I really depend on this amazing educators for their work on the frontlines of education as we prepare our children for college and career.
And so as part of our operating model and agreement with the state, we have directed more decisions to be made at the school level by these principals and their teachers, parents and community members, all of whom are closer to students and their school needs. This freedom and flexibility comes with increased accountability for student achievement.
We also have designed an Aspiring Leaders program for internal leaders who wish to pursue a position as assistant principal or principal in our district within the next 1-2 years. We created the program as it was essential that we provide leadership development for team members already committed to the APS mission and vision.
These changes are paying off! We are seeing evidence of more engagement, better outcomes and higher achievement. Additionally, we are also seeing more stability at the school. Principal turnover has decreased significantly from 30%, when I had to hire 24 new principals in 2014, to 5% for this year, when I only had to hire four!
I’m so proud of all of them … drum roll, please. The finalists for APS Principal of the Year are:
- Robin Christian of Barack and Michelle Obama Academy
- Audrey Sofianos of Morningside Elementary School
- Eulonda Washington of Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy
The finalists for APS Assistant Principal of the Year are:
- Joy Antone of Inman Middle School
- Sharonda Murrell of Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy
- Robert Stewart of Miles Elementary School
Congratulations to all of you! And good luck at the APyeS Awards!