Barron finalist for national principal of year
By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Dr. Laurie Barron of Coweta County’s Smokey Road Middle School has been named a finalist for the National Middle Level Principal of the Year Award.
Barron, Georgia’s current Middle School Principal of the Year, will travel to Arlington, Va. July 23-24 to meet with representatives from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which sponsors the award.
A 17-year educator, Barron taught English at Newnan High School for six years before becoming an assistant principal at Arnall Middle School and moving to the helm of Smokey Road. She earned her B.A. from the University of Georgia, her Master’s in Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia, and her Specialist and Doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota.
Barron has served on the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Partnership Council and the Governor’s Education Advisory Board for Principals, and she is an active member of both GASSP and NASSP. She has been the recipient of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Outstanding Middle Level Educator Award and the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals Exemplary Leadership Award.
National Board-certified, Barron was Newnan High School’s Teacher of the Year in 1999 and NHS STAR Teacher in 2000 and 2001. Smokey Road Middle School is a State of Georgia Title I Distinguished School and a Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals Breakout Middle School.
In February, Barron’s husband Daniel and her three children interrupted her Smokey Road staff meeting with flowers and the news that she had been selected from a group of three finalists as the state’s Middle School Principal of the Year.
“There are very few times I have been speechless, but I couldn’t say anything,” Barron said at the time.
Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP) Executive Director Melton Callahan presented the state award to Barron, while Coweta County School Superintendent Steve Barker, Associate Superintendent Jerry Davis and Student Services Director Marc Guy were also on hand to offer their congratulations.
“To have the people you admire so much ... bestowing an honor on you – you think, ‘How did this happen?’ and then you look around at all your teachers and say, ‘That’s how it happened,’” Barron said of the impromptu awards ceremony.
Barron will face a multi-step selection process before NASSP selects its winners. She is one of six finalists from which one middle level and one high school Principal of the Year will be chosen. Both winners will receive $5,000 grants, and the four finalists will receive $1,500 grants. All finalists will be recognized on the NASSP web page and in a fall edition of NewsLeader magazine.