FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2014
Contact: Art Dulong, 508-541-7997
Governor Patrick Declares October Principals Month
Proclamation is delivered to Massachusetts Principals at MSSAA Convocation
FRANKLIN – Tuesday, September 16, 2014 – Senator Will Brownsberger of Belmont attended the annual fall convocation of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA) on Tuesday, September 16 to present Governor Deval Patrick’s proclamation declaring October to be Principals Month in Massachusetts. The announcement coincides with the designation of October 2014 as National Principals Month by a U.S. House of Representatives resolution. The month-long celebration is an opportunity for schools to recognize that high-quality, visionary principal leadership is essential to school success, and to hold activities to engage students, staff, parents and the community in honoring their principals. The presentation was made at the MSSAA offices in Franklin with MSSAA President Dana Brown, Principal of Malden High School, MSSAA Executive Director Bill Gaine, and numerous school administrators in attendance.
Dan Richards, the principal of Belmont High School, had the idea to bring Principals Month to Massachusetts and reached out to Senator Brownsberger to request the proclamation by Governor Patrick. “On behalf of all principals, I am thankful to the Governor for joining other states in this national effort to highlight the work of principals,” said Dan Richards. “Belmont is fortunate to have Senator Brownsberger representing our school community. He is a strong, responsive advocate for education, and his efforts made this proclamation possible.” Richards serves on the legislative committee of the MSSAA working on all matters pertaining to legislation that affects education. In June of this year, Richards travelled to Washington D.C. and met with Senator Ed Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Katherine Clark to discuss education priorities.
“In issuing this proclamation, Governor Patrick has once again recognized the importance of our educators,” said Senator Brownsberger. “I find it valuable to know the principals in my district. I learn a lot by visiting them, listening to their needs, and understanding the challenges they face.”
The annual convocation of the MSSAA is an opportunity for the association president to set forth a vision for the school year and to provide an area of focus for principals across the state. In his address to the convocation, Dana Brown established the social and emotional needs of school children as a priority for the year. “As principals, we set the tone of the school environment,” said Brown. “We should be mindful of the social and emotional needs of our students and work as partners with teachers, families and the community to create an atmosphere for student success.”
“I am pleased to learn that the social and emotional needs of our children will be high on the agenda for our principals,” said Laurie Slap, Chair of the Belmont School Committee. “Learning and academic achievement need to address the whole child. We recognize that the strong leadership of each school principal is vital to helping our classroom teachers meet the needs of our students.”
The leadership and vision of principals throughout the Commonwealth has greatly enhanced every effort to provide the best possible educational experience for all students. By setting the academic tone for their building and working cooperatively with teachers to develop and set performance goals and objectives, principals have helped Massachusetts schools become competitive with schools throughout the world and the model for the nation.
Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester noted in his back-to-school message that, “Massachusetts has the lowest annual dropout rate it has seen in more than three decades, and the four-year graduation rate is the highest it has been since the state began calculating it in 2006. Massachusetts fourth-and eighth-graders are first in the nation in reading and math, and our 15-year-olds rank near the top internationally. Since 1993, we have been on a decades-long trajectory of raising expectations for all students, of ensuring teachers are well-prepared, and of introducing new school models to give families and educators more options.”
The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals endorsed the efforts of U.S. Representative Susan Davis of San Diego to establish October 2014 as National Principals Month. Governor Patrick’s proclamation will encourage students, parents, teachers, and entire communities in Massachusetts to foster local events that celebrate and recognize the achievements of the district’s school principals.
Schools and parents can find ideas for celebrating Principals Month at PrincipalsMonth.org. Students will find an invitation to submit a video celebrating their principal and have a chance to win a prize.