Secretary Arne Duncan Recognizes Outstanding School Leaders

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Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke in Washington, D.C., at the 2009 National Distinguished Principals Awards Banquet, sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). More than 60 principals from public elementary and middle schools and private pre-K-8 schools were recognized with the award. Each year, NAESP honors elementary-level principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities to students and who have made exemplary contributions to the school leadership profession. This year, administrators from two U.S. Department of State American Overseas Schools and one U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity School also were honored.

Earlier in the week, in Arlington, Va., Secretary Duncan spoke at the 2010 National Principal of the Year Awards Gala sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. For the last 16 years, this program has honored secondary school principals for exceptional leadership. This year, Sheila Kahrs earned the Principal of the Year award at the middle-school level. Principal Kahrs has worked to develop a model of “shared leadership” at her school, Haymon-Morris Middle School in Winder, Ga., and bases her leadership style on a “values-driven and data-informed” philosophy. Lucy Beckham earned the Principal of the Year honor at the high-school level for her success at creating a personalized learning community at Wando High School, one of South Carolina’s largest high schools. Located in Mt. Pleasant, Wando also is one of the state’s best performing high schools.

During both awards ceremonies, Secretary Duncan applauded the commitment and courage of the honorees and noted that every school in America needs an outstanding leader at the helm.

ED Staff

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Secretary Duncan speaks at the 2009 National Distinguished Principals Awards Banquet.

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Secretary Duncan speaks at the 2010 National Principal of the Year Awards Gala.

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