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Connecticut Principal Who Emphasizes Lecturers and Tradition Named Principal of the Yr

As a younger lady rising up in Vermont, Donna Hayward didn’t all the time need a profession in training.

However her principal at South Royalton Excessive College, who left the highschool to start out a bilingual nursery by means of grade 4 faculty in Kuwait, offered the inspiration.

“I simply thought, this one man from the center of no-place Vermont—nowhere on the map—goes midway the world over, modifications the lives of younger girls and due to this fact modifications their futures,” Hayward, the principal of Haddam-Killingworth Excessive College in Higganum, Conn., advised Schooling Week final monthwhen she was named a finalist for the award. “There was nothing extra inspiring to me than that.”

Hayward, now a principal for the previous 15 years, was named Thursday evening because the 2023 Principal of the Yr.

Ronn Nozoe, the CEO of the Nationwide Affiliation of Secondary College Principals, which provides out the award, referred to as Hayward “a confirmed chief with an unwavering dedication to her college students, households, and educators in her faculty and past.”

“Donna has innovated methods to encourage a love of studying and a real sense of belonging in her college students and workers,” he mentioned.

The opposite finalists had been David Arencibia, principal of Colleyville Center College, in Colleyville, Texas; and John Briquelet, the founding chief of Oxford Preparatory Academy, a brand new constitution center faculty in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Briquelet led Whitney Excessive College in Cerritos, Calif., till the top of the final tutorial yr.

Specializing in teachers and tradition

Since changing into principal of Haddam-Killingworth in 2014, Hayward has labored with workers so as to add 14 new programs; begin a blended-learning program; and be sure that workers has entry to skilled growth to implement SEL within the curriculum. Haddam-Killingworth Excessive College was additionally named a Nationwide Blue Ribbon College in 2018.

Whereas Hayward is honored by the Nationwide Blue Ribbon recognition, she advised Schooling Week final month that she’s much more happy with the college’s household environment.

“We’ve an actual familial really feel right here at Haddam-Killingworth,” she mentioned. “It’s intangible, not measurable; however outsiders who go to us touch upon the way it’s so clear. … We care about one another right here.”

That’s all rooted in Hayward’s guiding training philosophy “Simply Love Them”—basically doing all you may as an educator to make sure college students are profitable.

Donna Hayward, principal, Haddam Killingworth High School, Higganum, Conn.

“[Parents] are bringing us their infants, and above all else, really, they simply want us to like them,” she mentioned. “The mother and father want me to care about their children sufficient in order that I can work out what’s proper for them.”

Choices rooted in knowledge

However she was fast to make clear: “I’m not fluffy—no one would describe me as fluffy.”

Choices, she mentioned, are primarily based on actual knowledge.

“We’re a results-oriented faculty,” Hayward mentioned, including that she’s created a tradition the place lecturers have “artistic license” to strive new and progressive issues so long as they get good outcomes. That freedom is among the many cause’s the college has been profitable, she mentioned. Concepts come from lecturers and college students alike.

After one among her college students who had exhausted all of his math lessons knowledgeable Hayward that he was fascinated by instructing, she discovered a approach for him to work as an intern with the maths division.

The scholar, whom she described as “good,” ended up instructing alongside the top of the maths division and serving to out these within the decrease grades who had been having bother with math.

“Typically the concepts come from who’s in entrance of you,” Hayward mentioned.

Hayward began her profession in 1993 as a math instructor. She’s notched a lot of accomplishments throughout her time at school management. She was Connecticut’s assistant principal of the yr in 2006, and he or she’s served as president of the state’s Affiliation of Colleges.

The NASSP’s Principal of the Yr program acknowledges center and highschool principals for his or her management in addition to their contributions to the sphere. This system is open to principals in all 50 states, in addition to Washington, D.C., the State Division’s Abroad Colleges, and Division of Protection Schooling Exercise faculties.



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