Being a successful administrator one must have the ability to listen and value others’ opinions. This year’s recipient of the Administrator Award, Jim Bailey, from Saginaw Township Public Schools, shines in these areas. He started his career in education as a 5th grade teacher, and one of his former students shared with us that Mr. Bailey’s classroom was a sanctuary for reading. He gave book talks that helped to make the students want to read. As he moved into the principal job at Hemmeter Elementary, he instilled in the school this same amazing reading environment. His philosophy is one that so many of us share, that “no person hates reading, they just haven’t found the right book.” As his former student stated, “Mr. Bailey is doing what he was meant to do and has found it.” Congratulations to Mr. Jim Bailey from the Michigan Reading Association.
When a parent states that she loves to be in the principal's office because the office is surrounded with books, one knows that their administrator is promoting literacy in her building. Dr. Ross Cheney Groover, principal at Snow Elementary School in Dearborn, is this year's MRA recipient for the Administrator Award. Dr. Groover has provided a safe, secure, and fun learning environment for all of her students. Picture this: Dr. Groover, accepting a PTA reading challenge, spent her day reading to students while in her pajamas! Dr. Groover is there for her teachers, parents, and especially for her students.
This year’s recipient of the Administrators Awardstarted his job career not in education but, working for Ford Motor Company drilling holes in transmission housings. Dennis Graham, principal of CommerceElementary School, states that it took him 10 minutes to learn the job with no reading or writing required. Of course, he went on to college. He understands that times have changed and as we all know these jobs have disappeared. Today as the principal of Commerce Elementary he possesses a strong sense of “vision” for his students, staff and community. Dennis has created an excellent balanced literacy program at his school which is supported by parent volunteers and educators. As his staff knows he knows the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of using data and assessment for school improvement and he also has a grand vision for our entire state. He volunteered at the MRA Board and Committee meetings by leading the group through key discussions to develop a vision and to set and implement heartfelt goals for our literacy group. We thank Dennis for our “wildly important goal” Literacy Leadership in a Digital Age. Please join MRA in congratulating Dennis Graham as this year’s Administrator Award recipient.