TEA News Release Online
Nov. 16, 2010
Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership presented to principal Sandi Jones of Jacksonville ISD
AUSTIN – Principal Sandi Jones of West Side Elementary School in Jacksonville Independent School District received the Terrel H. Bell award for Outstanding School Leadership at the 2010 Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. today.
The Terrel H. Bell Award, named for the former U.S. Secretary of Education, recognizes outstanding school leaders and the vital role they play in overcoming challenging circumstances.
Principals nominated for this award are school leaders committed to fostering successful teaching and learning at their schools. They are principals who do whatever it takes to help their students meet high standards and they are committed to the notion that in educating America’s children, failure is not an option.
This special award is given by the U. S. Department of Education, together with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Middle Schools Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals in memory of former Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell. Jones is one of 10 principals nationwide to receive the Terrel H. Bell Award this year.
Secretary Bell held education as his highest priority, trusting that all students would find it their personal key to success as he had. Principals chosen as Bell award recipients have transformed their schools; they have set high standards and expectations for all, including themselves; they have shown that with effective leadership and teaching and a conviction that all students can learn, schools are powerful, joyful places that generate energy in their communities.
Jones’ selection was based on the school’s application for the 2010 Blue Ribbon School Award. The selection panel stated that “Mrs. Jones has faced several challenges since becoming principal. Among them was an achievement gap between English Language Learners and the other students. To address this problem, Mrs. Jones has implemented daily interventions. During these opportunities, students received targeted, small group, and individualized instruction.”
Recently, Jones established West Side Elementary as a “No Excuses University,” promoting college readiness that begins in pre-kindergarten, building student interest in college and instilling a belief in students that they can succeed.
“By empowering everyone—including administrators, teachers, students, and parents—Mrs. Jones inspires the members of the West Side community to take a self-directed role in education,” stated the selection panel.