By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
The large group of Poplar Springs Elementary School students sitting quietly suddenly broke out into loud clapping when Principal LaVonda Germany entered the school's auditorium.
It was a surprise to Germany, who a few minutes later playfully told the group of appreciative youngsters they were all on detention.
"OK, ya'll aren't in detention," she said, grinning after being named the Meridian Public Schools District Administrator of the Year. "But you did such a good job of keeping a secret and surprising me."
MPSD Superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor, and MPSD Assistant Superintendent Amy Carter recognized Germany with the award Friday morning. It was recognition Taylor and Carter were happy to present.
“Thanks to her dedication and leadership abilities, Mrs. Germany has consistently moved Poplar Springs forward,” Taylor said. “As a result, Poplar Springs is not only a ‘Star’ school but they are the highest scoring elementary school in our region of the state.”
Germany has 23 years of experience in education, with all being in service to the Meridian Public School District. She has been the principal at Poplar Springs for the past five years.
Germany was quick to deflect the recognition away from herself and toward her staff and students. She said it was a pleasure to come to work each day with the school's dedicated staff and wonderful students who have achieved so much.
"It's not about me," Germany said while clutching a bouquet of flowers and a plaque noting her award. "I'm just one piece of the puzzle and when they all fit, it makes for a great day."
Poplar Springs Elementary reached the level of “Star” or “A” school this year from their results on the 2011-12 Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT2). In her five years of administration at Poplar Springs, the school has moved from a Quality Distribution Index (QDI) score of 168 to 205 based on the results of the MCT2.
Germany earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Elementary Education and a specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University. She is a graduate of Meridian High School, having attended Crestwood Elementary, Carver Middle School and Kate Griffin Junior High.
Germany will represent MPSD in the State Administrator of the Year program hosted by the Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education.