Irma E. Johnson
She has been the principal of Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School in Baltimore for the last 10 years.
Johnson is Maryland’s Distinguished Principal of the Year, the first time a city principal has won the award. She was recognized at the May 8 school board meeting.
Dallas Nicholas is the only elementary school in the city to have its own radio program. Fellow principal Helen B. Shelton, of North Bend Elementary School, nominated Johnson for the award. Here is the letter:
In the seven years I have been associated with Irma it has always been evident that she is committed to the academic and social success of the students of Dallas F. Nicholas, Sr. Elementary School. Whenever I visited her at the school I encountered a climate that represents an orderly, respectful, and purposeful learning environment.
The respect that the students and staff have for Irma as their principal and leader is evident in the way they interact inside and outside the classrooms. Students seem to want her recognition and approval and the teachers follow her lead as planners and implementers of instruction.
The effect of her leadership is documented in adequate yearly progress and high levels of student achievement on the Maryland State Assessment.
Irma has been a model, a mentor, and a coach for me in my growth as a school leader. We have had the opportunity to formally study educational leadership together and to share and build expertise in such areas as curriculum, instructional practices, adult professional development, and parent and community involvement.
In Irma’s case, she can always back up her philosophy of how to move a school ahead with success stories from Dallas F. Nicholas, Sr. Elementary School. Her creative leadership has been a model for me in developing my own change strategies for school improvement.
Whether at local leadership meetings or at national education conferences, Irma E. Johnson represents herself as a thoughtful, contributing member of the broad education community. She advances thinking that is good for children.
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With your help, we’ll spotlight outstanding educators -- anyone who works on behalf of the students, including teachers, principals, guidance counselors, etc. -- from across the region. To salute your favorite educator, please e-mail any of the Sun’s education reporters the following information: The educator’s name; school; educational background; and pesonal data such as age, residence and family. Then, answer this question: How does this educator make a difference?