Meet HISD’s 2016 Principals of the Year

The Houston Independent School District named its top campus leaders on Thursday during surprise visits made to the winning schools — Bush Elementary School and Lanier Middle School.

Bush Principal Theresa Rose was named HISD’s Elementary Principal of the Year, and Lanier Principal Felicia Adams was selected as HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year.

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Rose and Adams were among 15 elementary and 21 secondary principals vying for the distinction of HISD Principal of the Year. They learned of the award during surprise visits made on Feb. 18 to their respective campuses by HISD Deputy Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt.

“I am so proud of our principals and thrilled to have the chance to recognize them for all their hard work and dedication,” Huewitt said. “Effective principals are absolutely critical to ensuring the success of both students and teachers.”

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HISD candidates for principal of the year are nominated by colleagues, teachers, and students, and are interviewed by a selection panel. HISD administrators use a data-driven process to identify principal of the year nominees and finalists. District officials consider state accountability ratings, campus distinctions, and student achievement and growth, as well as overall leadership and commitment to the district’s key initiatives.

Rose, who has led Bush Elementary since 2004, is a veteran educator with more than 25 years of experience. She began her education career with HISD as a fifth-grade teacher.

“I’m a proud member of HISD,” Rose said. “I love my job, the students, my faculty and staff, and the community. I’m still passionate about what I do, and that’s what drives me to want to be the best, do the best, and see the best in our boys and girls each and every day.”

HISD Board of Education Trustee Greg Meyers applauded Rose for her leadership and dedication to Bush Elementary.

“Each and every day, I see the energy she exemplifies, and it’s contagious to the staff, the kids, and me,” Meyers said. “I’m so proud to be a representative of Barbara Bush Elementary, but more importantly, I’m so proud that we have individuals like Ms. Theresa Rose here in our district that can step up and do everything she can for kids.”

Adams, in her second year as principal of Lanier, has 20 years of education experience. She began her education career with HISD as an elementary school teacher. Adams went on to become an instructional supervisor and reading manager before being named principal of Lockhart Elementary School, where she worked for six years before assuming the same role at Lanier.

“I’m so proud of not just my work but what my teachers and students do in the classroom because they make it happen,” Adams said. “We’re going to continue to push forward, and make sure we’re number one.”

HISD Board of Education Trustee Jolanda Jones said it’s important for the district to commend educators like Adams, who set the standard high. “When she came here, the bar was high, and the standards were high,” Jones said. “She’s been able to not only maintain these standards, but surpass them as well.”

Both winners will advance to the state’s regional principal of the year competition.