Thursday, March 10, 2016

SBISD Names Principals of the Year

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri surprises Spring Woods High School Principal Jennifer Parker with the announcement of her Secondary Principal of the Year recognition.
Edgewood Principal Vivian Pratts (middle) received news of her recognition as Elementary Principal of the Year from Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri during professional development training.

For one, it was a nice way to wrap up the work week. For another, the news came just as the work week started. For both, though, the recognition by their peers was moving.

Vivian Pratts, principal at Edgewood Elementary, and Jennifer Parker, principal at Spring Woods High School, have been named Principals of the Year in Spring Branch ISD for the 2015-16 school year.

Pratts was surprised Friday, Feb. 26, during professional development training at Vines Science Center. Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri feigned delivering flowers to Dr. Tyler Ream, associate superintendent for school performance, who injured an ankle recently while playing recreational sports.

Muri made the real reason for his visit known then delivered the flowers – and the news – to Pratts, obviously both surprised and moved being recognized as Elementary Principal of the Year.

“I love what I do,” she said, as peers came up to congratulate her. “This is very, very special.”

Muri concurred. “We think you’re pretty special,” he said. “Apparently your peers do, too.”

At Spring Woods High Monday morning, Feb. 29, Muri followed the morning pledge announcement with an announcement of his own – that Principal Jennifer Parker was Secondary Principal of the Year and would she please report to her office.

That’s where Muri met Parker with a bouquet of flowers and personal acknowledgement of the honor.

“You clearly represent the best of Spring Branch,” Muri said.

“Everyone (nominated) is well deserving,” Parker said. “I’m very appreciative.”

Awarded annually in time for the Region 4 Principal Recognition Dinner (Spring Branch ISD is part of the Region 4 Education Service Center, one of 20 Education Service Centers [ESC] across Texas), Spring Branch ISD Principals of the Year are selected by their peers based on the following criteria:
  • Concern for all staff and students and the ability to inspire both of these groups
  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with all staff and administrators
  • Proven drive to initiate and implement effective strategies supporting continuous improvement in student performance
  • Ability to work with diverse community groups and all district stakeholders
  • Proven desire for continuous personal and professional growth
  • Ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education

Jennifer Parker

“I am one of many who deserve this recognition as I believe SBISD leaders are extraordinary,” she said. And that the award comes from her peers? “Again, I am humbled by their support, and I am grateful to work with such amazing individuals.”

An educator for 26 years, Parker returned to Spring Branch ISD and Spring Woods High School three years ago after several years as principal at Alief ISD’s Hastings High School. She’s served 20 years in Spring Branch ISD as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

Parker said she’s driven by student success and achievement, focusing on #onegoal at Spring Woods High School – success with honor and spirit. She’s also driven, she said, by a commitment to continuous improvement, teacher leadership and a “relentless focus on providing opportunities for student achievement.”

She practices a collaborative leadership style, with a belief in developing emerging leaders, she said.

And what gets Jennifer Parker up in the morning? “Amazing students, staff, parents and community members,” she said. “Every day I strive to provide opportunities for students and to develop well-rounded students. I am blessed to work in SBISD and Spring Woods High – Tiger Country! I love my staff and my job!”

Vivian Pratts

Pratts too is honored by the award from her peers. “Each and every one of the principals is truly deserving of this recognition,” she said, “and that they chose me to represent them is truly an honor.”

She sees herself as defined by instructional leadership – providing professional development opportunities, coaching and feedback for her staff, helping them be the “best that they can be.”

“I believe that when administrators take care of their teachers, the teachers will in turn do a great job meeting all the needs of their children and improving student achievement,” said Pratts. “Cultivating school leaders is also very important to me.  I think is important for principals to support teachers who aspire to take on leadership roles throughout their educational careers.”

Pratts has been an educator for 26 years, much of that in Spring Branch ISD as an assistant principal, elementary principal and bilingual ESL director. She’s also worked in Aldine ISD and Conroe ISD. She currently serves as past president of the Texas Association for Bilingual Education.

She said her teachers and students drive her, every day.

“They inspire me,” said Pratts. “Their resiliency, passion and commitment makes me what to give them 100 percent each and every day.”


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