Two Middle Georgia principals among nation’s best

Staff reportOctober 22, 2013 

Two Georgia school leaders have been named National Distinguished Principals, and they’re both from the midstate.

Amy M. Duke, the principal at Northwest Laurens Elementary School in Dudley, and Jesse W. Davis, principal of Feagin Mill Middle School in Warner Robins, are two of just 61 winners from across the country and abroad.

The awards for 2013 were announced Tuesday by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The principals will be honored at a banquet in Washington, D.C., on Friday. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be one of the speakers.

Duke and Davis were nominated for the award by other Georgia principals.

Duke, a native of Dublin, served as principal and assistant principal at Springdale Elementary School in Macon for years before she took her current job.

Among her accomplishments were receiving the Governor’s Bronze Award in the highest percentage category three times for student achievement and receiving the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals’ School Bell Award and Patron Award. She also served on the Governor’s Principal Advisory Committee and is a participant in the National Principals Mentoring Certification Program.

Davis, a native of Pickens, S.C., has called Houston County home for more than 30 years. He graduated from Northside High School in 1992. Before he became principal of Feagin Mill, he was a special education teacher and coach, and he was also assistant principal for instruction at the Houston County Crossroads Center as well as an assistant principal at Fea-gin Mill.

Gail Connelly, executive director of the principals association, commended the honorees for being great examples of successful school leadership.

“Only a principal can move a school from good to great, simultaneously championing children and uplifting the communities they serve,” she said in a statement. “We congratulate this class of NDPs for their steadfast dedication to educating our nation’s children to their fullest potential.”

Established in 1984, the program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities.

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