Shirley Stevens, Principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, has been named the 2013 Colorado National Distinguished (Elementary) Principal of the Year. The announcement was made by the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), which coordinated the selection process.
A school administrator with 17 years’ experience, Ms. Stevens has been principal of Lincoln Elementary since 2010. Drawing on her considerable expertise in instructional leadership and a no-excuses work ethic, she has positively impacted student achievement, helped increase the effectiveness of her staff, and created a strong and positive school climate.
Central to Ms. Stevens’ leadership style is her belief that all students can learn and succeed. “I believe that if we lower our standards for them, they will lower their effort,” she says. She is unwavering in her efforts to ensure that students receive rigorous, differentiated instruction, and she ensures that student performance is regularly measured and assessed, in order to address areas in need of improvement.
Ms. Stevens was selected for this honor by her peers, through a rigorous and competitive process facilitated by the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals (CAESP), a department of CASE and affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The National Distinguished Principal program is sponsored by NAESP and VALIC.
The award recognizes successful elementary or middle level principals who have provided outstanding leadership. Selection criteria include evidence of respect from the school community, active community involvement, strong educational leadership, and evidence of maintaining an orderly, purposeful learning environment.
CASE and CAESP will formally present Ms. Stevens with her award at an upcoming school event. She and other CASE award winners also will be recognized at an awards ceremony later this month, as well as at the 44th Annual CASE Education Leadership Convention this summer in Breckenridge. As Colorado’s National Distinguished Elementary Principal, Stevens will be honored, along with other state winners, in Washington, D.C. this fall.