Raschen named state’s Distinguished Principal

by Celia Shortt


Brooks Elementary School Principal Dr. Julie Raschen was announced as Georgia’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal on Tuesday by Hal Beaver, executive director of the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP). The announcement was made before students and staff at a surprise reception. From left are Coweta Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker, Brooks Assistant Principal Amy Harrison, Raschen, Beaver, and Kristie Brooks of ClassWorks (sponsor). 

The National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education has named Dr. Julie Raschen, principal of Brooks Elementary School, Georgia’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal.

“It definitely makes me proud,” said Raschen. “Even though the recognition came to me, it is about all that my teachers, staff, and students do. It’s the teachers in the trenches that do this. It’s a culmination of what we all do together.”

Hal Beaver, executive director of the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals, presented Raschen with the honor at a surprise reception at Brooks Elementary School on Tuesday.

Brooks’ students, parents, faculty, and staff were also there to congratulate Raschen on her achievement.

“You always celebrate us,” said Brooks Elementary School Assistant Principal Amy Harrison, who spoke on behalf of all the assembled students and staff. “I think it’s time we celebrate you.”

Beaver said Raschen was nominated and selected for this award by her fellow principals through a statewide search conducted by GAESP.

“Criteria for selection of the principals set by NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education requires that the honorees be selected by their colleagues for achievements above and beyond those expected in a school program,” Beaver said.

Beaver added Distinguished Principal honorees must have been a principal for five years, maintained high expectations of students and staff, and shown evidence of outstanding contributions to both school and profession. Nominees must also be established, respected members of the community.

Raschen was chosen by GAESP as the distinguished principal out of more than 1,300 elementary school principals throughout the state. In November, she will travel to Washington, D.C., where she will meet with the 49 principals recognized as distinguished principals. They will all talk about education and present to each other what is working for them in each of their areas.

While in D.C., she will also be officially recognized as Georgia’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Raschen is a 21-year educator in the Coweta County School System, beginning her career during the 1993-94 school year as a first-grade teacher at White Oak Elementary School. She taught for 10 years at White Oak as a first- and fourth-grade teacher before being named assistant principal of Elm Street Elementary School in 2003.

Raschen became principal of Elm Street in 2005, and in 2009 was named principal of the newly opened Brooks Elementary School in northwestern Coweta County.

Raschen is a 1992 graduate of Georgia Southern University, earning her master’s degree from the State University of West Georgia in 2002 and her doctorate at Samford University in 2007. She has participated in NAESP’s National Principals Mentoring Certification Program, among many other professional activities. She is married to David Raschen and the couple has two children, David Allen and Casey.

The National Distinguished Principals program is made possible through the corporate sponsorship of VALIC and Nova Southeastern University. VALIC is an industry leader in tax-qualified retirement plans and supplemental tax-deferred and after-tax investments, and currently manages long-term investment programs for more than 27,000 education, health care, public sector, and other organizations representing more than 1.6 million investors.

Since 1972, GAESP has served as Georgia’s professional educational association and now represents elementary level principals throughout the state. GAESP maintains close ties with the Washington, D.C.-based NAESP and its 34,000 members nationwide, and is an affiliate under the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL), established in 1973.

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