Don Campbell, Principal of Wards Creek Elementary School (WCES), has been selected as the St. Johns County School District’s nominee for the 2011 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.
Judith Thayer, Assistant Principal at Liberty Pines Academy (LPA), was chosen as the district’s nominee for the Outstanding Assistant Principal Award.
These programs honor principals and assistant principals who have spearheaded initiatives and used teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance and promote safe learning environments.
Awardees are also recognized for ethical leadership, their use of innovative technology, and their commitment to forging personal, social, economic, and cultural relationships in the classroom, the school and the community.
Mr. Campbell has seven years experience in the St. Johns County School District. Previously he was principal at Mill Creek Elementary School from 2004 until moving to his present position upon the 2007 opening of WCES.
WCES has been an “A” school from its inaugural year throughout Mr. Campbell’s tenure. In 2010 it received a Florida Power Library School award for recognition in developing and implementing outstanding library media programs focused on student achievement. WCES has received the Golden School Award each year for exemplary volunteer programs and is a designated Franklin Covey 7 Habits Leader in Me school for student leadership development.
Mr. Campbell has 40 years of educational experience and more than 21 years experience as a principal and district administrator in Florida. Before moving to St. Johns County, he served as Assistant Superintendent of Operational Support Services for Lee County Public Schools.
“I have tremendous respect for the leadership ability of Don Campbell,” said Superintendent Joseph Joyner. “He has assembled an outstanding team at Wards Creek and the students are consistently high performing. Don also embraces the community and builds outstanding relationships with parents.”
Mr. Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University.
Ms. Thayer has been employed in her present position at the district’s only K-8 school since its opening in 2008. While at LPA, she has developed a pre advanced-placement program for middle school students, the Readers are Leaders recognition program and created the eighth grade student intern program, which allows students to develop leadership skills in elementary classrooms.
This nominee has over 29 years in education with the last 15 in the St. Johns County School District. She began as a teacher at Landrum Middle School in 1996 and moved to the district office in 1998 as the Exceptional Student Program Coordinator for Gifted and Learning Disabled Students where she served until 2004. She was previously assistant principal at PVPV/Rawlings Elementary School.
“Judith Thayer is widely known in our district for her ability as an instructional leader. Her talent in working with teachers should serve as a model for all assistant principals,” said the Superintendent.
Ms. Thayer holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.
These two St. Johns County nominations will be forwarded to the state where they will compete at the regional level. The statewide winner in each category will be announced this fall.