Public School Principals Recognized for Effective Leadership
R.E.B. Award winners receive $15,000 cash grants
(RICHMOND, VA)…This week, the R.E.B. Foundation and The Community Foundation announce the recipients of the 2012 R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The following four individuals were identified through a nomination process and were selected as winners because of their ability to reach beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional learning environment for their students, teachers and surrounding community. In recognition of their accomplishments as outstanding educational leaders, they will receive cash grants of $15,000 each – half for unrestricted purposes and half for school-based initiatives of their choice.
The 2012 winners are:
Stephen Cunningham, Matoaca High School (Chesterfield)
At the helm of a very diverse student population, Stephen Cunningham leads his school with the highest degree of commitment and excellence. He gives both students and teachers the freedom to explore and demonstrate how they can be their absolute best. He encourages involvement in school committees, celebrations and community service projects. Mr. Cunningham will use his award to establish and support the Friends of Rachel Club, named after Rachel Joy Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School, Columbine, TX. The club recognizes students for anti-bullying efforts and promotes acts of kindness within the school community.
Rhonda Epling, Pole Green Elementary School (Hanover)
According to her nominator, Rhonda Epling “integrates the insight for what needs to be done with the hard work necessary to make it happen, and she does so with the charisma that makes people enjoy being around her and following her lead.” Colleagues and parents admire her ambitious and far-reaching dedication to improving the school through technology, high educational standards and daily procedural support. Ms. Epling will use her award to provide professional development for faculty focusing on strategies for working with the school’s increasing population of economically disadvantaged and at-risk students and their families. Funds also will be used to support after-school reading and math activities for the balance of the 2011-2012 school year.
Sharon Pope, Harry F. Byrd Middle School (Henrico)
Sharon Pope leads by example. Whether training new teachers, creatively designing the master schedule, supporting new learning initiatives or piloting new programs, she is always a supportive team player willing to share her knowledge and resources with her colleagues. Her students know she cares about them by her daily interaction with them, her scorecards to reward good behavior and through her commitment to mentoring. Under her leadership, Byrd Middle School received the first 21st Century School Award in 2011. Ms. Pope will use her award to fund outdoor fitness stations around the school’s athletic fields.
Brenda Phillips, John B. Cary Elementary School (Richmond)
Visionary, leader of change, effective communicator – these are just a few phrases used to describe Brenda Phillips’ leadership at John B. Cary Elementary School. She is actively engaged in classroom learning, enjoys her involvement with parent and community activities and consistently inspires her students and staff to become high achievers and people of great integrity. Cary has maintained annual yearly progress and accreditation under Mrs. Phillip’s tenure. She will use her award to acquire The Leader in Me™ curriculum, an innovative, school-wide leadership model for children, developed by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership involves an intensive selection process, in which representatives of the school community and the public at-large submit nominations. The nominations are narrowed down by a committee in each school district, and from a pool of eight finalists, winners are selected by a committee that consists of the four school district superintendents, representatives of each of the two foundations and one community member.
The R.E.B. Foundation, in partnership with The Community Foundation, launched the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership in September 2004 as a counterpart to the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence, which has celebrated outstanding public school teachers for 25 years.