This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Seven School District principals received Lindback Distinguished Principal Awards on Thursday for outstanding leadership.
The settings where they demonstrate their leadership vary widely. Deana Ramsey runs the school inside the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Center. Ted Domers is principal of the selective Carver High School of Engineering & Science.
Dywonne Davis-Harris is principal of Potter-Thomas Elementary School in Fairhill, one of the city’s most stressed neighborhoods. Fatima Rogers runs the Charles W. Henry Elementary School in Mount Airy, a quieter neighborhood.
Other winners are Jodan Floyd, principal of AMY Northwest Middle School, John Piniat of Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences, and Michael Roth of Olney Elementary School.
In a statement, Superintendent William Hite described them as “the best of the best.”
They were given their awards at a ceremony at the Prince Theater attended by Hite, Mayor Kenney, and School Reform Commission Chair Joyce Wilkerson. Each will get $20,000 to spend to improve their school and community.
More information about each honoree:
Dywonne Davis-Harris is a native of Philadelphia, was educated in city public schools, and has worked in the District for nearly two decades. She has been principal since 2009 of Potter-Thomas, which has seen a turnaround under her leadership. This year, it was named one of the most improved schools on the District’s 2016-17 progress report. She was a teacher, teacher coach, and instructional specialist before becoming a principal. She is one of the first principals to be a Neubauer Fellow through the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. In addition to a master’s degree in education, Davis-Harris also holds a law degree.
Ted Domers has been principal since 2013 of Carver, where he started a “Friends of” group, expanded a Saturday STEM program, and increased internship opportunities. He is also a Neubauer Fellow. He has a master’s degree and a doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jodan Floyd graduated from Philadelphia public schools and was a teacher leader before becoming a principal. She is also a Neubauer Fellow. Floyd became principal of AMY Northwest in 2013 and has expanded community partnerships at the school. She holds a master’s degree from Cheyney University.
Principal of Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences since 2015, John Piniat began in the District as a teacher and middle grades team leader. Under his leadership, math and literacy scores have improved at Feltonville and he has expanded the use of technology in every classroom. He is also a Neubauer Fellow.
Deana Ramsey became principal of the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Center, which houses students in detention, in 2013. Her career in the District goes back to 1996. Ramsey obtained a $1 million federal grant in 2016 for a Career and Technical Education program in her school. She also uses community outreach to enhance academic enrichment, personal development, and civic responsibility in students. She has a master’s degree from Gwynedd Mercy College.
Fatima Rogers has been principal of C.W. Henry since 2012. A believer in innovation and creativity, she had to demonstrate strong leadership and compassion when Henry students were involved in a bus accident en route to Washington, D.C., on a field trip. She managed communication between students and families, oversaw volunteers, and made sure that the rest of the year passed seamlessly. She has a master’s degree from Cheyney.
Michael Roth, in his fourth year as principal of Olney Elementary, has enhanced arts at the school, which recently produced its first musical in 25 years. Student progress in traditional reading and math indicators have also improved. He has a master’s degree from Temple University.
For decades, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation has been recognizing outstanding educators in the Philadelphia area and elsewhere at both the K-12 and higher education levels.