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Release No: 096-06
February 03, 2006

DoDEA Announces 2006 Principal of the Year

            The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) announced today the selection of Ellen Minette, the principal of Heidelberg Middle School in Heidelberg, Germany, as the 2006 DoDEA Principal of the Year for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) for middle and high school.


            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,” she said. “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.”


            Prior to becoming principal at Heidelberg High School, Minette served as assistant principal at Mannheim elementary and middle schools, the Heidelberg and Ludwigsburg middle schools and at Patch High School in the Bavaria District.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University in Long Beach, a master’s in education from Boston University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in education from Columbia University Teachers College.


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


            One middle/high school level principal is selected from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and DoDEA.  From these state winners, six finalists are selected (three middle and three high school) to become eligible for the national Principal of the Year award.


            MetLife and NASSP will present each state winner with an award during their annual Principal’s Institute and Awards Banquet held in Washington, D.C.  The National Principals of the Year (one middle and one high school) will receive a $5,000 grant and the four finalists will be awarded a $1,500 grant.


            “We are so very proud that this recognition has been bestowed upon Dr. Minette,” said Elizabeth Middlemiss, the associate director for education and principal deputy director for DoDEA.  “She is an outstanding professional in the field of education and embodies the DoDEA mission to provide, in military communities worldwide, exemplary educational programs that inspire and prepare all students for success in a global environment.”

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