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DoDEA Principal Selected as 2007 NASSP Principal of the Year for Middle School

For Immediate Release — September 11, 2006 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260


Dr. Ellen Minette

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — September 11, 2006 — The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) announced the selection today of Dr. Ellen Minette, Principal, Heidelberg Middle School, Heidelberg Germany, as the 2007 National Principal of the Year for Middle School. This selection represents the first time that a DoDEA principal has become the national winner.

Dr. Minette received the news of her selection today in a school assembly at Heidelberg Middle School. NASSP Board President, Mr. Joseph Militello, made the surprise announcement. On hand to congratulate Dr. Minette was USAREUR Commanding General, David McKiernan, and DoDDS-Europe Director, Diana J. Ohman. Dr. Minette received a standing ovation from more than 600 students, teachers, and area principals who were present.

The Principal of the Year Program, which began in 1993, is sponsored by the NASSP and MetLife as a means to recognize outstanding middle level and high school principals. This program honors secondary school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well making exemplary contributions to their profession.

Middle and high school level principals are selected from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. From these state winners, six finalists are selected (3 middle level, 3 high school) to become eligible for the National Principal of the Year award.

MetLife and NASSP will present each state winner and the national winners with an award during their annual Principal's Institute and Awards Banquet held in Washington, D.C. The National Principals of the Year (1 middle level, 1 high school) will receive a $5,000 grant and the four finalists will be awarded a $1,500 grant. Dr. Minette will be honored during the banquet scheduled for October 14, 2006.

Dr. Minette has worked tirelessly to provide an environment within which each student can succeed. "In a personalized school, more rigor can be expected of students. To add such rigor, I challenge the teachers to instill in each student a belief in one of my favorite mantras, 'What you are learning is important; you can do it; and I will never give up on you'. When children feel that the teacher and the school care about their learning, they respond," says Minette.

Prior to becoming principal at Heidelberg Middle School, Dr. Minette served in the Heidelberg District at Manheim Elementary and Middle Schools, Ludwigsburg Middle School, and at Patch High School in the Bavaria District. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University in Long Beach, a Master of Education degree from Boston University, and Master and Doctorate degrees in Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

"Dr. Minette is an inspiration to all of us. Colleagues, students, and parents in military communities world wide share in the joy and pride she must be feeling," remarked Dr. Joseph Tafoya, Director for DoDEA. "She is an outstanding professional and a wonderful representative of principals across the nation."

For interviews and more information:

Heidelberg Middle School (Germany)
Dr. Ellen Minette, Principal
DSN: 388-9310
CIV: 011-49-622-138-9320

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
Shana Kemp
Public Relations Manager
Phone: (703) 860-7344

Department of Defense Education Activity
Frank X. O'Gara
Educational Communications Officer
Phone: (703) 588-3260
Cell: (571) 435-6459

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal of the Year Program

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