Meridith Johnson is named the North Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals' 2022 National Distinguished Principal.
Here is what was read before she received her award:
This principal does not just tell the school’s staff to build relationships, this principal models it. This principal always refers to all the students as “our kids”, which is exactly how this principal expects the staff to embrace each child. This principal is passionate about assisting kids and their families in getting the tools they need to be successful. This principal is always willing to go pick up kids that need a ride to or from school, to deliver a chromebook to someone that forgot it at school, or who is at home sick. With parent permission, this principal has even brought in a hairstylist to the school to give a few haircuts to kids that were not able to afford one. This principal has visited students in the ER and once rushed to comfort a family who lost their home in a fire. You can often find this principal visiting in person, or on the phone, with parents on how the school can assist them in finding resources for a struggling child or just to give kudos for a job well done. In fact, this principal works so closely with parents that they will still call this principal for advice once their child moves on to a new school.
Listen to this principal’s own words, “I come to school each day with the inherent belief that all students can and will learn if they feel included and valued. I hold this same belief of my staff as well. I am genuine in the way I approach all situations and do not have any hidden agendas when it comes to how I lead. My door is always open, and I am always willing to listen especially when it comes to ideas that will enhance the way we do things at our school. I am not an expert in all things, and I believe in growing leaders from within, so I promote the ability for staff to step up and takes risks to benefit our school. It may sound cliche, but I hold the steadfast belief that trusting, positive relationships are so vital to a healthy school culture that it would be nearly impossible to build a positive climate without them. I also believe that all people inherently rise to the occasion when they feel seen, heard, and valued.”
This principal’s staff echoed those very same beliefs and spoke very highly of this person. This person has grown since becoming a principal and the staff are looking forward to an exciting future with this principal’s leadership!
Meridith more than deserved this award and we are grateful for her love and service to education.