Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Celebrating Our Principals of the Year

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
Those words of wisdom come from Kennewick's Bruce Cannard, who was recently named the state’s top elementary school principal of the year.

Bruce was selected as the 2009 Washington State Distinguished Principal by AWSP and its elementary component board, the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington.

For Bruce, it's all about the power of collaboration. Since stepping into the principalship at Edison Elementary—a school with a large number of English language learners and a high level of poverty—he has built relationships among colleagues, students and parents. Known for his strong rapport with Edison students, Bruce is often spotted joining students for a chat over a brown-bag lunch, or practicing his Spanish skills to make a new student feel welcome, or getting a laugh out of the students as his alter ego, Bernard. Congratulations, Bruce!

Congratulations also to the Association's other Administrators of 2009, who were named earlier this year:

High School Principal of the Year: Aaron Leavell, Bremerton High, Bremerton SD
Every decision he makes, says Aaron, “has students at the center of it.” Leavell’s dedication to student achievement touches young people who otherwise may have given up on their education. He has established several programs to provide individualized learning, including a full-time online academy for students struggling with credit recovery, a center for students who have children or hold jobs during the school day, and a program for students with severe behavioral problems.

Middle Level Principal of the Year: Christine Lynch, Shaw Middle, Spokane PS
Christine is known throughout the school for bringing passion and purpose to her job as principal, which, she says, is “the best job in the world.” She has rallied the Shaw community to take collective responsibility for its students’ success. Supported by this sense of partnership, she is committed to making her motto—powerful instruction for all students—a reality. Says Christine, “I could never do this work alone."

Assistant Principal of the Year: Mike O'Donnell, Cle Elum-Roslyn High (Cle Elum-Roslyn SD)
Mike has fostered a culture in which students are empowered—and expected—to perform to their potential. His development of a student achievement database has allowed staff to gather, organize and share assessment data. With the database in place, the school has seen increased dialogue between students, advisers, teachers and parents. He also implemented a new program that links the earning of academic credit to attendance, yielding a 62 percent decrease in tardies and absences in just one year. Mike was a one of three national finalists
for the 2009 NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year Award!

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