Kerman principal selected CA Principal of the Year
November 15, 2021
Kerman Middle School Principal Margaret Nichols Files has been selected as California’s 2021 State Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Files was recognized during the NASSP virtual awards program Oct. 5, which honored state award winners, along with other distinguished service winners.
NASSP President Gregg Wieczorek opened the ceremony by acknowledging the hard work principals do to support their schools and communities each day.
“You are all handling a lot, and have been for a while now,” he said. “Always, but especially during this particularly challenging time for our profession, making and maintaining connections is vital. We need to listen to each other, share ideas, and provide each other with the support needed to serve our schools and communities in the best way possible. … and that is what all the honorees tonight have demonstrated.”
Files emphasizes staff and student leadership at her rural middle school of 810 students in Fresno County.
“I believe strongly that this is one of the most important parts of my job — to develop student and staff leaders,” she said.
She has done this by expanding leadership class to two periods and offering students opportunities like an athletic leadership class and California Cadet Corps Club.
For staff, she has brought in a speaker to focus on the social-emotional health of leaders and started a leadership group that has challenged and stretched staff members to focus their actions on serving others.
“This has been evident — as they have flourished as leaders on campus,” Files said. “I count this as one of my greatest success stories, as a strong group of leaders sets the foundation for the learning and culture of the campus.”
Files, who was previously honored as ACSA’s 2020 Middle Grades Principal of the Year, said she was honored to be recognized again by her peers.
“The award caused me to reflect on the journey I’ve taken to get to where I am, and rekindle the fire for what I am passionate about in education,” she said. “Learning about all of the other state winners has challenged me to continue to grow and learn. I am honored to represent the state of California and my amazing staff at Kerman Middle School. I wouldn’t make it through a single day without their support.”
Contact Us
© 2021 Association of California School Administrators