Kristin Shields Honored as 2016 Maryland National Distinguished Principal
Mentoring Minds Partners with MAESP Honors Charles County Principal for Innovative Community Initiatives and Dedication to Students, Will be Recognized at October Ceremony in Nation’s Capital
BEL AIR, MARYLAND (April 5, 2016) – Kristin Shields, a veteran educator and principal at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School in Nanjemoy, Maryland, has been named the Maryland 2016 National Distinguished Principal (NDP) by the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP). Shields was awarded a check for $5,000 through the sponsorship of national K-12 publisher Mentoring Minds, a partner of MAESP. Shields will be honored along with her fellow state winners during the 2016 NDP event in October in Washington, D.C.
“Kristin is easily one of the best principals I have ever encountered in my nearly 30 years of experience in schools,” said Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, superintendent of schools for Charles County Public Schools. “She is the real deal.”
Shields, who received the "Washington Post" Distinguished Educational Leader award in 2014 and was named Charles County Principal of the Year during the 2013–2014 school year, has instituted several successful programs that have benefited her students and the surrounding community. As a pre-K–5 elementary school in rural Charles County, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary serves approximately 345 students, with more than half receiving free or reduced meals.
With the closest public library over 20 miles away, Shields reached out to the local Lions Club and developed “Reach Out Reading,” which outfits a modified bookmobile to deliver a treasure chest filled with books, math games, science activities, and healthy recipes to targeted students during the summer. The results of her investments show in the students’ achievement gains: recent evaluations show that 88 percent of Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy students are reading at or above their grade level.
Shields also implemented Kids Talk meetings, which encourages brainstorming among teachers about the best way to use the school’s resources to help students in need of remediation, enrichment or behavior management plans.
“The NDP program gives recognition to the best and the brightest. It’s an opportunity for principals to be recognized for the long hours, the sincere dedication, great ideas and motivation that they display as they lead their school communities,” said Stephen Hagenbuch, executive director of MAESP. “Kristin’s love for children and school community is demonstrated every day. It’s quite an honor to be selected as Maryland’s NDP. Kristin is clearly an outstanding principal and deserving of this honor.”
The National Distinguished Principalsprogram honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America��s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. Established in 1984, the program recognizes and celebrates principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staffs in their learning communities. The program is based on three fundamental ideas:
- Children’s attitudes toward learning and their perceptions of themselves as lifelong learners are established in the beginning school years.
- The scope and quality of children’s educational experiences are determined primarily by the school principal, who establishes, through the important work of teachers and the support of caring parents, the character of a particular school's program.
- The dedication and enthusiasm of the outstanding principals who guide children's early education experiences should be acknowledged to both show appreciation for their work as well as to allow them to serve as models for others in the field.
“Great leadership leads to a great school where teachers are successful and students achieve. That’s why Mentoring Minds is honored to partner with MAESP to recognize outstanding principal Kristin Shields as Maryland’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal,” said Robert L. Bush, CEO, Mentoring Minds.
About Mentoring Minds, the Critical Thinking for Life company
Mentoring Minds is a national K-12 publisher with a mission to put critical thinking at the center of the classroom in order to support student achievement and empower educators to teach to higher standards. Mentoring Minds’ award-winning, research-based resources are designed to be flexible for classroom needs, supporting technology integration and standards mastery for Math, ELA and Science. Mentoring Minds’ commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as well; the company proudly sponsors groundbreaking administrators across the nation and supports community-based education initiatives through MindShare, an employee-driven grant program. For more information, call 800-585-5258 or visit mentoringminds.com.