School & District Management News in Brief

H.S. Leader Named Principal of Year

By Catherine Gewertz — September 05, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A link to the announcement is provided at edweek.org/links

Mark D. Wilson, 45, will be honored in Washington on Oct. 25 for his work as the principal of Morgan County High School. He will receive $5,000 for use at the school of 1,000 students, 60 miles east of Atlanta.

Mr. Wilson was recognized for simultaneously improving student achievement and building a caring, collegial environment at his school. He learned he had won the prize at a school assembly Aug. 28.

MetLife, a Hartford, Conn.-based financial-services company, and the Reston, Va.-based National Association of Secondary School Principals have awarded the joint prize since 1993.

Since 2003-04, when Mr. Wilson took the helm of Morgan County High, the school’s graduation rate has risen from 71 percent to 82 percent, and the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses has increased more than tenfold, from 30 to 389. The performance gap between black and white students on the state’s 11th grade English language arts test has decreased from 18 percentage points to nine-tenths of a point, and the proportion of black students meeting state standards in mathematics has more than doubled, from 32.4 percent to 65.8 percent.

Last spring, the school saw its highest-ever college-going rate, as 77 percent of its seniors enrolled in two- or four-year colleges.

Mr. Wilson said his intent was to create more opportunity and higher expectations for students, and more collaboration among teachers. To do that, he looked to elementary and middle schools.

“A lot of what we need to do well, they’ve been doing for a long time,” he said. “Particularly working together toward a common goal, as elementary teachers do, and interdisciplinary work, as middle school teachers do. If we can do those things and have the heart of a kindergarten teacher, combined with the rigor of a high school curriculum, we’ve got something pretty special.”

More high-level courses were offered, and lower-level courses eliminated, with extra support to help students. They came in 90 minutes later on Thursdays to allow teachers collaborative planning time. An advising system was set up to give students weekly support.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Georgia. See data on Georgia’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management What the Research Says 5 Things Schools Can Do This Summer to Improve Student Attendance Next Year
Schools can get a jump on student attendance during the school year by using data, leveraging summer programs, and connecting with families.
6 min read
Julian Gresham, 12, left, works in a group to program a Bee-Bot while in their fifth grade summer school class Monday, June 14, 2021, at Goliad Elementary School. Bee-bots and are new to Ector County Independent School District and help to teach students basic programming skills like sequencing, estimation and problem-solving.
Julian Gresham, 12, left, works on a robotics programming activity in a 5th-grade summer school class June 14, 2021, at Goliad Elementary School in Ector County, Texas. Active summer programs may improve students' attendance during the school year.
Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP
School & District Management Grad Rates Soared at a School Few Wanted to Attend. How It Happened
Leaders at this Florida high school have "learned to be flexible" to improve graduation rates.
8 min read
Student hanging on a tearing graduate cap tassel
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Don’t Just Listen to the Loudest Voices: Resources for Ed. Leaders
These resources can help school and district leaders communicate with their communities.
Jennifer Perry Cheatham & Jenny Portillo-Nacu
5 min read
A pair of hands type on a blank slate of keys that are either falling apart or coming together on a bed of sharpened pencils.  Leadership resources.
Raul Arias for Education Week
School & District Management The Harm of School Closures Can Last a Lifetime, New Research Shows
The short-term effects on students when their schools close have been well documented. New research examines the long-term impact.
5 min read
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020.
Desks and chairs are stacked in an empty classroom after the permanent closure of Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn borough of New York on Aug. 6, 2020. A new study examines the long-term effects on students whose schools close.
Jessie Wardarski/AP