Union Middle School Principal Mary Anderson has been named Utah's top middle school leader.
Anderson is the 2013 Utah Middle School Principal of the Year. The prestigious honor was announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and awarded to Anderson by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove.
Anderson, a former gymnastics coach, was selected for her outstanding leadership, educational innovations, and masterful use of data to improve student achievement, particularly for those who are struggling in reading and math. Under her leadership, Union Middle School has established Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework and small intervention classes that focus on each child's specific needs. As a result, students are thriving.
"Mary deftly employs the use of data to inform her decisions ... and to support effective problem solving on the part of her Building Leadership Team and the Professional Learning Communities at her school," said Dr. Hollie Pettersson, Canyons District Director of Evidence-Based Learning in Secondary Schools, said in nominating Anderson for the award.
Anderson also is known for her ability to hire and develop great teachers, and mentor aspiring and new principals. "Her staff often comments at her genuine interest in them as individuals, and her leadership makes them feel as nurtured as family," Canyons District School Performance Director Tamra Baker said.
Anderson was selected for the honor by a UASSP panel following an extensive nomination and interview process. In the fall, Anderson will compete for National Middle School Principal of the Year, sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and attend a National Recognition Workshop in Washington D.C.