Dr. Jeanette Patterson, principal of Horizon Community Middle School in Cherry Creek School District, has been selected as the 2014 Colorado Middle Level Principal of the Year. This program recognizes principals who have succeeded in providing outstanding leadership.
Patterson attributes her servant leadership style—placing the needs of students, staff, and parents above everything else—as leading to a positive change in the culture and climate and in student achievement. For seven years now she has served as principal at Horizon Community Middle School where she has created an environment that focuses on student success and readiness. Students now feel like they belong at the school and discipline referral numbers have decreased significantly. "Dr. Patterson always encouraged us as students," states former student Taylor Pinson. "She presented certificates of honor and expected good results from us. She was very open and caring when we had questions or concerns and made sure there was a solution found quickly that worked for everyone. I admire her so much."
Beyond empowering students, Patterson also works to empower her teachers and staff. Her goal is to build leadership capacity among staff so teachers feel empowered to make crucial choices that need to be made in order to prepare students for their future. "Under Dr. Patterson's leadership, student success and growth on Colorado standardized testing have surpassed the state averages and placed Horizon Middle School in the top category of Accreditation. She is most deserving of the CASE Colorado Middle School Principal of the Year Award," Cherry Creek School District Superintendent Dr. Harry Bull said.
Patterson's peers find her to be a spirited leader, innovator, problem-solver and dynamic administrator. Debra Carter adds, "Dr. Patterson cares deeply about the students at Horizon Middle School by creating an atmosphere that encourages collaborative interactions with parents, staff and students in order to promote and meet high academic standards…where every child has the opportunity to learn and realize their vision, dream, future excellence and academic success."
When asked what this award means to her, Patterson answered, "to lead is to serve and to influence is to empower, the essence of school leadership is being a servant." Her leadership has influenced and empowered others and being named 2014 Colorado Middle Level Principal of the Year reinforces this fact. Patterson was selected by the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals (CASSP), an affiliate of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and a chapter of Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE).
The Principal of the Year program is sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This award recognizes leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality opportunities for students. Selection criteria include personal excellence, collaborative leadership, curriculum, instruction, assessment and personalization of learning opportunities for students.
CASE and CASSP will formally present Patterson with her award at an upcoming school event. She and other CASE award winners also will be recognized at an awards ceremony later this month, as well as at the 45th Annual CASE Education Leadership Convention this summer in Breckenridge.
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The Colorado Association of School Executives (www.co-case.org) is the preeminent professional association for public school administrators in Colorado. The organization's mission is to empower Colorado education leaders through advocacy, professional learning and networking to deliver on the promise of public education.