There was a wave of celebrations on Wednesday morning as the district crowned its 2018-2019 elementary and secondary Principals of the Year.
The first stop for a caravan filled with district leadership and staff was at Durham Elementary School, where campus administrators, teachers and students filled the cafeteria to surprise Principal Amy Poerschke as this year’s Elementary Principal of the Year.
“When district leadership interviewed Principal Poerschke earlier this year, it was music to my ears to hear her passion and commitment to ensure all children at her campus and beyond received the absolute best in their education,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.
It wasn’t hard to keep a smile on everyone’s face as Poerschke was greeted by students offering cheers and high-fives as the third-year principal made her way through the crowd.
An Internal Baccalaureate World School, Poerschke not only ensures that Durham’s campus population reflects much of the diversity that embodies the city of Houston, but that students of all backgrounds receive the same quality education.
For Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone, it has been a whirlwind of surprise celebrations since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
The Secondary Principal of the Year kicked off the school year learning that her campus was removed from the Improvement Required list. It was also that year that she was recognized by district leadership as an Excellence in Leadership recipient.
“I’m unbelievably grateful to be recognized as one of the principals of the year for HISD,” Campbell-Rhone said. “I’m also thankful to all of those at the Worthing campus that have committed their time and efforts to helping improve the campus environment and academic achievements at our campus.”
Wednesday’s surprise only continued the momentum for the veteran principal, who continues to be lauded for her campus turnaround efforts at Worthing High School.
“You can’t help but celebrate Khalilah when she has been so instrumental in completely transforming the campus atmosphere at Worthing High School,” Lathan said. “There was a time you could hardly walk through the hallways of Worthing High School, where now the hallways are quiet while students are in the classroom focused on their education.”
The two principals will go on to represent the district at the state’s regional principal of the year competition, as well as be recognized at HISD’s Educators of the Year celebration in May.