Why this leader earned a principal of the year award

Other people news: A superintendent helps his district earn an A-plus Fitch rating and another creates a successful master-based learning model
By: | Issue: March 2020
February 13, 2020
This principal and superintendent news roundup features education leaders who have created HR restructuring strategies, are improving graduation rates and have earned a principal of the year award.From left to right: Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, Superintendent D’Andre Weaver and Principal Jesus Armas.

Jesus Armas has transformed Royal Palm Beach High from a D to a B school and has been improving graduation rates since becoming principal 10 years ago. Graduation rates have increased by 22% and  student disciplinary referrals have decreased. The Florida school suffered high principal turnover before Armas who has overseen the number of students applying to other schools drop by 25% after years of enrollment decline.

Armas also helped create specialized programs, including STEM offerings, a naval science academy and International Baccalaureate. Armas was awarded the Palm Beach County School District’s principal of the year award for his efforts.

Source: Palm Beach Post

Superintendent news:

Superintendent D’Andre Weaver supervised DeSoto ISD’s recent removal from credit-watch after financial transparency and internal control improvements earned the Texas district an A-plus from Fitch Ratings. Weaver also implemented HR restructuring strategies. The district’s HR now provides staff more resources from onboarding to retirement, locates and promotes internal talent, and recruits more high-quality staff to fill existing position gaps. Additionally, Weaver helped create Collaborative Learning Cycle, a framework that provides teacher PD, instructional training and lesson delivery assessment prior to classroom implementation.

Source: Focus Daily News

More than a quarter of Idaho’s school districts and 12% of the state’s charter schools are using Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra’s mastery-based learning model, which incorporates project and inquiry-based learning. Ybarra is working to provide more PD, supports and networking for member schools. A recent study of Idaho schools revealed a 10-year low of students on three factors: those reporting being bullied, those having overly intimate relations and those smoking cigarettes. Throughout her career, Ybarra has acquired funding to advance technology, learning labs and STEM projects.

Source: Idaho State Department of Education