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Georgia Middle School Principal Wins National Honors

A middle school principal known for her inclusive management style has earned national honors.

Sheila Kahrs has been named best middle-level principal for 2010 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife, which have been bestowing the honors since 1993. Kahrs got the news in a surprise ceremony this morning at her school, Haymon-Morris Middle School in Winder, Ga.

Kahrs opened the school four years ago. Half of its students come from low-income homes, but they produce some of the top test scores in its county and in the state, according to the NASSP. The association noted several things about her leadership that contribute to good outcomes for students: shared decisionmaking, which includes teachers in hiring decisions; the mentorship of less-experienced teachers by more-experienced ones, lowering turnover; and weekly meetings in which data are analyzed to inform curriculum, instruction, and assessment decisions.

Kahrs was chosen from among three middle-level finalists. The winner of the high-school level honor will be announced from three other finalists later this month. Short videos of interviews with all six finalists are on YouTube.

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