Kerry Coursey Named the 2012 National Distinguished Principal

Kerry Coursey
Kerry Coursey

Mrs. Kerry Coursey, principal of Coastal Middle School in Savannah- Chatham County, was selected as Georgia’s 2012 National Distinguished Principal. This prestigious National Distinguished Principal award is given by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education. “Coursey was nominated and selected by her fellow principals through a statewide search conducted by the State Department of Education and Georgia Association of Middle School Principals,” said Hal Beaver, Executive Director of GAMSP. A graduate of Georgia Southern University (Ed. S), Mrs. Coursey previously held the position of principal at West Chatham Middle School, where she served for seven years; she also served as an assistant principal at Coastal and Myers Middle Schools and currently serves as principal at Coastal Middle School. “Mrs. Coursey exemplifies outstanding instructional leadership,” said SCCPSS Chief Academic Officer, Mrs. Sharon Sand. “She is passionate about her work with her staff, students, parents and community at large. SCCPSS is proud to have a nationally recognized middle school principal.”

The National Distinguished Principals program is made possible through the corporate sponsorship of VALIC and Nova Southeastern University. “School principals commit their professional lives to educational excellence,” said Dr. Gail Connelly, NAESP’s executive director. “They are uniquely dedicated public servants.” Criteria for selection of the principals set by NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education requires that the honorees be selected by their colleagues for achievements above and beyond those expected in a school program. In addition, each must have been a principal for five years; maintain high expectations of students and staff; show evidence of outstanding contributions to school and profession; and be an established, respected member of the community.

Mrs. Coursey has enjoyed many accomplishments over the years, but the ones that particularly stood out to the committee included: 2011 Governor’s Office of Student Achievement Platinum Level Award and in 2010 Coastal Middle School was recognized as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program World School. The Georgia Association of Middle School Principals has served as Georgia’s professional educational association and now represents middle level principals throughout the state. In October,

Ms. Coursey will travel to Washington, D.C., for activities that bring welldeserved recognition to the middle school educators.

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